Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4670
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  • Title: Mirrors of a Collective Past: Re-considering Images of Medieval Women [looks at the visual evidence provided by manuscript illuminations and paintings for women readers and women workers including bath attendants and midwives].
  • Source: Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence.  Edited by Lesley Smith and Jane H.M. Taylor.  British Library and University of Toronto Press, 1997.  Pages 75 - 93.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Illumination of Manuscripts Manuscripts in Art Readers in Art Women in Art Work in Art
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 14- 15- 16
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  • Illustrations: Seventeen figures, all but one are manuscript illuminations or paintings. The exception is a photo by Cindy Sherman in which the photographer represents herself as the Virgin Mary with a bare breast. Eight figures show women with books. Eight figures show women in various occupations including dairying, sweeping, helping to deliver a baby, and working as bath attendants. Three of the figures for women at work are allegorical rather than literal and show women forging metal, mining for gems of rhetoric, and building the church of chaste love.
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  • Year of Publication: 1997.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0802042163
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