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Orientalizing Costume in Early Fifteenth-Century French Manuscript Painting (Cit des

Dames Master, Limbourg Brothers, Boucicaut Master, and Bedford Master)


Author(s): Joyce Kubiski
Source: Gesta, Vol. 40, No. 2 (2001), pp. 161-180
Published by: International Center of Medieval Art
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/767244
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Orientalizing
Costume in
Early Fifteenth-Century
French
Manuscript Painting
(Citd
des Dames
Master,
Limbourg
Brothers,
Boucicaut
Master,
and Bedford
Master)*
JOYCE KUBISKI
Western
Michigan University
Abstract
A
group of
miniaturists
working
in or near Paris between
1400 and 1415
significantly expanded
the
existing pictorial
repertoire of orientalizing
costume.
They depicted
elements
of
the eastern
fashions
worn
by peoples
with whom the French
aristocracy
had had recent contact-in battle and
through
diplomatic embassies-including
Central Asian tribes that had
settled in
Hungary,
the
predominantly
Turkish armies
of Islam,
and members
of
the
Byzantine
court. While the miniaturists
often
mix
together garments from
a
variety of different
cul-
tures into an eclectic costume, the individual elements
of
the
clothing
are authentic
representations of foreign
dress. This
approach,
which
paradoxically
allowed individual
features of
dress to be
identified while,
at the same time, obscuring
cul-
tural
origins
in an exotic, fantastical mix, merges
easterners
into an
indistinct, entirely foreign
other.
Introduction
In the
early years
of the fifteenth
century,
a
group
of
Parisian
illuminators--the
Cite' des Dames
Master,
the three
Limbourg brothers,
the Boucicaut
Master,
and the Bedford
Master-greatly
enriched the French
pictorial repertory
of
eastern dress.' While
representations
of eastern
clothing
had
appeared
in western art for hundreds of
years,
these minia-
turists
distinguished
themselves from their
predecessors by
depicting
an
unprecedented quantity
and
variety
of oriental-
izing
fashions.2 These exotic costumes have
long
been
noted,
with
scholarly opinion
divided as to how
realistically
French
artists rendered
foreign
dress. The
prevailing opinion
is that
the costumes are
predominately
fantastic in
design-the
end
result of a little
knowledge
and a lot of
imagination.3
A few
scholars have
suggested
that western artists did at times base
their
representations
on actual items of eastern dress.
However,
even those who
argue
for occasional
accuracy
have offered in
defense of their claim
only
the
drawings
of
Byzantine
court
costume made in the mid-fifteenth
century by
the Italian artist
Pisanello,
as well as rather
general
references to
turban-bearing
Saracens.4
This reexamination of the eastern fashions
depicted by
the
Cite'
des Dames
Master,
the
Limbourg brothers,
the Bouci-
caut
Master, and the Bedford Master will demonstrate that these
artists strove to
represent accurately aspects of
contemporary
clothing
worn
by
a wide
variety
of eastern
people including
Turks, Mongols, Mamluks, Persians, Byzantine Greeks,
and
ethnic
groups
in Eastern
Europe including
Cumans and Walla-
chians.
Significantly,
and for reasons that will be
explored,
the
artists
rarely represented
a
complete
ethnic costume. Often
they
would
depict
a
foreign
hat but not the distinctive
garments,
shoes,
and accessories
culturally
associated with the
hat,
dress-
ing
their
figures
instead in
simple
tunics. At times
they
took
features from a
variety
of
foreign
and domestic wardrobes and
combined them into a rich
melange.
For
example,
a
single
figure might
wear a Turkish
hat, pseudo-Roman armor,
and an
elaborately dagged
French
gown,
while
carrying
a
Byzantine
shield. In these
cases,
the individual details of the dress are
authentic,
while the
complete
ensemble is fantastical.
Modern evidence for our illuminators'
knowledge
of east-
ern dress derives
mainly
from
pictorial
sources
and,
in rare
instances,
from
literary descriptions. Especially
valuable are
eastern
representations
of eastern
clothing,
for these
provide
independent
witnesses to motifs found in French
manuscripts,
allowing
direct
comparisons
to be made. There
is,
of
course,
always
a
danger
in
assuming
that medieval
representations
of
dress are reliable indicators of what
people actually
wore. Cos-
tume historians are aware that artists
may
have
represented
traditional or archaic fashions rather than
contemporary
cloth-
ing
or altered
contemporary
dress for
iconographic purposes.
Moreover, they may
have had
incomplete knowledge
of the
clothing they
were
seeking
to
depict,
or
they may
have been
little interested in
representing
it with much detail.5 A
depend-
able
history
of medieval dress can
only
be constructed when
pictorial
evidence is
compared
with
archaeological
material
and written documents. Several
generations
of such research
into late medieval
representations
of dress in both
Europe
and
the Islamic world
support
the conclusion that art in this era
can be a reliable indicator of
contemporary clothing,
if each
claim to
authenticity
is tested. It should be noted that this
study
is not concerned with the
complexities
of eastern self-
representation
but with how French artists
deployed
their
knowledge
of eastern dress.
The eastern sources drawn
upon
in this
study
include
Hungarian representations
of
Cumans,
a
population
of Cen-
tral Asian nomads
living
in
Hungary,
as well as
Byzantine
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FIGURE 1. Cite des Dames Master, Princes
of
the East in Thomas
of Saluzzo, Chevalier errant, Paris, Biblioth
que
nationale de France, MS
fr. 12559,
fol.
162
(photo: Bibliotheque
nationale de
France).
self-representations
and Italian
portraits
of
Byzantine person-
alities. For costumes of
people living
further to the east in
Asia and to the south in North
Africa,
we must weave
together
a
variety
of kinds of evidence. The Islamic world was a
syn-
cretic blend of
Arab, Berber, Persian, Turkish,
and
Mongol
cultures,
and the
clothing
worn reflects this eclecticism. Turk-
ish influence on fashion was
especially strong
from the late
eleventh
century on,
as Turkish
military dynasties
came to
control much of the Middle East. Another influx of Central
Asian fashion followed in the wake of the
Mongol invasions,
particularly
when the
Mongols
ruled
Persia,
from the late thir-
teenth to the mid-fifteenth
century.6
This
sharing
of vestimen-
tary
traditions means that
Europeans during
the late Middle
Ages
would have seen the eastern other
wearing
a
richly
varied
array
of
clothing.
A
question
fundamental to this
undertaking
is how French
miniaturists at the
beginning
of the fifteenth
century
would
have
acquired
information about
foreign
dress. The
compari-
sons made here between western and eastern
depictions
of ori-
ental costume are not meant to
imply
that the illuminators
had
ready
access to eastern
pictorial
sources.
Although
a more
detailed discussion of
possible
sources will follow in the con-
clusion to this
paper,
it can be noted at the outset that
depic-
tions of
orientalizing clothing
in French miniature
painting
increased
dramatically following
two
significant
events at the
turn of the
century:
the Battle of
Nicopolis,
which took
place
in
1396,
and the residence of the
Byzantine
court in Paris from
1400 to 1402.
On
September 26, 1396,
a
pan-European army
was
defeated
by
the Ottoman Turks at
Nicopolis,
located on the
Danube in modern
day Bulgaria.7 Although
the
crusading
co-
alition included
Hungarian, Wallachian, German, Bohemian,
Styrian, English, Polish, Spanish,
and Italian
forces,
the
larg-
est
single contingent
was made
up
of
Burgundian
and other
French
knights
led
by
Count John of
Nevers,
son of
Philip
the
Bold,
duke of
Burgundy.8
The Turkish
sultan, Bayezid I,
held the wealthiest of the
captives
for
ransom, including
about
three hundred French
knights.9
The
vanquished
crusaders
spent
nine months in Turkish
custody
in
Adrianople, Gallipoli,
and
Bursa before
they
were released to
Venice,
where
they
re-
mained until their ransom was
paid
in full.
They
did not return
home until
February
of
1398,
almost two
years
after their
date of
departure. Shortly
after this ill-fated
crusade,
the
Byz-
antine
emperor,
Manuel
II
visited
Europe
with the
hopes
of
162
enlisting
aid for
yet
another crusade
against
the Turks.10 This
was the first time a
Byzantine emperor
had traveled so far
west. He arrived in Paris on June
3, 1400,
and was
lodged
at
the Louvre as a
guest
of Charles VI. Other than a brief
trip
to
England
in the
early
winter of
1400,
Manuel and his retinue
of about
fifty
remained in Paris for over two
years, departing
again
for
Constantinople
on November
21,
1402. Most of the
Valois court was in Paris
during
this
time, including
the dukes
of
Berry
and
Burgundy,
who were
closely guarding royal
in-
terests as their
nephew,
Charles
VI, slipped deeper
into insan-
ity.
These two events
brought
diverse eastern cultures
directly
into the
quotidian experience
of the French
aristocracy.
The
simultaneous
multiplication
of eastern dress in French
painting
suggests
this contact
provided
artists with both information
and
inspiration.
The Cite des Dames Master
One of the earliest witnesses to the new French
experi-
ence of eastern dress is a
richly
illustrated
copy
of Thomas
of Saluzzo's Chevalier errant now in the
Bibliotheque
natio-
nale de France." Thomas was the
marquis
of
Saluzzo,
a
city
in northern
Italy
with
strong
ties to France. He made several
trips
to Paris in his
lifetime, including
an extended
stay
in 1401
during
the residence of the
Byzantine
court. Saluzzo wrote the
text of the Chevalier errant in French between 1394 and 1396
while he was
imprisoned by
his
political rival,
the duke of
Savoy.
His chivalric
allegory incorporates
historical and con-
temporary
characters
including Genghis Khan,
Murad
I, Philip
the
Bold,
and Saluzzo himself. The
manuscript
under consid-
eration was the author's
personal copy,
most
likely
illuminated
during
his fourth and final
trip
to Paris from 1403 to 1405.12
Millard Meiss has attributed its
ninety-four
miniatures to the
Cite des Dames Master and his
workshop.13
This illuminator
specialized
in the
production
of secular works written
by
European authors,
and he and his
shop typically
dressed the
European protagonists,
whether
contemporary, allegorical,
or
historical
figures,
in French fashions. When
illustrating
the
Chevalier
errant, however,
he was called
upon
to
depict
a
convocation of the Princes of the East
(Fig. 1).
This is one of
the most remarkable miniatures of the
time,
not
only
for the
variety
of its eastern costume but also for the amount of au-
thentic detail it
incorporates.
The
princes,
set in a
grassy
oasis
and surrounded by tents, wear costumes that have
specifically
Byzantine, Mamluk, Mongol, Turkish, Cuman, and Wallachian
features. A lion, a
leopard,
and two Persian
carpets appear
as
well, creating
an exotic
melange
for the medieval viewer. The
exoticism is
sharpened through
contrast with the
facing
min-
iature, in which an associated illuminator has
painted
the
Princes of the West dressed
entirely
in western
clothing
and
placed
in a
typical European setting.14
So precisely
accurate are details of the
princes'
costumes
that it is
possible
the
Citd
des Dames Master intended to create
sartorial
portraits
of distinct ethnicities, or even
personalities.
FIGURE 2. Pisanello, John VIII
Palaeologus,
Portrait medal, ca. 1438/9,
Musde
du Louvre, Inv. MRR 330
(photo:
Rdunion
des Musees Nationaux/Art
Resource, NY).
