Tuesday, May 31, 2016

14C Tension between The Garden of Love & The Hortus Conclusus

Charles V enthroned between Spiritual Power (Hortus Conclusus) and Temporal Power (The Garden of Love), Le Songe du Vergier (British Library Royal 19 C IV, fol. 1v), 1378

Charles V (Charles the Wise), 1338–80, was Dauphin & King of France (1364–80). Son of King John II, Charles served as Regent during his father's captivity in England (1356–60, 1364), Charles dealt successfully with the Jacquerie revolt; with the intrigues of King Charles II of Navarre; & with the movement headed by Étienne Marcel, who armed Paris against the dauphin. Becoming king in 1364, Charles stabilized the coinage & took steps to rid France of the companies of écorcheurs, marauding bands of discharged soldiers. Aided by his great general, Bertrand Du Guesclin, he almost succeeded in driving the English from France. Charles & his ministers, the Marmousets, strengthened the royal authority, introduced a standing army, built a powerful navy, & instituted reforms that put fiscal authority more firmly in the hands of the crown. A patron of the arts & of learning, he established the royal library & interested himself in the embellishment of the Louvre & in the construction of the palace at Saint-Pol. However, his love of pomp & his lack of economy put a severe economic burden on the country.