Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 6798
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Farr , Carol A.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Reception of Word and Image at Whitby and Its Daughter Houses
  • Source: Old English Newsletter 29, 3 (Spring 1996):
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Sculpture Monasticism Whitby, Yorkshire, England- Abbey
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 7-8
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  • Abstract: Despite Hild's prominence in accounts of Christianization, sculptures from Whitby and Hackness remain difficult to place within her context of royal and monastic connections because of their minimal iconography, damaged condition, and challenging inscriptions. The objects, however, may not have expressed only Hild's political connections. Their position within monastic cultural networks, as distinct from political ones, was probably as important, especially if they were to be understood by the diverse audiences at Whitby and Hackness implied by textual sources. Perhaps it would be useful to consider the works as operating within a continuum of visual and textual associations potentially made by audiences over the period of production, late seventh through eighth century. Besides the implications of associations with conservative and contemporary sculptural traditions and with a variety of scribal communities, yet other possibilities arise, from the "Life of Gregory" and Bede's account of Hild's life, for considering ways in which these objects of authority and prestige may have been relevant to a socially and intellectually diverse audience, as well as to episcopal trainees. Complemented with Bede's vivid images of humble, even marginal members of the communities who experience miraculous reception of scripture and visions, the Whitby ideal of inner sanctity expressed in the "Life" may be seen as encouraging a larger audience's reception of carved monuments even in the presence of inscriptions requiring a high level of literacy [Reproduced by permission of Robert Schicler, the “Abstracts of Papers in Anglo-Saxon Studies” editor, and the editors of the “Old English Newsletter.”].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Alabama, Huntsville
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00301973
  • Material/Technique :
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