«Ni lla pora nuza baisar»: Physical Love and Love Conversations in the Illustrated Manuscript of the Roman de Jaufre (Paris, BNF, fr. 2164)

Anna Lisa Vitolo


The illustrated manuscript of the Roman de Jaufre is not as simple and naïf as we may think. It is well organized, with approximately 250 illustrated scenes for only 110 folios. The images are always close to the part of the text they illustrate. In the first part of the manuscript we see mainly fighting and chivalrous adventures, with a very realistic, crude, and vivid style. In the second part, after the change of scribe, we see more courtly scenes, with the banquets and the joy of the court for the marriage between the two main characters. On the first folio a winged cupid is shooting an arrow, and the only inhabited initial of the manuscript depicts woman, maybe Brunissen, at the moment of the engagement. In contrast, the image of the marriage looks more like a coronation scene. We know that the roman was dedicated to a king of Aragon; we also know, from codicological, stylistic, and textual evidence, that the manuscript is dated around the second half of the thirteenth century. Therefore, I propose to search for the original context of production the cultured milieu that surrounded the court of Peter the Great of Aragon and Constance of Sicily.


Love; senses; illuminated manuscripts; Middle Ages; Roman de Jaufre; Occitan language; King of Aragon; Aljafería; Zaragoza

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