SLL40340 Text and Image in the Engraved Book in 17th-century France

Academic Year 2023/2024



Throughout the 17th century, as printing techniques developed and as celebrated artists (such as Rubens, Rembrandt and Le Brun) turned to the less noble genre of engraving, the presence of visual images in the printed book became more common and more complex. While their role has traditionally been perceived as ornamental and illustrative, it is now well recognised that the image frequently carries didactic, epistemological, political and ideological resonances. Furthermore, far from ‘illustrating’ the text, the image frequently points to the silences of the written word: the dialogue between text and image is as much one of disharmony as of harmony.

Within the wide range of published engraved books (epic poetry, dramatic plays, medical treatises, moralist texts, histories, emblem books... ) this module will focus on printed plays and on a wide range of ‘prestige books’ (gallery books, royal entry books, festival books) which serve to glorify both the author and the subject matter. Through analysis of a number of these volumes, we will examine the mechanisms which underpin the fashioning and manipulation of both word and image, and analyse what light they throw on the early modern paradigm of representation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Throughout the 17th century, as printing techniques developed and as celebrated artists (such as Rubens, Rembrandt and Le Brun) turned to the less noble genre of engraving, the presence of visual images in the printed book became more common and more complex. While their role has traditionally been perceived as ornamental and illustrative, it is now well recognised that the image frequently carries didactic, epistemological, political and ideological resonances. Furthermore, far from ‘illustrating’ the text, the image frequently points to the silences of the written word: the dialogue between text and image is as much one of disharmony as of harmony.

Within the wide range of published engraved books (epic poetry, dramatic plays, medical treatises, moralist texts, histories, emblem books... ) this module will focus on printed plays and on a wide range of ‘prestige books’ (gallery books, royal entry books, festival books) which serve to glorify both the author and the subject matter. Through analysis of a number of these volumes, we will examine the mechanisms which underpin the fashioning and manipulation of both word and image, and analyse what light they throw on the early modern paradigm of representation.

Indicative Module Content:

Le Moyne, *La Gallerie des femmes fortes* (1647)

Félibien, *Relation de la feste de Versailles* (1668)

Racine, *Phèdre* (1677)

Royal entry texts of Marie de Médicis' exile

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)

24

Specified Learning Activities

70

Autonomous Student Learning

110

Total

204

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Seminars; critical writing; workshops. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

BA studies or equivalent.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Additional Information:
BA studies or equivalent.


 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Presentation: Mid-term presentation Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No

40

No
Essay: End of term essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No

60

No

Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

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