Saints, Sinners and Sisters: Gender and Northern Art in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Saints, Sinners and Sisters: Gender and Northern Art in Medieval and Early Modern Europe


By (author) Jane L. Carroll, By (author) Alison G. Stewart


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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Hardback | 252 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 234mm x 28mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 10 December 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754605892
  • ISBN 13: 9780754605898
  • Illustrations note: 85 b&w illustrations, index
  • Sales rank: 870,003

Product description

A collection of original essays, this book showcases the diverse questions currently being asked by gender scholars dealing with Netherlandish and German art from the medieval and early modern periods. Moving beyond the reclamation of personalities and oeuvres of "lost" female artists, the contributors pose questions about gender and sex within specific historical contexts, addressing such issues as intended audience, use of the object, and patronage. These avenues of inquiry intersect with larger cultural questions concerning societal control of women. The book's three sections, "Saints", "Sinners" and "Sisters, Wives, Poets" are each preceded by a concise introductory essay, detailing themes and offering reflective comparisons of theses and information. In "Saints", contributors look at women who were positive exemplars used by society to uphold standards. In the second section, the essays focus on the power of women's sexuality. The third section expands beyond the customary dichotomous division of the first two to examine women in diverse roles not widely studied as positions of women in those times. This final section expands our definitions of women's responsibilities and realigns them historically; it argues that women, and thus gender, need to be understood within a much broader historical context and beyond simplistic approaches sometimes superimposed by present-day readers on past times.

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Table of contents

Saints and sinners - Saints: Introduction; Virtuous model/voluptuous martyr - the suicide of Lucretia in northern renaissance art and her relationship to late medieval devotional imagery, Carol M. Schuler; Jorg Breu the Elder's Death of Lucretia: history, sexuality and the State, Pia F. Cuneo; Domesticity in the public sphere, Martha Moffitt Peacock; Sinners: Introduction; The gothic mirror and the female gaze, Susan L. Smith; Durer's "Four Witches" reconsidered, Linda C. Hults; Distaffs and spindles - virtue and sexuality in Sebald "Beham's Spinning Bee", Alison G. Stewart; Sisters, Wives, Poets: Introduction; Richildis and her seal - Carolingian self-reference and the imagery of power, Genevra Kornbluth; Woven Devotions - Reform and piety in tapestries by Dominican nuns, Jane L. Carroll; The many wives of Adam Kraft - renaissance artists' wives in legal documents, art-historical scholarship, and historical fiction, Corine Schleif; From shrew to poetess: two non-traditional female roles evoked by a curious painting by Gabriel Metsu, Linda Stone-Ferrier; Together in misery - medical meaning, and sexual politics in two paintings by Jan Steen, Laurinda S. Dixon.