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Title: Opening the interior eyes : modes of sensory perception in the devotional portrait illuminations of Margaret of York and Mary of Burgundy
Author: O'Brien, Erica
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 6875
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation examines the devotional portrait illuminations of two Duchesses of Burgundy, Margaret of York and Mary of Burgundy, within the reconstructed context of their physical, mental, and spiritual sensory environments to demonstrate how these women would have understood the sensory aspects of their portrait miniatures and how these images guide their viewers towards specific religious goals while privileging these women's sensory and devotional capabilities. The investigative method applies insights from the work by numerous scholars in the fields of the medieval senses, imagination and memory, and theological history-most notably Caroline Walker Bynum, Mary Carruthers, and Margaret Miles-to the examination of portrait illuminations from the following manuscripts: Benois seront les misericordieux, Le Dyalogue de la duchesse de Bourgogne it Jesus Christ, La Vie de Sainte Colette, and the Vienna Hours ofMary of Burgundy. Employing evidence from the textual content of these manuscripts and from works by St. Augustine, Jean Gerson, and Thomas a Kempis, the analysis addresses the studies of Andrea Pearson, Nancy Bradley Warren, and Anne van Buren, among others, to reveal heretofore unidentified iconographical, compositional, and personal elements of these miniatures. This dissertation first argues that the frontispiece to Le Dyalogue represents an Annunciation that, in conjunction with its second iconography as a noli me tangere, instructs Margaret how to mold herself into a model of female piety for the purpose of inciting monastic reform. The discussion then turns to La Vie de Sainte Colette, asserting that its portrait illumination uses a miraculous threshold to privilege both Margaret's intercessory relationship with St. Colette and her devotional sensory abilities, and proposing the most likely scenario for the manuscript's donation to Ghent's Monasterium Bethlehem. Finally, this dissertation resolves the question of the identity of the kneeling figure in the portrait miniature of the Vienna Hours and establishes how text and image function jointly in activating Mary's senses to direct her devotional development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available