Romantic Geography and the Crusades: British Library Royal ms. 19 D I

Romantic Geography and the Crusades: British Library Royal ms. 19 D I

Quigley, Maureen (Saint Louis University)

Peregrinations, Vol.2:3 (2009)


It is not unusual in the shorthand of manuscript illumination of the first half of the fourteenth century to simplify place and emphasize action when presenting a scene of historical interest. Miniatures in chronicles and romances are often filled with events, such as battle scenes or historical meetings that take place in front of a blank or geometrically patterned background – perhaps a rather generic building may be depicted or a lonely tree may appear — but rarely is there any indication that the action takes place in a recognizable location. This is true for miniatures in books produced in France during the reign of King Philip VI of Valois (1328-1350), which, while conforming to the highest level of artistic fashion at the Parisian court, rarely incorporated the developing illusionistic techniques for placing a scene‟s protagonists within an architectural or environmental space favored by earlier illuminators such as Jean Pucelle or the contemporary Italian painters working for the Papal Court in Avignon like Simone Martini.

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