Colloque - Mary of Burgundy. The reign, the 'persona' and the legacy of a European princess

Mary of Burgundy (1457–1482), daughter of Charles the Bold and heir to the Burgundian States, has received relatively little scholarly attention from specialists. Despite an exhibition held at Beaune from November 2000 to February 2001 (Bruges à Beaune. Marie, l’héritage de Bourgogne) as well as a number of biographies of varying merit, her brief reign remains overshadowed by those of her father, Charles the Bold, her husband, Maximilian of Hapsburg, and those of her son and grandson, Philip the Fair and Charles V. Mary’s reign, however short, is nevertheless important in the history of Europe and her absence from scholarly research is all the more surprising given the current interest in the role of women at the Burgundian court, particularly in Mary’s stepmother, Margaret of York, and her own daughter, Margaret of Austria.

On closer inspection, however, it is clear that Mary of Burgundy was a key player in the most important spheres of her day, notably politics, diplomacy, and the arts. On the political front, her involvement in the Great Privilege of 1477 and the crisis which sparked it is well known. However, the precise role played by the duchess and those close to her in this tangled series of events – especially the lessons that she learnt from the experience – are less well understood. More generally, the diplomatic negotiations and military campaigns which had an impact on her reign deserve greater attention from scholars, and the princess’s own role in these needs to be brought to light. Her role as a patron of the arts has recently started to receive more interest beyond the notoriety of the Hours of Mary of Burgundy. However, a number of important works of literature, history and iconography associated with the duchess have yet to be explored. Finally, it also important to consider the image of Mary in historiography, both in the collective memory of her own time and in that of subsequent generations, in order to understand the place that she occupies – or not – in the collective, historical, imagination.

This international colloquium aims to bring together specialists working on the fifteenth century and on Mary’s reign from across the disciplines – literature, manuscript studies, political, social, cultural and economic history, art history, and gender studies – in order to reassess the ‘persona’, the reign and the legacy of Mary of Burgundy in the history of Burgundian and European culture.

Wednesday 4 March / Mercredi 4 mars

Royal Academy of Belgium / Académie royale de Belgique

Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels-Bruxelles

19.30: Keynote Lecture / Conférence inaugurale

Wim Blockmans (Universiteit Leiden), Dynastic Chance and the Great Burgundian Heritage

20.30: Welcome Reception / Cocktail de bienvenue


Thursday 5 March / Jeudi 5 mars

University of Birmingham Brussels Office, Avenue d’Auderghem 22–28, 1040 Brussels-Bruxelles

9.30: Registration and Coffee / Accueil des participants

10.00–10.30: Introduction - Michael Depreter (Université libre de Bruxelles), Jonathan Dumont (Université de Liège), Elizabeth L’Estrange (University of Birmingham), Samuel Mareel (Universiteit Gent)

10.30–12.00: Plenary Session / Session plénière

Mary’s Networks: People and Cities / Le réseau de Marie: les grands et les villes - Chair / Présidence: Marc Boone (Universiteit Gent)

Jean-Marie Cauchies (Académie royale de Belgique – Université Saint-Louis–Bruxelles), Des conseillers protecteurs ? L’entourage politique de Marie de Bourgogne

Violet Soen (KULeuven), Mary and the Croÿ Clan, or How to Reintegrate Transregional Elites at the Court of Burgundy (1477–1482)

Kim Ragetli (Universiteit Leiden), Mary of Burgundy and the Court-City Relations in 1477

12.00–13.30: Lunch / Déjeuner

13.30–15.00: Parallel Sessions / Sessions parallèles

Mary, Italy and France / Marie, l’Italie et la France - Chair / Présidence: Alain Marchandisse (Université de Liège)

Giovanni Ricci (Università degli Studi di Ferrara), Le Nord en Méditerranée. Influx franco-bourguignons à la cour des Este entre Charles le Téméraire et Marie de Bourgogne

Federica Veratelli (Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne), Entre continuité dynastique et pouvoir du luxe. La « Petite Italie » de Marie de Bourgogne

Dominique Le Page (Université de Bourgogne), La perception de Marie en Bourgogne royale


Imaging Mary / Marie mise en image - Chair / Présidence: Adrian Armstrong (Queen Mary, University of London)

William Monter (Northwestern University), Two Major Lessons from the Numismatic History of Mary of Burgundy, Alive and Dead

Johan Oosterman (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), The Making of a Beloved Princess

Susie Speakman Sutch (Universiteit Gent), Illustrating the Death of Mary of Burgundy in Miniatures and Woodcuts. The Manuscripts and Printed Editions of Le Chevalier délibéré by Olivier de La Marche

15.00–15.30: Coffee Break / Pause-café

15.30–17.00: Parallel Sessions / Sessions parallèles

Mary and Manuscript Production / Marie et la production manuscrite de son temps - Chair / Présidence: Elizabeth L’Estrange (University of Birmingham)

Sherry C.M. Lindquist (Western Illinois University, Macomb), Beauty and the Beasts: Rereading the Hours of Mary of Burgundy

Erica O’Brien (University of Bristol), Family and Faith: Sensory Experience and Devotional Memory in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy

Lieve De Kesel (Universiteit Gent), Innovative Decorations in Manuscripts Illuminated for Mary of Burgundy and her Contemporaries

Army and Propaganda as Means of Princely Power during Mary’s Reign /Armée et propagande : moyens du pouvoir princier sous le règne de Marie - Chair / Présidence: Michel de Waha (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Jean Devaux (Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale), Galans de Picardie, de Flandres et d’Artois… La poésie de circonstance sous le règne de Marie de Bourgogne

Michael Depreter (Université libre de Bruxelles), L’armée bourguignonne après la défaite de Nancy. Ruptures et continuités

Friday 6 March / Vendredi 6 mars

University of Birmingham Brussels Office, Avenue d’Auderghem 22–28, 1040 Brussels-Bruxelles

9.00: Coffee / Accueil

9.30–10.30: Plenary Session / Session plénière

Perceptions of a Duchess in Power / Perception d’un pouvoir au féminin - Chair / Présidence: Anne-Marie Legaré (Université de Lille-3)

Olga Karaskova (Bibliothèque nationale de France), Panthasilia virgo in civitatem Tryona amicabiliter recepta fuit. La Joyeuse Entrée de Marie de Bourgogne à Bruges en 1477

Sonja Dünnebeil (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften), Mary, the ‘diplomatic Weapon of Universal Value’ of Charles the Bold

10.30–11.00: Coffee Break / Pause-café

11.00–12.00: Plenary Session / Session plénière

Mary and Female Patronage of the Arts / Marie et le mécénat au féminin - Chair / Présidence: Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier (American University of Paris)

Andrea Pearson (American University, Washington DC), Gender and the Utility of Mary of Burgundy’s Equestrian Seals

Ann Adams (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Familial affection or Staking a Claim? The Tombs of Isabella of Bourbon and Jacques de Bourbon Commissioned by Mary of Burgundy

12.00–14.00: Lunch / Déjeuner

14.00–15.30: Parallel Sessions / Sessions parallèles

Managing Society at Mary’s Court / Économie et société de cour - Chair / Présidence: Jean-Marie Cauchies (Académie royale de Belgique)

Jean-Marie Yante (Université catholique de Louvain), Le règne de Marie de Bourgogne et l’économie de la seconde moitié du XVe siècle

Valérie Bessey (Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris), Étude de l’Hôtel de Marie de Bourgogne

Sofiane Bouhdiba (Université de Tunis), Marie de Bourgogne face à la peste


The Reception of Mary From the Eighteenth Century Onwards / Marie aux Époques moderne et contemporaine - Chair / Présidence: Jan Dumolyn (Universiteit Gent)

