Virtue and Vision in the Illustrated "Somme le Roi"


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships




At the center of this project is a group of illuminated manuscripts that offers an unusually lucid view of the religious, moral, and visual education of the children of the upper classes in late-medieval Europe. An interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the histories of science and pedagogy, literary criticism, visual analysis, and the anthropology of religion facilitates my scrutiny of the words and images in these books. For the audiences of these books, the ability to think critically through images was of equal importance to the mastery of such skills as rhetoric and warfare. This, in turn, helps account for the burgeoning of aristocratic patronage of the visual arts at the dawn of the modern era.