The Art of Matthew Paris in the Chronica Majora

Lewis, Suzanne
Date published: 
January 1987

Matthew Paris's illustrated Chronica Majora is not only a familiar landmark in English medieval history but also an important milestone in the history of Gothic art. Produced by a man of remarkably diverse and modern interests, Paris's drawings deal with contemporary political, social, economic, and religious issues and events; they also provide some of the earliest and most extensive pictorial documents of medieval heraldry, cartography, and natural science.

In this first full study of the Chronica Majora illustrations, Suzanne Lewis interprets Paris's art both in relation to his text and to the thirteenth-century world in which it was created - the turbulent period of the Mongol invasions and the last Crusades. By examining the artist's origins, training, and stylistic development, she redefines Matthew Paris's role in thirteenth-century English art.

Available in the USA from the University of California Press