At the time of Romanic art, during a period in which few artists left their name to history, some women had the explicit desire to leave a trace; we should not interpret this fact as the fruit of a possible narcissm, but rather as a way of expressing their close relationship with life, of making genealogy, that is, of establishing bonds with each other and also with women of the past and with us. They wanted to avoid not only that the memory of their passage through life be lost, but also to show their possibility of recreating life, using the ancient and sacred art of giving forms and colours to the unrepresentable divinity, through weaving, through embroidery, that is, through their most daily, most utilitarian tasks, and also through drawing and painting.
The visual searches of these medieval artists, the drive to paint, illuminate, embroider... arise out of the encounter with other women of their time and connect with the women of today. These artists that have left us their names show us how it is possible to cultivate one’s individuality without leaving aside the relationships in which talent comes to maturity.
Historically, women have not helped to construct the myth of the artist or his/her work, nor the myth of genius; they sign their works by simply reaffirming their woman’s name the one with which they identify themselves: Maria, Elisava, En, Teresa, which makes them unique, and recognises their authorship.
Artists create through signs. Also in relation to women artists, we are attracted by a sign, a physical trace of the hand, the handwriting or the signing of their name. In the “escriptoria” of the high Middle Ages there were women copyists and illustrators, not only religious women but also laywomen, who were educated and knew Latin; in the one at Vic Cathedral we can document at the beginnings of the eleventh century Guisla – married to Guibert – and her daughter Alba; mother and daughter are defined as grammarians, and we find them writing some documents. The love of sketching that is emitted from the hand that writes, paints, or embroiders, expresses the longed for memory of the body, the desire to fill the distance between the represented thought and the body that produces it.
In the dialogue that can be derived from this process, different languages can meet and come together; they can come forth from this encounter, on occasion as words, on other occasions as images.
FRANCHI, Donatella, Matrice. Pensiero delle donne e pratiche artistiche. Quaderni di Via Dogana, Milán. Librería delle Donne di Milano. March 2004, 7-10.
GROS, Miquel S. “Els textos d’ensenyament en l’escola catedralícia de Vic al segle XI”. Symposium internacional sobre els orígens de Catalunya (VIII-XI), Barcelona, RABLL, vol.2, 1992, pp. 19-26.
FRANCHI, Donatella, "Cómo actúan la disparidad y el deseo en las prácticas creativas de las mujeres. Una reflexión de imágenes y palabras". Duoda 27, forthcoming.
Medieval women devoted a good part of their lives to spinning, weaving and embroidering; in fact, these tasks have been realised by women of all times. It was work that was in the first place utilitarian, but also creative, and from their hands might come real works of art, especially the cloths dedicated to the liturgical vestments and to the ornaments of the churches, or destined for the funeral clothing of relevant personages.
We can believe that the majority of the artists of sewing, who worked on the magnificent pieces that have been conserved to this day, were women; in fact, the cloths of the churches and sacred vestments continue to be made today by women, religious or laywomen.
The majority of these works are anonymous, but we might think and rightly so that practically all of them came from the hands of women artists. Amongst the most beautiful conserved Romanic embroidering there are some that tradition knows with the name of a woman, such as the embroidery said to be of the “countess Guisla”, which is conserved at the monastery of Sant Martí del Canigó (Conflent) which would correspond with an altar cloth that could be dated from the eleventh century.
But some artists of embroidery wanted to leave their name for history. In Catalonia, two pieces of memorable embroidered work signed by women have been conserved: the so-called “Stole of Saint Narcís”, woven and embroidered by Maria, and “The banner or standard of Saint Otto”, by Elisava.
The hypothesis that identifies the embroiderer Maria with the abbess Maria de Santa Maria de les Puelles de Girona seems very suggestive to us. We have very little information about the old Gerona monastery, but the few references we have are extremely interesting. We know that the viscountess of Narbonne, Riquilda, daughter of the Count and Countess of Barcelona Guifre II and Garsenda, in her will, left part of her assets for the bishop of Gerona to build, within two years, a monastery in front of the city, in honour of Saint Maria, although she does not specify, however, that it be for nuns. Count Borrell II, her first cousin, in his will made a donation of some alodios to the house of Santa Maria de les Puelles de Girona, which was to have, in 992, a female community.
There are few documentary remains of what happened to that monastery, so these women would almost have been lost to history; but a tombstone, dated at the end of the tenth century, identifies to us a religious woman who wanted to be remembered, as if she and her companions feared that silence would take away her memory forever. Her gravestone speaks of remembering and of memory:
“Maria of venerable memory, working with great effort every day on holy works and the commandments; persistent, absolutely, in alms, very devoted to the memories and prayers of the saints, conserving with extreme care the monastery rule, remains in the virginity of God.”
María wanted to leave a trace and she did so in the way that she knew how. In the parish church of Sant Feliu of Gerona a magnificently woven and embroidered stole is conserved, known as “the stole of Saint Narcís”, on which there appear some letters that identify Maria as the author of the work. Various hypotheses have been made as to the dating of the embroidery and weaving of the stole; we have found the one published by Mundó very interesting indeed. He identifies the artist of the weaving and embroidery with the abbess Maria cited on the tombstone, that is, with an artist of the end of the tenth century.
With the stole she would fulfil her desire to be remembered by signing her work, and she would give validity to what is said in the epitaph: “working with great effort on holy works and in devotion to the memory of the saints”. So the stole was worked on by María perhaps for the new tomb of Sant Feliu, built at the time of the bishop Miró Bonfill, who died in 984, or for that of Saint Narcís, with whom the stole is commonly identified.
The work of the artist nun is not only of great beauty, but also shows an outstanding erudition. Amongst the phrases that can be read on the cloth there is a fragment belonging to the “Lauds” which were sung at the coronation of the Carolingian king and queen. It also includes the episcopal blessing that was given on finishing the mass. In any case we want to highlight one of the phrases of the weaving that is on the trimming of the stole “[Remember], friend, Maria made me, whosoever wears this stole on themselves take it from me that they will have God as their help”. Although the words “know or remember,” are blurred on the weaving, we can permit ourselves to interpret it in the following way; Maria wanted to be remembered, she was conscious that she had realised a laborious and beautiful work. It would also be necessary to comment on the word “friend” – the expression of the feeling of friendship made in the vocative that seems so graphical to us, with which that lady of the tenth century addresses herself affectionately to whoever might wear the stole, and to us who more than a thousand years later contemplate it. When in 1018, the countess Ermessenda founded Sant Daniel de Girona it does not seem as if any trace of the old feminine monastery of Santa Maria remained; it is as if the concern of Maria not to be forgotten was founded, as if she knew that the days of her community were numbered.
Apart from the letters that adorn, on the red cloth, the trimming on the stole, in the middle and at both ends there is some magnificent embroidery in bright and warm colours, some made with gold thread. On one of the ends there was a Saint Laurence, very battered, on the other is the baptism of Christ and in the middle, what we consider to be the most beautiful embroidery with the image of the Mother of God with a golden dress and with the motto “Santa Maria ora pro nobis”.
The embroidery of María is not the only work of art signed by a woman; Elisava signed the so-called banner of Sant Otto, which, originating in la Seu d’Urgell, is conserved in the Textile Museum of Barcelona. An art historian defines Elisava as commissioner of the piece, but we do not agree with that theory, we think that the clear affirmation “Elisava me fecit” has to do with the real work, not only with paying for or sponsoring the work.
The embroidered banner, with reddish and golden tones, made of silk on a linen cloth, conserved at the Textile Museum of Barcelona, could be dated from around the twelfth century. The work is presided by the Pantocrator inside the mystical almond wrapped around with the gospel symbols and ornamented with a border of vegetable motifs. Three fringes of the same cloth hang from the banner, also embroidered with praying or offering figures, which are evidently female figures, something that caused some historians to think that the central figure might represent Elisava, commissioner of the embroidery; but that is only a hypothesis that we do not share. For us Elisava is the embroiderer; in any case, if it was not this woman, of whom we only know her name but not her lineage, the expert and delicate embroiderer would be another woman, more anonymous, who would have done the magnificent work. In any case the unity and beauty of the piece of work make us think of a great understanding between the person who commissioned it and the one who made it. Could Elisava be at the same time artist and commissioner? If we are offering a hypothesis, if we identify the recipient of the banner with Saint Otto, bishop of Urgell, son of Llúcia de la Marca and the count Artau I de Pallars Sobirà, who died in 1122, we can say that precisely the offering image in the middle of the banner reminds us of the painting in which Llúcia, mother of saint Otto appears, offering the mural of the monastery of Sant Pere de Burgal.
Catalunya Romànica, VII, Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana, Barcelona, 1995, 343-344.
UDINA, Antoni, La successió testada a la Catalunya Altmedieval, Fundació Noguera, Barcelona 1984, d.11, year 962.
BARAUT, Cebrià, “Els documents dels anys 981 al 1010 de l’Arxiu Capitular de la Seu d’Urgell”, Urgelia III, 1980, doc.232, 233.
Catalunya Romànica I, Barcelona, G E C, 1994, p.143. - Catalunya Romànica V, Barcelona, GEC, 1991 p.149.
Catalunya Romànica I, p. 143-144.
Catalunya Romànica I, p. 55-58.
The miniaturist that we present has been called indistinctly En or Ende, even Eude, according to how the colophon reads of the manuscript of the Beatus de Girona: En depintrix or Ende pintrix. The Beato de Girona is a miniature manuscript, containing 115 miniatures; it is one of the richest manuscripts pictorially within the tradition of commentary on the Apocalypse begun by the monk Beat de la Vall de la Liébana.
The Beatos were copied in volumes of a large format and a great number of notebooks; they are generally manuscripts of considerable sizes and quite voluminous.
The miniatures of the series of books known as Beatus or Beato –which is as we have said a commentary on the Apocalypse made by a monk called Beato de la vall de Liébana- has no comparison in either the eastern or western medieval world. The number of copies made and also conserved is surprising in the framework of the scriptoria of different peninsula kingdoms; according to art historiography it is higher than in France or Germany, where also the Book of Revelation was copied and illustrated. The dimensions and quantity of illustrations of these manuscripts are also surprising; historiography highlights that the fundamental characteristic of this miniature is the anti-naturalism as a result of the coming together of different representative and iconographical trends, which are made concrete in a very personal and strange language in the western forms that were known of until then.
A Beato or Beatushowever, more than a Comentary on the Apocalypse, because in the text of the commentary other texts with images were interspersed and, on occasion, images with no text, until it became a highly complex book. The most recent art history has considered that one of the most complex manuscripts is that of the Beato de Girona.
It is necessary for us to ask an important question: who were the destinatories of these luxurious and expensive works, above all in a period (end of tenth century and beginning of the eleventh century), and in lands that historiography has always represented to us as not especially rich. The answer is that those who commissioned these great works were the monasteries and also some cathedrals that would place an order for some copy for their not very substantial libraries.
We know the names of the scribe or copyist who was in charge of the transfer of the text of the Beatus de Girona, in Visigoth script, on the pages of good vellum. We are told on the page 283v.-284 where it says Senior presbiter scripsit. We also know the name of the illuminator En depintrix et Dei aiutrix. Frater Emeterius et presbiter. We translate it as follows: “En painter and helper of God. Friar Emeterio, prevere”. We interpret it thus: En paints the miniatures, allowing the passing through her, through her body and her hands the expression of what cannot be named, of the divine, sacred, helping God to be present in an object, in this manuscript. And Emeterio, the illustrator of other Beatos accredits the authorship of En, that is, Emeterio assures that it is so: En painted that Beato.
