Motherhood and Meaning in Medieval Sculpture
Title Details

20th October 2017

216 Pages

24 x 17 cm

4 colour. 43 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture

Imprint: Boydell Press

Motherhood and Meaning in Medieval Sculpture

Representations from France, c.1100-1500

by Marian Bleeke

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
An examination of women as mothers in medieval French sculpture.
What can medieval sculptural representations of women tell us about medieval women's experiences of motherhood? Presumably the work of male sculptors, working for clerical patrons, these sculptures are unlikely to have been shaped by women's maternal experiences during their production. Once produced, however, their beholders would have included women who were mothers and potential mothers, thus opening a space between the sculptures' intended meanings and other meanings liable to be produced by these women as they brought their own interests and concerns to these works of art.
Building on theories of reception and response, this book focuses on interactions between women asbeholders and a range of sculptures made in France in the twelfth through sixteenth centuries, aiming to provide insight into women's experiences of motherhood; particular sculptures considered include the Annunciation and Visitation from Reims cathedral, the femme-aux-serpents from Moissac, the transi of Jeanne de Bourbon-Vendome, the Eve from Autun, and a number of French Gothic Virgin and Child sculptures.

Marian Bleeke is Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Cleveland State University.
Introduction: Motherhood and Meaning in Medieval Sculpture
Motherhood as Transformation: From Annunciation to Visitation at Reims
Motherhood as Monstrosity: The Moissac Femme-aux-serpents and the Transi of Jeanne de Bourbon-Vendome
Resurrecting Lazarus: The Eve from Saint-Lazare at Autun
Visualizing Parturition: Devotional Sculptures of the Virgin and Child
Afterword: Motherhood and Meaning: Medieval Sculpture and Contemporary Art
Bibliography
Index
"There is much to admire about Bleeke's energetic and wide-ranging study. A great strength of her book is her belief that public sculpture could shape peoples' thoughts and behaviors, and that it could do so in ways not intended by the designers of the program." SPECULUM
"The impressive assembly of modern scholarship on the broad subject of female reception and experience is evident." ECCLESIOLOGY TODAY

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Title Details

20th October 2017

216 Pages

2.4 x 1.7 cm

4 colour. 43 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture

Imprint: Boydell Press