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Constructing Saint Louis in John the Good's Grandes Chroniques de France (Royal MS. 16 G. VI)

Anne D. Hedeman (notes)

Abstract

In the 1330s a new, revised, densely illuminated copy of the Grandes Chroniques de France was made for the John, the dauphin of France who would be crowned King John the Good in 1350. Containing a twice-revised text and over 400 one- and two-column wide illuminations, the chronicle breaks from prior and subsequent royal traditions of illustration. This article argues that the visual and textual expansions were designed to elide the chronicle with a contemporary copy of Vincent of Beauvais's Miroir historial also made for John. Because the manuscripts share format, mise-en-page, artists, secondary decoration and distinctive editing practice, their similarities would encourage readers to use the miroir and chroniques as an ambitious four volume world history that offered John interlaced genealogical frames for interpreting history and a particularly powerful model in Saint Louis.

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