The inscription clearly declares the authorship of the work to be of a woman with the name of En who is a painter, is fully aware of her task, and is also aware of its importance. En, with her paintings, with the illustrations of the Beato allows something divine, sacred, to pass through her person, made concrete on the parchment, in the images accompanying the text, and that are another text that can be read in itself, of the Commentary on the Apocalypse, and speaks of the divine transcendence that there is in each one of us. In that sense we interpret the text Dei aiutrix, helper of God in that sense that through her the divine is transmitted to us, it brings us close to, in images, the history of transcendence on earth, and what we have to do – according to the text - , to reach true transcendence with God at the end of time. And she does it as a woman, which is why the illustrations of the Beato de Girona are different to that of other Beatos attributed to men painters. The Beato de Girona is the richest of miniatures, it is the richest in the palette of colours that it uses, and it is also unique in the interpretation that the painter makes of some scenes or passages.
YARZA LUACES, J., Beato de Liébana. Manuscritos Iluminados, Barcelona, p. 33.
Teresa Díez conceived her paintings as immense tapestries (320 x 435 cm) that would adorn some walls that had been built with parameters that gave it quite a modest appearance; her work was destined to decorate the walls of the monastery of the Clare’s of Toro (Zamora). The author scattered with forms and colours those walls with scenes that brought the religious women close to scenes of the gospels and the life of women of the first centuries of Christianity. Thus, for example, a textual and visual journey round the paintings of Teresa Díez allows us to reconstruct the life of saint Catherine of Alexandria, which underlines the role of that woman faced with patriarchal power, knowledge, and feminine mediation.
The exhibition of this pictorial-textual message, an explosion of colour and light; would undoubtedly move one to a religious devotion, they would read those paintings and pray in the same way that they prayed with a devotional book or prayed with the divine offices.
Teresa Díez uses a language that is an invitation to life, full of poetry, light; an artistic language following the paths of the emerging gothic style. She interprets it in a personal way, from her being as a woman; the drawing is sure but at times spontaneous, the linear drawings act rather as a framework for the explosion of colours. The technique of the fresco imposes a speed of being made that often allows us to see the corrections or pentiments, the shadings, the mixtures and subtleties of the author.
Teresa shapes the life of a saint, a life that for sure would have been inspired by the golden legends that were fashionable at that time. She composes a great narration through figures, which like the moralising Bibles had to be used for the illiterate, but also to impel to devotion and compassion before an exemplary life. The scenes took place in compartments –as if they were vignettes of a present day comic- illustrated by signs, the exceptional presence of that amount of signs in the fresco makes us think of its destinatories, in the main, literate. The scenes are extracted from the Summes teològiques of the time; they accumulated a great quantity of iconographical details that were adapted to the dominant feudal order (hierarchical with a network of relationships and with chivalrous-aristocratic values).
