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L'illustration du "De avibus" de Hugues de Fouilloy : symbolisme animal et méthodes d'enseignement au Moyen Âge
Rémy Cordonnier
Lille: Université Charles de Gaulle (Lille), 2007

Doctoral thesis, Christian Heck, director.

"The Aviarium is a treaty on the exegetical significance of birds. It was written in the middle of the XIIth century by Hugues of Fouilloy, then prior of a community of Augustinian regular canons. In his dedication and his prologue, Hugues states that he conceived the iconographic program of his treaty so as to make it accessible to the illiterates (illiterati), which places it in the tradition of the "picture as literature of the illiterates" concept. The iconographic program of the Aviarium is nothing less than the equivalent to a text for the religious illiterates who must practise the lectio divina in spite of their difficulty to read scriptures. Its illustrations follow the tradition of visual exegesis, which goes back to the Carolingian period but appears to have been systematized in the XIIth century - especially by the school of Saint-Victor - in this period of emergence of new scholastic exegesis methods. The choice of animal symbolism, and of birds in particular, is first motivated by the fact that Hugues adresses a religious audience, traditionnaly represented by birds in Christian thought, and, secondly, because of the long tradition of the use of bestiaries as teaching manuals in medieval scolae, which also sheds light on the didactic approach of such books. The Aviarium's conception in the middle of the XIIth century and in the context of regular canon orders, made of its iconographic program an unvaluable example of the place and function devoted to pictures within a school of thought that expresses/transcribes both the canonical world and the monastic one, alongside the emergence of the universities and of a new way of thinking." - abstract

5 vol. (540, 230, 159, 9 f.) : ill., fac-sim. ; 30 cm

Language: French

National thesis number: 2007LIL30015
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