Crown and Veil: Female Monasticism from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Centuries
Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Susan Marti, Dietlinde Hamburger, Ruhrlandmuseum Essen, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Columbia University Press, 2008 - Art - 318 pages
Crown and Veil offers a broad introduction to the history and visual culture of female monasticism in the Middle Ages, from the earliest communities of Late Antiquity to the Reformation. Scholars from numerous disciplines offer a wide range of perspectives not to be found in any other single book on the subject, placing the art, architecture, literature, liturgy, religious practices, and economic foundations of these communities within a wide historical and cultural context.
Long considered marginal to mainstream history, nuns and canonesses in fact had a profound influence on medieval culture. Revered and admired as models of piety, they commanded considerable prestige and exercised a significant degree of political power. Whether acting as producers or patrons of art, nuns were widely celebrated for their imaginative accomplishments. Focusing on the visual culture of female monastic communities in the German Empire, Frankish Gaul, Langobard Italy, and Anglo-Saxon England, this volume underscores the richness of largely unfamiliar material and its role in shaping distinctive forms of religious life.