Another forgotten woman multi-tasking

I hate it when they don’t credit these things.

medievalwoman_scholar.jpgThis one is being billed as Christine Pizan, the same one I use as an avatar, but in the end I can’t verify it.

She is a medieval French writer, found on Twitter, and finally tracked down to Amazon as being on the cover of A Rhetoric of the Decameron, a book by Marilyn Migiel on the debates surrounding Giovanni Boccacio, an Italian humanist of the Renaissance. It is from an anonymous translation of Giovanni Boccacio’s Le livre des femmes nobles et renommées, ms 598, f. 143v, which you can download here.

Flamel sig1.png
Flamel’s sig

The illuminated manuscript was commissioned by Jean de la Barre, and in February of 1404 was presented to Duke John or Jean de Berry. The ex libris of the Duke of Berry written by his secretary, Jean Flamel, appears at the beginning of MS fr. 598.  No, not that Flamel, of the philosopher’s stone–that was Nicolas Flamel–but possibly his younger brother or other relative. John of Berry was a notable patron whose spending on commissioning art and books, bless his heart, “severely taxed his estates, and he was deeply in debt when he died in 1416 at Paris”.

anonymous woman writer from French manuscript.jpeg

A pity the Bibliothèque nationale de France doesn’t provide high quality images that are easy to download. This one suffers from Yellow Milkmaid Syndrome. For comparison, here is a screenshot of the original museum scan, quite different in color from the random internet version above.

screenshot medieval scribe1.png


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