Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3518
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Drewer , Lois.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Jephthah and His Daughter in Medieval Art: Ambiguities of Heroism and Sacrifice [The author argues that the meaning of Jephthah's daughter's sacrifice fluctuates widely in medieval art and exegesis. The Biblical warrior Jephthah rashly promises God that he will offer in sacrifice the first person who greets him when he returns home after his victory over the Ammonites. Jephthah's daughter's death is figured as a type of the eucharist, a brave hero willing to give her life for her people, a virgin dedicated to God (sometimes walled into an anchorhold rather than killed) and, negatively, as synagogue concerned with worldly attractions. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Insights and Interpretations: Studies in Celebrations of the Eighty-Fifth Anniversary of the Index of Christian Art.  Edited by Colum Hourihane.  Index of Christian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University in association with Princeton University Press, 2002.  Pages 35 - 59.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Iconography Illumination of Manuscripts Jephthah's Daughter (Biblical Figure) in Art Typology Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: General
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Twenty-one figures. Figure One Abraham sacrificing Isaac, encaustic painting on the north pier of the apse (Mount Sinai, Monastery of St. Catherine). Figure Two Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, encaustic painting on the south pier of the apse (Mount Sinai, Monastery of St. Catherine). Figure Three Sacrifice of Isaac and sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter (Monastery of St. Anthony). Figure Four Jephthah's vow (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Octateuch, Ms. gr. 747, fol. 246v). Figure Five Jephthah's victory over the Ammonites (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Octateuch, Ms. gr. 747, fol. 246v). Figure Six Meeting of Jephthah and his daughter; Lament of Jephthah's daughter and her companions (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Octateuch, Ms. gr. 747, fol. 247r). Figure Seven Frontispiece for Book of Judges (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Leo Bible, Ms. Reg. gr. 1, fol. 206r). Figure Eight Meeting of Jephthah and his daughter (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, St. Louis Psalter, Ms. lat. 10525, fol. 53v). Figure Nine Lament of Jephthah's daughter and her companions; Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, St. Louis Psalter, Ms. lat. 10525, fol. 54r). Figure Ten Meeting of Jephthah and his daughter; Lament of Jephthah's daughter and her companions; Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter; Abimelech slaying brethren (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, Morgan Old Testament Picture Books, Ms. M. 638, fol. 13v). Figure Eleven Israelites worshiping idol and asking forgiveness; Jephthah made captain of the Gileadites (London, British Library, Queen Mary Psalter, Ms. Royal 2 B VII, fol. 40r). Figure Twelve Jephthah cast out of the city; Jephthah sought by the elders of Gilead (London, British Library, Queen Mary Psalter, Ms. Royal 2 B VII, fol. 40v). Figure Thirteen Jephthah's vow and sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter; Jephthah's victory over the Ammonites (London, British Library, Queen Mary Psalter, Ms. Royal 2 B VII, fol. 41r). Figure Fourteen Jephthah's vow; Meeting of Jephthah and his daughter (Amiens, Bibliothèque Municipale, Pamplona Bible, Ms. lat 108, fol. 73r). Figure Fifteen Jephthah and his daughter; Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter (Amiens, Bibliothèque Municipale, Pamplona Bible, Ms. lat. 108, fol. 73v). Figure Sixteen Presentation of the Virgin Mary; Legend of the Holy Table; Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter; Queen of Persia in hanging garden (Darmstadt, Hessische Landes-und Hochschulbibliothek, Speculum humanae salvationis, Ms. 2505, fols. 10v-11r). Figure Seventeen Günther Zainer, Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, block print in Speculum humanae salvationis, printed in Augsburg circa 1473. Figure Eighteen Jephthah and his daughter cycle (Vienne, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Bible moralisée, Ms. Vindobonensis 2554, fol. 61r). Figure Nineteen Jephthah and his daughter cycle continues (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bible moralisée, Ms. Vindobonensis 2554, fol. 61v). Figure Twenty The Oak Tree (Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Spegel der Minschliken Zalicheid, Ms. GkS 79fo, fol. 8v). Figure Twenty-One Parts of the Oak Tree (Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliothek, Spegel der Minschliken Zalicheid, Ms. GkS 79fo, fol. 9v).
  • Table:
  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: Index of Christian Art
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0691099901
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: