Monday, February 28, 2011

A story

Drew asked me a good question about how I originaly became interested in the Fleur-de-lis
Initially I thought that the Fleur-de-lis was a print makers trademark and at the time I was taking some courses on printmaking and felt part of that heritage. One afternoon while shopping I came across a hair stick which I thought was elegant and refined I purchased it thinking how strange it should be that a print makers trademark should be duplicated as a hair pin not at all what it was intended to represent.Later I took an art history class which covered Renaissance up until the present day. In class we came across a portrait painting of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud.Depicted on the kings cloak were fleur-de-lis in multitudes.Now that I had encountered this image a couple of times I became more aware of it and started seeing it everywhere. Images like the boy scouts emblem and clothing worn today so I became interested in this images resurgence/revival and the repetition of the image itself. I wanted to find out how it started and what it really meant but now I am lost in a maze of fleur-de-lis and I am not attempting to discover its origins but rather how it is used.
After class today and after Drew asked me that question I was reminded of why I choose this topic. My approach so far has been to fulfill requirements but I want to change that and get lost in research and find out what I can . So I was thinking that if I approached the blog differently and treated it more of a daily account of my progress i might stop thinking of this topic as a class and more of an antedote to satisfy my curiousity I would move further along. So far I have no google alerts with regards to the fleur-de-lis image. As far as sources I have not yet recieved the ILL's and it will most likely take at least a month for the books FrancThe Fleur de lis of the kings of France, 1258-1488 or Crowns, Cross, and " fleur-de-lis", an essay on Pierre Le Mayne's baroque epic " Saint Louis" to be found and shipped to the UVU library. All the sources I have found have been through Art Oxford Online. I need to use Wikipedia just as a starting point to find other sources and I still want to look up the lead Courtney Davis gave me on Heraldry

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fleur-de-lis update

I have begun to read a new article and will have to start annotating information that I have already read and find relevant to my research on the fleur-de-lis. I will posts these later so I can start to get some sort of handle on this work in progress. Anyways here is the highlights or finds for the week. Basically the article talks about what regalia is and how it is depicted and the image of prestige it creates for the person it attempts to define.
Insignia of royal authority presented to a sovereign as acknowledgement of his status.These may be divided into two categories: those worn or carried by a ruler, and those borne before or near him as tokens of his character, power and status. Regalia represent kingship and nationhood, combining military and religious symbolism and endowing the wearer with the God-given right to rule. Some regalian objects were granted to princes and to grand dukes and other ranks of nobility, as well as to religious and some civic authorities. European regalia and their usage have been little altered since c. AD 800; although regalia were made for newly created modern European states, their forms echo historical precedent, with ornament influenced by current fashion, and they were seldom worn.

Depictions of regalia in art are also an important source. These fall into three main categories: as part of the coin or seal portrait of the ruler; in paintings or sculptures of coronations; and on effigies or in state and dynastic portraits. The first category needs to be used with discrimination, since both could be copied from older or contemporary sources. Most early medieval coins, for example, were based on Roman or Byzantine prototypes and owe nothing to contemporary practice in the countries issuing them. Seals, too, were often based on a design from another country; that of Henry III of England made in 1218 was imitated in Norway and Aragon, while several Great Seals had the name altered and served more than one monarch.The earliest depictions of Western kings and emperors in their regalia are found in the Gospels and other books made for the later Carolingian and Ottonian rulers , and similar examples can be found in other countries. Chronicles often included illustrations showing the king enthroned, sometimes being crowned but more often alone, and the dress, like that on the seals, suggests that a crown-wearing rather than a coronation was intended. A special type of coronation image, originating in Byzantium, depicted the king or emperor standing, sometimes flanked by two bishops (as in the miniature of Charles the Bald; Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 1141, fol. 2v), being crowned by the Hand of God. Sculptures depicting coronations are rare, but Henry V is so depicted in his chantry at Westminster Abbey, London.Royal effigies normally depicted the ruler in crown-wearing robes or, more rarely, those worn at the coronation.

The 1st Bible of Charles the Bald (845–6; Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 1., fol. 423r) depicts him wearing a crown with fleurs-de-lis, the most common type of Western crown throughout the Middle Ages; other cresting devices could be set on the rim.

John A. Goodall. "Regalia." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 25 Feb. 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


After viewing a couple of exhibits displayed at Brigham Young University Museum of Art (MOA) I stopped into their shop and stumbled upon this notebook. The fleur-de-lis image is incorporated into the crown.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Googling Fleur-de-lis

During the past week I have spent some time googling and skimmed through about six pages of the ten or more pages of results. I have learned which words to enter to limit my search so that I will not be sifting through so many medical proceedures that involve the fleur-de-lis. Through the google scholar I have come across two books which I am in the process of recieving through an inter library loan (ILL) with the UVU library (which by the way is free.) I have also found a few articles, which I am reading through while I wait for the ILL's to come in, on a search under art, film, and theatre listing of the article search available on UVU's library website. Through reading some of these articles I have learned that the fleur-de-lis image predates Louis XIV, who reigned during the sevententh century, and shows up during the twelth century and possibly earlier. The fleur-de-lis image appeared on french coins at one point and I have been given a lead to look into heraldry which will take this search further.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Happened upon this while reading an article. Anyone know why or how this image is associated with Mardi Gras? All I could find out is that Mardi Gras is French for fat tuesday.Seems to make a possible connection with Louis XIV.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

wall or fire hydrant of information on the fleur de lis

I in some ways have hit a wall in that I cannot find any books that directly confront the image of the fleur de lis but I can find books about Louis XIV and some of the artisans who created an image of power for him. Also books about the impact of visual images.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fluer de lis: the reshaping of an image

Is the topic to broad?

In trying to refine my topic I have come up with a few questions to guide my research.
The questions I would like to answer:
What makes the image of the fleur de lis so successful?
How does it lend itself to so many sources without weakening its strength or impact?
Why do we never tire of seeing this image or fail to notice its existence?
Does the appearance of the fluer de lis have any possible connections with how the image was represented under Louis XIV reign?

Monday, February 7, 2011

New ideas of how to connect my areas

I have been thinking how I could better integrate my topic.An idea of keeping a sighting journal of when,where, and in or under what context I have seen the fleur de lis occurred to me. A possible exhibition of this along with fleur de lis memorabilia might be a culminating experience.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Fleur de Lys the origin and icon

The power of the visual image is astounding and the impact an image has on humanity is even more so. How can one image be so successful that it in time comes to represent so many things? The origin of the fleur de lys icon and how it has changed over time is most intriguing. From being the symbol of royalty for King Louis XIV, the Printmakers mark, the Boy Scout emblem, and the clothing and apparel that people wear every day: the fleur de lys has been a major part of culture. The fleur de lys has been a symbol of power and organization in each facet that it represents. People continue to use the fleur de lys to set themselves or organization apart from others. In essence the wearing of the fleur de lys continues to mark all those who would perhaps unknowingly consider themselves like Louis XIV, of importance.
Images of the fleur de lys are seen everywhere throughout history. Hyacinthe Rigaud’s adorns Louis XIV robes in a pattern of fleur de lys. Today in the clothing industry this symbol is seen on t-shirts and the back pockets of jeans to name a few places. In accessories it can be seen adorning the tops of hair sticks. In the academic world it appears on stylized notebooks. Clearly this repetitive use signifies that this image has and continues to send messages to all those who come across the fleur de lys.

What do you want to write about?

I would like to write about an image and how we have seen it used throughout time.
How will the topic require you to use what you’ve learned in both your emphases?
My emphases are graphic design and humanities. Graphic design delves into images and what they come to represent in a practical way. Humanities are how images are able to be used and the meaning that we associate with each image. Finding the meaning behind the fluer de lys intrigues me. Is there a general meaning behind this image is something I would like to examine.

Is the topic to broad?

This topic has the possibility to become a wide open subject. A brief overview is how I would like to approach the subject using more of a Socratic method by raising awareness and asking people to look at things in a new light and see what they would not otherwise have noticed.

What kinds of resources will you draw on to pursue this topic?

Books, documentaries, and images: the artist who have branded the fluer de lys

Possible avenues to research:

Historical background
-who was Louis XIV and how did he impact humanities and art through the ages?
Visual image
How have we seen the image represented?
Objects: merchandise, clothing, accessories
-trademarks, ownership, symbols, signs (in connection to the usage of the fluer de lys image and its significant meaning)