Mirror in Parchment: The Luttrell Psalter and the Making of Medieval England
University of Chicago Press, 1 nov. 1998 - 410 pages
What is the status of visual evidence in history? Can we actually see the past through images? Where are the traces of previous lives deposited? Michael Camille addresses these important questions in Mirror in Parchment, a lively, searching study of one medieval manuscript, its patron, producers, and historical progeny.
The richly illuminated Luttrell Psalter was created for the English nobleman Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276-1345). Inexpensive mechanical illustration has since disseminated the book's images to a much wider audience; hence the Psalter's representations of manorial life have come to profoundly shape our modern idea of what medieval English people, high and low, looked like at work and at play. Alongside such supposedly truthful representations, the Psalter presents myriad images of fantastic monsters and beasts. These patently false images have largely been disparaged or ignored by modern historians and art historians alike, for they challenge the credibility of those pictures in the Luttrell Psalter that we wish to see as real.
In the conviction that medieval images were not generally intended to reflect daily life but rather to shape a new reality, Michael Camille analyzes the Psalter's famous pictures as representations of the world, imagined and real, of its original patron. Addressed are late medieval chivalric ideals, physical sites of power, and the boundaries of Sir Geoffrey's imagined community, wherein agricultural laborers and fabulous monsters play a similar ideological role. The Luttrell Psalter thus emerges as a complex social document of the world as its patron hoped and feared it might be.
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Knighthood War and Play
Feasting Family and Fashion
Monument Sermon and Memory
Men Women and Machines
Masks Mummers and Monsters
Saracens Scotsmen and the Biped Beast
Six Hands and a Face
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Mirror In Parchment: The Luttrell Psalter and the Making of Medieval England
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agricultural Andrew animal appear argued artist associated babewyns bishop body British Library Cambridge century Chaucer Chivalry colour contemporary crucial culture death depicted described detail Dominican dress Edward Edward III example face feast figures fourteenth fourteenth-century Geoffrey Luttrell Geoffrey's Gothic Handlyng Synne harvest historians hobby horse human illuminated manuscripts illus illustration imagery important Irnham John king knight labour land later Latin Lincoln Lincolnshire liturgical London lord lord's Luttrell master Luttrell Psalter Luttrell's manor manorial manuscript illumination marginal images masks Medieval Art Medieval England Middle Ages Millar mirror monsters mouth Museum Ormesby Psalter Oxford painted parish church peasant period pictorial picture Piers Plowman play plough ploughman poem popular produced Psalm representations represented Robert Mannyng Rodney Hilton Rutland Psalter Sandler Scots Scrope seen shows signs Sir Geoffrey social Society suggests symbol things Thomas tion tradition village visual wearing women words
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