The ’tableau vivant’ - an ephemeral art form in Burgundian civic festivities
Eichberger, Dagmar, "The ’tableau vivant’ - an ephemeral art form in Burgundian civic festivities", dans Parergo, 6A (1988), p. 37-64.
The importance of pageantry in the life of the Burgundian court and the cities of France and the Burgundian Netherlands has long been recognized by scholars working in the field of historical and theatrical studies. Only a few attempts have been made so far to relate theatrical performances and ephemeral art to art objects of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries or to investigate the role of the artist in the preparation of pageants. Emile Mâle is one of the few art historians who has tried to define the role of mystery plays for pictorial representations of various kinds. In his chapter on "Art and the Religious Theatre" he describes the role of mystery plays mostly as a transmitter of ideas which had been developed in religious treatises of the time like the Meditations of the life of Christ attributed to Pseudo-Bonaventura or the Golden Legend by Jacopo da Voragine. Mâle tends to see this process of interaction as a one-way street from the literary texts via the mystery plays to the pictorial representations. Only on the last pages of this chapter does Mâle mention the Tableau Vivant which he characterises as being founded on the tradition of mystery plays, without further pursuing the question.
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