Picturing Kingship: History and Painting in the Psalter of Saint Louis

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Overview

Picturing Kingship presents the first comprehensive art-historical study of the personal prayerbook of King Louis IX. The book approaches the St. Louis Psalter through a rich range of perspectives and methodologies and positions it within the contexts of its production and use. Not only is the manuscript’s production and structure given detailed study, but the king’s ways of handling his prayerbook—his habits of reading, looking, and praying—are also set forth in a compelling narrative of his view of his sacred responsibilities as king.

In the first half of the book, Stahl investigates the Psalter’s physical construction and development within the context of manuscript production in thirteenth-century Paris. The second half looks at the Psalter’s thematic and iconographic workings and the role of the king’s adviser—Vincent of Beauvais—in the Psalter’s shaping. Most important, though, the author delves into the meanings the Psalter might have held for the king, who was a crusader and so devout a Christian that he was canonized by Boniface VIII. Stahl makes it clear that the Psalter, already recognized as one of the true masterworks of thirteenth-century French culture, should also be recognized as a significant force in Louis IX’s life and reign.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It will be difficult to surpass this study at the technical level.”

—Paul Binski, Catholic Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271028637
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Harvey Stahl was Professor of Medieval Art at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword by Jacques Le Goff

Editor’s Note

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: The Manuscript and Its History

1. The Physical Manuscript

2. The Artists and Their Paintings

3. Constructions and Readings

4. Psalters and the Old Testament

5. A Royal Program

Conclusion: The King and His Psalter

Appendixes

Appendix I: Description

Appendix II: Legends

Appendix III: The Calendar (Folios 79r–84v)

Appendix IV: Text Signatures and Catchwords

Appendix V: Concordance of Attributions

Appendix VI: The Previous Binding and Its Textile Covering

Appendix VII: Prefatory Miniatures: Working Groups with Physical Variables

Bibliography

Index

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