The Liber Floridus: An Apocalyptic Encyclopedia
Visual Narrative in the Valenciennes Apocalypse
Ghent, University Library MS 92, fol. 20v. Ages of the World. detail.
Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale MS 99, fol. 37. The Binding of Satan in the Inferno.
An art historical book-length study of the imagery created by Lambert of Saint-Omer, an early twelfth-century artist, whose work was shaped by the transformative events of his time and place.
An article exploring how meaning is embedded in the narrative configurations of the visionary images and text.
Matthew Paris, Designer of the Thirteenth-Century English Illustrated Apocalypse
Dublin, Trinity College, MS E.i.40, Matthew Paris, Life of St. Alban, fol. 21. Alban Watching Amphibalus
London, Lambeth Palace, MS 209, Apocalypse, fol. 2. John Witnesses the Vision of Christ in Majesty with the Twenty-Four Elders.
In 2001 Cynthia Hahn made the persuasive assertion that the ingenious window device appearing in English Apocalypse illustrations from the late 1250s and 1260s was inspired by Matthew Paris. However, in Reading Images (1995), I rejected this idea on the grounds that so many other images in the English Apocalypses had clearly been copied or derived from a Parisian Bible moralisée then belonging to Louis IX. How could Matthew Paris have had access such an extravagant royal treasure? Among the copious details of Matthew's travels, there is no evidence of a trip to France.
The missing link turned up in John Lowden's The Making of the Bibles moralisées (2000) in his suggestion that the three-volume version now divided among different libraries (Oxford, Paris, London) was given to Henry III's queen Eleanor of Provence by her sister, Louis XI's queen Marguerite, during a visit to Paris in December, 1254. Although some aspects of Lowden's proposal might need further consideration, he established a plausible place, date and circumstance for the transmission of this magnificant manuscript from Paris to Westminster.
My current work explores the multiple contexts and meanings embedded within the framework of these connections.