Like a particularly good detective story, this richly textured book follows tantalizing clues in its hunt for a group of missing artistic masterpieces. Susan Bell recounts both her long search for a series of sixteenth-century tapestries that celebrated women and her efforts to understand their meaning for Queen Elizabeth I of England and the other powerful women who owned them. Opening a new window on the lives of noblewomen in the Renaissance, the brilliantly colored tapestries that were the ultimate artistic luxury of the day, and the popular and influential fourteenth-century writer Christine de Pizan, Bell pursues a compelling tale that moves from centuries past to today. The tapestries around which this story revolves are linked to Christine de Pizan's Book of the City of Ladies (1405), orginally published six hundred years ago in 1405. The book is a tribute to women that honors two hundred female warriors, scientists, queens, philosophers, and builders of cities. Though twenty-five manuscripts of the City of Ladies still exist, references to tapestries based on the book are elusive. Bell takes us along as she tracks down records of six sets of tapestries whose owners included Elizabeth I of England; Margaret of Austria; and Anne of Brittany, Queen of France. Bell examines the intriguing details of these women's lives—their arranged marriages, their power, their affairs of state—asking what interest they had in owning these particular tapestries. Could the tapestries have represented their thinking? As she reveals the historical, linguistic, and cultural aspects of this unique story, Bell also gives a fascinating account of medieval and early-Renaissance tapestry production and of Christine de Pizan's remarkable life and legacy.
The struggles and achievements of forty-six notable women artists of the early modern period, as documented by their contemporaries, are uniquely brought together in this anthology. The life stories presented here are foundational texts for the history of art, but since most are found only in rare volumes and few have been translated into English, until now they have been generally inaccessible to many scholars. Originally published in biographical compendia such as Vasari's Lives of the Artists, the writings included here document not only the lives of relatively well known women artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi and Sofonisba Anguissola, but also those who have languished in obscurity, like Anna Waser and Li Yin. Each life story is preceded by a brief introduction to the artist as well as to her biographer, and the texts themselves are annotated to provide necessary clarification. Beyond their documentary value, these stories provide fascinating insight as to how men commonly characterized women artists as exceptions to their sex, and attempted to explain their presence in the male-dominated realm of art. The introductory chapter to the book explores this intriguing gender dynamic and elucidates some of the strategies and historical context that factored into the composition of these lives. The volume includes an appended index to women artists' life stories in biographical compendia of the period
Strong Voices, Weak History
Author: Pamela Joseph Benson, Victoria Kirkham
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Strong Voices, Weak History presents the first comparative history of major medieval and Renaissance European women writers in their relationship to national canons of literature. Challenging the notion of an oppressive patriarchy that discouraged women from writing and publishing, the fifteen essays collected here examine women's participation in fashionable male literary modes, trace their creation of female canons, and explore the history of their reception, from the fifteenth century to the present.
Christine de Pizan, France's first woman of letters, is widely known for her classic Book of the City of Ladies (Persea, 1982), but very few of her many other distinguished works have been translated into English. The Writings of Christine de Pizan offers lengthy excerpts of nearly all of Christine's works, in authoritative and gracious translations. Among the writings are Christine's autobiography; lyric and allegorical poetry; the official biography of King Charles V; writings on women, warfare, politics, love, and the human condition; writings from the famous Quarrel of the Rose; The Book of the City of Ladies; The Treasury of the City of Ladies; The Book of the Duke of True Lovers; and Christine's triumphant poem on Joan of Arc. Edited and with an introduction by the foremost authority on Christine's work, Charity Cannon Willard, who sets the writings in historical, biographical, and literary context.
The lightheartedness of these works both masks and enhances their engagement with provocative issues of continuing interest today: conduct in society, literary practice and moral praxis, relations between men and women, the value of received wisdom. This volume offers texts of two medieval French poems by Christine de Pizan: the "Epistre au dieu d'amours" and "Dit de la Rose," together with the first translation of these poems into modern English. The medieval English adaptation of Christine's "Epistre," Thomas Hoccleve's "The Letter of Cupid," is likewise presented here, and provided with a modern English translation. Finally, an eighteenth-century version of Hoccleve's poem, George Sewell's "The Proclamation of Cupid," is edited here for the first time. The editions of these poems by Christine, last edited a century ago, are based on the most recent scholarly findings. The edition of Hoccleve's poem reproduces its authorial punctuation from manuscript for the first time, and thus sheds light on the vexed question of fifteenth- century English metrics. The lively modern English translations of both can be used by students, scholars, and the general reader.
This volume, the first to address Philippe Mézières (1327-1405) and his legacy comprehensively since 1896, gathers twenty-two contributions shedding new light on Philippe’s literary, political, and mystical writings, and places him in the context of his age and his contemporaries.
The sixteenth century was an age of politically powerful women. Queens, acting in their own right, and female regents, acting on behalf of their male relatives, governed much of Western Europe. Yet even as women ruled—and ruled effectively—their right to do so was hotly contested. Men’s voices have long dominated this debate, but the recovery of texts by women now allows their voices, long silenced, to be heard once again. Debating Women, Politics, and Power in Early Modern Europe is a study of texts and textual production in the construction of gender, society, and politics in the early modern period. Jansen explores the “gynecocracy” debate and the larger humanist response to the challenge posed by female sovereignty.
Author: Christie McDonald, Susan Suleiman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted within and outside of France's national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary understanding of language, literature, and culture. The relationship between France's national territory and other regions of the world where French is spoken and written (most of them former colonies) has long been central to discussions of "Francophonie." Boldly expanding such discussions to the whole range of French literature, the essays in this volume explore spaces, mobilities, and multiplicities from the Middle Ages to today. They rethink literary history not in terms of national boundaries, as traditional literary histories have done, but in terms of a global paradigm that emphasizes border crossings and encounters with "others." Contributors offer new ways of reading canonical texts and considering other texts that are not part of the traditional canon. By emphasizing diverse conceptions of language, text, space, and nation, these essays establish a model approach that remains sensitive to the specificities of time and place and to the theoretical concerns informing the study of national literatures in the twenty-first century.
This groundbreaking anthology brings together for the first time the works of women poet-composers, or trouveres, in northern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Refuting the long-held notion that there are no extant Old French lyrics by women from this period, the editors of the volume present songs attributed to eight named female trouveres along with a varied selection of anonymous compositions in the feminine voice that may have been composed by women. The book includes the Old French texts of seventy-five compositions, extant music for eighteen monophonic songs and nineteen polyphonic motets, English translations, and a substantial introduction.
Chronologie du Moyen Âge
Author: Yves Denis Papin
Publisher: EDITIONS JEAN-PAUL GISSEROT
Christine de Pizan
Author: Barbara K. Altmann, Deborah L. McGrady
Publisher: Psychology Press
Christine de Pizan wrote voluminously, commenting on various aspects of the late-medieval society in which she lived. Considered by many to be the first French woman of letters, Christine and her writing have been difficult to place ever since she began putting her thoughts on the page. Although her work was neglected in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, there has been a eruption of Christine studies in recent decades, making her the perfect subject for a casebook. This volume serves as a useful guide to contemporary research exploring Christine's life and work as they reflected and influenced her socio-political milieu.
One of the most popular genres created and performed by Medieval troubadours and trouveres was the pastourelle. In this work Geri Smith examines the genre in the hands of three Medieval masters: Adam de la Halle, Jen Froissart, and Christine de Pizan.