Painting the Hortus deliciarum: Medieval Women, Wisdom, and Time

Hardcover | February 23, 2016

byDanielle B. Joyner

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Between 1170 and 1190 in Alsace, Abbess Herrad compiled for her canonesses an elaborate manuscript, the Hortus deliciarum, which combined resplendent images with quotations from more than fifty texts to portray a history of the Christian church across time and through eternity. Destroyed in a bombing during the 1870 siege of Strasbourg, Herrad’s lavishly illuminated manuscript was one of the earliest works created by a woman expressly for other women, the nuns training at the Hohenbourg abbey.

In this close study of the art and history of the Hortus deliciarum, Danielle Joyner shows how the book reflected twelfth-century concerns, such as emphasizing a historical interpretation of the Bible and reconciling scientific and theological accounts of the cosmos. She analyzes the images, texts, ideas, and processes at work in the manuscript and offers insights into how it configured a history of the Church in the temporal world as a guide to achieving eternal salvation.

By tracing the flexibility and efficacy of the multiple visions employed in the manuscript, Joyner explores how the Hortus deliciarum crafted a deeper understanding of the integral role of time in medieval constructions of history, the cosmos, and humanity’s place within them. Scholars and students of art history, medieval and early modern studies, religion, gender, and the history of the book will find Joyner’s work especially valuable, compelling, and provoking.

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From the Publisher

Between 1170 and 1190 in Alsace, Abbess Herrad compiled for her canonesses an elaborate manuscript, the Hortus deliciarum, which combined resplendent images with quotations from more than fifty texts to portray a history of the Christian church across time and through eternity. Destroyed in a bombing during the 1870 siege of Strasbourg...

Danielle Joyner is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 10 × 8 × 1 inPublished:February 23, 2016Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271070889

ISBN - 13:9780271070889

Customer Reviews of Painting the Hortus deliciarum: Medieval Women, Wisdom, and Time

Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

introduction:

The Garden of Delights

1 Feminae, Libri, et “Hortus deliciarum”

2 Stellae et Tempora

3 Artes et Computus

4 Horae, Elementa, et Sapientia

5 Ecclesia et Historia

conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“In order to identify what is distinctive about the Hortus, the author looks at the textual sources used, the twelfth-century monastic context, and comparable compendia with shared concepts. Also of interest to students of the history of science, the book pays serious attention to cosmological diagrams and computus tables for tabulating the dates of movable feasts, arguing that these tables are themselves a form of exegesis and essential elements in the overall educational message of the work and its biblical history and concern with moral struggle against vice. . . . Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book is copiously illustrated and well documented, and it has a lengthy bibliography.”—J. Oliver, Choice