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The Cultural and Political Legacy of Anne de Bretagne

The Cultural and Political Legacy of Anne de Bretagne: Negotiating Convention in Books and Documents

Series: Gallica
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    The Cultural and Political Legacy of Anne de Bretagne
    Book Description:

    As duchess of Brittany (1491-1514) and twice queen of France (1491-98; 1498-1514), Anne de Bretagne set a benchmark by which to measure the status of female authority in Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance. Although at times a traditional political pawn, when men who ruled her life were involved in reshaping European alliances, Anne was directly or indirectly involved with the principal political and religious European leaders of her time and helped define the cultural landscape of her era. Taking a variety of cross-disciplinary perspectives, these ten essays by art historians, literary specialists, historians, and political scientists contribute to the ongoing discussion of Anne de Bretagne and seek to prompt further investigations into her cultural and political impact. At the same time, they offer insight of a broader nature into related areas of intellectual interest - patronage, the history of the book, the power and definition of queenship and the interpretation of politico-cultural documents and court spectacles - thereby confirming the extensive nature of Anne's legacy. CYNTHIA J. BROWN is Professor of French at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-800-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-ix)
    (pp. x-x)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    This interdisciplinary volume of articles concentrates on the cultural and political legacy of Anne de Bretagne (1477–1514). As duchess of Brittany (1491–1514) and twice queen of France (1491–98; 1499–1514) during a period when major political, religious and cultural transitions were the order of the day, Anne set a benchmark by which to measure the status of female authority in Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance. Twice a ‘foreign’ bride with no surviving male children,¹ she outlived one husband and briefly benefited from the independence that widowhood afforded women of her era. Although she was at...

  7. Part I The Politics of Bookmaking in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Brittany:: Cooperation and Competition between France and the Queen’s Duchy

    • 1 The Book Trade in and beyond the Duchy of Brittany during the Reign of Anne de Bretagne
      (pp. 11-28)

      TheGrandes Heuresof Anne de Bretagne with its well-known naturalistic borders is one of her few manuscript commissions for which payment documents survive (Figure 1).¹ In the mandate, signed and dated at Blois on 14 March 1508 (n.s.), the queen requested hertrésorier généralRaoul Hurault to pay 1,050livres tournoisin 600écus d’orfrom her dowry revenue of the current year to Jean Bourdichon of Tours (1457–1521) ‘pour le recompenser de ce qu’il nous a richement et sumptueusement historié et enlumyné unes grans Heures pour nostre usaige et service’.² That Bourdichon, painter to Kings Louis XI,...

    • 2 The Printed Book in Brittany during the Reign of Anne de Bretagne
      (pp. 29-44)

      Anne de Bretagne’s patronage of the arts has attracted much scholarly interest. In particular, her relationship with contemporary authors and her love of books have been the subject of sustained research. The large number of surviving books (both manuscript and printed) that she owned or that were dedicated to her represent a treasure trove for those studying the initial decades of the French Renaissance. She acted as a protector and patron to authors such as Antoine Dufour, André de la Vigne, Jean Lemaire de Belges – who dedicated hisTiers livre des illustrations de Gaule et singularitez de Troyeto...

  8. Part II The Politics of Literary and Religious Traditions:: How Books (Re)Defined the Queen

    • 3 Anthoine Vérard’s Reframing of Christine de Pizan’s Doctrine for Anne de Bretagne
      (pp. 47-64)

      The subject of this article is the emphasis placed upondoctrineby the Parisian publisher Anthoine Vérard in the 1497 edition of Christine de Pizan’sTrésor de la cité des dames[Treasury of the City of Ladies] that he dedicated to Anne de Bretagne. This emphasis is noticeable both at the beginning of the text and in the dedication miniature heading that text. I am interested in the ways in which Vérard reframes Christine’s original use ofdoctrinein order to promote his own commercial success. The reigning expert on Vérard, Mary Beth Winn, observes that with over 280 editions...

    • 4 Mentoring Noble Ladies: Antoine Dufour’s Vies des femmes célèbres
      (pp. 65-80)

      In 1504, Antoine Dufour, a Dominican at the French court, offered a book containing the lives of famous women to Anne, duchess of Brittany and queen of France. This beautiful manuscript is preserved in the Musée Dobrée in Nantes.¹ In 1506, it was illuminated by Jean Pichore, an artist managing a workshop in Paris.² According to the prologue, Dufour was complying with Anne’s desire when he undertook to write his collection and she probably chose Jean Pichore, who was already quite famous,³ as the illustrator.

