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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 729: Networks of Artisanry: Entangled Objects, Colours, and Paintings

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Meredith Cohen, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles
Paper 729-aThe Colour of the French Monarchy: The Network of Blue Pigment in the 13th Century
(Language: English)
Ningning Zou, Department of History, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 729-bNetworks of Narrative: The N-Town Play Burial of Christ and Guarding of the Sepulcher and Parish Church Wall Paintings
(Language: English)
Therese Novotny, Department of English Modern Languages & Philosophy Carroll University Wisconsin
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - Painting, Language and Literature - Middle English, Performance Arts - Drama

Paper -a
The 'unseen' blue was adopted as a colour of the French monarchy in the 13th century. Trade in the blue dye increased, there were conflicts between craftsmen, and even the royalty and church became involved. Why was blue identified as the color of power by the French kings? Taking the Rheims Missal and the licence given by the Queen Blanche of Castile in 1230 as starting points, analysing the manuscripts and biography of the French kings and the words of churchmen, this paper will argue how the French monarchy correlated itself with positive virtues and the religion by adopting blue.

Paper -b:
The N-Town Play has no evidence of where it was staged, but the marginal notes in its manuscript specify scaffolds and props, suggesting it was performed in a network of communities. Also, evidence of its influence appears in carvings and paintings in churches and cathedrals. Scholars, including Peter Meredith and Peter Hâppé, have identified carvings and roof bosses connected to the play, but more remains. Two wall paintings, one at Barton St Peter and Paul and the other at Crostwight All Saints, point to entangled networks of the crucifixion narrative, and they reveal how rural parishioners navigated gender and authority.