For
example,
the inner
figure
of two
conversing
men in the
lower left corner of the miniature
may
be a
portrait
of the
Byz-
antine
emperor,
Manuel
II.
This
figure
wears a
popular Byz-
antine hat with a
high
rounded crown and a
pointed
brim that
projects
over the
face, shielding
the
eyes
from the sun. Per-
haps
this is the hat that Pseudo-Kodinos said was worn
by
emperor
and court officials alike in the
Palaeologan
era-a
hat called the skiadion in reference to the shadow the brim
casts over the wearer's face.15
Although
hats like these can be
found in
Byzantine
art as
early
as the twelfth
century,
that de-
picted by
the Cite des Dames Master
specifically
documents
the influence of
Turkish, Mongol,
and Persian fashions
during
the late fourteenth and
early
fifteenth centuries. Under Asiatic
influence the crown became
higher
and was divided into verti-
cal sections decorated with
gold cording;
the brim was
always
divided into front and back sections that could be
indepen-
dently
folded
up
or down
(Fig. 5e).16 Although
no
Byzantine
representations
of this traditional hat with the Asiatic crown
survive from the
early
fifteenth
century,
there are several ex-
amples
from
mid-century.
Manuel Laskares Chatzikes wears
one in the
funerary portrait painted
in the church of Panta-
nassa in Mistra
shortly
after his death in 1445.17 The most
famous
depictions
are owed to
Pisanello,
who documented
the costume of the Greek court
during
its residence in Flo-
rence at the time of the Council of Reconciliation
(1438/39).
In Pisanello's
drawings
and in a
portrait medal,
Manuel's
son,
John VIII
Palaeologus,
wears a hat that mirrors
closely
the
one
painted by
the
Citd
des Dames Master
(Fig. 2).18
163
The
garments
worn
by
the fictional
prince
of the East
accurately
reflect
Byzantine
fashion. He wears a tunic closed
down the front with
gold frog buttons,
a
fastening system
used
by
the
Saljuq, Ayybid, Mamluk,
and Ottoman Turks of
the late Middle
Ages-one
of
many
Asiatic fashion features
adopted by
the
Byzantine
court.19 Over this
garment,
he wears
a mantle with
exceedingly long
sleeves. Slit at the
height
of
the elbows to allow the forearms to
emerge,
the sleeves fall al-
most to the
ankles, tapering slightly along
their
length. Hang-
ing
sleeves are an ancient eastern
tradition,
traceable to the
fourth
century
at least in ancient
Persia,
and
they
continued
common
among
Turks and Persians in the Middle
Ages. Long,
slit sleeves
appeared
in
Byzantine
art as
early
as the eleventh
century
and remained
popular throughout
the fifteenth
century.
Similar mantles are
depicted
in the
fourteenth-century
funer-
ary portraits
at the
Kariye
Camii in
Constantinople, and,
in
one of Pisanello's
drawings,
the
emperor
John VIII Palaeolo-
gus
wears a mantle with
overly long
and
very
wide sleeves.20
Notably,
the Cite des Dames Master has dressed his
"Byzan-
tine"
figure entirely
in
white, including
his
hat,
and shown him
with a
long
white beard.
Perhaps
the
miniaturist,
or Thomas of
Saluzzo
himself,
retained a
specific memory
of Manuel
II,
who
made his
entry
into Paris on June
3, 1400, according
to the
chronicle of
Saint-Denis,
"dressed in his
imperial garb
of
white silk
[and]
seated . . on the white horse
presented
to him
by
the
king."
The chronicler also notes the
emperor's
"modest
stature, distinguished by
a
manly
chest and
by yet
firmer
limbs, though
under a
long
beard and
showing
white hair
everywhere."21
In at least one other instance in the Princes of the East
miniature the Cite des Dames Master seems to have been at-
tempting
to
represent
a
particular
ethnic
identity.
The African
figure standing
between the two seated
groups
of men wears
identifiable articles of
Egyptian
Abbasid or Mamluk dress.
The
clothing style
of both
dynasties
was affected
by
the in-
corporation
of Central Asian fashions of the Turkish mili-
tary, especially
after the Turkish Mamluks
(1250-1517),
former
mercenaries, replaced
the Islamic Abbasids. The
figure painted
by
the Cite des Dames Master wears a distinctive
turban,
ovoid
in
profile
with a
long end-piece
that trails down the back. This
style
of turban
originated
in
Baghdad during
the
early
Abbasid
period
and then
migrated
to
Egypt
where it was used at court
well into the Mamluk
period.22
The
Egyptian prince also, ap-
propriately,
carries his saber over his shoulder in a baldric
rather than on a sword belt. The baldric was used
by
the first
caliphs
in the seventh century,
but in the Arab world it had
fallen into disuse by the eleventh century, except
in a few tribal
areas in the Middle East, North Africa, and
Spain.
It contin-
ued to be a
part
of the Abbasid caliphs' ceremonial dress, and
Mamluk sultans soon
copied
this custom, although they pre-
ferred the sword belt in combat.23 The
garments
worn
by
this
prince include a short tunic with bell-like sleeves worn over
a
long
under-tunic. While Islamic fashion often
layered gar-
ments, such short tunics were
usually
worn over trousers.
Nevertheless,
the cut of the over-tunic
corresponds
to written
descriptions
of Mamluk
dress,
which characterize the
style
of
over-garment
worn
by high-ranking
shaikhs as
having
wide
sleeves and a
single opening
over the shoulders.24 Like the one
painted by
the Cite des Dames
Master,
these
over-garments
were often finished with a decorative
banding
around the neck
and sleeve hem.25 We
may
note that Ottoman foot soldiers
also
employed
the
baldric,
which the French crusaders could
thus have seen at
Nicopolis,
and
Byzantine
Greeks
visiting
the
French Court
may
have worn short tunics over
longer
ones,
since this was common
Byzantine
dress.26 Nonetheless the
illuminator's combination of wide-sleeved
coat,
turban with
trailing end-piece,
and saber and baldric worn
by
this African
figure may
indicate authentic
knowledge
of
contemporary
Egyptian
ceremonial dress.
The
accurately
clad
"Byzantine"
and "Mamluk"
princes
provide
the most
complete
sartorial
portraits
in the miniature.
It proves impossible
to determine the
precise ethnicity
of the
other
princes,
since their costumes are not finished with the
same amount of
detail,
and the artist mixes features from a
variety
of ethnic sources or
incorporates
features that are om-
nipresent
in the Islamic world. Nonetheless it is
possible
to
confirm the
accuracy
of individual articles of dress.
Although
partially
obscured
by
his
companions,
the central
figure
of
three seated on a
carpet
wears a turban decorated with a
large
jewel
as well as a
caftan, side-wrapped
and fastened under
the left arm. The form of the caftan is well-attested: found in
many
eastern
wardrobes, including Persian, Turkish, Mongol,
Mamluk, Cuman,
and
Byzantine,
it is a narrow tunic
typically
closed
by
a side
fastening
under the
right
or left
arm, although
central
openings
were also used.27 The Cite des Dames Master's
caftan is
quite
similar to one
represented
in an
early
fifteenth-
century
Turkish
copy
of the Romance
of
Alexander the Great
(Fig. 3).
Dated
July 13, 1416,
this
manuscript
includes an ac-
count of the life of
Bayezid
I
(d. 1402),
the sultan who de-
feated the
Nicopolis crusaders,
and it is one of the earliest
surviving
illuminated
manuscripts
written in Turkish.28 The
necklines of the caftans both in this
manuscript
and in the
Princes of the East miniature are decorated with a
simple
scalloped edging. Although
the caftan would have been one
of the eastern
garments
most
commonly
seen
by
western cru-
saders and
adventurers,
like
many
other articles of oriental
dress,
it is
not,
to
my knowledge, represented
in French art
until the
early
fifteenth
century.
The turban worn
by
the
prince
in the caftan, decorated
with a
large jewel,
also finds many parallels.
Of course the
turban itself was a
ubiquitous
head covering among
Central
Asian, mid-eastern, and North African peoples.
It had an an-
cient heritage
and was often used in western art as a
sign
for
"Saracens." Previous to the fifteenth
century,
the turbans rep-
resented by
western artists were rather
generic
in form. The
Citd des Dames Master, however, has represented ten turbans
in this one miniature that demonstrate in a remarkable way
the wide
variety
of turban-wrapping techniques
used in the
164
Islamic world. It suffices to
compare
the Princes of the East
miniature with
drawings
that
replicate
the turbans found in
Islamic sources of diverse
provenance
dated between 1330
and 1420
(Fig. 4).
The Abbasid or Mamluk turban with the
trailing end-piece
has
already
been discussed. The
jeweled
tur-
ban was another element of Abbasid dress that was
adopted
by
the Mamluks. The most
extraordinary
of these was an enor-
mous turban wound into an
ellipsoidal shape,
which was worn
by
the
caliph.
The entire turban was ornamented with
jewels,
while a
large, single gem
was centered at the
caliph's
fore-
head.29 Another common
practice
was to twist the
winding
cloth into a thick cord and to wear it as a headband. This is
how the turban of another African
prince, standing
at the far
right,
was
painted by
the
Cite
des Dames Master. Another
practice
was to
wrap
the cord around the bottom half of a hat
or
helmet, creating
a thick brim
(Figs. 4a, b, f).
This
type
of
hat-turban combination is worn
by
one of the four
princes
seated at the center of the miniature: the
figure
also has hair
plaited
in a
long single
braid
reaching halfway
down his
back,
a traditional
hairstyle
of
many
ethnic
groups indigenous
to
the Asian
Steppes, including Turks, Cumans,
and
Mongols.30
The miniaturist has dressed six
figures
in a
garment
deco-
rated with a
pointed
collar. This is a feature of Turkish and
Persian
dress,
where the collar is
quite thin,
and also of
Byzan-
tine and
Bulgarian dress,
where the collar is
larger
and stiffer.
These
garments usually
fasten down the front with a series of
closely spaced
buttons that at times continue
decoratively along
the inner
edges
of the collar. In Persian and Turkish
examples,
the
garment may
have a side closure. Collar and
lining
are
often in a color
contrasting
with the main
body
of the
gar-
ment,
which
may
be worn as either a tunic or a coat. In
Byz-
antine art it is worn as an outer
garment,
as demonstrated
by
the funeral
portraits
in the
Kariye
Camii and
by
Pisanello's
portrait
of John
Palaeologus (Fig. 2).31
The
Cite
des Dames
Master has not
reproduced
the
garment
with the same detail
found in either the eastern or the Italian
renderings, although
several are decorated
by
tiraz bands. Standard features of both
Islamic and
Byzantine dress,
used to decorate
clothing
or tur-
bans, tiraz bands are
richly
embroidered
strips
of
cloth,
often
incorporating inscriptions,
most
commonly placed
on the
upper
arm of a
garment (Fig. 3).32
In his
depiction
of
foreign military
dress and
equipment,
the Cite" des Dames Master is selective. A
figure
in full armor
is never represented; rather, small details such as swords and
shields are deemed sufficient to
signify
the eastern other. Over-
sized and
dramatically curving
sabers
appear
twice: one is held
by
the
figure wearing
the turban with a
trailing end-piece
and
the other
by
the central
figure
in the
group
to the far
right.
This
weapon
came out of the Central Asian
Steppes
and was
employed by
both Turkish and
Mongol
tribes as early
as the
eighth century. By
the fourteenth century
it was in common
use throughout the Middle East and had made an
appearance
in
Byzantium
and Eastern
Europe.33
The
saber-bearing figure
on the left also holds a
kite-shaped shield, while his
neighbor
................
.........
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . .:
* tl I~i ~f'P'il
i
FIGURE 3. Romance of Alexander the Great, Paris, Biblioth
que
natio-
nale de France, MS turc. 309, fol.
114v
(photo: Bibliotheque
nationale de
France).
to the
right
carries a small round one. It is difficult to
assign
a
specific ethnicity
to these shields as both were
employed
at
various times in the East and in the West.
However,
these
items,
like others in the
miniature, likely
had eastern conno-
tations: at the turn of the
century,
the
Byzantine army
was
using
a
full-length kite-shaped
shield with this concave
pro-
file,
while Central Asian tribesmen
wielding
the
composite
bow
preferred
a small circular shield for
protection.34
The
costume of the
figure
with the saber and
kite-shaped
shield
displays
another unusual feature. His
legs
are
wrapped
with
strips
of cloth from the ankle to the knee. This is an Irano-
Central Asian feature that was transferred to the Arab world
by
the Turkish
military dynasties.
Worn with
sandals,
the
leg-
gings
held the voluminous fabric of Turkish
pants against
the
calves; they
took the
place
of
expensive
leather boots and
were
typically
worn
by
the
infantry.35
The
figure represented
by
the Cite des Dames Master is barefoot.
165
The rather
generic quality
of
many
of the
garments
and
much of the
military equipment depicted by
the
Citd
des
Dames Master leaves his distinctive hats and turbans as the
most
significant
markers of
foreign identity
in the Princes of
the East miniature. The focus on hats as
signifiers may
reflect
the recent
popularity
of hats in French
courtly fashion:36 view-
ers would have been
primed
to revel in these exotic
displays.
A tall
pointed
hat
topped
with a feather
and,
more
improbably,
a small
fleur-de-lys
crown and surrounded
by
a
wide,
turned-
up
brim
split
in the center is worn
by
one of the four seated
princes.
This hat and a
variety
of related hats
appear
in Turkish
manuscripts,
as well as in Turkish-influenced Persian manu-
scripts produced
under
Mongol (Ilkhanid
or
Timurid) hegem-
ony during
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
(Fig. 5).
By
this time Iran had become a
melting pot
of
Persian,
Turk-
ish,
and
Mongol peoples
united
by
a common Islamic faith.
Many
of the medieval hats are still worn
today
in
Turkey
and
Mongolia, pointing
to an
origin
in the Central Asian
Steppes.
They were,
and still
are, typically
made of wool felt
or, in
cases where the crown was divided into vertical
segments,
of
quilted
fabric. The crowns
vary
in
shape
and size from low
and rounded to
very
tall and
pointed.
The brims come in a
variety
of
profiles ranging
from
flat, triangular, scalloped,
and
zigzagged
to
crescent-shaped. They
are often divided into
two or four
parts
that can be
alternately
turned
up
or down.
Brims
may
also be constructed of fur or fashioned from the
winding
cloth of a
turban,
as
represented
in the Turkish
Romance
of
Alexander
(Fig. 3).
A rich source for the
study
of these hats and other fea-
tures of late medieval Islamic dress is the Demotte Shahnama,
where
thirty-seven
different
types
of
headgear
are
depicted.
37
The Shahnama itself is a record of Iranian
pre-Islamic history
and
legend gathered together
in about the
year
1000 at the
Turkish court of Mahmad of
Ghazna,
ruler of the northeastern
province
of the Persian world. The Demotte Shahnama is a
copy
of this text
produced
between 1330 and 1360 under the
Mongol
Ilkhanid rulers of Persia. The tall
pointed
hat with
the wide brim
represented by
the
Cite
des Dames Master is
similar to one that
appears
in the Persian
manuscript (Fig. 51),
except
that the French miniaturist has lined the brim with
ermine and
placed
a
fleur-de-lys
crown at its
pinnacle,
un-
doubtedly
to indicate the
princely
status of the wearer. And
indeed two other
western-styled
crowns
appear
in the minia-
ture. One of these, worn
by
a
figure
at the far
upper left, sits
atop
a turban. Despite
these
iconographic intrusions, the simi-
larities between eastern and western representations
of "Per-
sian" headgear
are often so
striking
that we must conclude that
the Citi des Dames Master and his fellow artists knew these
hats
through
either material, visual, or descriptive
sources.
Another unusual hat in the Princes of the East miniature,
worn by
the
figure
on the extreme
right,
can be identified by
comparison
with images
in the Hungarian
Illuminated Chron-
icle, painted ca.
1360
(Figs. 6, 7).38
The hat has a tall, pointed
crown bent into a
slight
curve and a flat brim which has been
a b
c d
e f
FIGURE 4. Islamic turban
styles:
a. Kalila wa Dimna, Istanbul, Topkapu Saray
Museum, MS Revan 1023, Persian, 1413; b.
Nihayat
al
Su'l (Furusiyah),
Lon-
don, British
Library,
Add. MS 18866, Mamluk, 1371; c. Demotte Shahnama,
Dublin, Chester
Beatty Library,
MS
pers. 111, ca. 1330-1360; d. Demotte
Shahnama, Boston, Museum
of
Fine Arts, 22.392, ca. 1330-1360; e. Painted
Leather
Ceiling,
Palace
of
the Lions, Alhambra, Granada, late
fourteenth
cen-
tury; f
Demotte Shahnama, Iran, private
collection
(Grabar
and Blair, 1980,
p. 149) (drawings by
Karen
Bondarchuk).
divided into front and back sections. It is similar to the
pre-
viously
discussed hat and to others that
appear
in
Persian,
Mongol,
and Turkish art;
its distinctive
profile,
however,
is
most
frequently
encountered in
Hungarian
art,
where it is
used
generically
to
designate
the eastern
foreigner
and more
specifically
to
represent
Cumans. Their hats
typically
have a
166
tr
a b c d
e
f g
h
i
j k
1
m
n
o p
FIGURE 5. Turkish, Mongol,
and Persian
Headgear:
a.
Khvajiif Kirmdni,
Khamsa, London, British
Library,
Add. MS 18113, fol. 12, ca. 1396; b. Demotte Shah-
namah, New York, Metropolitan
Museum
ofArt, 52.20.2, ca. 1330-1360; c. Demotte Shahnamah, Paris, Vever Collection, ca. 1330-1360;
d. Demotte Shahnamah,
Dublin, Chester
Beatty Library,
MS
pers. 111, ca. 1330-1360; e.
Khviiji Kirmani, Khamsa, London, British
Library,
Add. MS 18113, fol. 12, ca. 1396;f
Demotte
Shahnamah, Boston, Museum
of
Fine Arts, 30.105, ca. 1330-1360; g.
Demotte Shahnamah, Geneva, Muse'e d'art et d'histoire, 1971-107/2a, ca. 1330-1360;
h.
Khvdjii Kirmdni, Khamsa, London, British
Library,
Add. MS 18113, fol. 12, ca. 1396;
i. Demotte Shahnamah, Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institute, Freer
Gallery of Art, 23.5, ca. 1330-1360; j.
Demotte Shahnamah, Dublin, Chester
Beatty Library,
MS
pers. 111, ca. 1330-1360; k. Shahnama, Leningrad,
State
Library,
MS Dorn 329, fol. 65v, ca. 1333; 1. Demotte Shahnama, Paris, private
collection
(Grabar
and Blair, 1980, p. 144);
m. Demotte Shahnamah, Geneva,
Musde
d'art et
d'histoire, 1971-107/2a; n. Demotte Shahnamah, Iran, private
collection
(Grabar
and Blair, 1980, p. 149);
o. Shahnama, London, British
Library,
detached miniature, 1948-12-11-022, ca. 1340; p. Shahnama, Leningrad,
State
Library,
MS Dorn 329, fol. 65v, ca. 1333
(drawings by
Karen
Bondarchuk).
167
d
- . .
.. .....- ~ ...........
FIGURE 6. The Cuman
king
Ladislaus IV, Hungarian
Illuminated
Chronicle,
Budapest,
National
Szdchenyi Library,
cod. lat. 404, fol.
64v
(photo:
National
Szdchdnyi Library).
3i!.
i
i
'i
_...
...
: :
i
ii
:l:
. .
PAW
A,-& .A- aAL-o
FIGURE 7. The Cumans kill
King
Ladislaus IV, Hungarian
Illuminated
Chronicle, Budapest,
National
Szdchdnyi Library, cod.
lat. 404, fol.
65
(photo:
National
Szdchdnyi Library).
.;-
ii
ii
1iii-~~ii?'~'ii
.......
if:i
.....
.......
i
,,
FIGURE 8. Wallachians hurl rocks at the
army of King
Charles Robert,
Hungarian
Illuminated Chronicle, Budapest,
National
Szdchdnyi Library,
cod. lat. 404, fol.
72
(photo:
National
Szdchdnyi Library).
steeply pointed
crown that is either
straight
or
slightly curved;
the brim is bisected into two sections that can be flat or trian-
gular
in
profile.
Cumans are
represented, too,
as
wearing
nar-
row
caftans, normally
closed at the
side,
and soft leather boots.
Cuman
garments
and hats were often decorated with
large
silver or
gold disks, and,
as
among
Turkoman and
Mongol
peoples,
the men wore their hair in a
single long
braid.
Cuman costume was some of the first
orientalizing
dress
to
appear
in western
art,
which is not
surprising considering
the Cumans'
longstanding presence
as
auxiliary
forces in the
Hungarian army.39
A nomadic
tribe, possibly
of Turkoman ori-
gin, they
dominated the Central Asian
Steppes
until the com-
ing
of the
Mongols
in the eleventh
century.
At that
point, they
began
a slow
migration westward, settling predominantly
in
Hungarian territory during
the thirteenth
century.
In the thir-
teenth and fourteenth
centuries, they participated
in
military
campaigns
in
Austria, Bohemia, Moravia,
and
Italy,
where
their unusual costume was noted.40 In
July
of
1396,
the cru-
168
saders
heading
for
Nicopolis
convened at Buda, where
King
Sigismund
of
Hungary joined
their ranks.
Although
the Cu-
mans were no
longer
a distinct
auxiliary
force under
Sigis-
mund, they
remained a
part
of his
army.
Since
royal
law
allowed them to retain their ethnic customs and
dress,
at least
until the late fourteenth
century,
it is
probable
that the French
at
Nicopolis
saw their distinctive attire on the field.41 It
is
noteworthy, therefore,
that French artists never
reproduced
an
entire Cuman costume but rather focused their attention on
the exotic hats. The Cite des Dames Master dressed his
figure
with the Cuman hat in a
short, generically styled
tunic rather
than a caftan decorated with
gold disks, although
the
figure
holds a small round
shield,
the most common shield
type
for
any
of the
equestrian
archers
originating
in the Central Asian
Steppes, including
Cumans.42 Whether the miniaturist was at-
tempting
to create a Cuman sartorial
portrait
based
upon
accu-
rate,
but
limited, knowledge
of Cuman
dress,
or if he wanted
to
produce
a more
general orientalizing figure,
is not
easy
to
determine.
