IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1011: Legends and Worship: Statues and Relics of the Virgin Mary

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Christian Rohr, Abteilung für Wirtschafts-, Sozial- und Umweltgeschichte, Universität Bern
Paper 1011-aUgly Ducklings: Rejected Statues of the Virgin Mary in the Low Countries in the Late Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Lianne van Beek, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Index terms: Language and Literature - Dutch, Lay Piety, Local History, Religious Life
Paper 1011-bThe Linde Madonna: A Pleasure to the Eye in the Medieval Church
(Language: English)
Alexandra Fried, University of Gothenburg
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Sculpture
Paper 1011-cThe Virgin's Clothing: Marian Textile Relics and Their Emotional Resonance
(Language: English)
Sarah E. M. Randles, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, University of Melbourne
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Daily Life, Religious Life, Social History

Paper -a:
Legends concerning the discovery of miraculous statues of the Virgin Mary have their regional particularities. In seafaring communities for example, miraculous statues are found floating in the water or refusing to be transported from the port. In the Netherlands, several stories exist about statues that were thrown away or mocked because they were so plain and ugly until they started to perform miracles (which obviously could have nasty consequences for the unbelievers). This paper aims to explore the backgrounds and provenance of this late medieval phenomenon.

Paper -b:
Many wooden Madonnas of the early 14th century have survived in Sweden. Some of these, especially those from Gotland are still partly gilded, painted with lavish colors and decorated with exquisite patterns. Not only were these Madonnas objects of devotion, but they must also have brought a sense of sophistication of worldly knowledge to the community. Above all, they bear witness to a time in which these figures were meant to pleasure the eyes and enhance spiritual senses in the medieval church. This paper will discuss the Linde Madonna, its design and possible origin.

Paper -c:
The clothing of the Virgin Mary occupied a place of particular significance in the medieval imagination, since bodily relics apart from breast milk and hair were not available. Many pilgrimage sites claimed garments of the Virgin as their principle attraction, including the Virgin’s chemise at Chartres, her cloak at Aachen, her dress at Trier and her girdle at Westminster, as well as other sites with competing claims. This paper discusses the ways that these relics were venerated, reproduced and applied for various purposes, and the roles that they played in the emotional life of the medieval faithful.