The pictorial series of the murals of the choir of the Real Monasterio de Santa Clara de Toro are the following: The first series is dedicated to saint Catherine of Alexandria, wise woman, from a young age she devoted herself to the study of the liberal arts; she belonged to a family of royal blood – that is why she always wears a crown on her head-, virgin and martyr, she is considered the patron of those men and women who devote themselves to philosophy; her cult was developed with great success by the west after the Crusades. This series is made up of twenty one scenes, some damaged by the opening of a door, for the installation of a baroque organ and by the arrangement of the piece of furniture that acts as a shrine. The scenes of the theological argument of Catherine with the Emperor can be read very well, the imprisonment, flagellation and the assistance of an angel in the prison – figured as a medieval castle-; kneeling at the door of this edification there are the figures of the Empress and the general Porfirio –converted to Christianity because of the arguments of Catherine. The Emperor calls together the wise men of Alexandria; an angel reveals to the imprisoned one, Catherine, how she will die and go to heaven. In spite of the imperfections we can read: COMO DESPUTA [HOW SHE ARGUES] [...] –the text is just above the scene on a horizontal strip that is only separated from the text of the next scene by a cross painted in black full of colour. In the following passage Catherine convinces the wise men to convert to Christianity; the Emperor orders them to be burnt, and we can read on a strip above the scene: COMO MANDÓ QUEMAR LOS SABIUS [HOW HE ORDERED THE WISEMEN TO BE BURNT]. There follows the frustrated torture at the wheel with nails and saws; and we read: E COMO LA MANDÓ ÉL EN EL TOROMENTU DE LAS RUEDAS [AND HOW HE ORDERED HER TO BE TORMENTED AT THE WHEEL]. After comes the beheading and we read: COMO LA [MA]NDÓ EL REY DESCABEÇAR [HOW THE KING ORDERED HER TO BE BEHEADED], and the transfer of her body by angels to Mount Sinai and, there she is given a burial. The scenes relating to saint Catherine do not follow the order of the story of Jacob Voragine; for sure the painter followed some tradition or pious legend that was spread about the devotion of the saint.
The second series is to be found opposite the series of Catherine of Alexandria. That mural (275 x 417 cm) reunites the images that refer to John the Baptist in ten scenes with texts: in the first the Archangel Gabriel predicts to Zacharias that his wife Isabel will conceive a son, in the second there is pictured the Visitation of the Virgin to her pregnant cousin, in the third the birth of the Baptist, his growing up in the desert –reason that is used to explain that due to this he escaped from the killing of the Innocent-, and his appearance in public life; in the lower part, he appears as reprimanding Herod Antipas because he lives with Herodiades, the wife of his brother and the corresponding text says: COMO LE REPRENDE LA MUJER DE SU ERMANO [HOW HE REPRIMANDS THE WIFE OF HIS BROTHER]. Then follows the scene of the Baptist’s imprisonment and the text says: COMO LO MANDO PRENDER EL REI [HOW THE KING ORDERS HIM TO BE CAPTURED]. Next is the scene of the banquette of Herod at which Salome asks for the head of John, in the text it says: COMO LA FIJA LE PEDIÓ LA CABECZ [HOW THE DAUGHTER ASKS FOR THE HEAD]. Next, the beheading and the text says: COMO LOS DESCA BEÇAN E LE DAN LA CABEÇA [HOW THEY BEHEAD HIM AND GIVE HER THE HEAD]. Finally the painter shows the scene of his burial at Sebaste de Samaria, the text says: COMO LO SEPULTAN LOS DISCIPULLUS [HOW THE DISCIPLES BURY HIM].
In this mural the sensation of freedom in the representation and of a domestic scene is even more heightened, thus for example we can cite the position of Herod, sat with his legs crossed, as a sign of his rule, also the probable symbolism of the fruit – perhaps for their aphrodisiac power? – that Herodiades holds in her left hand, again the representation of the castle of Maquerota and the attendance of a queen –with gestures of great grief- at the burial of John the Baptist. Thus does the painter show the importance of the aristocratic values at the burial of a saint of distinguished lineage; but we also see in some of the scenes the legacy of Romanic representation, such as for example the frontal perspective in order to show the banquette table, or the executioner who carries out the beheading or the soldiers of the imprisoning suspended in the air as if they were unable to put their feet on the ground. Like in the previous mural, this one is also conceived of as a great tapestry, the trimming or border that finishes it off reinforcing this idea even more. This trimming is decorated with scrolls that have a certain resemblance to the paintings of la Seu Vella de Lleida. Amongst the scrolls decorated with crosses there are shields, some cracked, with lions and lilies, and others with passing birds of prey, similar to magpies or crows, if we decided on magpies the shield could belong to a woman named thus.
