Imagining the Miraculous: Miraculous Images of the Virgin Mary in French Illuminated Manuscripts, ca. 1250–ca. 1450
Studies and Texts 215; Text Image Context: Studies in Medieval Manuscript Illumination 7 • 2019 • xviii, 194 pp. incl. 94 colour illus. • ISBN 978-0-88844-215-4 • Cloth • $95
This is not a book about miraculous images of the Virgin Mary (be they icons, sculptures, altarpieces, or reliquaries) but about their representations in French illuminated manuscripts from ca. 1250 to ca. 1450. Most of these depictions of the Virgin Mary cannot be identified even tangentially with particular surviving images (such as the Virgins of Rocamadour, Soissons, Chartres, and Laon). Rather, these illustrations point to the ubiquity of local miraculous Marian images in devotional practices from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century in French-speaking regions. This book analyzes depictions of material images and the animated miracles they perform, and traces their evolution from the earliest narratives of Marian miracles written in Old French to texts and images produced at the Burgundian court of the late Middle Ages.