The Crucifixion with Virtues in stained glass: Wounds, violent sexualities, and aesthetics of engagement in the Wienhausen cloister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A disquieting window panel shows the crucified Christ locked in an intimate embrace with Caritas, who is thrusting a dagger into his chest. This 14th-century version of the Crucifixion with the Virtues assumes the place of the Crucifixion scene in the Passion cycle of the glazed upper cloister at the Cistercian women's abbey at Wienhausen in northern Germany. A comparison with related motifs in biblical exegesis and devotional literature, as well as with various visual media, especially manuscript illumination, shows that the window panel is unsurpassed in its display of seeming treachery and duplicity. The panel engaged this monastic community cognitively and emotionally amid an almost habituated display of images exhibiting blood, wounds, and weapons that surrounded the women, and within the recurrent Passion and Easter rituals performed by and for the nuns during the late Middle Ages. The article questions the functions of implicit sexual violence when used metaphorically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-343
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Glass Studies
Volume56
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Cloister
Passion
Stained Glass
Sexuality
Aesthetics
Crucifixion
Nuns
Christ
Dagger
Motifs
Biblical Exegesis
Visual Media
Monastic Community
Northern Germany
Sexual Violence
Devotional Literature
Late Medieval Period
Illumination
Manuscripts
Treachery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

Cite this

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