Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3702
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Guest , Gerald B.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Picturing Women in the First "Bible moralisée" ["It is the goal of this article to extend the work of Chapman and Lowden through an examination of the iconography of women in what is likely the first "Bible moralisée," Ö.N.B. 2554. Beyond this, I wish to consider how a "Bible moralisée" might have been read by a royal woman in the first half of the thirteenth century and what this might tell us about the manuscripts as artistic projects." Page 108].
  • 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 106 - 130.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Bibles Moralisees Iconography Illumination of Manuscripts Readers Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 13
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Manuscript; Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex 2554. Consists of 131 folios with the biblical narrative from Genesis to 4 Kings 8. There are eight roundels per page with biblical scenes paired with commentary scenes. The author suggests it may have bee
  • Illustrations: Thirteen figures. Figure One The arrangements for Rebecca's marriage to Isaac in illustrated roundels with explanatory captions in French (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, fol. 5*v). Figure Two Rebecca gives birth, she favors Jacob, and congratulates him on his deception of his father (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, fol. 6r). Figure Three Scenes concerning Isaac and Jacob in which Rebecca does not appear (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 1179, f. 11v). Figure Four Partial depiction of Sarah in the background accompanying Abraham and Lot to Canaan (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, f. 4r). Figure Five Sarah brings food to serve the angels (Vienna, Österreischische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, f. 4*v). Figure Six Scene for the angels' visit to Abraham reorganized and with Sarah excluded (Vienna, Österreischische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 1179, f. 9v). Figure Seven The story of Judah and his two wives (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, f. 8r). Figure Eight Judah's story reorganized with the marriage to Thamar eliminated (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 1179, f. 15v). Figure Nine The commentary image shows a crowd of the faithful with a woman standing directly beneath Christ's outstretched hand (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, f. 30*v). Figure Ten The corresponding scene in Ö.N.B. 1179 has a king standing beneath Christ's blessing hand and the rest of the crowd are all male (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 1179, f. 53v). Figure Eleven Detail of four roundels with female figures which illustrate the dietary restrictions from the Book of Leviticus along with its commentary. Note in particular the commanding figure of a woman in the foreground with a book in her hand who rejects the bad prince (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2554, f. 28*v). Figure Twelve The corresponding roundels in Ö.N.B. 1179 have no female figures (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 1179, f. 46r). Figure Thirteen A woman in prayer before an altar with Christ looking down from the sky. The image probably represents Blanche of Castille for whom the manuscript was made (Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Psalter of Blanche of Castille, Ms. 1186, f. 122v).
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  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: John Carroll University, Cleveland
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0691099901
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