Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 11922
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Jensen , Robin M.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Femininity of Christ in Early Christian Iconography [suggests that feminine attributes of Jesus, including long, curly hair, smooth, beardless cheeks, and small, protruding breasts, were borrowed from savior deities of the mystery cults, especially Dionysus and Orpheus].
  • Source: Studia Patristica 29, ( 1995): Pages 269 - 282. Papers Presented at the Twelfth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford. Historia, Theologica et Philosophica, Critica et Philologica
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Decorative Arts Art History- Sculpture Femininity in Art Gender in Art Iconography Jesus Christ in Art Transgendered Practices in Art
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 4-5
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  • Illustrations: Fourteen figures. Figures 1 and 2 Ceiling mosaics from Sta Constanza, Rome (late fourth century). "Traditio Legis," bearded and mature, while "Jesus Enthroned" is represented as youthful and beardless. Figure 3 Apse mosaic from Sta. Pudenziana, Rome (late fourth, early fifth century) shows a bearded, mature Jesus. Figure 4 Mosaic from Hosios David, Thessalonica (early fifth century) shows a youthful Jesus. Figure 5 Mosaic of Jesus before Pilate, S. Apollinare Nuovo (early sixth century) portrays him as dark-haired and bearded. Figure 6 Mosaic of Jesus calling the disciples shows him beardless and light haired, also S. Apollinare Nuovo (early sixth century). Figures 7 and 8 Baptism of Jesus, a mature man (Ravenna, Orthodox Baptistery, S. Giovanni in Fonte, mid fifth century) and a youth (Ravenna, Arian Baptistery, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, late fifth or early sixth century). Figure 9 Jesus healing. Jesus is portrayed as a young man with long, curly hair and smooth cheeks while his apostles are bearded (Sarcophagus of Maria Romania Celsa, Arles, circa 350-375). Figure 10 A youthful Jesus washing the apostles' feet (Traditio legis sarcophags, Arles, end of the fourth century). Figure 11 Statuette of Christ misidentified in the past as "The Seated Poetess" because of its feminine features including breasts. Figure 12 Diptych of a patrician with short hair and a beard (Northern Italy, circa 425). Figure 13 Sculpture of Dionysus (Rome, now in the British Museum, circa 150-200). Figure 14 Good Shepherd (Vatican Museum, circa 300).
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  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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