      Compiling lives of famous women is no original endeavor at the beginning of the sixteenth century.⁴...

    • 5 Penitence, Motherhood, and Passion Devotion: Contextualizing Anne de Bretagne’s Prayer Book, Chicago, Newberry Library, MS 83
      (pp. 81-98)

      A small prayer book belonging to Anne de Bretagne is now housed in the Newberry Library in Chicago (MS 83).¹ This manuscript is relatively unknown, having been eclipsed by some of Anne’s more lavish commissions, notably theGrandes Heures, richly illuminated by Jean Bourdichon around 1503–08.² This essay offers a closer look at Anne’s prayer book, exploring its contents in the context of her roles as duchess of Brittany, queen of France and potential mother to the heirs of both realms. Three aspects of the manuscript will be examined in particular: the emphasis on penitence and indulgences, the prayers...

  9. Part III Anne’s Cultural and Political Legacy to Claude:: Harmonies and Tensions in Two Queenships

    • 6 Like Mother, Like Daughter: The Blurring of Royal Imagery in Books for Anne de Bretagne and Claude de France
      (pp. 101-122)

      As queen of France and duchess of Brittany, Claude de France (r.1515–24) ostensibly possessed the same politico-cultural stature as her mother, Anne de Bretagne (r.1491–98, 1499–1514), who earlier bore the same titles. While we know little about the actual relationship between Anne and Claude,¹ their sharing of cultural space, a unique circumstance in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, can be measured through an examination of their joint appearance in contemporary books. One of the earliest known images of the princess and her mother decorates the king’s copy of Petrarch’sRemèdes de l’une ou l’autre Fortune(BnF MS ffr....

    • 7 Claude de France: In her Mother’s Likeness, a Queen with Symbolic Clout?
      (pp. 123-144)

      The profile of Claude de France has long been at a discouraging low amongst French queens. Although pictured an uncommon number of times as a child or youth, her adult face is particularly hard to grasp: Henri Pigaillem’s 2006 monograph sports on its cover, tellingly, a portrait of someone other than the queen.¹ Historians have had trouble tracing the contours of Claude’s queenly persona, too.² Even in Nantes, where the cult of Anne de Bretagne overflows into the streets and squares, the 2007 exhibition dedicated to the history and myth of the queen-duchess cast a rather somber light on the...

  10. Part IV The Cultural and Political Legacies of Negotiations and Rituals:: Contesting Convention

    • 8 Revisiting Anne de Bretagne’s Queenship: On Love and Bridles
      (pp. 147-162)

      Behind the windows, the dark blue sky hardly reveals that it is Christmas Eve 1508 (Cover Illustration) (BnF, Rés Velins 2780, frontispiece). A few courtiers luxuriously clothed witness the symbolic exchange by the entrance gate. A female audience in no less colorful guise attends the scene at the side of the queen. Anne sits on a canopied throne covered by a grey cloth decorated with ermines. Her royal coat of blue azure with goldenfleurs de liscreates a striking contrast with her gold dress and her black Breton cap surmounted by an open lilied crown. The author kneels before...

    • 9 Anne de Bretagne, A Woman of State
      (pp. 163-176)

      Anne de Bretagne’s role as a stateswoman has never been adequately examined. Yet the manner in which she conceived and defended a political project, namely the perpetuation of the autonomy of the duchy that she had inherited, is of vital importance to an understanding of her reign. It is particularly instructive to see how she defended this project coherently over a considerable period of time, especially during her second marriage, when her freedom of action was greater than it had been at an earlier time.

      Anne has suffered recently at the hands of a number of biographers who have had...

    • 10 Order and Disorder in the Life and Death of Anne de Bretagne
      (pp. 177-192)

      The pursuit of order and the eruption of discord are recurrent themes in the life of Anne de Bretagne that cast light on her character, her tastes, her comportment, and her aspirations. Like Anne’s contemporaries, modern biographers have paid far more attention to Anne’s virtues, piety, and positive accomplishments than to her frustrations and failures. Order has been given precedence over the disruptive elements and events in her life: the questionable circumstances of her two marriages; her inability to preserve Breton independence; her failure to produce a male heir; the indecorum of her first husband’s funeral; the pretentiousness of her...

  11. APPENDIX THE CHILDREN OF ANNE DE BRETAGNE (25[26] Jan. 1477–9 Jan. 1514)
    (pp. 193-194)
    (pp. 195-218)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 219-228)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 229-231)