Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0925-4757
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9951
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Robinet Testard, the court illuminator from 1484 to 1531 for Count Charles of Angoulême (d. 1496) and Louise of Savoie (d. 1531), had an artistic career extending from the era of the handwritten book into the age of printing and graphic media. His embrace of these new technologies included pasting in and coloring the twelve single-leaf Large Passion cycle engravings of Israel van Meckenem into a manuscript book of hours (Paris, BnF, lat. 1173) that he was illustrating for Charles, a practice that allows us to see how he chose to enhance certain details and even add new ones that radically altered the meaning of the scene. In many of his illuminations done for the Valois couple, Testard had enjoyed adding dogs to scenes both to appeal generally to the contemporary fashion for dogs in scenes of courtly domestic life and to express his own moral and religious convictions on the topics of sexual license or marital fidelity. In the BnF hours of Charles of Angoulême, however, we see these dogs put to a new use. In Testard’s reworking of the Apostle Peter’s denial of Jesus in the Interrogation before Annas print and in the Crowning with Thorns print (with a subtext of the biblical Malchus’ failure to acknowledge Jesus’ miraculous healing of his severed ear), we can see how Testard brilliantly reworks existing dogs though color, expression, and body language to express his disapproval of religious ingratitude.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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