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A two-page spread of The Book of Hours. One page has text, some of which is written in red, and the other boasts a black-and-white nativity scene with Joseph and Mary accompanied by a cow kneeling in front of the infant Jesus with an intricately detailed outline of the city skyline behind them.
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Autour du Livre

Autour du Livre: Book Culture in Old Regime France

An exhibition in honor of Colette H. Winn

Autour du Livre (About the Book) is a digital display accompanying the virtual seminar of the same name. The seminar Autour du Livre was held at Washington University in St. Louis in October 2020 as a tribute to the career of Professor Colette H. Winn, a renowned specialist in sixteenth-century French literature and culture.

This exhibition highlights holdings in the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections that relate to Professor Winn’s research on Early Modern French literary culture. Professor Winn’s research included studies on women as authors, owners, and consumers of books from the later Middle Ages through the Revolution; the material history of the book; and the role of the printed text in Early Modern court culture.

The exhibition is digital and separated into five parts: Book Culture, Fashioning Women’s Identities, Poètes Courtisans, Visualizing the Text, and Defending Women. There is also a biography section profiling Professor Winn.

This image from Autour du Livre is a nativity scene with Joseph and Mary on either side of the infant Jesus with the three wise men looking in through the manger's window.
An illumination titled “Incipit officium beate Marie uirginis secund’usum romane eccie” from The Book of Hours. The book illustrates the period’s evolving technologies of book production, but also the persistence of medieval forms and techniques into the sixteenth century.
This image from Autour du Livre is a simple crucifixion scene, with Mary and John standing on each side, and a decorative background rather than a landscape. Above Christ's head is the inscription INRI ( Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum , “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews”).
An illumination titled “Domine labia mea aperies” from The Book of Hours. These illuminations offer a window onto late medieval and Early Modern book culture in the French cultural sphere.