Emmanuel Berger (Université de Namur), Disputes autour du cœur de Marie de Bourgogne, fin du XVIIIe siècle

Ann Roberts (Lake Forest College), The Marriage of Mary and Maximilian in the Nineteenth Century

Gilles Docquier (Musée royal de Mariemont – Université Saint-Louis–Bruxelles), Mémoire, culture et historiographie de Marie de Bourgogne en Belgique

16.00–18.00: Manuscript and Early Print Visit at the Royal Library / Découverte manuscrits et premiers imprimés à la Bibliothèque royale de Belgique


Saturday 7 March / Samedi 7 mars

Groeningemuseum, Dijver 12, 8000 Bruges

8.00: Departure for Bruges / Départ pour Bruges

9.45–10.00: Welcome / Accueil by / par Manfred Sellink (Musea Brugge)

10.00–11.30: Plenary Session / Session plénière

The Duchess and the Habsburg Heritage / La duchesse et l’héritage des Habsbourg - Chair / Présidence: Samuel Mareel (Universiteit Gent)

Till-Holger Borchert (Groeningemuseum Brugge), Mary of Burgundy and the Burgundian Wedding in the Imperial Propaganda of Maximilian of Austria

Orsolya Réthelyi (Eötvös Loránd University – Budapest), Oorlof, mijn reyn Keyserlijck bloet, Dien ic so seer beminne. The Image of Mary of Burgundy as Cultural Capital for Habsburg Propaganda

Manfred Hollegger (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften), Queen of the Fire Steel, Queen Rich in Honours. Mary of Burgundy within the ‘Gedechtnus’ (Memoria) of Maximilian I

11.30–14.00: Lunch / Déjeuner, Visit to the Groeninge Museum and Guided Tour of the City / Visite du Groeningemuseum et visite guidée du centre-ville

14.00–15.30: Plenary Session / Session plénière

Fashioning Mary’s Legacy / L’image immédiate et l’héritage de la duchesse - Chair / Présidence: Jonathan Dumont (F.R.S.–FNRS – Université de Liège / Transitions)

Alain Marchandisse (F.R.S.–FNRS – Université de Liège / Transitions), Christophe Masson (Université de Liège / Transitions), L’ultime voyage de Marie de Bourgogne. Des funérailles de duc ou de duchesse?

Lisa Demets (FWO – Universiteit Gent), The Ideology and Representation of ‘our Princess’ Mary of Burgundy in the Fifteenth Century Manuscripts of the Excellente Cronike van Vlaenderen Tradition

Pierre-Gilles Girault (Monastère Royal de Brou), Marguerite d’Autriche: l’héritage de Marie

15.30–15.45: Coffee Break / Pause-café

15.45–17.00: Roundtable: Mary 600 Years On: Where Next? / Table ronde: Marie de Bourgogne, six siècles après, bilan et perspectives

Participants: Adrian Armstrong (Queen Mary, University of London), Éric Bousmar (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles), Jelle Haemers (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Walter Prevenier (Universiteit Gent), Ann Roberts (Lake Forest College)

17.30: Return to Brussels / retour vers Bruxelles

Programme complet Mary of Burgundy
Document Adobe Acrobat 130.5 KB

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4-7 mars 2015

4 mars : Académie royale de Belgique, Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Bruxelles

5-6 mars : University of Birmingham Brussels Office, Avenue d’Auderghem 22–28, 1040 Bruxelles

7 mars : Groeningemuseum, Dijver 12, 8000 Bruges

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Contact :

Comité organisateur : 

Michael Depreter (FNRS-ULB)

Michel de Waha (ULB)

Jonathan Dumont (FNRS -ULg)

Elizabeth L’Estrange (University of Birmingham)

Alain Marchandisse (FNRS-ULg)

Samuel Mareel (FWO-UGent)

Jürgen Pieters (UGent)

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