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Re-Inventing Traditions

On the Transmission of Artistic Patterns in Late Medieval Manuscript Illumination


Edited By Joris Corin Heyder and Christine Seidel

The volume comprises 16 papers given at the conference Re-Inventing Traditions held in Berlin in 2012. It negotiates the question of the transmission of artistic patterns in late medieval manuscript illumination. The model as such is often regarded as a mere working tool but recently the conditions of its creation and transformation have been discovered as a field of research. Among the central themes of these essays are textual tradition, workshop methods and the development and changeability of artistic models throughout different media and in various European regions.
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O sainct Gond tu as merité : le cas d’un saint oublié: Katja Monier


Katja Monier

O sainct Gond tu as merité : le cas d’un saint oublié1


The Master of Spencer 6 painted an image of St Gond, a saint venerated in Champagne against the plague, in a book of hours destined for use in the diocese of Troyes. Although a small number of depictions of the saint survive, in sculpture and stained glass from the early sixteenth century, this manuscript illumination from around 1500 appears to be the earliest surviving representation of the saint. The illuminator was required to invent the image without a pre-existing model. A prayer in French verse accompanies the image, apparently also unique. These surviving works provide not only essential historical evidence of late medieval society, but also offer a point of departure for an examination of an illuminator’s re-interpretation of traditional artistic patterns and creation of new images, in order to keep abreast of patrons’ enthusiasms and tastes, and evolving saints’ cults.


Une image de saint Gond peinte par le Maître de Spencer 6 vers 1500 figure dans un livre d’heures aujourd’hui conservé à la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal à Paris (ms. 651, ill. 1, tab. 5).2 On constate qu’elle est le seul exemple d’une représentation de ce saint, enluminée et même peinte, de la période médiévale et de la Renaissance. L’image accompagne une prière à saint Gond, qui ne paraît pas avoir survécu ailleurs non plus. Qu’apportent...

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