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She can thus be claimed to be the first professional author. The chamber provided the king with an inner sanctum where the king could conduct his business surrounded by his most intimate companions. In this miniature from the London manuscript that introduces Christine's Cent balades f.
Aa each of these miniatures, the King's space is articulated by a cone shaped canopy over his head, and as observed by one of my students, note how the individual presenting a book is allowed to enter the King's space. She wrote texts both on commission and on speculation. Having arrived in his presence, after the appropriate greeting, I told him the reason I had come and the wish I had to serve his highness to please him, as far as I was worthy, provided that I might be informed by him of the nature of the treatise on which it pleased him I should work.
Here she has appropriated a dominant patriarchal metaphor for the role of the husband in the family and the king in the state.
John the Baptist and St. Suffering from repeated bouts of madness caused by schizophrenia, Charles VI's reign was marked by the continual rivalry of the Dukes for political control.
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To receive such a commission from such an important patron as the Duke of Burgundy was undoubtedly a great honor oooking Christine. Any superficial examination of manuscripts from this period reveals products of fine craftsmanship. Her clerkly authority is bolstered by the presence of the book before her as she engages in a disputa or debate, with the men before her.
Richard II told Froissart resprctful consider himself "as of the royal household of England. The household of the queen was singled out in particular as in need of reform. Christine was clearly aware of the important role Isabeau played as Queen and protector of the future of the Valois dynasty in the troubled political climate of the reign of Charles VI.
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This was a practice employed by her predecessors Guillaume de Machaut and Jean Froissart. It will endure in many copies all over the world without falling into disuse, and many valiant ladies and women of authority will see and hear it now and in time to come.
In the miniature above from the London manuscript which introduces her Proverbes lzdy f. On one level we should admire the naturalism and spatial complexity of this miniature, but it also illustrates the important privilege of having direct access to the king.
It was not simply the amount of time taken in writing the text, but Christine like any other author producing a text on speculation had to take care to prepare a deluxe copy of the text appropriate for presentation. This is made more explicit by the appearance of the two doorkeepers protecting the access to the King. I think we should not take Froissart's precise identification of the individuals and of the context as the king's bed chamber simply as evidence of accurate reportage.
It was not enough for Christine to establish a space for herself within the literary traditions of her period, but she also needed to articulate a space for herself within the social practices of her period.
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By conventions, I mean the literary, social, and artistic practices of her period. This is in marked contrast to the still prevalent rule of the anonymity of most medieval writers. I think this decision to reward Christine with such luxury objects also reflects this period's conception of an author and his or her product. It should also be observed that we can not only identify the portrait of Charles VI, but one of the witnesses standing behind Salmon can be easily identified as Jean de Berry, the uncle of Charles VI.
A large of Christine's works were produced on speculation. Another opportunity for patronage open to Christine was to present a volume of her collected works to a patron.
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She prepared separate dedications for each of these patrons, and as has been shown recently by a study of the extant original copies, she adapted the pictorial contents to the special interests of the individual patron. In prayers addressed to the Virgin respwctful Christ, one would characterize oneself as "familia tua," or your servantjust as any member of a household would characterize themselves as a "familia.
To publish a text during this period meant the presentation of a copy to a patron.
The table of contents of one of the best collected manuscripts of Machaut's works begins: "This is the arrangement which Guillaume de Machaut wished to have in his book. Another nagging political problem confronting the royal family was the repeated calls for financial reform necessitated by the immoderate royal household expenditures. The decision to whom to dedicate a text was, therefore, critical for a medieval author.
The expression "arrived in his presence" draws attention to the major getnleman of any person at court, to gain direct access to the presence of the patron. Later in her Livre de fkr Mutacion de fortune The Book of the Change of Fortuneshe was res;ectful describe her situation as being adrift on a ship during a storm. We can imagine that the two figures speaking with the doorkeeper at the bottom are disgruntled petitioners who are being denied access to the palace let alone the King's chamber.
It should be noted that this is not actually a presentation image proper, but it shows Charles VI explaining the details of the commission to Salmon. Like her eminent predecessors, Christine was clearly aware of the honor of making a presentation in the Queen's chamber.
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Le Franc had taken care to prepare a lavish copy of his text, and presented it to the noted bibliophile, Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, only to find his manuscript used as a footstool for Philip's courtiers. In some cases Christine was presented with pieces of metalwork or jewelry. Fifteen ladies-in-waiting attached to her court were later arrested for improper behavior. This is especially apparent when we recall the historical record of the unstable political climate of the reign respetcful Charles VI.
It can be understood to refer to Christine hinrman before the Queen; it can also be understood to refer to this edition of texts or corpus which was deed especially for the Queen; or it can also be understood to refer to the idea of France as the "body politic" which is looking to Isabeau in hinddman period of turmoil.
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Considering the importance of the commission, hindmah is every reason to expect that the miniaturist responsible for the presentation miniature was following Christine's direction. I thought I would multiply this work throughout the world in various copies, whatever the cost might be, and present it in particular places to queens, princesses, and noble ladies. A rubric in a copy of the poetical works of Froissart suggests that they were arranged by their author in a similar way: "in this book are several works on love and morality which were written, made, and ordered by the venerable and honorable Jean Froissart.
To us, these positions might seem trivial and beneath the position gentlemwn such an esteemed writer as Deschamps, but they afforded him high status since they entailed close and even intimate relationships with some of the most important patrons of gentlemann period.