Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4550
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Art, Enclosure and the "Cura Monialium": Prolegomena in the Guise of a Postscript [The author addresses the question of female spirituality in the Middle Ages by looking both at monastic architecture and female patronage within the visual arts. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source URL: Gesta 31, 2 (1992): 108-134. Link InfoReprinted in The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany. By Jeffrey F. Hamburger. Zone Books, 1998. Pages 35-109. target = '_blank'>Gesta 31, 2 (1992): 108-134. Link InfoReprinted in The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany. By Jeffrey F. Hamburger. Zone Books, 1998. Pages 35-109.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Architecture- Religious Art History- General Monastic Enclosure Monasticism Pastoral Care- Nuns Patronage, Artistic Spirituality Women in Religion
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 12- 13- 14- 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Twenty Two Figures. See the linked article in JSTOR to view these illustrations. Figure One Irimbert of Admont, Commentary on Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, ca. 1175. Figure Two La Sainte Abbaye, ca. 1320. Figure Three Colmar, Unterlinden, plan of choir, ca. 1269. Figure Four Chelmno, Cistercian nunnery, nave, ca. 1310. Figure Five Chelmno, Cistercian nunnery, nun‚s choir, ca. 1310, wall paintings ca. 1350. Figure Seven Kloster Marienstern, plan, ca. 1280. Figure Eight Kloster Marienstern, interior, ca. 1280. Figure Nine Kloster Ebstorf, plan, ca. 1469-1486. Figure Ten Kloster Ebstorf, interior. Figure Eleven Prague, Saint Francis, plan, ca. 1234. Figure Twelve Hedwig Codex, court atelier of Ludwig I of Liegnitz and Brieg, Silesia, 1353. Figure Thirteen Trebnitz, Cistercian nunnery, elevation, ca. 1214-1219. Figure Fourteen Wienhausen, Cistercian nunnery, interior, ca. 1325. Figure Fifteen Vie de Sainte Benoite, Berlin. Figure Sixteen Codex Gisle, Osnabruck, Schatzkammer, Nativity, ca. 1300. Figure Seventeen Kloster Wienhausen, Easter Sepulchre, ca. 1290 and 1450. Figure Eighteen Kloster Wienhausen, Resurrected Christ, ca. 1290. Figure Nineteen Kloster Ebstorf, consoles in nuns choir, ca. 1375. Figure Twenty Hedwig Codex, 1353, fol. 24. Figure Twenty One Kloster Wienhausen, plan, ca. 1325. Figure Twenty Two Kloster Wienhausen, altar, predella, 1519.
  • Table:
  • Abstract: A history of the art and architecture of female monasticism requires a social history of female spirituality in the Middle Ages. Neither, however, has been written, perhaps because each is integral to the other. The cura monialium provides a common denominator linking both subjects to their larger context within medieval monasticism. After an overview of enclosure emphasizing its limits as well as its strictures, the article turns to problems in female monastic architecture. Architecture enforced enclosure and articulated its experience, yet the two topics have remained virtually distinct. A third section examines the role of women as patrons. In conclusion, the article considers whether convents produced or possessed a visual culture as distinctive as corresponding currents within female spirituality. Despite the restrictions imposed by enclosure, nuns used images to develop and sustain a spirituality that was distinct from prevailing norms and that ultimately helped to transform them. The study of female piety and patronage can therefore be seen as an integral part of a general history of medieval art and spirituality [Reproduced by permission of the International Center of Medieval Art.].
  • Author's Affiliation:
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1992.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: