Enguerran de Marigny and the Church of Notre-Dame at Ecouis: Art and Patronage in the Reign of Philip the Fair
In this first study in English of a major monument of early fourteenth-century France, Dorothy Gillerman takes a wide-ranging view of Marigny's ... Show synopsis In this first study in English of a major monument of early fourteenth-century France, Dorothy Gillerman takes a wide-ranging view of Marigny's foundation of the church of Notre-Dame at Ecouis. Although comparatively little known, the beautiful church at Ecouis is intact and well documented--a rare survivor from a crucial period in French art. Marigny's project reflects artistic and social changes resulting from the growth of private wealth and individual self definition, erected at a moment when the great cathedral workshops were starting to break up. Analysis of the building fabric, turning on the relationship between local and metropolitan methods of construction, reveals new attitudes toward architectural design that were emerging in the first decades of the 14th century. The sculptured figures, carved in the royal ateliers in Paris, are without precedent in the way they enter the viewer's physical and psychological space. Themes of favor and privilege pervade the many aspects of Marigny's commission suggesting their powerful resonance for the people of the time. The entire project, including the establishment of the town and market at Ecouis as well as the construction and decoration of the church, took shape at the nexus of a set of relationships that linked the patron founders, their royal patrons, and the honored dead with patron saints and the patronage of the Virgin. In this circle of reciprocity the gift itself, the church at Ecouis, becomes both the setting and container of symbols that unite a successful passage through the world with the anticipated journey of the soul.