TRANSFORMATIONS OF AUTHORIAL REPRESENTATION IN THE MANESSE CODEX
DECHANT, DENNIS LYLE
MA Thesis, University of Oregon, June (2010)
Author portraits appear frequently in the decoration ofmedieval illuminated manuscripts, though the word “portrait” applies only with qualification: until the late Middle Ages and Renaissance artists were not interested in representing an author’s actual, historical appearance. Instead, variations o f a standard iconographical type sufficed to portray authorship. This visual formula, developed in late Antiquity and ubiquitous for centuries in European and Byzantine manuscripts, depicts the author seated at a desk or pulpit with pen and ink in hand, either writing directly or contemplating the words about to be written. Such images normally, but not always, appear as full-page, framed frontispieces, introducing a body ofwritings attributed to the author depicted.