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The Bonn Lancelot Manuscript and its Illustrations

Stones, Alison (2020) The Bonn Lancelot Manuscript and its Illustrations. In: Pitt Momentum Fund 2020, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Unpublished)

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The Bonn Lancelot-Grail manuscript is one of the most important copies of this popular medieval romance about King Arthur and his knights, their military prowess in fights against the Romans and the Saxons, and their search for spiritual purity symbolized by the quest for the Holy Grail. The romance survives in some 200 copies--because its stories related not only tales of chivalry, adventure, military prowess, friendship and love, but also of treachery and betrayal, defeat and humiliation, adultery and loss of friends, of wounding, sickness, and death. All human emotions are there, and people loved it. Illustrations play an important part in the reception and understanding of the text, which aspects of it medieval patrons and audiences found especially compelling. The Bonn manuscript contains the Lancelot-Grail complete in a single (huge) volume of 477 folios and is illustrated with 347 miniatures or historiated initials. It is signed by the scribe, his name, Arnulfus de Kayo, written in Latin (curiously, as the text itself is in French), along with the date, 1286. So it is an important focal point for any study of this text. It was chosen as the base manuscript for the most recent modern edition of the text by Poirion et al. published in the distinguished Pleiade edition in 2009--but with no mention of the illustrations and no evaluation of their contribution to the creation and reception of the manuscript. The manuscript is not currently on line and the Landes-und-Universit├Ątsbibliothek has not felt the need to photograph it in high resolution and has no funds or plans to do so. My project will do the photography and make a web page which will form the basis for an in-depth study to be published in the series Manuscripta Illuminata which I edit with Brepols.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Stones, Alisonstones@pitt.edustones
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Office of Sponsored Research > Pitt Momentum Fund
Date: 2020
Event Title: Pitt Momentum Fund 2020
Event Type: Other
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18117/tgnh-5x10
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Refereed: No
Other ID: 3249
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2020 16:37
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 18:43


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