File(s) under permanent embargo
Labours of love: gender, work and devotion in Medieval Chartres
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 11:45 authored by Sarah RandlesSarah Randles
The medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame of Chartres is famous for the depictions of artisans in its thirteenth-century stained-glass windows. Using gender as a lens through which to view these images makes clear that the work they depict is overwhelmingly undertaken by men. In contrast, women's work, in the form of preparing textile fibres, is depicted in a series of stone carvings on the exterior northern portal of the cathedral. Here physical labour is juxtaposed with acts of reading and prayerful contemplation. Miracle tales from Chartres emphasise connections between gendered work and devotion to the Virgin Maly. This article considers these visual and literary depictions of labour at Chartres in the contexts of historical gendering of work, medieval ideas of divine cosmic order, and the role of work as religious devotional practice within a prevailing emotional regime.
Publication titleEmotions: History, Culture, Society
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statement© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2020