A third mural, damaged, appears separated into three panels with images of saint Christopher, saint Agatha, saint Llúcia and another two women saints; there are also five passages from the life of Christ: the Presentation at the Temple, the Holy Supper, the Epiphany, the Baptism and the apparition to Magdalene and her sister Marta while she is slaying the dragon in front of the walls of Nerluc or Tarascó. On the upper trimming can be read: A IESU XPO. COMO APARECE IESU XPO. A LA MADA LENA [...] [TO IESU XPO. HOW IESU XPO APPEARS TO MAGDALENE]. It is possible that the changes in devotions and aesthetic tastes were the reasons for the mutilations of these compositions. The greatest losses took place during the eighteenth century due to the opening of a door and the installation of a small shrine and a baroque organ. The mutilations affected most of all the upper part... The part that is conserved is so thanks to the protection offered by the dust cover of the seating of the choir stalls.
Of the panel dedicated to the Franciscan saints only two fragments have been conserved, in one of them we can recognise saint Clare and saint Francis with their stigmata.
With these paintings there was the intent of offering the nuns an immense carpet of colour that might lighten the hardness of the walls of the choir and offer them exemplary models of the Christian life.
The paintings of Teresa Díez correspond chronologically to the phase of the so-called gothic-lineal or French-gothic. As can be observed, the perspective is not known, the figures move on two dimensions and, when many figures have to be portrayed – as in the scene of the wise men, for example- , the difficulty of fitting them into a small framework is resolved by using the classic mode of relief and a staggered perspective, as had been done in the Romanic period, but in the paintings of Teresa Díez, it is naturalism that predominates, and we could even highlight those figures in which a certain tenderness and closeness can be perceived towards daily life and the historical reality of the moment. If the scenes are looked at attentively it can be seen how the painted constructions are castles adapted, like other details, to the period that the author lived in. There is no doubt that the painter was Teresa Díez as a textual fragment says: TERESA DIEÇ ME FECIT. The paintings can be placed during the first reconstruction of the Real Convento de Santa Clara, which finished towards 1316; it appears that the painter was active between this date and around the decade of the 1320s.
At present the mural, after being moved, is conserved in the Church of San Sebastián de los Caballeros de Toro (Zamora).
We propose first of all an examination of the trimmings and paintings. The images are visual thought; they do not need to be explained with words. The images are the traces of a live experience, traces of the life-giving relationships that nourish them.
Some women artists experience art as an availability to the gift, an opening of themselves to others, a way of sharing creativity and making it circulate. To embroider to be remembered, to embroider in memory of, that is, remembering; in sum, making history. Painting, helping God to transmit knowledge, to paint re-creating figures and lives.
The painting and the embroideries that we introduce are accompanied by written words, some that identify the artists, others that make the relationships between them clear with the images and of the images of who observes them, words that are before and after the visual works and that is the work of relationships are a space of encounter between the experience of the one that creates or makes them and the one that looks at them.
It should also be pointed out that, when so few names of women artists appear to us, it must be deduced that there were many more that were anonymous, and also others that history may still discover. We also emphasise that, to find them, we do not only have to look to the so-called great art, but also to the decorative arts and quality artisan work. Thus the Aragonese Violant de Algaraví, painter of curtains who had apprentices, or the Barcelona woman Caterina Fuster, master-maker of church vestments, become visible in the documentation of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
GARCIA HERRERO, M.C., MORALES GOMEZ. J.J. “Violant de Algaraví, pintora aragonesa del siglo XV”, Aragón en la Edad Media, XIV (1998).
VINYOLES, T. Les barcelonines a les darreries de l’Edat Mitjana, p. 40.
Stole of Saint Narcís. Central part.
Stole of Saint Narcís. Fragment of cloth that cites Maria as the author
Fragment of the cloth of the stole of Saint Narcís
Stole of Saint Narcís. Trimming on the left side of the stole.
The illuminated ALFA
Woman on the red beast (fol. 63)
The palm tree of the just (f. 147v.)
The End of The World
En recognises her authorship
Series of Catherine of Alexandria.
