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Journal > Volumes > 37 (2006) / 1 (Spring)
The Guises, the Body of Christ, and the Body Politic
Jeanne Harrie
California State University, Bakersfield

This article reexamines Léonard Limosin’s painted enamel The Triumph of the Eucharist and of the Catholic Faith (executed between 1561 and 1563) in the light of recent scholarship on the French religious wars and the social and political uses of the Eucharist. It argues that the enamel expresses the Guise family’s frustration with Catherine de’Medici’s accommodation of the Calvinists on the eve of the religious wars and exalts the family’s defense of the body politic through its defense of the faith and the Eucharist. By presenting Antoinette de Bourbon, the mother of the Guises, in triumph, it opposes her to Catherine and her family and offers an early statement of the Guise family’s claims to religious and political leadership.

Pages: 43 - 57