Another unusual hat
appears
both in the
Hungarian
Illuminated Chronicle and in the Princes of the East minia-
ture. Tall and
bulbous,
made of
fur,
with or without a small
brim,
it is worn
by
the
figure standing
at the far
left,
next to
the man
wearing
the
Byzantine
skiadion. In the
Hungarian
Illuminated Chronicle it is used
exclusively
to
represent
Ru-
thenians
(Russians)
and Wallachians
(Fig. 8).43
Under
King
Sigismund,
the Wallachians had become an
auxiliary
force in
the
Hungarian army,
and
they fought alongside
the
Hungarian
king
at the Battle of
Nicopolis.
Their unusual
headgear
would
have been a familiar
sight
to the
crusading
armies that con-
verged
at Buda in 1396. The Wallachian hat does not
appear
in French art before the
early
fifteenth
century,
at which
point
it shows
up
in
many places.
The Cite" des Dames Master uses
it
again
in Christine de Pisan's Le livre de la mutacion de For-
tune,
and the
Limbourg
brothers
give
it to a
figure witnessing
St.
Augustine's baptism
in the Tres Riches Heures.44
The
Limbourg
Brothers
The
Limbourg brothers, because their commissions
focused on sacred
texts,
never had a similar
opportunity
to
represent contemporary
easterners.
However,
they
used ori-
entalizing
dress to
represent
a wide
array
of historical for-
eigners, including
ancient Romans, Old Testament
prophets,
and biblical Jews. A
copy
of the Bible moralisle, most cer-
tainly painted by
the
Limbourgs,
has been identified as the
bible
Philip
the Bold
paid Jean and Paul to decorate
during the
years 1402 and
1403.45
The
manuscript
follows the standard
format for a Moralized Bible, with two
parallel columns of
images
and
accompanying
texts
juxtaposing an illustrated
biblical
passage
with illustrated
commentary
on it. The Lim-
bourgs finished only the first three
gatherings
and the under-
drawings
for a fourth; nevertheless, the
twenty-four completed
folios contain almost 400 individual scenes, and more than
half of these small scenes
incorporate
items of eastern dress.
The
Limbourg
brothers
approached
the task of
representing
eastern
garb differently
from the Cite des Dames Master, who
was
working
on his miniature of the Princes of the East at
about the time the
Limbourgs stopped
work on the Bible mo-
ralisde.
The
Limbourgs,
at least in this
early manuscript,
fo-
cused on
headgear. They
dressed their
protagonists
in standard
biblical robes, pseudo-Roman armor, or
contemporary
French
dress.
On the first
folio, the artists
painted
several hats of Cen-
tral Asian
origin (Fig. 9).
In the second scene of the first col-
umn,
which offers
moralizing
comment on the
Creation, the
figure
on the far left wears what can
only
be a Turkish shar-
bush
(Figs. 5j, k).46
This head
covering
was
part
of the mili-
tary
uniform of a Turkish soldier and could be seen
anywhere
in the Asian
Steppes
or Near East where Turkish
hegemony
had been established. It would have been
long
familiar to Euro-
pean crusaders, yet
it does not
appear
in French art until the
fifteenth
century.
The crown was constructed of sections of
felt or more luxurious fabrics so as to
produce
a rounded
pro-
file. A
pronounced upturned
brim at the front was often cov-
ered with tooled and
gilded
leather or a metallic
plate,
and the
edge
of the brim could be trimmed with fur. A silk button or
metal knob often decorated the
top.
The
Limbourgs'
sharbush
contains all the essential details of this
distinctively
Turkish
hat. Beneath the sharbush this
figure
wears a face veil that has
slipped
down below his chin. Male
veiling
was
accomplished
by pulling
the outer mantle
upward
to cover the head and face
or, alternatively, by winding
the free end of the turban cloth
around the face-as was done
among
the Berbers of North
Africa,
so as to
protect
the face from the sun and sand. From
North
Africa,
the fashion traveled to
Spain
where the cloth
was
typically slipped
under the chin
(Fig. 4e).
Next to the
figure
with the sharbush is one
wearing
a hat that
appears
in
Persian Ilkhanid art. It has a
tall, rounded crown and a
large
floppy
brim that undulates around it in curves and counter-
curves. A similar
hat,
with a
slightly
shorter crown can be
found in the Demotte Shahnama
(Fig. 5i).
It resembles the hat
topped by
a
fleur-de-lys
crown
painted by
the
Citd
des Dames
Master,
which also finds a
parallel
in the Demotte Shahnama
(Fig. 51).
Other
precisely
rendered
examples
of
headgear
are found
in the
Limbourg's
Bible moralisle on folio
10,
in the third
scene of the second column, where Jacob and his
family meet
Esau for the first time in
twenty years (Fig. 10). Members of
Esau's retinue wear a
variety
of exotic hats. While
they
un-
doubtedly are meant to
designate the
figures
as Jews, they
also evoke the Jews'
geographical origin
in the East and call to
mind the Islamic other. One of the Old Testament
figures wears
an unusual
type
of turban. Concentric
rings of
successively
smaller size are
placed one on
top
of the other, much like a
child's
stacking toy. Although
I have not found an
example
of
this
type
of turban in an eastern source, the
design is not im-
probable and could have been constructed
by twisting the
169
................
l _-:--:--:
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FIGURES 9-11.
Limbourg Brothers, Bible moralisee, Paris, Bibliotheque
nationale de France, MS
fr. 166, fol. 1, detail; MS
fr. 166, fol. 10, detail; MS
fr. 166, fol.12,
detail
(photos: Bibliotheque
nationale de
France).
winding
cloth of a turban into a thick cord and
wrapping
it
around a tall felt hat.47 Another
figure
in this
equestrian group
wears a tall hat with a crown
resembling
a truncated cone
with a
stiff,
bisected brim. This
hat, too,
is one of the seem-
ingly
endless
variety
of
headgear
worn at the late medieval
Persian court: a similar hat without the bisected brim can be
found in the
Demotte
Shahnama
(Fig. 5m).
Another
figure
wears a helmet which traces its
origins
to Central Asian mili-
tary dress, specifically
to a
Mongol
helmet with a
low,
rounded
helm
(or slightly pointed helm)
and two circular
plates hang-
ing
from each side to
protect
the face and neck
(Fig. 50).48
After the
Mongol invasions,
this helmet
type
came to be used
by many
Islamic armies. The
Limbourgs' example
is decorated
with a turbaned
brim,
a common
practice among
the Muslim
forces.
Yet another
accurately
observed exotic hat
appears
in the
miniature of Jacob and Esau: a Greek hat is worn
by
the fore-
most
equestrian figure (Fig. 10).
It has a crown
rising
to a low
point
and an unusual bisected
brim,
in which the two halves
curl
separately
into loose volutes. A hat with a similar
scrolling
brim but with a low rounded crown
appears
on another folio
of the
manuscript (Fig. 11).
Both are similar to hats sketched
by
Pisanello in his
preparatory drawings
for the medal of John
VIII
Palaeologus.
Pisanello
actually
drew several versions of
the
hat,
with the
curving
sections of the brim shown
rolling
in
different directions
(Fig. 12).
Another Italian
rendering
of this
hat can be found in a
portrait
of the Greek scholar Johannes
Ar-gyropoulos,
who
taught
Greek at the
University
of Florence
in the 1450s.49
Although
I have
yet
to find an
example
of this
volute-shaped
brim in
Byzantine art,
its
appearance
in the
West-to
designate
otherness in French art and to
identify
Greek
personalities
in Italian art-coincides so
closely
with
periods
of western residence of the
Byzantine
court in
Europe
that it must
faithfully
mirror
contemporary
Greek dress.
In the work the
Limbourg
brothers undertook for
John,
Duke of
Berry,
between 1405 and
1415-particularly
the
Belles Heures and the
Trks
Riches Heures-the artists
adopted
a different
approach
to
representing
the exotic.50 Rather than
move in the direction of the Cite' des Dames
Master,
toward
the
depiction
of a
complete
eastern
costume,
the
Limbourg
brothers intensifed their eclectic
approach
to wardrobe con-
struction, mingling
eastern details of dress with other
signs
of
alterity.
In the miniature of the
Buffeting
of Christ in the
Belles
Heures,
for
example (Fig. 13),
the artists included mul-
tiple
eastern motifs: a
variety
of
turban-wrapped headgear,
a
Persian hat with a
floppy brim,
a face with distinct
Mongol
features,
a tunic
girded
in eastern fashion with a sash rather
than a
belt,
and a shield with a distinct
Byzantine profile.51
Features of ancient Roman armor are intertwined with some of
the most
extravagant
features of
contemporary
French cloth-
ing,
such as the
dagged
hemline on the soldier in the fore-
ground.52
The Jewish
high priest
wears a
bishop's
miter.53
Throughout,
the
Limbourg
brothers draw
upon already
fa-
miliar formulae for
denigrating
Christ's
tormenters, including
indecently exposed body parts, exaggerated gestures,
and
gro-
tesque expressions.
Yet
they
were the first to use such a
profuse
and eclectic
sign system
to
signify
otherness. Prominent in this
mix is the
new, fifteenth-century vocabulary
of eastern dress.
A
comparison
of the miniature from the Belles Heures
with a miniature in the
Trks
Belles Heures de Notre
Dame,
170
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FIGURE 12. Pisanello, preparatory drawing for
the medallion
of
John VIII Palaeologus, 1438, Paris, Musde
du Louvre, MI 1062, verso
(photo:
Reunion
des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY).
painted
for the Duke of
Berry
about fifteen
years
earlier
by
the
Master of the Parement of
Narbonne,
illustrates the extent of
the
Limbourg
brothers'
innovations,54 as
well as the
way they
have increased the
quantity
and
variety
of
signs
of otherness.55
For
example,
in the miniature of Christ before
Caiaphas
in
the earlier
manuscript,
the
only orientalizing
feature
appears
in a
bas-de-page image
of Christ before Annas
(Fig. 14).
Whereas the soldiers
surrounding
Christ are dressed for the
most
part
in
contemporary
French
clothing,
without the orien-
talizing
accessories and
fragments
of Roman armor used
by
the
Limbourg brothers,
Annas wears a
pointed
hat bent into
a
sweeping arabesque,
surrounded
by
an
upturned
brim of a
contrasting
color. This hat is a
typical example
of the orien-
talizing
fashions that
appear
in late
fourteenth-century
French
art. The hats have crowns that
vary
from the
modestly
rounded
to the
extravagantly elongated,
encircled
by upturned
brims
that were often cut into a
hard-edged
saw-toothed
pattern
or
a
softer,
inverted
scallop.
In this
context,
Annas' hat is cer-
tainly
intended to
represent
a Jewish
pointed hat, although
it
is unknown if Jews ever wore such
headgear.
In form it is
related to the felt constructions of Central Asia that are de-
picted
in
Hungarian images
of
Cumans,
as well in
Persian,
Mongol,
and Turkish art.
Although
I have
yet
to find a
pre-
cisely
similar hat in
any
eastern
source,
it seems to combine
the tall
curving
crown of Cuman hats with the serrated brim
found in Persian
manuscripts (Figs.
7 and
5b, d, f).
This
may
suggest
that artists in the fourteenth
century
were unclear
about the exact details of eastern dress. It is
interesting
to note
that these saw-toothed and
scalloped
brims
appear
much less
frequently
in the fifteenth
century
when eastern fashions were
updated
to reflect the new French
experience
of the East.
The Boucicaut and
Bedford
Masters
The eclecticism of the
Limbourg
brothers finds
parallels
in the work of other
fifteenth-century
French
illuminators,
who
used dress to comment
upon
their
protagonists
in a wide va-
riety
of situations. Prominent in the mix are eastern fashions
171
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X t416
FIGURE 13.
Limbourg Brothers, Buffeting of Christ, Belles Heures, New York, Metropolitan
Museum
of Art, The Cloisters, MS 54.1.1, fol.
131v
(photo:
Metropolitan
Museum
of Art).
worn
by respected
biblical characters as well as
by
the
perse-
cutors of Christ in
religious texts;
in secular
texts, foreigners
of
many
different
cultures, ethnicities,
and time
periods
were
ori-
entalized. The artists used this costume
symbolically,
avoid-
ing
an authentic
representation
of the
foreigner.
Even when
French miniaturists were
given
an
opportunity
to illustrate
eastern lands and
peoples,
none of them built
upon
the
Cite'
des Dames Master's
incipient attempts
to
represent
a
complete
eastern costume. The eclecticism is most obvious in illustra-
tions of travel
literature,
such as the Duke of
Berry's copy
of
the Merveilles du
monde,
which he received as a New Year's
gift
in 1413 from his
nephew,
John the
Fearless,
installed as
Duke of
Burgundy
in
1404,
the leader of the French
troops
at
Nicopolis.56
This
compendium
collects a number of travel ac-
counts written between the late thirteenth and mid-fourteenth
centuries, namely
those of Friar
Odoric,
John
Hayton,
Marco
Polo,
Ricold of
Montecroce,
John of
Cori,
William of Bolden-
sele,
and John Mandeville. The
manuscript
is
richly
illustrated
with 265 miniatures.
Although completed by
four individuals
or
workshops,
it is
thought likely
that the Boucicaut Master
was in
charge
of the
project, dictating
the
design
and
iconog-
raphy
of the entire
manuscript,
since his
workshop produced
most of the miniatures.57 The Bedford Master and his work-
shop
were also
responsible
for a
large
section.
172
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OL AL-:::i-:
FIGURE 14. Master
of
the Parement
of Narbonne, Christ
before Caiaphas,
Tres Belles Heures de Notre Dame, Paris, Bibliotheque
nationale de
France,
MS nouv.
acq.
lat. 3093, p.
189
(photo: Bibliotheque
nationale de
France).
Among
the miniatures
demonstrating
the trend toward
an exotic mix of
clothing
is the miniature
representing
the
Festivities at the Court of the Grand Khan
by
the Bedford
workshop (Fig. 15).
Two of the dancers wear tall hats with
wide
brims;
one of these is notched in the center front. These
hats were also used
by
the
Cite
des Dames Master and the
Limbourg brothers,
and
they
find
parallels
in the Demotte
Shahnama. The turban's
winding
cloth in one case is worn as
a headband
and,
in
another,
as the base of a
spectacular
hat
with a
large scalloped
brim similar to one found in an
early
Ilkhanid
manuscript (Fig. 5p).
The
garments
worn
by
these
figures
are
quite unusual,
with elements of both eastern and
western dress.
Many
are
extravagantly dagged,
a
distinctly
European feature,
not encountered in the Islamic East.
Another miniature in the Merveilles du
monde,
this one
painted by
the Boucicaut
workshop,
shows how this oriental-
ization could work in concert with both text and extra-textual
elements to
produce
a
strong message
of eastern
alterity.
The
image
of Muslims
praying
before idols shows a
variety
of
Mongol
and Turkish
dress, including
a
style
of
Mongol
head-
gear
not
previously
discussed
(Fig. 16).
Worn
by
three of the
protagonists
in the
miniature,
the hat is similar to one still
worn in
Mongolia today.
It
typically
had a low rounded crown
and was
distinguished by
a fur brim that could also function
173
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jj:- _: -?ii- :::-:-:
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ii:
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::: :: :- ._k- 1 1 :::::::-:-::::-:ii-:-
iiiii:-i:iiiiii~iii :' "?~ -i? : : --_:::.
:: ::-iiiii:-:::?:--
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_ _ i--iii-iii
-- -iii_-- :
- ----- -
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i-i--:-:-:-:i:::-::::::::-::::::?j':~ _
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: rr _rrii::iiiiiiiiii%:?'.- 'II-'
FIGURE 15.
Bedford Workshop,
Festivities at the court
of
the Grand Khan, Merveilles du monde, Paris, Bibliotheque
nationale de France, MS
fr. 2810,
fol.
44
(photo: Bibliotheque
nationale de
France).
as
earflaps.58
These could be secured over the ears
by
a tie
under the
chin,
as demonstrated
by
the
praying figure
on the
far
right.
When
untied,
the
earflaps
curled
gently upward,
as
seen in the case of the
praying figure
on the far left and one
of the
figures washing
in the stream. In warmer
weather,
the
fur brim could be folded
up
and secured to the crown. There
is a curious
relationship
between the
distinctly Mongol
cos-
tume and the text
by
Ricold of Montecroce that it illustrates.
Vicki Porter has observed
that,
while the text discusses the
Islamic tradition of
washing
before
prayer,
it does not
suggest
that Muslims
worshiped
idols.59 The artist's insistence on this
falsehood reflects medieval attitudes that associated all non-
Christian
religions
with the
practice
of
idolatry.
The
juxtapo-
sition of
Mongol
costume with idol
worship may
also reflect
contemporary
fears about
Mongol expansion.
This was the
age
of Timur
(Tamerlane),
the most
aggressive
and ruthless Mon-
gol
ruler since
Genghis
Khan.
Having replaced
the
previous
Mongol
Ilkhanid rulers of
Persia,
Timur's
power
was felt from
China to
Europe.
He was known for his fervent adherence to
Islam and his
equally
fervent hatred of Christians.60 This
rep-
resentation of Muslims
praying,
with its extra-textual
linking
of
Islam and
idolatry
and its
emphasis
on
Mongol dress,
in
light
of the current French
understanding
of the
Mongol problem,
created a
potent image
of the eastern other.
Conclusion
Many questions
remain
relating
to the sources of knowl-
edge tapped by early fifteenth-century
French illuminators
when
they depicted
eastern
dress,
as well as the
possible
func-
tions and
meanings
of exotic sartorial eclecticism.
Certainly
the
miniaturists could have drawn
upon
eastern
pictorial
sources
as models for their
orientalizing
costume.
Manuscripts,
in
par-
ticular,
were a common vehicle for the transmission of visual
information in the Middle
Ages, particularly
over
long
tem-
poral
or
geographical
distances. While it is
possible
that
Byz-
antine, Islamic,
and
Hungarian manuscripts provided
artists
with sartorial
models,
on
balance,
this seems
unlikely.
In the
first
place,
it is
extremely
rare for
Byzantine courtly
dress
to
appear
in
manuscripts:
in sacred
texts,
biblical characters
are
consistently
dressed in traditional
robes,
not
contemporary
clothing, and,
in their official
portraits,
members of the
imperial
court
always
wear official attire. It is
only through
Pseudo-
Kodinos's
descriptions
that we learn about the more casual
dress of the
Palaeologan
court. In other
words,
it seems more
likely
that
clothing,
not
images
of
clothing,
served as the illu-
minators' chief source of information. It is
highly probable
that both the Cite des Dames Master and the
Limbourg
broth-
ers saw members of the
Byzantine
court
during
their Paris resi-
174
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FIGURE 16. Boucicaut
Workshop,
Muslims
praying,
Merveilles du monde, Paris, Biblioth
que
nationale de France, MS
fr. 2810, fol.
292v
(photo:
Biblio-
theque
nationale de
France).
dence between June
3, 1399,
and November
21,
1402. Most of
the Valois
family
was in Paris
during
these
years,
as both the
Dukes of
Berry
and
Burgundy
had set
up
households in the
capital;
since the
Cite' des Dames Master worked
consistently
for the
royal family,
it is
likely
that he was in Paris
during
this
time.61 The accounts of the
Duchy
of
Burgundy
also
place
Jean
and Herman
Limbourg
in Paris
during
these
years.62 Sig-
nificantly,
the most accurate French
representations
of
Byz-
antine
clothing
and hats are found in the work of these artists.
The transmission of information about
contemporary
Islamic dress is more
complicated.
The miniaturists
likely
bor-
rowed from the
repertoire
of
orientalizing
costume
depicted
by
the
previous generation
of French
artists; however,
this
repertoire
was limited to hats similar to the one worn
by
Annas in the Duke of
Berry's
Tres Belles Heures de Notre
Dame
(Fig. 14).
While
early fifteenth-century
miniaturists did
include some of these hats in their
illuminations, they
in-
cluded elements of eastern costume never before
represented
in French art. While
manuscripts originating
in the East could
have
provided
a model for
contemporary
eastern
dress,
no
fourteenth- or
fifteenth-century
Islamic text is listed in Valois
inventories of the time. Actual items of
clothing may
have
inspired
the
artists, though
we wonder what
opportunities
they
had to see Islamic dress. The odd merchant would have
passed through town,
as well as ambassadors and emissaries
visiting
the French crown. The most
significant
encounter be-
tween the West and Islam
during
these
years
took
place
be-
tween the artists'
patrons
and a Turkish
army
in the far off
city
of
Nicopolis,
and in several other locations within the Otto-
man
empire,
where the
captured
French
knights
were
impris-
oned. But
surely,
the elite of French
aristocracy, although
defeated,
came home with stories to tell.
Indeed,
the Duke of
Burgundy
scheduled a succession of
triumphal appearances
in
the
major
towns of
Burgundy
in the
spring
of 1398 for his
son,
Count John of
Nevers,
commander of the French forces.
Doubtless the
Nicopolis
adventure was told and retold
during
these
public appearances,
and stories would have circulated in
aristocratic circles. Our French illuminators would have heard
the tales either at first or second hand. But could these oral
histories have communicated the details of Islamic dress?
That
question
is
impossible
to
answer,
but it is worth
noting
that written accounts of the battle and the
imprison-
ment of
knights
do not in
any
case
provide
a
comprehensive
description
of dress. Nor do either the fictional or more fac-
tual accounts in the travel literature so
popular
at the time. If
the artists were made aware of Islamic dress
through descrip-
tion,
then oral accounts must have
supplied
more detail than
the textual tradition. There is some evidence in favor of the
175
idea that oral
recountings, along
with certain activities of lei-
sure
time,
transmitted cultural
knowledge
not recorded in the
chronicles.
Germane to this
study
is a
story
told about John of
Nevers,
whose wife
gave
birth to their son while the Turks held the
count ransom. Several
years
after his return to
France, when,
as John the
"Fearless,"
he became Duke of
Burgundy,
he is
said to have dressed his
young
son
up
as a Turk to
play
in the
Park at Hesdin.63 What did this child's Turkish costume look
like? Was it Turkish-made and
brought
home
by
the Duke
after his
captivity
or was it
purchased
at a later time from a
traveling
merchant? Was it a
gift
from the Ottoman court?
Did the Duke's tailors construct it at the French court accord-
ing
to the Duke's
specifications?
Or was it
something
more
casual: a dishtowel
wrapped
around his son's head in imita-
tion of a turban?
Although
we will never know for
certain,
the
story
informs us that Turkish dress held a certain fascina-
tion in French
popular
culture-a fascination that was
long
lasting.
