Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: Linen Clothing
  • Creator: Workshop of Giovannino de Grassi, painter
  • Description: The "Tacuinum sanitatis" was an eleventh-century health handbook written by Ibn Butlan of Baghdad. In it he presents the elements needed for a healthful and happy life. He considers linen clothing to be useful for moderating the heat of the body. In the fourteenth-century illustrated versions the emphasis is on picturing attractive scenes drawing on themes from courtly love, fashionable dress, and estate management for an idealized view of agriculture, food production, and healthy living. This picture depicts four women in a clothing shop. In the foreground two women sit with linen draped over their laps. In the background a woman cuts a length of linen for the customer who is ready to purchase it.
  • Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Rights: Public Domain
  • Subject (See Also): Clothing Medical Manuscripts Sewing Work
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 14
  • Date: ca. late 1390s
  • Related Work: The Tacuinum sanitatis is a medical treatise. Also known as the Theatrum sanitatis.
    The manuscript is fully digitized on the Biblioteca Casanatense site.
    See also the illustration for Linen in the Vienna manuscript, fol. 105v: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a6/Tacuin_Lin47.jpg/107px-Tacuin_Lin47.jpg
  • Current Location: Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense, MS 4182, fol. 207
  • Original Location:
  • Artistic Type (Category): Digital images; Manuscript Illuminations
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Vellum (parchment); Paint
  • Donor: Layman; Probably commissioned by Giangaleazzo Visconti, Count of Milan, or nobility at his court.
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): //
  • Inscription:
  • Related Resources: Cathleen Hoeniger, "The Illuminated Tacuinum sanitatis Manuscripts from Northern Italy ca. 1380-1400: Sources, Patrons, and the Creation of a New Pictorial Genre." Visualizing Medieval Medicine and Natural History, 1200-1550. Edited by Jean A. Givens, Karen M. Reeds, and Alain Touwaide. Ashgate,2006. Pp. 51-81.