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Judith in the New Year, Day 1

01 Jan

Every girl needs a datebook.

Unknown, “Judith with the head of Holofernes” from Heures du connétable Anne de Montmorency, c.1549-1551, illumination on parchment, 21 × 14 cm, Condé Museum, Château de Chantilly, Chantilly, France

Even if the girl is a Duke and Peer of France, Marshal and Grand Master of France, Baron des Baux and constable.   Yes, Anne de Montmorency is a man.  Like a Boy named Sue.   Named in a time and place in which “Anne” was epicene:   a name unmarked in terms of grammatical gender, thus can be both masculine or feminine.

In a return to Church orthodoxy in the reign of Henry II, interest in books of hours at the court of France was renewed.   Always one to keep up with the trends, around 1549 Anne commissioned five different painters to produce Heures du connétable Anne de Montmorency.    The manuscript is composed of several distinct parts containing 14 full-page miniatures.

What a way for Judith to start the year:  in the list of the Top Fourteen.    Is that a lucky number?

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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Glory

 

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