The Book of the Queen (Harley 4431) is one of the most exquisite and fascinating manuscripts of late medieval France. Compiled for Queen Isabeau of Bavaria between 1411 and 1415 by Christine de Pizan and her small workshop, the codex is one of the largest and most illuminated of Christine’s works. While the literature on the poems of the book is vast, the miniatures have received significantly less attention. I endeavor to contribute to the literature on Christine de Pizan’s illuminations, as they serve as important amplifications of her allegories. Therefore, it is necessary to examine her miniatures in order to understand her meaning. Through the analysis of the pictorial cycles in the Book of the Queen, with emphasis on the frontispiece and other presentation scenes, I argue that these illuminations are visual evidences of Christine’s participation in radical systems of patronage and a display of her authorial-auctoritas.


Cosgriff, Tracy


Art and Art History


Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Medieval Studies


Christine de Pizan, Book of the Queen, illumination, frontispiece, authorship, late medieval France, patronage

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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