Translating the Past: Laurent de Premierfait and Boccaccio's de Casibus

Translating the Past: Laurent de Premierfait and Boccaccio's de Casibus

by Anne D Hedeman
     
 

In 1409 Laurent de Premierfait produced a French translation of Giovanni Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium, a fourteenth-century text containing cautionary historical tales that exemplify the corrupting effects of power. Richly illustrated copies of the translation, known as Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes, became enormously popular, allowing for a

Overview

In 1409 Laurent de Premierfait produced a French translation of Giovanni Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium, a fourteenth-century text containing cautionary historical tales that exemplify the corrupting effects of power. Richly illustrated copies of the translation, known as Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes, became enormously popular, allowing for a consideration not only of how Boccaccio's Latin made its way into Laurent's French but also how the text was converted into visual images.
In Translating the Past, art historian Anne D. Hedeman traces the history of Laurent's work from the first copies made for the dukes of Berry and Burgundy, to manuscripts independently produced by artists and booksellers in Paris. In certain cases, masterpieces resulted, such as the copy owned by the J. Paul Getty Museum, which was painted around 1415 by the Boucicaut Master under King Charles VII of France.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In this beautifully produced book, Professor Hedeman extends the boundaries of scholarship on the cultural and codicological dimensions of verbal and visual translations in fifteenth-century French manuscript illustration. With impeccable research, she achieves outstanding insights in a seamless discussion of the patronage, production, reception, and reading of the translations.”—Claire Richter Sherman, Research Associate Emerita, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington 

“Hedeman has produced a compelling study of humanist translation and book production, whilst teaching her readers a fair amount about art connoisseurship and comparative image analysis.”—Journal of French History

“This beautifully produced book offers readers the all-too-rare opportunity to follow a complicated art historical argument with the aid of sufficient high-quality illustrations, placed appropriately in the text, and reproduced in color and in detail when called for.”—Manuscripta

“Hedeman’s book offers specialists and non-specialists alike unprecedented access to Laurent de Premierfait’s iconographic innovations and their rhetorical analogues.”—Speculum

“A beautifully produced book."—Renaissance Quarterly 

“This is a wonderful example of historical synthesis that crosses disciplines to provide a fuller understanding of the world in which the books were created and their place in it.”—Book News

“Anne D. Hedeman’s insightful and beautifully-produced new book builds upon the important work Professor Hedeman has already done in the field of manuscript studies.”—H-France Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892369355
Publisher:
Getty Publications
Publication date:
12/08/2008
Series:
Getty Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
3 Months

Meet the Author

Anne D. Hedeman is Professor of Art History and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

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