Click here to skip to content

Emma Receiving The Encomium , In 'The Encomium Of Queen Emma'

Emma Receiving The Encomium , In 'The Encomium Of Queen Emma'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1050

Shelfmark: Additional MS 33241

Item number: f.1v

Length: 17.3-00-00 00:00:00

Width: 11.5-00-00 00:00:00

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Related images

1 2
Emma of Normandy, twice Queen by her successive marriages to Aethelred II and Cnut, spent part of her life in exile under the protection of Count Baldwin of Flanders. To help promote the interests of her sons, Harthacnut and Edward (who became 'the Confessor'), she commissioned an exaggeratedly flattering biography of Cnut and herself around the time of Harthacnut's succession (1040). The 'Encomium' (panegyric or lofty praise) is an important early example of biography written in secular interests, in a period when 'lives' promoted sainthood, as well as providing a rare 11th-century narrative history. The only surviving medieval manuscript of the Encomium, this copy was made in Normandy, probably at St Omer and possibly for Emma herself. The frontispiece shows Queen Emma receiving the book from its author, a monk of St Omer whose name has been lost. To the side, her two sons look on. The picture is based upon standard dedication or presentation images, but in this period these usually show off the monastic context of the book's production. Suited to the book's purpose, Emma's picture underscores royal patronage and succession.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: