The theology of the Trinity confronted the medieval investigator with an ineffable subject that nonetheless compelled prolonged examination and ultimately, explanation. As these explanations evolved across the centuries, art responded with a distinct pictorial language that communicated various possibilities in attempting to understand this essential tenet of the Christian faith. This presentation will address the visualization of the conflict arising between the medieval intellect and that which defies human understanding: one God manifest in three Persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Selective artworks illustrating this conundrum include the Winchester ‘Quinity’, the central portal of Saint-Denis in Paris, and the devotional Psalter imagery created for Jean, Duke of Berry.
Much like Philip himself, the Grandes Heures of Philip the Bold (Fitzwilliam, MS 3-1954 and Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, MS 10392 and 11035-37) has typically been analysed in the context of its subsequent association with the Valois Burgundian dynasty, rather than the 14th-century Parisian market in which it was made. Inherited and significantly altered by Philip the Good, third Duke of Burgundy, in the mid-15th century, the Grandes Heures has been viewed as an example of dynastic and familial prestige. Yet the 14th-century visual and textual program of the manuscript tells another story: Philip the Bold’s own identification as both a prince of France and the Duke of Burgundy. It is the aim of this paper to consider the Grandes Heures not as an outsider but as an object in conversation with those of the great royal patrons of late 14th-century France such as Charles V and John of Berry.
This paper discusses a unique tapestry depicting the amazon Semiramis that once belonged to a tapestry series showing the Neuf Preuses. An aspect that this paper explores is the visualisation of these women through the tapestry medium, which could almost be considered a ‘manly’ medium. Another aspect of this paper is to highlight the status and meaning Semiramis and the rest of the Neuf Preuses had at the Burgundian court by looking at the way these somewhat ‘different’ women were portrayed by Christine de Pizan. Reference to other examples will allow comparisons between different types of tapestries and different perception experiences.