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Mullally, Robert. "Flemish Art and Burgundian Dance, c.1470 to c.1500."

Mullally, Robert. "Flemish Art and Burgundian Dance, c.1470 to c.1500." In Terpsichore and her Sisters: The Relationship between Dance and other Arts [Proceedings of the Early Dance Circle Conference held on 8-10 April 2016], edited by Georgina Boyes, 47-49. Cambridge: Early Dance Circle, 2017.


The relationship between iconography and dance has engaged scholars for a long time. The issue is how far we can depend on depictions as being accurate representations of dance and aspects of dance. It is a matter that concerns the entire history of the subject, but has particular relevance to the dance of the early Renaissance. For although we have dance manuals from the period both in French and in Italian, they are not sufficiently detailed as to provide us with all the information that the modern researcher requires. Thus art and its reliability as a source has come into focus. Yet while one researcher cites more than a dozen depictions, which supposedly represent the French basse danse, and which he regards as being useful in the main, another denies that the iconography can have any value at all. A small number of examples, however, throws an interesting light on the subject. These are Flemish miniatures dating from the second half of the fifteenth century. They are therefore contemporary with an important period of the dance, and as they originate from the same area as the famous Brussels manuscript, they should arouse our curiosity.

Year of publication: 2017

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