Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: Scenes from the Life of St. Radegund
  • Creator:
  • Description:

    Romanesque illuminations of Radegund at Clothar’s table; Radegund at prayer; Radegund prostrates herself before Clothar’s bed. These images stress the saint’s Christ-like way of life. According to the vita written by Venantius Fortunatus, Radegund devoted herself to a life of fasting, prayer, and chastity. Here she attends a court banquet—traditionally associated with gluttony and seduction—but does not eat. She soon leaves to pray in her oratory. Once Clothar retires, he remains alone in bed while Radegund prays on the floor.

    Carrasco suggests that the manuscript was made for the nuns at the monastery of Ste.-Croix in Poitiers if it were not in fact made by the nuns themselves. Edwards highlights the ways in which the illustrations emphasize Radegund's life as a nun. Her miracles and good works continue to the present day, encouraging the faithful to build connections with the ongoing institution and provide for its support.

  • Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Rights: Public domain
  • Subject (See Also): Asceticism Feasts and Feasting Chlothar I, Merovingian King Hagiography Jesus Christ, Imitation of Prayer Queens Radegunde of Poitiers, Merovingian Queen, Saint
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 11
  • Date:
  • Related Work: Life of St. Radegund, Poitiers, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 250.
  • Current Location: Poitiers, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 250, fol. 24r
  • Original Location:
  • Artistic Type (Category): Digital images; Manuscript illuminations
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Vellum (parchment)
  • Donor:
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): //
  • Inscription:
  • Related Resources:

    Carrasco, Magdalena Elizabeth. "Spirituality in Context: The Romanesque Illustrated Life of St. Radegund of Poitiers (Poitiers, Bibl. Mun., MS 250)." Art Bulletin 72, 3 (1990): 414-435.

    Evans, Jennifer. Superior Women: Medieval Female Authority in Poitiers' Abbey of Sainte-Croix. Oxford University Press, 2019.