Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3642
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Guest , Gerald B.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: A Discourse on the Poor: The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux
  • Source: Viator 26, ( 1995): Pages 153 - 180. Published under the auspices of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Alms and Almsgiving Art History- Painting Beggars Books of Hours Illumination of Manuscripts Jean Pucelle, Illuminator Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen-Consort of Charles IV, King of France Louis IX, King of France, Saint Marginalia Poverty
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 14
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Manuscript; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cloisters, Collection 1954, Hours of Jeanne d' Evreux.
  • Illustrations: Ten figures. Five pages from the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux representing Saint Louis and marginalia. Five other manuscript scenes of almsgiving, ranging from the ninth century to the fourteenth century.
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This paper takes as its object of study three scenes from the life of Louis IX in the Hours of Jeanne d' Evreux (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cloisters Collection), ca. 1324. The miniatures, inspired by contemporary "Lives" of Louis, show the saint aiding the poor. Surrounding each of the scenes is a series of marginal figures that form a kind of pictorial "gloss" on the central pictures. It is argued that this original juxtaposition of miniature and marginalia constitutes a discourse on the problems of poor relief, revealing some of the ambivalence with which the poor were regarded in the fourteenth century. The margins function repeatedly as a site of exclusion from the charitable activities occurring within the pictorial frame. Thus, the book depicts not only the beneficiaries of Louis's charity, but also (in theory) those unworthy of the king's compassion. In this light, the pictures function not merely as an exhortation for Queen Jeanne to give alms to the poor, but also as a warning to give discriminately, recognizing that not all people were deserving of charity. [Reproduced by permission of the University of California Press.]
  • Author's Affiliation: Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
  • Material/Technique :
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