This son
grew up
to be
Philip
the
Good,
Duke of
Burgundy, and,
like his
father,
he
supported
a
pan-European
crusade
against
the Turks. He also added to his father's and
grandfather's library
of travel literature
by commissioning
memoirs from the various ambassadors he sent eastward. One
of his
emissaries,
Bertrandon de la
Broquibre,
made his return
appearance
at court in
July
of 1433 dressed in "Saracen"
clothes,
which he then
gave
to the Duke.64
If a
major source
for the eastern fashions
depicted by early fifteenth-century
French illuminators was the recollection of the
Nicopolis
knights,
or souvenirs
they brought
back with
them,
then the
artists had to
rely
on
partial
information. This
may
account for
some of the eclecticism of French
orientalizing
dress. How-
ever,
the incredible
variety
of costume
depicted by
some art-
ists-including Byzantine, Islamic, pseudo-Roman,
and French
features-would indicate that this eclecticism was more
pur-
poseful
than accidental.
Perhaps
one
way
to understand the rich
melange
of eastern
dress that
appears
in
early fifteenth-century
French manu-
scripts, particularly
those illuminated
by
the
Limbourg
broth-
ers,
is to
place
it within a modern discourse of otherness.65
More than
twenty years ago,
Edward Said
proposed
that one
way
Muslims were indicated as "other" was
by representing
them outside the confines of
nature-by divorcing
them from
recognizable
human
experience.66 This,
in some
sense,
is what
the miniaturists have accomplished through
their eclectic use
of ethnic dress. The odd mixture of costume elements places
the
protagonists
outside of recognizable experience-even of
foreign experience.
More
recently, Jeffrey
Jerome Cohen ad-
dressed the issue of
alterity
in the
hybrid
bodies of medieval
monsters.67 The association of monsters and
hybrid
beasts
with the infidel was a commonplace
in the travel literature so
assiduously
read by the patrons
of our miniaturists.
Building
on the
suggestion
of John Friedman that monsters, particu-
larly cynocephali, became a symbol
for Muslims, Cohen uses
Lacanian
psychoanalytical theory
to propose that the
body
of
this
symbolic hybrid
was both loathsome and
alluring.
He
suggests that,
"Muslim monsterization . .. activates not
only
anxiety (about
one's own
body,
about one's own
identity)
but
also desire
(to possess
the
foreign body,
to tame and control
its monstrousness in order to hold it
close)."68
The eclectic
costumes created
by
French miniaturists
might
be viewed as
sartorial
parallels
to the somatic
hybrid. By creating
these
"monstrous"
assemblages,
French miniaturists met
culturally
produced expectations.
The denatured
quality
of western
rep-
resentations of eastern
dress, then,
cannot be understood as
merely pejorative,
even when the
depictions appear
in
pejo-
rative contexts.
Rather,
like the liminal
body
of the medieval
hybrid, peoples represented
in exotic dress
inspired
fear min-
gled
with
fascination, anxiety coupled
with desire.
NOTES
*
This research was
supported by
a
grant
from the
Faculty
Research and
Creative Activities
Support
Fund at Western
Michigan University.
I
would like to
acknowledge
the
generous
advice on matters of dress
offered
by
Anne van Buren, Annamairia Kovics,
and Maria Parani,
who all read an earlier draft of this article. I am
grateful
to the
anony-
mous readers of Gesta and its editor, Elizabeth Sears, who
suggested
many
needed
improvements
to the text.
Lastly,
I would like to dedicate
this short
study
to Catherine Brandt Kubiski, whose
eye
for fashion
design
and skill in its construction first
piqued my
interest in how the
body
is clothed.
1.
Although
eastern costume was also
depicted
in French
panel painting,
the
scarcity
of extant
panels
makes it
impossible
to trace the
develop-
ment of an
orientalizing
trend in this medium. This
study
will focus on
eastern fashion as found in
manuscript
illumination.
2. The term "orientalism," popularized by
Edward Said
(Orientalism [New
York, 1978]),
is used
throughout
this
study
to refer to medieval Euro-
pean
constructs of the East, despite
the fact that Said
applied
it to the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when western attitudes to the East
were motivated
by
the
politics
of colonialism. For reevaluations of
Said's work, see J. M. Mackenzie, Orientalism:
History, Theory,
and the
Arts (New York, 1995);
and K. Windschuttle, "Edward Said's 'Orien-
talism' Revisited," The New Criterion, XVII/5 (1999),
30-38. For recent
studies of medieval orientalism, see B. S. Turner, Orientalism:
Early
Sources, 12 vols.
(London, 1999);
M. L. Farrell, ed., Early
Orientalisms
(Baton Rouge, 1992), esp. "Introduction," 5-12, and K. Brownlee, "Cul-
tural
Comparison:
Crusade as Construct in Late Medieval France, 13-
24; J. J. Cohen, ed., The Postcolonial Middle
Ages (New York, 2000),
esp.
S. Conklin Akbari, "Orientalism and Orientation," 19-34;
K. Davis,
"Time Behind the Veil: The Media, the Middle
Ages,
and Orientalism
Now," 105-122; and J. M. Ganim, "Native Studies: Orientalism and
Medievalism," 123-134.
3. In his classic
three-part monograph,
French
Painting
in the Time
of
Jean
de
Berry (London, 1967-68; New York, 1974),
Millard Meiss
rarely
re-
fers to the exotic and
orientalizing
motifs in French
manuscript
illumi-
nation and never
attempts
to
explain
them. Nor does Erwin
Panofsky
in his
Early
Netherlandish
Painting,
its
Origin
and Character (New
York, 1953).
Ruth Mellinkoff
("Headgear: Holy
and
Unholy,"
in Out-
casts:
Signs of
Otherness in Northern
European
Art
of
the Late Middle
Ages [Berkeley, 1993], 57-94) suggests
that these exotic hats are fan-
tastic variations on the Jewish
pointed
hat. See also G. Soulier, Les
influ-
ences orientales dans la
peinture
toscane (Paris, 1924); and L. Olschki,
176
"Asiatic Exoticism in Italian Art of the
Early Renaissance," AB, XXVI
(1944),
95-106.
4. Stella
Mary
Newton
(Fashion
in the
Age of
the Black Prince
[Wood-
bridge, 1980], 92-94), suggests
that Cuman fashions
inspired
an orien-
talizing
trend in late
fourteenth-century
Italian art, and she stresses the
importance
of Greek fashions on Italian
pictures
of the Adoration of
the
Magi (Renaissance
Theatre Costume and the Sense
of
the Historic
Past
[New York, 1975], 64-76).
Charles
Sterling (La peinture
midie-
vale a Paris, 1300-1500
[Paris, 1987], I, 291)
notes that several French
miniaturists, including
the Cite des Dames Master, the Master of Flavius
Josephus,
and the
Limbourg brothers, may
have derived their oriental-
izing
costume from Arab and Turkish
miniatures;
he does not,
how-
ever, discuss
particular
items of costume nor their
potential
sources. For
use of the term "Saracen" in medieval French literature, see Brownlee,
"Crusade as Construct," 13 n. 4.
5. On the sources and methods
employed by
historians of medieval dress,
see E
Piponnier
and P
Mane,
Dress in the Middle
Ages,
trans. C. Beamish
(New Haven, 1997), 3-9; A. H. van Buren, "Le sens de l'histoire dans les
manuscrits du XVe
sibcle,"
in
Pratiques
de la culture ecrite en France
au XVe siecle, ed. M. Pruato and N. Pons
(Louvain-la-Neuve, 1995),
515-528.
6. On the eclectic nature of Islamic dress, see Y. K. Stillman, Arab Dress: A
Short
History
From the Dawn
of
Islam to Modern Times
(Leiden, 2000),
16 and
passim.
7. J. Delaville Le
Roulx, La France en Orient au XIVe siecle:
Expeditions
du marechal Boucicaut,
2 vols.
(Paris, 1886), I, 221-321;
A. S.
Atiya,
The Crusade
of Nicopolis (London, 1934);
D. Lalande, Jean II le Mein-
gre,
dit Boucicaut, 1366-1421
(Geneva, 1988), 57-74; J. Paviot and
M.
Chauney-Bouillot, eds., Nicopolis,
1396-1996 =
Annales de Bour-
gogne,
LXVIII/3
(1996 [1997]).
For lists of fourteenth- and fifteenth-
century primary
sources that describe the Battle of
Nicopolis,
see
D.
Lalande, Jean II le
Meingre, 198-201; Atiya,
The Crusade
of
Nico-
polis,
212-219. The most
complete contemporary
account is found in
the
anonymous biography
of John le
Meingre II, better known as
Boucicaut, marshal of the French
troops
at
Nicopolis,
written in 1409.
See Lalande, ed., Le livre des
fais
du bon messire Jehan le
Maingre,
dit
Bouciquaut,
mareschal de France et
gouverneur
de Jennes
(Geneva,
1985).
Further French documents include
Chronique
du
religieux
de
Saint-Denys
contenant le re
gne
de Charles VI de 1380 a' 1422, ed. and
trans. L.
Bellaguet,
6 vols.
(Paris, 1839-1852; rpt. Paris, 1994), II, 492-
515; John Froissart, Chronicles
of England, France, Spain
and
Adjoin-
ing Countries, trans. T. Johnes, 2 vols.
(London, 1862), II, 601-608,
622-633, 644-653; and a
poem
written in 1396
by Phillipe
de
M6zibres,
Epistre
lamentable et consolatoire sur le
fait
de
desconfiture
lacrimable
du noble et vaillant
roy
de
honguerie.
The most
engaging
account is
the
personal
memoir of a German soldier, spared
from execution
by
Bayezid's
son because of his
young age.
See The
Bondage
and Travels
of
Johann
Schiltberger,
a Native
of Bavaria, in
Europe, Asia, and
Africa,
1396-1427, trans. J. B. Telfer
(London, 1879; rpt.
New
York, 1963).
8. Laland, Jean
II
le Meingre, 66; Atyia, The Crusade ofNicopolis, 20,
49, 56, 85. Cumans were a part of King Sigismund's army, but no
longer made up a separate auxiliary force.
9. Ibid., 97.
10. In the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the Byzantine emper-
ors made extreme efforts to enlist western military aid in fighting the
Turks. They personally traveled to Europe with promises of a church
reconciliation. In 1366 Manuel's father, John V, visited Budapest and
Rome; between 1438 and 1440, Manuel's son, John VIII resided in Italy
(1338-1340). None of these efforts met with success. See J. W. Barker,
Manuel
II
Palaeologus (1391-1425): A Study in Late Byzantine States-
manship (New Brunswick, NJ, 1969), 123-199. For the Council of Rec-
onciliation of Ferrara-Florence, see J. S. J. Gill, The Council ofFlorence
(Cambridge, 1959); idem, Personalities
of
the Council
of
Florence (New
York, 1964).
11. Paris,
Bibliothbque
nationale de
France,
MS fr. 12559. The other known
copy
of the Chevalier errant, Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS L. v. 6,
was
damaged
in the fire of 1904:
twenty-four
of its
original twenty-
five miniatures survive in
poor
condition. For a
description
of all the
miniatures in the two
manuscripts,
see M. J. Ward, "A Critical Edition
of Thomas III of Saluzzo's 'Le Livre du Chevalier
Errant'" (Disserta-
tion, University
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1984).
