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Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent Hardcover – May 30, 1997
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This groundbreaking book explores, in unprecedented detail, the distinctive visual culture of female communities, a genre never before given serious attention by art historians. The group of works discussed, a previously undiscovered group of devotional drawings by a Benedictine nun in the later Middle Ages, also includes illuminated manuscripts, prints, textiles, and metalwork. This book carefully reconstructs the artistic traditions that were fundamental to the lives of cloistered women. Nuns that were separated from the high altar, for instance, could participate in the mass through their art, which served as an expression of visual longing. The drawings provided the nuns with a substitute for sacramental presence and thus represented the fulfillment of spiritual desires. This fascinating, if scholarly, work is a gladly received contribution to the study of medieval art.
"Hamburger has conquered a new province of medieval art. Thanks to his efforts "nuns as artists will be no longer overlooked."--"New York Review of Books
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Do not buy this book thinking that its pictures are worth much. Perhaps the words will have enough value for others to make it worth its high price, but for me it was a sad disappointment.