The Master of the Passional of Abbess Cunegund: an exploration of style, iconography and nationality

Vlček Schurr, J S (2020) The Master of the Passional of Abbess Cunegund: an exploration of style, iconography and nationality. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The Passional of Abbess Cunegund, 1312-1314, stands alone in medieval Czech art, valued for its well-preserved, finely-executed Gothic illuminations. It is little known internationally, although its art reflects trends that developed beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Bohemia. This thesis, the first study on the subject in English, seeks to establish an artistic heritage for the illustrations, based on comparative study, critical analysis and close observation. The hypothesis presented here is that the art of the Passional is connected with work emerging from the Westminster painting workshops in the early years of the fourteenth century and that the artist imported English artistic traits that may be identified in the Prague, Passional illustrations. The relevance of historical events unfolding in the peri-production period, both in Prague and abroad, is also considered alongside the apparent influence of the manuscript’s remarkable patron, the abbess/princess Cunegund. The Passional and its protagonists are introduced together with a thorough description of the manuscript’s contents. The dating of the manuscript is addressed. This is followed by a systematic examination of the long-standing argument over whether or not the artist and scribe were separate individuals. The problematic stylistic relationship between the Passional illustrations and manuscript art of late-thirteenth/early-fourteenth-century Bohemia and its neighbours is then addressed. The iconography of the Passional is examined in detail, concentrating on its more individual aspects. Reasons are considered for certain iconographic inclusions paying careful attention to the relationship between images and various texts: not only the Passional treatises and rubric titles, but other relevant sources. The final chapter sets out evidence for the hypothesis, through a series of detailed artistic comparisons with contemporary English examples including from the De Lisle, Queen Mary and Fenland Psalters, and artwork in Westminster Abbey, before drawing a final conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Passional of Abbess Cunegund, Convent of St. George Prague, medieval Bohemian manuscript, stylistic links with Westminster Abbey, early fourteenth-century manuscript painting
Subjects: N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Nichols, Dr. T, Richards, Dr. J and Gibbs, Professor R
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Jennifer Vlček Schurr
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-80295
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2020 20:43
Last Modified: 13 May 2020 06:46

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