Crown and Veil: Female Monasticism from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Centuries

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Columbia University Press, 2008 - Art - 318 pages
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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.


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Histories of Female Monasticism
An Introduction
An Introduction
The Visionary Texts and Visual Worlds of Religious Women
Medieval Convents as Economic Entities
as Means of Communication in Exchanges Between Cloister
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About the author (2008)

Jeffrey F. Hamburger is the Kuno Franke Professor of German Art and Culture in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. A scholar of medieval monasticism, mysticism, and manuscript illumination, he is a fellow of the Medieval Academy, and his books have received numerous awards, including the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, the Morey Prize of the College of Art Association, and the Roland Bainton Prize in Art and Music. Susan Marti is a scholar of the art of female monasticism and manuscript illumination and a curator for exhibitions on the Middle Ages. She has published research on medieval art in German-speaking countries and has collaborated on several important exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, and France.

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