Series of the life of Jesus
Series of John the Baptist
Detail of Saint Christopher
Embroidery said to be of the “comtessa Guisla”
Banner de Saint Otto, work of Elisava
Scentific Direction: Maria Milagros Rivera Garretas
We are thankful to the Research Project from the Instituto de la Mujer I + D entitled: "Entre la historia social y la historia humana: un recurso informático para redefinir la investigación y la docencia" (I+D+I 73/01) for its financial support to this project.
Institut Català de la Dona de la Generalitat de Catalunya and the Agrupació de Recerca en Humanitats de la Universitat de Barcelona for they contribution to its development (22655).
Technical Direction: Dr. Óscar Adán
Executive Production: Dr. Sonia Prieto
Edition: Marta García
Correction: Gemma Gabarrò
Catalan Translation: David Madueño
English Translation: Caroline Wilson
German Translation: Doris Leibetseder
Italian Translation: Clara Jourdan
Copying or reproduction in whole or in part by whatever means is prohibited without express written authorization.
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© 2004-2008 Duoda, Women Research Center. University of Barcelona. All rights reserved.
M.-Elisa Varela Rodríguez
Medievalist and paleograph Scholar. It deals with the study of the book and with the culture written in the Middle Age, and with the study of the Catalan commerce in the Mediterranean.
She was born in September, 1958 in Saviñao-Monforte de Lemos (Lugo). She studied in the Narcissus Monturiol High School of Barcelona, and she is Bachelor in Medieval History by the Faculty of Geography and History of the University of Barcelona, getting a Ph Doctorate degree on this University in July, 1995. In the penultimate course, she integrated into the Duoda project directed by M.-Milagros Rivera Garretas of the CIHD. She has been a researcher of this project in the Center of Women's Investigation, Duoda, of the University of Barcelona, and at present she is a vicedirector of the that Center. She is also professor of the Facultat de Lletras of University of Girona, in whom she is a part of the Research Group "Estudis Culturals" and she is a researcher as well of the coordinated project Women's Lifes Stories. Crowns of Aragon and Castille (15th Century).
Her most important works are: El control de los Bienes: Los libros de cuentas de los mercaderes Tarascó (1329-1348), Barcelona, 1996, “Palabras clave de Historia de las Mujeres en Cataluña (siglos IX-XVIII)”, in Duoda, 12, 1997 El libro de Horas de Carlos V, Madrid, 2000, Mujeres que leen, mujeres que escriben: Letradas en la Baja Edad Media, Barcelona, 2001, El Oficio de la Toma de Granada, Granada, 2003, Aprender a leer, aprender a escribir: Lectoescritura femenina (siglos XIII-XV), Madrid, 2004.
Teresa Vinyoles Vidal
Teresa Vinyoles Vidal was born in Barcelona in 1942, she is married with two sons and two daughters, she is a lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Barcelona, member of the Centre Duoda of the said university since its foundation. Among her lines of research is the study of women, which she has devoted herself to since 1969, and of daily life in the medieval period; she co-ordinates a research project on the teaching of history. Amongst her works are: Les barcelonines a les darreries de l’edat mitjana (Barcelona, Fundació Vives Casajuana, 1976). La vida quotidiana a Barcelona vers 1400 (Barcelona, Fundació Vives Casajuana, 1985). Mirada a la Barcelona medieval des de les finestres gòtiques (Barcelona, Dalmau, 2002). Presència de les dones a la Catalunya medieval (Vic, Eumo, forthcoming). And numerous articles on women’s history, amongst which we could highlight: "Petita biografia d’una expòsita barcelonina del segle XV" (Barcelona, CSIC, 1989 pp. 255-272). "L’amor i la mort al segle XIV, cartes de dones" (Miscel·lania de textos medievals 8, Barcelona, CSIC, 1996, pp.111-198). "Las mujeres del año mil" (Aragón en la Edad Media XVII, 2003, pp.5-26).