12. It was
during
his 1403/5
trip
that Saluzzo secured a
marriage
contract
with
Marguerite
de
Roucy,
whose arms are also included in the manu-
script. Writing
in 1430, della Chiesa
reports
that Saluzzo
brought
home
from this
trip
a decorated
copy
of his own work. The book della Chiesa
describes has elements not
present
in the Turin
copy,
which also includes
the arms of
Philip
the Bold, who died in 1404
(fol. 161v).
See Ward,
"A Critical Edition," xiii-xxxvi.
13. M. Meiss, The
Limbourg
Brothers and Their
Contemporaries (New
York, 1974), I, 14-16, 157, 159, 377, 381; II, Figs. 18, 47-49, 56.
14. The miniature of the Princes of the West in the
camp
of Dame Fortune
appears
on fol. 161v, opposite
the Princes of the East on fol. 162. The
tents in both are decorated with coats-of-arms: those in the former
belong
to some of the most
important
houses of
Europe,
those on the
latter cannot be
identified, except
for one that refers to the
kingdom
of
Jerusalem. See Ward, "A Critical Edition," cviii-cix, 939-940, 943-944;
Meiss, The
Limbourg Brothers, 381.
15. Pseudo-Kodinos
(Traite'
des
offices,
ed. and trans. J. Verpeaux [Paris,
1966], 132, 141, 145, 147-140, 151, 153-166, 180, 195, 207-208, 227)
indicates that the hat was worn
by
all members of court, including
the
emperor,
but does not describe it. See I. Spatharakis,
The Portrait in
Byzantine
Illuminated
Manuscripts (Leiden, 1976), 53, 263. Similar
hats are found in the
following manuscripts:
Chronicle
of Joannes Scy-
litzes, mid-twelfth
century (Madrid,
Biblioteca nacional, MS Vitr. 26-2,
fol.
10v;
A. Grabar, L'illustration du manuscrit de
Skylitzes
de la Bib-
liothbque
nationale de Madrid
[Venice, 1979], P1. 1
and
Fig. 1);
Book
of Job, ca. 1362
(Paris, Bibliotheque
nationale de France, MS
gr. 135,
fol. 39; A. Grabar, Byzance
et la France mddievale [Paris, 1958],
P1.
26);
Chronicle
of Manasse, ca. 1345
(Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat.
Slav., II, fols. 24, 117, 183v; I. Dujiev,
The Miniatures
of
the Chronicle
of
Manasse
[Sofia, 1963]);
and Pseudo-Callisthenes, Alexander Romance
(Venice,
Hellenic
Institute, cod.
gr. 5, fol. 143, reproduced
in N. S. Tra-
houlias, ed., The Greek Alexander Roman
[Athens, 1997]). I want to
thank Maria
Parani,
who shared information about
Byzantine
dress from
her dissertation while she was
writing
it. See her
"Reconstructing
the
Reality
of
Images: Byzantine
Material Culture and
Religious Iconog-
raphy,
I
Ith -15th Centuries"
(Dissertation,
Exeter
College, University
of
Oxford, 1999).
16. A similar hat, without
projecting brim, was worn in Trebizond, the Chris-
tian
kingdom lying
between
Byzantium
and the
Mongol Empire.
In his
early fourteenth-century travel account, Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo, the
Spanish ambassador to the Mongol court of Timur, describes the hats
worn by the emperor of Trebizond, Manuel Comnenus III, and his son
as "tall hats surmounted with golden cords, on the top of which were
cranes' feathers; and the hats were bound with the skins of martens."
See Narrative of the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court
ofTimour, at Samarcand, A.D. 1403-6, trans. C. R. Markham (London,
1859; rpt. New York, 1963), 61. Clavijo was also received at the court
of Manuel II in Constantinople, shortly after the emperor returned from
Paris. Surviving examples of Mongol hats of a similar design indicate
that the vertical sections were created by quilting the fabric. See H. H.
Hansen, Mongol Costumes (London, 1993), 167-208.
17. For the funeral portrait of Manuel Laskares Chatzikes painted in the
church of Pantanassa in Mistra shortly after his death in 1445, see
177
R.
Etzeoglou, "Quelques remarques
sur les
portraits figures
dans les
eglises
de Mistra," JOB, XXII
(1982),
513-521.
18. Note that on the reverse of this medal, there is an
equestrian portrait
of
the
emperor wearing
the older
style
skiadion without the bisected brim.
See L.
Puppi, ed., Pisanello
(Milan, 1996), 144-146; and M. Vickers,
"Some
Preparatory Drawings
for Pisanello's Medallion of John Palaeo-
logus," AB, LX
(1978),
417-425. For the Council of Ferrara-Florence,
see note 10.
19. Stillman, Arab Dress, 63; Parani, "Reconstructing
the
Reality
of
Images,"
66-68.
20.
See,
for
long
sleeves in
Byzantine dress, ibid., 62-68; in Pisanello's
drawings, Vickers, "Some
Preparatory Drawings," Fig. 5; in Islamic dress,
Stillman, Arab Dress, 65-66; and L. A.
Mayer, Mamluk Costume
(Geneva, 1952),
22.
21.
Chronique
du
religieux, XXI.1,
ed.
Bellaguet, II, 754-755; Barker,
Manuel II, 397.
22.
Mayer, Mamluk Costume, 13, 67.
Sumptuary
laws
regulated
the
length
of fabric that could be wound into a turban and the
length
of the tur-
ban's
trailing end-pieces
based on social class and
religious
affiliation.
23.
Ibid., 15-16; D. Nicolle, Medieval
Warfare
Source Book, II: Christian
Europe
and its
Neighbors (London, 1996), 20, 25, 33, 141,
161. The
baldric was
rarely
used in the West.
24.
Mayer,
Mamluk Costume, 50.
25. See a
fourteenth-century Egyptian copy
of the
Maqdmat (Vienna,
Oster-
reichische Nationalbibliothek, cod. A. E 9,
fol.
30v), reproduced
in
Stillman, Arab Dress, Fig.
7.
26. For the baldric, see D. Nicolle, Armies
of
the Ottoman Turk
(London,
1983), 35;
for
Byzantine
short tunics, see Parani, "Reconstructing
the
Reality
of
Images,"
62.
27. Hansen, Mongol Costumes, 32-88; Stillman, Arab Dress, 47; Parani,
"Reconstructing
the
Reality
of
Images," 59, 65-68.
Cursory descriptions
of the caftans worn in Central Asia are
provided
in two mid-fourteenth-
century
travel accounts. Both authors describe them as
side-wrapped
garments.
John of Plano
Carpini (History of
the
Mongols,
trans. in
C. Dawson, Mission to Asia
[London, 1955; rpt. Toronto, 1980], 7)
writes that Tartar tunics of "buckram, velvet or brocade . . .
open
from
top
to bottom and folded over the breast; they
are fastened on the left
with one tie, on the
right
with three, on the left side also
they
are
open
as far as the waist." William of Rubruck
(The Journey of
William
of
Rubruk, in ibid., 102),
notes that "the Turks tie their tunics on the left,
but the Tartars on the
right."
28. Paris,
Bibliotheque
nationale de France, MS turc. 309. See Inventaire
et
description
des miniatures des manuscrits orientaux conserves a la
Bibliotheque nationale, ed. E. Blochet
(Paris, 1898).
29. Stillman, Arab Dress, 54.
Clavijo (Narrative of
the
Embassy, 132, 152)
describes
jewels
on the hats of Timur and his
grandson.
30. Carpini (ed. Dawson, Mission to Asia, 7) describes the
Mongol braid.
See D. Nicolle, The Age of Tamerlane: Warfare in the Middle East,
c. 1350-1500 (London, 1990), 15; A. Pil6czi-Horvith, "Le costume Co-
man au moyen age," Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hun-
garicae, XXXII (1980), 408. Islamic Arabs preferred to shave their
heads. The braid was already used in mid- to late fourteenth-century
western art to represent "Saracens" and "Tartars." See, for example,
"Christ in the Temple" in the
Trbs
Belles Heures de Notre Dame, p. 62
(see n. 54), as well as the fresco of the Pentecost in the Spanish Chapel
at Santa Maria Novella (R. Offner and K. Steinweg, Andrea Bonaiuti. A
Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting, sect. IV, vol. VI
[New York, 1979], 58).
31. P A. Underwood, The Kariye Djami, 3 vols. (Princeton, 1966-75), III,
535-536. For Pisanello, see n. 18.
32. Stillman, Arab Dress, 40-41, and
chap. 6, "The
Opulent
World of Tiraz
and Precious Textiles," 120-133.
33. H. R. Robinson, Oriental Armour
(New York, 1967), 68; M. Gorelik,
"Oriental Armour of the Near and Middle East from the
Eighth
to the
Fifteenth Centuries as shown in Works of Art," in Islamic Arms and
Armour, ed. R.
Elgood (London, 1979), 30-63; Nicolle, Medieval War-
fare, 73, 161; idem, Hungary
and the Fall
of
Eastern
Europe,
1000-1568
(London, 1988), 34; and I. Heath, Byzantine
Armies (London, 1995),
44.
34. For the
Byzantine kite-shaped shield, see ibid., 23; Nicolle, Medieval
Warfare, 76, 96, 112, 193, 250. For the round shields used
by
armies of
the Asiatic
Steppes,
see Robinson, Oriental Armour, 68; Gorelik, Orien-
tal Armour, 35-40, 53-63.
35. D. Nicolle, Saracen Faris, 1050-1250
(London, 1994), 57; Stillman,
Arab Dress, 67.
36. Newton, Fashion in the
Age of
the Black Prince, 35-41.
37. The Demotte Shahnama is named after the notorious art dealer, De-
motte,
who dismembered the
manuscript
in the
early
twentieth
century
for sale.
Reproductions
of the
dispersed
folios are
gathered
in
O.
Grabar
and S. Blair, Epic Images
and
Contemporary History:
The Illustrations
of
the Great
Mongol
Shahnama
(Chicago, 1980).
For hat count, ibid.,
41.
Undoubtedly
the
clothing
is indicative of
fourteenth-century fashion;
however, there is
currently
not
enough comparable
evidence available
to make
many
accurate distinctions between
Mongol, Turkish, and Per-
sian ethnic features in the
manuscript.
Studies of Ottoman Turkish cos-
tume books, which are dated between the late fifteenth and nineteenth
centuries, indicate that details of costume, headgear,
and
military equip-
ment
identify
the wearer's
occupation
and rank in a strict
professional
and social
hierarchy. Perhaps
similar observations will
someday
be able
to be made about Persian Ilkhanid and Timurid costume. See M. Ser-
toglu, "Introduction," in Ottoman Costume Book: A Facsimile Edition
of
Osmanli
Kiyafetleri,
ed. E Mehmed
(Istanbul, 1986),
13-14.
38.
Budapest,
National
Szechenyi Library,
cod. lat. 404. This
richly
illumi-
nated text records the
history
of
Hungary
from the tenth to the four-
teenth
century.
For a
facsimile,
see D.
Dercsenyi, ed., The
Hungarian
Illuminated Chronicle
(New York, 1970).
For
dating
of the
manuscript,
see S.
Magyarorszaigon, Image
and Likeness: Art and Reality in Hun-
gary
in the 14th-15th Centuries
(Budapest, 1995), English summary,
249.
On Cuman dress, see Pail6czi-Horvaith, "Le costume Coman," 403-427,
with a
bibliography
of additional
Hungarian sources; and A. Kovics,
"Court Fashion and
Representation:
The
Hungarian
Illuminated Chron-
icle Revisited"
(Dissertation,
Central
European University, Budapest,
2000). I would like to thank Dr. Kovics for
allowing
me to read the
dissertation in
progress,
as well as for her
guidance
on numerous
points.
There were
significant
ties between
Hungary
and France, beginning
in
1342 when Robert of
Anjou,
French lord of the
Kingdom
of
Naples,
was
also made
king
of
Hungary.
Between 1374 and 1378, a
royal wedding
was
negotiated
between the son of
King
Louis the Great of
Hungary
(Angevin line)
and the
daughter
of Louis d'Orleans, brother to
King
Charles V of France. The
untimely
death of Louis'
daughter
ended the
arrangement.
39. Cuman headgear appears occasionally in late fourteenth-century French
miniatures and then more frequently in fifteenth-century works. Cumans
are also represented in Italian art.
40. Pil6czi-Horvith, "Le costume Coman," 409.
41. A. Pil6czi Horvith, Petchenegs, Cumans, andlasians (Budapest, 1989);
idem, "Le costume Coman," 407-409.
42. Robinson, Oriental Armour, 68; Gorelik, Oriental Armour of the Near
and Middle East, 35-40, 53-63.
43.
Dercs6nyi, Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle, 48, 83 (fols. 72, 73v).
44. Livre de la mutacion, Bibliothbque nationale de France, MS fr. 603,
fol. 143v;
Trbs
Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, Chantilly, Mus~e
Cond6,
MS 65, fol. 37v.
178
45. Paris,
Bibliotheque
nationale de France, MS fr. 166. See Meiss, The
Limbourg Brothers, 81-105, Figs.
278-325. See also J. Lowden, The
Making of
the Bibles
Moralisdes,
2 vols.
(University Park, PA, 2000),
252-284.
46. Nicolle, Saracen Faris, 53, P1. E
47. The
Limbourg
brothers were not the first to
represent
this turban
type
in the West. It had
appeared
in late
fourteenth-century
French manu-
scripts, notably,
the Tres Belles Heures de Notre Dame
(p. 62),
also
owned
by
the Duke of
Berry, perhaps suggesting
that the artists used
western models for some of their eastern dress. See below, n. 54.
48. Gorelik, Oriental Armour, 40, Pls. 42, 43, Figs. 105, 110, 128, 138-140;
D. Nicolle, "Arms and Armor in the Album
Paintings,"
in Between China
and Iran:
Painting from
Four Istanbul Albums, ed. E. J. Grube and
E. Sims
(New York, 1980), 145-149; Nicolle, Tamerlane, 8.
49. The
portrait
of
Argyropoulos
was
painted by
Francesco di Antonio del
Chierico in a
copy
of Aristotle's De
interpretatione, Florence, Biblio-
teca Laurenziana, cod.
P1. 71.18, fol. 1. See E Ames-Lewis, The
Library
and
Manuscripts of
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici
(New York, 1984),
No. 70; and J. Kubiski, "'Uomini Illustri': The Revival of the Author
Portrait in Renaissance Florence"
(Dissertation, University
of
Washing-
ton, Seattle, 1993), 189-199, 122-206.
50. New York, Metropolitan
Museum of Art, The Cloisters, MS
54.1.1,
fol. 131v. The Belles Heures was
completed
about 1408, the date at
which all three
Limbourg
brothers are first recorded as
being
in
Berry's
service, but it was
probably begun
about 1405. See Meiss, The Lim-
bourg Brothers, 102-142; and M. Meiss and E. Beatson, The Belles
Heures
of Jean, Duke
of Berry (New York, 1974).
The Tres Riches
Heures was
begun shortly
after the
completion
of the Belles Heures,
but it was left unfinished due to the artists' deaths, most
likely during
the
plague
of 1415. The Duke of
Berry
died in 1416. See Meiss, The
Limbourg Brothers, 143-224; M. Meiss, J.
Longnon,
and R. Cazelles,
The Tres Riches Heures
of Jean, Duke
of Berry (New York, 1969); and,
for a
complete facsimile, R. Cazelles, Les
Trks
Riches Heures
of
Jean
du Duc de
Berry,
with
English
trans. of
commentary by
T. S. Fauce
(Lucerne, 1984).
51. See for the sash, Stillman, Arab Dress, 64, 99, 164; for the shield,
Heath, Byzantine Armies, 23.
52. On
dagging,
see M. Scott, Late Gothic
Europe, 1400-1500, The His-
tory
of Dress Series
(London, 1980), 70, 83, 104, 105.
53. This follows
iconographic
tradition. See R. Mellinkoff, "Christian and
Jewish Mitres: A Paradox," in
Florilegium
in honorem Carl Norden-
falk octogenarii
contextum
(Stockholm, 1987),
145-158.
54. Paris, Bibliotheque
nationale de France, MS nouv.
acq.
lat. 3093
(sur-
viving fragment
with Hours of
Virgin,
Hours of the Cross, Hours of
the
Holy Spirit,
and Office of the
Dead).
While it is
generally agreed
that most of the miniatures in the
Trks
Belles Heures de Notre Dame
were executed
by
the artist who
painted
the Parement de Narbonne-a
grisaille painting on silk representing Passion scenes made for Charles V
ca. 1370-the dating of the manuscript is controversial. Millard Meiss
believes it was begun about 1382. Based on her analysis of French cos-
tume, Anne van Buren dates the manuscript 1390/92. My observations
on eastern costume also suggest that these miniatures were painted in
the last twenty years of the fourteenth century. Others, including Paul
Durrieu, Charles Sterling, and Eberhard Kinig, assign the beginning or
end date of a first painting campaign to 1404, because the last recorded
death date in the calendar, that of the Duke of Berry's brother, the Duke
of Burgundy, falls in that year. This assumes the calendar was integral
to the first painting campaign and posits for the Parement Master a very
long (thirty-year) painting career. See M. Meiss, The Late Fourteenth
Century and the Patronage of the Duke (London, 1967), 107-116;
A. H. van Buren, J. Marrow, and S. Pettenati, Heures de Turin-Milan:
Inv. No 47, Museo Civico
d'Arte,
Torino
(Lucern, 1996), commentary,
265-268; C.
Sterling,
La
peinture mdie'vale a' Paris, 1300-1500, 2 vols.
(Paris, 1987-90), 218-244; E. Kitnig,
Les Tres Belles Heures de Notre-
Dame du Duc Jean de
Berry (Paris, 1992), commentary,
156-168,
216-217. Cf. A. Chatelet's
critique
of Eberhard's
dating
in BMon, CLI
(1993),
539-540.
55. Both books of hours use
many
of the
signs
of otherness noted
by Mel-
linkoff
(Outcasts, passim)
to
denigrate
the other, including vulgar ges-
tures, indecent
exposure
of the
body, physical
distortions and deformities,
and
aspects
of some of the more
extravagant
features of French fashion
such as
particolored, striped, checked, or
excessively dagged garments.
Mellinkoff has noted
(ibid., 73)
that medieval
signs
of
alterity
could be
used both
benignly
and
malevolently depending
on the context. When
the artists choose to
denigrate
their characters, they multiply
not
only
sartorial
signs
of
alterity
but also
gestural
and
morphological
ones.
56.
Bibliothbque
nationale de France, MS fr. 2810. John the Fearless had
commissioned two
copies
of this Merveilles, one for himself and one
for his uncle; only Berry's
survives. See J.
Guiffrey,
Inventaires de Jean
Duc de
Berry (Paris, 1984), I, 262, No. 982, and 268, No. 1000; Meiss,
The Boucicaut Master, 43; V. Porter, "The West Looks at the East in
the Middle
Ages:
The Livre des Merveilles du Monde"
(Dissertation,
Johns
Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1977);
and M.-H.
Tesnibre,
E Avril, and M.-T. Gousset, Le livre des merveilles: extrait du Livre
des merveilles du monde, Ms.
fr.
2810
(Tournai, 1999). Berry's library
already
contained an unillustrated
copy
of Marco Polo's account and an
illustrated
manuscript
of this and other travel narratives. Porter
("The
West Looks at the
East,"10) suggests
that in France, volumes of travel
literature were
popular gifts, particularly
at New Year
celebrations;
perhaps
this is
why
the most
richly
illuminated
examples
were
pro-
duced in French
courtly
circles.
57. Ibid., 27. This miniaturist received his
appellation
from the book of
hours he created for the French crusader marshal, Jean le
Meingre
or
Boucicaut, about 1409. While the Boucicaut Hours contains
many
of
the elements of eastern costume discussed above, the artist's orientalism
is more
conspicuous
in the Merveilles du monde. For the Boucicaut
Hours, see
P Durrieu, Le Maitre des Heures du marechal Boucicaut
(Paris, 1906);
M. Meiss, The Boucicaut Master
(New York, 1968), 7-22,
131-133, Figs.
1-44.
58. Hansen, Mongol Costume, 167, 183-186.
59. Porter, "The West Looks at the East," 104-108. The artists of the Mer-
veilles du monde made use of such extra-textual
propaganda
elsewhere
in the
manuscript, including equally
incorrect references to Muslim can-
nibalism
(ibid., 104).
See also J. H. Moran Cruz, "Popular
Attitudes
toward Islam in Medieval
Europe,"
in Western Views
of
Islam in Medieval
and
Early
Modern
Europe: Perception of Other, ed. D. R. Blanks and
M. Frassetto
(New York, 1999),
55-81.
60. Timur was able to defeat the Ottoman Turkish leader who outwitted
the French, and
Bayezid
I died a
prisoner
of Timur in 1402. See
Atiya,
The Crusade
of Nicopolis,
120.
61. There are no documents related to the Citd des Dames Master. Manu-
scripts are attributed to his workshop on the basis of style alone. Dat-
ing is based on circumstantial information regarding the patrons and at
times date when an author completed a given text. It is believed the
workshop was operating in Paris as early as 1400. Meiss, The Limbourg
Brothers, 377-382.
62. Ibid., 343.
63. My appreciation to Anne van Buren for this information. See R.
Vaughan, Philip the Good: The Apogee of Burgundy (London, 1970),
268.
64. Ibid., 270. Le Voyage d'Outremer de Bertrandon de la Broquibre, ed.
C. Schaefer (Paris, 1892), 61-62, 261; M. W. Labarge, Medieval
Trav-
ellers (New York, 1983), 184-193.
179
65. There is
currently
a
prodigious
volume of literature
addressing
notions
of
alterity
in the Middle
Ages.
Pertinent to this
study
are: P. Freedman
and G.
Spiegel,
"Medievalisms Old and New: The
Rediscovery
of Alter-
ity
in North American Medieval Studies," The American Historical
Review CIII
(1998), 667-704; E R. P. Akehurst and S. C. Van D' El-
den, eds., The
Stranger
in Medieval
Society (Minneapolis, 1997);
and
M. Goodich, ed., Other Middle
Ages:
Witnesses at the
Margins of
Medieval
Society (Philadelphia, 1998).
66. Said, Orientalism, passim.
67. J. J. Cohen, "Hybrids, Monsters, Borderlands: The Bodies of Gerald of
Wales," in The Postcolonial Middle
Ages (New York, 2000), 85-104;
and idem, Monster
Theory: Reading Culture, ed. Cohen
(Minneapolis,
1996).
68. Cohen, Monster
Theory,
132.
180