Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 29395
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Timmermann , Achim,
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Frau Venus, the Eucharist, and the Jews of Landshut
  • Source: Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism.  Edited by Herbert L. Kessler and David Nirenberg.  university of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.  Pages 183 - 202.
  • Description: The author analyzes the sculpture of the Living Cross in the west portal tympanum of Saint Martin's church in Landshut. It represents Synagoga as a sexualized seductress collapsing as a hand from the Living Cross strikes her crown with a sword. The banderole next to her reads "Nun wird Frau Venus vor die Welt hinausgeworfen" ("Now Frau Venus will be cast from this world."). Timmermann connects this iconography to events that happened to Landshut's Jewish community in the years immediately before this art work was completed in 1452. In 1449 the Jews were accused of Host desecration and ritual infanticide. The following year Duke Ludwig IX ordered the arrest of all Jews in his territory. They had three days to choose exile or conversion. The synagogue in Landshut, close to Saint Martin's church, was converted into a church.
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Antisemitism Art History- Sculpture Jews Landshut, Bayern, Germany- Church of Saint Martin, Living Cross in the West Portal Tympanum Personification Politics in Art Synagoga, Allegorical Figure for the Old Law and for Judaism
  • Geographic Area: Germany
  • Century: 15
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  • Illustrations: Seven figures. Figure One Living Cross (Poniky, St. Francis Church, 1415). Figure Two Living Cross tympanum (Landshut, Church of St. Martin, 1452). Figure Three Living Cross detail of Synagoga (Landshut, Church of St. Martin, 1452). Figure Four Joseph Huber, longitudinal section of Landshut's synagogue, circa 1807 (Landshut, Stadtarchiv). Figure Five Photograph of present-day Landshut, view of the Dreifaltigkeitsplatz (the area of the former Jewish quarter), as seen from directly below the figure of Synagoga. Figure Six Living Cross (Wasserburg, Church of St. James, circa 1460-1470). Figure Seven Tabernacle altar (Landshut, Church of St. Martin, circa 1424).
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  • Author's Affiliation: University of Michigan
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2011.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 9780812242850
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