Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4632
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Women as Patrons: Nuns, Widows, and Rulers
  • Source: Siena, Florence, and Padua: Art, Society, and Religion, 1280-1400. Volume II: Case Studies.  Edited by Diana Norman.  Yale University Press in association with The Open University, 1995.  Pages 242 - 266.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- General Burials Buzzacarini, Fina, Wife of Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara, Ruler of Padua Florence Monasticism Morality Nuns Padua, Padua, Italy Patronage, Artistic Queens Siena, Siena, Italy Widows Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 14
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Twenty-five figures. Figure One Attributed to Giovanni del Biondo, detail of The Annunciation with Saints. Figure Two Attributed to Giovanni del Biondo, The Annunciation with Saints, formerly in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, after 1380 (Florence, Galleria dell'Accademia). Figure Three Anonymous Sienese artist, The Virgin and Child with the Donatrix Madonna Mussia, formerly in San Francesco, Lucignano, circa 1320 (Val di Chiana, Lucignano, Museo Civico). Figure Four Chapel of Saint Anthony Abbot, Sant' Agostino, Montalcino. Figure Five Guariento, The Crucifixion with Bona Maria Bovolina, formerly in San Francesco, Bassano, circa 1332 (Bassano del Grappa, Museo Civico). Figure Six Guariento, Maria Bovolina, detail of the Crucifixion with Bona Maria Bovolina. Figure Seven Attributed to Taddeo Gaddi, detail of The Entombment of Christ with Donatrix, circa 1332 (Florence, Santa Croce, Bardi di Vernio Chapel). Figure Eight Attributed to Giusto de'Menabuoi, The Ordination of Saint Louis of Toulouse, 1394, mural with the tomb inscription of Abbess Anna (Padua, San Benedetto). Figure Nine Attributed to Giusto de'Menabuoi, The Virgin and Child with Saints and Fina Buzzacarina, mural with sculpted canopy, circa 1375 (Padua, Baptistery). Figure Ten Attributed to Giusto de'Menabuoi, dome, fresco with tempera additions, circa 1375 (Padua, Baptistery). Figure Eleven Attributed to Giusto de'Menabuoi, The Crucifixion, fresco with tempera additions, circa 1375 (Padua, Baptistery) Figure Twelve Giovanni and Pacio da Firenze, detail of tomb of Robert I, 1343 (Naples, Santa Chiara). Figure Thirteen Cloister, circa 1340 (Florence, Santa Felicità). Figure Fourteen Niccolò di Pietro Fiorentino, The Crucifixion, 1387 (Florence,Santa Felicità, chapter-house). Figure Fifteen Chapter-house, view of vault facing the altar showing Christ with the seven virtues, 1387 (Florence, Santa Felicità). Figure Sixteen Detail of map of Florence, 1490 (Florence, Museo Storico Topografico Firenze com'era). Figure Seventeen Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, Spinello Aretino and Loenzo di Niccolò, The Coronation of the Virgin with Saints, 1395-1401 (Florence, Galleria dell'Accademia). Figure Eighteen Attributed to "Ser Monte of the Badia," Missal showing the martyrdom of Saint Felicity's seven sons, convent of Santa Felicità, 1358 (Oxford, Bodleian Library). Figure Nineteen Francesco Vanni, detail of map of Siena showing Sao Paolo site at Via delle Sperandie, circa 1575. Figure Twenty Giusto de'Menabuoi, The Virgin and Child with Donatrix Isotta Terçago, 1363 (Rome, Schiff-Giorgini Collection). Figure Twenty-one Attributed to Memmo di Filipuccio, The Virgin and Child with Saints and Franciscan Donatrix, formerly in the refectory, Santa Chiara, San Gimignano (San Gimignano, Museo Civico). Figure Twenty-two Attributed to Guariento, A Particular Judgement, detail of The Coronation of the Virgin, 1344 (Los Angeles, Norton Simon Foundation). Figure Twenty-three Attributed to Taddeo Gaddi, detail of Arbor Crucis, showing donatrix or devotée, border of mural with Saints Clare and Elizabeth and the Manfredi family arms, and sides and base with saints and the Last Supper, circa 1330-1360 (Florence, Santa Croce, refectory). Figure Twenty-four Attributed to Andrea Vanni, Saint Catherine of Siena and Donatrix or Devotée, circa 1375-1398 (Siena, San Domenico, Cappella delle Volte). Figure Twenty-five Attributed to Pietro Lorenzetti, The Miracles of the Blessed Saint Humility, formerly in the convent church of San Giovanni Evangelista,1310 or 1316 or 1341 (Florence, Uffizi).
  • Table:
  • Abstract: The chapter/paper suggests ways of exploring the buying powers of women of different religious and class status in fourteenth-century Italy. How did the marital status of the woman affect her ability to commission - the spinster, wife, or widow ? How would her marital staus interract with her class position to offer her more or less scope in controlling the designs of paintings, sculptures or buildings. Here I am thinking of the differences between the patronage of a ruler, a consort of a ruler, one of their subjects or a member of a leading family in a republican society. How can we characterise the commissioning of women who had chosen a religious life - and within this group, how might expectations as to how art might be used differ also? Looking at art bought by women allows us to begin to think about how the 'feminine' was positioned as a viewer in a male regime of spectatorship and how women might exert some control to make themselves, unusually, privileged viewers. [Abstract submitted by the author to the Medieval Feminist Index.]
  • Author's Affiliation:
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0300061269
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: