Courtly Love Definition
Courtly love is a relationship that is modeled on the feudal relationship between a Knight and his liege lord. In the concept of Courtly love, the Knight is in charge of serving his courtly lady, which can also be referred to as love service, with the obedience and loyalty that he owes to his liege lord. In this paper, a work of courtly love will be analyzed.
The work that is chosen is from the ‘Meister des Codex Manasse” which is also called as ‘Codex Manesse’and this manuscript is defined as “the most beautifully illumined German manuscript in centuries” and includes works of a total of about 135. The painting is the depiction of Ulrich von Singenberg and this work of art was painted between 1305 and 1315 A.D. The painting is an illuminated manuscript.
Courtly Love Rules
The work of art chosen for this paper reflects most of the important characteristics of courtly love and chivalry. Theare are some certain courtly love rules One of the main characteristics of courtly love is that the lover becomes the servant of his lady and her love should be difficult to obtain. In the work of art by Ulrich von Singenberg, the first characteristic of courtly love is perfectly matched. In the painting, we see that the lover kneels in front of his lover and the lady holds a spherical object above her lover’s head.
In addition to this, the lover holds his hands in front of his lady like he is prying for something. In this sense, we see that the lover is trying to obtain his lady’s love and this detail in the painting shows in a way that the love of the lady his difficult to obtain.
Secondly, one of the rules of courtly love is that a man in love is always fearful of either being rejected or found out. In the work of art by Ulrich von Singenberg we see that the lover man has a face expression that gives the audience the feeling that the man is in a fearful situation. As mentioned before, the man holds his hands in a way like he is prying for the lady’s love and the face expression of the man shows us that the man is fearful of being rejected by his lover.
Another characteristic of courtly love and chivalry is that the man praises the woman he loves and the man sees his lady in a superior position than him and he knows that he can approach his lady only with veneration. From the work of art, we see exactly the same characteristic with the courtly love. The man kneels in front of his lady and this shows us that the man approaches to his lady with veneration. While the man is kneeling down in front of the lady, the lady is standing in an upright posture which makes the lady in a superior position than the man.
Apart from these, one of the other characteristics of courtly love suggests briefly that the lady is in control of the lover. In this work of art, it is crystal clear that the lady is controlling her lover because the lover stands in a very stooped position and the image is given to the audience that the level cannot move without the permission of his lady. Lastly we see images of chivalry which are the sword and the helmet which are around the man.
Courtly Love and Chivalry
Apart from the relationship between the courtly love and chivalry and the work of art by Singenberg, there is a reason lying behind choosing this piece for this paper. The first and most important reason for choosing this work is that it is included in Codex Manase which is the single most comprehensive source of Middle High German Minnesang poetry written and illustrated around 1304. Secondly, it shows most of the main characteristics of courtly love. Also, the helmet and the deer images differentiates this work from the other works in Codex Manase which reflect chivalry.
To conclude, this work of art by Ulrich von Singenberg reflects the characteristics of courtly love and chivalry which are being servant for the lady, the difficulty of obtaining a lady’s love, not moving without the permission of the lady and the lady is in control of the lover. The work meets these characteristics by the facial expressions and the body images of the man and the lady. This work of art was chosen as it is included in Codex Manase and it gives unique signs of chivalry.