The Book of the Apocalypse is the last canonical book of the New Testament. The Christian tradition attributes it to the apostle John, author of the fourth gospel, an attribution that has been and is questioned. The book is dated from between 94 and 96 and it is said that it was written on the island of Patmos (Asia Minor). It is addressed to the seven Churches of Asia, then victims of the Domitian persecution. The text tries to give the churches encouragement at such a difficult moment. It contains the revelation of Christ to John translated in seven letters, one for each community, and divided into three main parts: The first concerns itself with the situation of the Church in Asia; the second, with the divine plan of wellbeing for the Church until its final glorification, and the third, with the future of the Church. The prophecy about the Church is the promise that, in spite of all the sufferings, there will be a new world where all evil, including physical death, will disappear for evermore. Amongst the characteristics of the text we can highlight: the usage of enigmatic and mysterious terms, with fantastic and strange images, and with a great presence of symbols, the meaning of which is difficult for a reader of our time to decipher. It was written in Greek; however, it has many Semitic words.
Countess of Pallars Sobirà, daughter of the count and countess Amèlia and Bernat de la Marca, sister of Almodis, countess of Barcelona, she was promised to the count Guillem II de Besalú, but did not end up marrying him. She married the count Artau I de Pallars Sobirà (1049-1081). Llúcia intervened in government affairs next to her husband and her son Artau II, she was tutor of the sons of the count Ermengol IV d’Urgell, she must have died around 1090. Her son Otto, bishop of Urgell, was recognised as a saint and is praised in his hagiography.
The marriage document between Llúcia and Artau is surprising: That Artau, count, might have Llúcia while she lives as man should have the woman that he has legally taken. That he not abandon her while she lives, under any pretext, except for that she become a leper. That he should not disturb her nor slander her to the point that she has to leave him. Liber Feodrum Maior, doc. 37 (1058).
The feminine Benedictine monastery of Sant Daniel de Girona was founded by Ermessenda in 1018, little after the death of her husband, and little after the disappearance of the community of Sant Joan de les Abadesses. According to the endowment document, Ermessenda herself had had it built, she endowed it and destined it as a monastery of nuns; even today it is the home of a feminine community. Col·lecció diplomàtica de Sant Daniel de Girona. Fundació Noguera. Barcelona, 1997, document 6. (1018).
Painter who worked in the Castilian area at the time of María de Molina (c.1265-1321). Art historiography situates her in relation to the artistic nucleus that develops at the beginnings of the gothic era in Salamanca, fruit of the activity of that artistic group are the chapel of San Martín and some tombstones of the Seu Vella de Salamanca. Teresa Díez painted the murals of the choir of the Real Monasterio de Santa Clara de Toro, and also left her pictorial stamp on the Colegiata, and the church of San Pedro of the same town, as well as the capcalera of the temple of La Hiniesta, and of the murals at the feet of the church of Santa María la Nueva de Zamora, which have also been attributed to her.
The writing that was used in the kingdoms of Leon, Castile, Aragon and the Principat of Catalonia between the seventh-eighth and twelfth centuries. In Catalonia its usage was reduced as the Carolina writing came in. The manuscripts and documents allow us to appreciate a rounder and more accurate form in the more solemn manuscripts and documents and a more italic or documentary form. It is a writing that derives from the new Romanic italic and takes on characteristic forms in the peninsular lands. It is one of the writings that can be placed in what is called “graphic medieval particularism. Its most characteristic letters are the tall “a”, slightly inclined towards the left and open or low and open as if it were a “u”; the “t” in the form of the Greek tau or with the little eye closed; the “e” tall and open. On some occasions it uses an alphabet of capitals with many ornamental elements that speak of a certain influence of Arabic writing. Vid. Millares Carlo, A.; [Ruiz Asensio, J.M. (updated)], Tratado de Paleografía Española, 3 vols., Madrid, 1983; Arnall Juan, J.; Pons Guri, J.M., L’escriptura a les terres gironines, 2 vols., Gerona, 1993.