- June 2002 · 202pages · 255x180mm
- ·Hardback - 9780708317518
This book reproduces in colour, with commentary and full contextual discussion, all the miniatures from unpublished illuminated manuscripts of Le Roman de la Rose in the National Library of Wales. A central work in medieval culture, the Rose was among the most consistently illustrated of medieval secular texts. By presenting all the illuminations from all five illuminated Aberystwyth manuscripts the present study enables absorbing comparisons to be made. This is a book that will stir controversy through its scepticism about moral readings of Rose illustrations and through its insistence on an “accidental” element in the interpretative value of miniatures in secular texts. It will interest anyone who studies art and literature, including students of Chaucer – a poet who absorbed the Roman de la Rose to the core by translating it. The reader is first introduced to the narrative and to characteristic sites of illustration within it. The introduction goes on to identify existing published sources of reproductions, and then to argue the crucial role that a grasp of the practical circumstances of production should play in interpreting medieval miniatures. A final complementary chapter formally describes all seven Aberystwyth Rose manuscripts.
'... a thoughtful guide ... provides illuminating insights into late medieval views of gender roles'. (The Burlington Magazine) 'This carefully produced catalogue is an important contribution to the study of illustration Roman de la Rose manuscripts, and is a most welcome addition to the investigations of medieval secular iconography' Scriptorium 'This carefully produced catalogue is an important contribution to the study of illustrated Roman de la Rose manuscripts, and is a most welcome addition to the investigation of medieval secular iconography.' Bulletin Codicologique