Introduction: This painting is representative of this time period because it shows Queen Isabella of France returning to her castle. This painting shows a city greeting their queen, which communicates to the viewer how the societies respected and greeted royalty. It is important that people view this art piece so they can understand the deeper meaning of the painting. The painting shows inequalities at the time between royalty and civilians, and men and women, yet it also shows an extremely powerful queen that doesn’t live up to the stereotypical “weak” woman. This painting is relevant today because it shows we have come a long way equality-wise, but we still have a ways to go.
Overview: The painting looks as though it popped out of a picture book, with a painting at the top and words underneath with decor and design that fills all of the empty space. The painting shows Queen Isabella of France, mentioned above, being carried through the town to a palace on a carriage. There is royalty walking on all sides of the carriage, and a religious figure, possibly the Pope, is greeting the queen at the gateway to the castle. There are civilians standing to the right and on a ledge above the queen to greet her into the palace. The castle is also pictured in the painting, with intricate towers and window designs.
Parts: A few noticeably important details of the painting are the many fleur-de-lis, where the men and women are painted in the picture, as well as where the eyes in the people of the painting are focused. The fleur-de-lis represent French royalty, perfection, light, and life, which makes sense in this painting since they are welcoming a French queen to the castle. The men and women are separated in the picture, which shows inequality in this time period. The art piece conveys that the men had more privileges than the women, since they are able to stand closer to royalty, even though they are only civilians. The last detail I noticed was where the eyes of the people in the painting are focused. This was a common element artists use in their paintings to highlight an important person or thing in the painting. In this case, the queen is being highlighted.
Title: The title of this piece is Jean Froissart, Chroniques (the ‘Harley Froissart’). The title gives the artist’s name as well as where the art piece originated. Jean Froissart, Chroniques are chronicles of the Hundred Years’ War. This automatically causes me to infer that Queen Isabella of France had something to do with the Hundred Years’ War, which, in fact, she helped initiate.
Interpretation: In the historical context, Queen Isabella of France is likely returning home with many questions to answer about the Hundred Years’ War. The piece also seemed to be trying to portray the idea of how societies greeted their queen as well as how the people of the societies interacted with one another- the royalty and civilians, and the men and women.
Context: The context of this piece is during the Hundred Years’ War. Many people were most likely confused and needed to ask many questions of Queen Isabella. People were awaiting her arrival and were very excited to see her so their questions could be answered. The people aren’t necessarily rejoicing over the fact that she is back, but they are, in no doubt, glad she has arrived to help guide them through the war.
Conclusion: This painting represents a medieval society greeting their leader after learning about a new war that has been waged. The painting is important to what we are studying because it can give us visual insight into the Hundred Years’ War, as well as Queen Isabella of France, which we have yet to learn about. It can also teach us how societies greet their leaders in medieval times, along with the inequalities that come along with greeting their leaders.