Liber Feudorum Ceritaniae - Illustrations

Illustrations

The 32 miniatures are, with the exception of the one on the first folio, from the hand of a single artist. There is one for each document in the chartulary and they are consistent in size, with a maximum height of 11.5 cm and maximum width of 9.5 cm. They are all alike in content, depicting the count either receiving his vassals' hands in his own or negotiating with them from his throne. The scene is always set in an interior marked by large arches and columns. Despite this, the miniatures have not been the object of any serious artistic or iconographic study.

The first folio, by a different artist from the rest, depicts Isarn and Dalmau, lords of Castellfollit, rendering homage to Wifred II of Cerdagne. It is of a higher calibre than the other miniatures and is painted in the Byzantinist style that was becoming dominant in Catalonia around 1200. This artist has been identified with the painter of the altar fronts at Sant Sadurní de Rotgers and Aviá. He also illustrated a manuscript of Augustine of Hippo's De civitate Dei. It is more artistic than the Liber, but the Byzantine influence is still acutely felt.

The lesser artist of the remaining 31 miniatures was probably a native Catalan accustomed to painting altars. He appears influenced by contemporary enamel production, especially of the south French school centred on Limoges and active in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Twelve of the miniatures are unfinished and reveal that the colour and the golden background was added on top of a prior drawing. Though his miniatures are not artistically noteworthy, they are a rich documentary record of the major Catalan figures of the era:

  • Folio 6v. depicts a convention between Folch, Bishop of Urgell, and count William I of Cerdagne concerning the castle of Cardona, of which Folch was lord.
  • Folio 9v. depicts Saint Ermengol, Bishop of Urgell, swearing an oath of fealty to Wifred II.
  • Folio 71 depicts the betrothal of the Gausfred III of Roussillon to the Ermengarda, daughter of the Trencavel viscount Bernard Ato IV and his wife Cecilia. Such depictions were rare in medieval manuscripts.
  • Folio 73 depicts Alfonso the Battler, King of Aragon, receiving the homage of the men of the deceased count of Roussillon, Guinard.

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