Visualization of authority: the Wilton Diptych symbolism and sacralization of the monarch's image
Keywords:Richard II, Wilton Diptych, visualization, symbolism, sacralization, image
The Wilton Diptych is the best painting in the International Gothic style in England. This work of art is the earliest preserved lifetime image of the British monarch. The article touches upon the visualization of Richard II’s power. The author studies how the monarch’s sacred image emerged. Special attention is paid to the Wilton Diptych’s symbols. The author focuses on the ideological usage of visual symbols by the English king. He analyses the characters of the Saints who are accompanying the King: Edward the Confessor, Edmund the Martyr and St. John the Baptist. The Biblical symbolism in the Diptych is highly important as far as the image of Richard may be compared with the one of Christ the Savior. The ideological aspects of the picture were revealed, including the image of Richard as a King-Peacemaker and Crusader King, the mystical marriage between him and his kingdom etc.
The author puts forward an idea that Richard used the Diptych to position himself as a God's chosen king. Having transferred his kingdom to the Virgin Mary, he received a divine mandate to rule.