Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9234
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Neff , Amy.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Pain of "Compassio": Mary's Labor at the Foot of the Cross
  • Source URL: Art Bulletin (Full Text via JSTOR) 80, 2 (June 1998): 254-273. Link Info target = '_blank'>Art Bulletin (Full Text via JSTOR) 80, 2 (June 1998): 254-273. Link Info
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Childbirth, Image of Childbirth in Art Intercession Jesus Christ- Passion in Art Mary, Virgin, Saint in Art Salvation, Theological Concept
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 12- 13- 14- 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Thirty-one figures. Figure One Theodore Psalter, detail from the "Arrest of Christ, Virgin Supported by John," London, British Library, Add. ms.19352, fol. 45v. Figure Two "Crucifixion." Schwarzrheindorf, Church of St. Clement. Figure Three Rogier van der Weyden, "Descent from the Cross." Madrid, the Prado. Figure Four Nicola Pisano, "Crucifixion." Detail from the pulpit. Pisa, Baptistery. Figure Five Nicola Pisano, "Miracle of the Beato Reginaldo." Detail from the Arca di S. Domenico. Bologna, S. Domenico. Figure Six "Woman in the Sun," Dyson Perrins Apocalypse ms.Ludwig III 1, fol. 19v. Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum. Figure Seven Giovanni Pisano, "Crucifixion," detail from the pulpit. Pistoia, S. Andrea. Figure Eight detail of the Virgin from Figure Seven. Figure Nine Grave Stele of Plangon. Athens, National Museum. The seated woman is in labor and is supported by an attendant on each side. Figure Ten "Birth of the Virgin," detail. Studenica, Church of Joachim and Anna. Figure Eleven Master of St. Francis, "Crucifix," detail. London, National Gallery. Figure Twelve "Birth of John the Baptist." Parma, Baptistery. Figure Thirteen small Bargello Diptych, "Crucifixion." Florence, Museo Nazionale. Figure Fourteen "Crucifixion with Saint Jerome." Formerly Jerusalem, L.A. Meyer Memorial. Figure Fifteen Engraving after Maerten van Heemskerck, "Birth of Isaac." Figure Sixteen Lorenzo Salimbeni, "Crucifixion." Perugia, Galleria Nazionale. Figure Seventeen "Crucifixion," detail from an ivory diptych. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum. Figure Eighteen Oblate Master, "Crucifixion," from a diptych, Florence Uffizi. Figure Nineteen "Childbirth," terracotta relief, tomb of Scribonia Attice, Isola Sacra, Ostia. Ostia, Museo Archeologico. Figure Twenty Rueland Frueauf the Younger, "Crucifixion." Klosterneuberg, Austria, Stiftsmuseum. Figure Twenty-one Octateuch, "The Birth of Benjamin." Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, gr. 746, fol. 113. Figure Twenty-two Chirugia of Albucasis, "Delivery of the Afterbirth" from a Latin Translation by Gerhard of Cremona. Vienna, Österreichisches Nationalbibliothek, ser. nova 2641, fol. 43. Figure Twenty-three Decretals of Gratian, "Consecration of a Church." Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, Vitr. 21-2, fol. 298. Figure Twenty-four Rogier van der Weyden, "Altarpiece of the Seven Sacraments," detail. Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. Figure Twenty-five Taymouth Hours, "Crucifixion." London, British Library, Yates Thompson 13, fol. 121v. Figure Twenty-six Taymouth Hours, "Crucifixion" fol. 122v. Figure Twenty-seven Taymouth Hours, "Way to Calvary," fol. 120v. Figure Twenty-eight Taymouth Hours, "Last Judgment," fol. 137v. Figure Twenty-nine Taymouth Hours, "Mary Conquers a Devil," fol. 155v. Figure Thirty Taymouth Hours, "Mary Suckles a Child," fol. 158. Figure Thirty-one Taymouth Hours, "Mary Presents a Lady to Christ," fol. 139.
  • Table:
  • Abstract: The Virgin Mary's Swoon at the Crucifixion has been recognized as a visualization of the doctrine of "compassio": Mary shares Christ's suffering. She is thus able to help in Christ's work of redemption. Yet images and texts from the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries attest to another profound meaning of the Swoon. As Mary collapses, she is in labor. Images of the Swoon can be related to an antique iconography of childbirth and to birthing practice in contemporary society. As mother of the Savior and of all mankind in salvation, Mary on Calvary becomes mankind's loving protector and intercessor. [Reproduced by permission of the College Art Association.]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Tennessee
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1998.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00043079
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: