Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Arts
Pulido Rull, Ana
Committee Member/Second Reader
Committee Member/Third Reader
Manuscript and print scholars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries have deemed Rouen a ‘poor third’ to the workshops in Paris and Lyon. Lacking the cultural status and political influence of these two major centers of book production, Rouen’s manuscript tradition has been coined an “eclectic” group of illuminators who were limited to a local, discontinuous demand for books and whose regional role hardly even bears examination. However, Between 1419 and 1449, Rouen was an epicenter of political and economic exchange between Normandy and England. The city’s manuscript ateliers experienced a period of unparalleled patronage from an international, elite clientele, and the city’s booming export market to England attracted artistic talent from Paris, which experienced a period of economic and artistic decline beginning in the 1420s. As a result of Rouen’s unprecedented manuscript production and cultural exchange with England during the first half of the fifteenth century, Rouen’s subsequent printing industry during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was able to outcompete every major printing center in Europe—including Paris—in the production of liturgical books for the English market.
The focus of this study is twofold. The first part of the paper examines Rouen’s historical conditions and the city’s manuscript production during the first half of the fifteenth century. The second part investigates how Rouen’s printing ateliers captured the export market for English liturgical books during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In this paper, I argue that Rouen’s rise to political and economic preeminence during the English occupation of Normandy established a tradition of English aristocratic patronage in the city and attracted talent away from Paris to Rouen, the new artistic capital of France. These two phenomena, I argue, laid the foundation for Rouen’s success in capturing the export market for printed liturgical books to England. Rouen, rather than being France’s poor stepchild of print, was in fact a vibrant printing center that experienced a brief, yet brilliant period of dominance in the production and marketing of Sarum missals. It achieved this dominance largely through the voluminous production, material hybridity, and nationalistic marketing strategies of one Rouennais printer, Martin Morin.
medieval manuscripts, art markets, early print culture, Renaissance studies, medieval studies
Hodgson, K. (2023). A Poor Third? A Reexamination of Manuscript and Print Markets in Fifteenth and Sixteenth-Century Rouen. School of Art Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/artsuht/3
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