Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: Coffret Panel with Scenes from La Chastelaine de Vergi
  • Creator:
  • Description:

    The Châtelaine de Vergi, a courtly romance, tells of a knight in the service of the Duke of Burgundy. This knight falls in love with the Châtelaine, who is the wife of the chatelain of Vergi and the Duke's niece. The Châtelaine accepts the knight's love but demands that he keep their relationship secret. They agree upon a meeting signal: the Châtelaine's dog will come to the knight in a garden. The Duchess of Burgundy falls in love with this knight. When he rejects her advances she tells her husband the Duke that the knight attempted to seduce her. To prove his innocence the knight betrays the secret and reveals the true object of his love. The Châtelaine dies heartbroken and the knight kills himself upon finding her body. The Duke finds both bodies and has his wife beheaded.

    This object displays key scenes. From left to right is depicted: The knight confessing his relationship with the Châtelaine; the duke hiding behind a tree to observe the lovers' meeting; the knight embracing the Châtelaine with her dog at her feet; the duke telling the duchess about the lovers' idyll as they sit on their bed; the Châtelaine receives an invitation to the Carnival ball organized by the Duchess. Ivory boxes, mirror cases, and other small objects were decorated with scenes of romance such as these and given as tokens of love.

  • Source: Gothic Ivories Project at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
  • Rights: Reproduced with the Permission of the Spencer Museum of Art
  • Subject (See Also): Adultery Chatelaine de Vergi, Poem Courtly Love Courtship Dogs Romance, Literary Genre
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 14
  • Date: ca. 1300-1375
  • Related Work:
  • Current Location: Lawrence, Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art, the University of Kansas, 1966.0005
  • Original Location:
  • Artistic Type (Category): Digital images; Sculptures
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Ivory panel
  • Donor:
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): 8.7 cm/24.1 cm/
  • Inscription:
  • Related Resources: Detailed description in the Gothic Ivories Project, Courtauld Institute: http://www.gothicivories.courtauld.ac.uk/images/ivory/b43ceaa8_9f001476.html L. Gross, "La Chastelaine de Vergi Carved in Ivory", in Viator 10 (1979), pp. 311-321.