• Picturing Men at Prayer: Gender in Manuscript Owner Portraits around 1300

    Author(s):
    Maeve Doyle (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Subject(s):
    Art, Medieval, Manuscripts, Medieval, Masculinity, Christianity, History
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Medieval art, Medieval manuscripts, Gender, History of Christianity
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/hv5x-n060
    Abstract:
    The visibility of women in owner portraits from the early era of books of hours (ca. 1230–1350) reflected and shaped perceptions of literate prayer as a feminine activity. While owner portraits of men are comparatively rare, they are not unknown. Images of laymen and laywomen devotees in four illuminated manuscripts from northern France around 1300, and in particular the owner portraits of men in the Ruskin Hours held by the J. Paul Getty Museum, evince the ways gendered use is conceived and constructed in these intimate luxury objects. Images of men at prayer distinguish masculine devotion from feminized practices of literate prayer. Chivalric imagery emphasizes class as well as gender, and the conspicuous absence of the attribute of the book frames lay masculine devotion as an active, externalized practice.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
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