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The culture of gifts. A courtly phenomenon from a female perspective

Dagmar Eichberger

Eichberger, Dagmar, "The culture of gifts. A courtly phenomenon from a female perspective", dans Eichberger, Dagmar (éd.), Women of distinction : Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria. Davidsfonds, Leuven, 2005, p. 286-295.

Extrait de l’article

In more recent times, the cultural significance of giving and receiving gifts has acquired ever greater recognition, not least because the frequently formalised rituals surrounding this process offer enlightening insights into the courtly milieu during the transition from the Medieval to Early Modern period. In addition, new questions relating to the structure of private collections in general are being raised. Whereas it had hitherto been assumed that an outstanding patron and collector was a person of high social rank whgo extensively commissioned new works, it is now clear that personal collections contained a comparatively large number of items that had been acquired either though inheritance or as gifts. Court commissions were preferably allocated to court artists, though the objects themselves were not always intended for the patron’s personal collection but rather as gifts to others. For example, in 1519 Bernard van Orley, Margaret of Austria’s court painter, executed nine repicas of his official portrait of the regent (cat. 18 and 19), which Margaret subsequently distributed among friends and allies ; not one remained in her residence in Mechelen.

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