Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 8263
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Owen-Crocker , Gale R.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Pomp, Piety, and Keeping the Woman in Her Place: The Dress of Cnut and Emma in BL MS Stowe 944
  • Source: Old English Newsletter 29, 3 (Spring 1996):
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Emma, Wife of Æthelred, King of England, and Cnut the Great, King of Denmark and England Iconography Illumination of Manuscripts Kings in Art Queens in Art Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 11-12
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Manuscript; London, British Library MS Stowe 944. Presentation miniature of Cnut and Emma.
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: The depiction of Cnut and his queen in BL MS Stowe 944 is the only Anglo-Saxon "presentation miniature" to show the queen alongside her husband. The whole picture is a bold adaptation of crucifixion iconography. Our interpretation of the royal couple, while partly dictated by their spatial relationship to the central cross and to the angelic and biblical figures above them, is strongly influenced by their clothes. Comparison with other figures in Anglo-Saxon art demonstrates that Cnut's "portrait" is emblematic of secular, North European authority and Christian kingship, while that of Emma ironically reflects both the Virgin Mary and (in its luxury) the Deadly Sins. Despite the caption Regina, her dress shows her as the king's wife, not as a queen [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 Manchester
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00301973
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: