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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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Beyond the 1520s: A Bellemare Workshop Manuscript in Liège (MS Wittert 29): Elizabeth L’Estrange


Elizabeth L’Estrange

Beyond the 1520s: A Bellemare Workshop Manuscript in Liège (ms. Wittert 29)1


This article considers a Book of Hours, Liège University Library, ms. Wittert 29 which was noted by Myra Orth in a footnote to her 1988 article on the 1520s Hours Workshop. Wittert 29 is a hybrid Book of Hours the central section of which contains ten miniatures that bear a close relationship to a group of manuscripts produced in the 1520s, identified by Orth and now associated with the workshop of Noël Bellemare. The complex composition and codicology of Wittert 29 is analysed before its relationship to other Bellemare manuscripts is explored, in particular the significance of the elaborate Bellifontaine-style frames which enclose the miniatures. These frames suggest that Wittert 29 was produced in 1540s, thus making it an important link between the end of the workshop’s main period of production and the creation of later manuscripts in which the workshop’s artists had a hand, such as the Dinteville Hours (Paris, BnF, ms. lat. 10558) and the Recueil des rois de France (Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 2848).


In her 1988 article, “French Renaissance Manuscripts: The 1520s Hours Workshop and the Master of the Getty Epistles”, Myra Orth set forth evidence for a French workshop that produced some twenty richly-illuminated manuscripts, mainly Books of Hours, from about 1524 to 1530.2 In her study, Orth noted the ← 195 | 196 → “remarkable consistency of format,...

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