Royal manuscript patronage in late Ducal Normandy? A context for the female patron portrait of the “Fecamp Psalter” (c. 1180)

Jesús Rodríguez Viejo


The “Fecamp Psalter” is an illuminated manuscript created in the Norman abbey of the same name, around the year 1180. The psalter contains a portrait of its patron, kneeled and in a prayer pose towards the “Beatus vir” page. This person can be identified with certainty, as a high-ranking woman of the Angevin state. Her appearance, the position of her portrait in the manuscript, together with related contemporary examples of pictorial arts will permit us to shed light on her identity. The study of this artistic commission will allow us to better understand processes of patronage between individuals and monastic houses in twelfth-century Europe, as well as to approach the concepts of female self-awareness and biblical pre-figuration in medieval art.


Normandy, illuminated manuscript, women, patronage, biblical iconography

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