Miracle, Moral and Memory: Situating the Miracles in the Margins of the Lamoignon Hours (c. 1415)
The Lamoignon Hours was illuminated in Paris by the Bedford Master for the French princess Jeanne de France around 1415. Whereas the manuscript matches similar luxury books of hours from the Valois court in size, materials and execution, it also contains miniatures and marginal images which have no parallels in contemporary French illumination. In this article, I analyse two of these unparalleled image cycles – the marginal roundels with scenes from the Marian miracles known in contemporary miracle collections as the Empress of Rome (fol. 185v) and the Jewish Boy of Bourges (fol. 202v) – as situated imagery, arguing they may have been motivated by incidents associated with Jeanne de France’s parents, the infamous King Charles VI and the equally infamous Queen Isabeau. In as much as Jeanne’s book of hours contains images fashioned to support her in her roles as princess, duchess, wife and mother as well as her role as devotee, careful readings of the book’s uncommon iconography allow for a deeper understanding of how the Bedford Master catered to the unknown commissioner(s) and/or Jeanne’s own desire for the book to combine politics and piety.