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Holy Women And The Needle Arts: Piety, Devotion, And Stitching The Sacred, Ca. 500–1150

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Chapter Summary

One of the little explored yet important roles which provided a special visibility for female piety and sanctity was that of embroiderer or patron/commissioner of sacred embroideries. Based on a collective study of saints lives and miracles, martyrologies, chronicles, correspondence, charters, wills, and inventories of monasteries and churches, this chapter attempts to explore a number of aspects of the important pattern of piety found among women who won recognition for their special expertise in and association with religious needlework. Sacred embroideries comprised some of the greatest and most valuable treasures found among the holdings of medieval churches. The abbess-saint Eustadiola (7th c.) was remembered for building the monastery of Moyen-Moutiers for women in Bourges and embellishing the walls of her new church with magnificent embroidered wall hangings.

Keywords: female piety; medieval churches; Moyen-Moutiers; religious needlework



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