Marcella Pattyn, the last Beguine, has died at the age of 92. From The Economist:
AT THE heart of several cities in Belgium lies an unexpected treasure. A gate in a high brick wall creaks open, to reveal a cluster of small, whitewashed, steep-roofed houses round a church. Cobbled alleyways run between them and tiny lawns, thickly planted with flowers, grow in front of them. The cosiness, the neatness and the quiet suggest a hortus conclusus, a medieval metaphor both for virginal women and the walled garden of paradise.
Any veiled women seen there now, however, processing to Mass or tying up hollyhocks in their dark habits and white wimples, are ghosts. Marcella Pattyn was the last of them, ending a way of life that had endured for 800 years.
Second vision of Saint Hildegard von Bingen, from the Liber Divinorum Operum
In the middle of this gigantic wheel appeared a human. The top of his head projected upward, his toes reached down to the sphere of the strong white and shining air. On the right there were the finger tips of the right hand and on the left there were the ones of the left hand. Both reached out towards the curvature of the circle forming a cross. Just like this he also reached out his arms…
Read the entire description at The Lion and the Cardinal
A medieval crosier from Limoges, France, of champleve enamel on copper, with a motif of the Virgin and Child; on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England; c.1250
Map of the World, from the Westminster Psalter; probably a copy of the map that adorned Henry III’s bed chamber. British Library; c.1265
Medieval crucifix formerly from the Corpus Christi chapel in Wroclaw, Poland; now under the collection of the Narodowe Museum, Warsaw; early 14th century.
Hans Baldung Grien - Christ on the Cross with the Virgin, Saints Longinus, Mary Magdalen, and John; New York Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1505
The Great Rood, which hangs from the ceiling of the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of Saint Chad, Birmingham, England, by the great A.W.N. Pugin.
Golden polyptichon of the Chapel of Saint Tarasius, in the Church of Saint Zachary, Venice, Italy. This splendid altarpiece was worked on by Antonio Vivarini, Giovanni d’Alemagna, and Stefano da Sant’Agnese; 15th century.
Triumphal Crucifix of Oja church, Gotland, Sweden. This magnificent piece of Gothic sculpture is the only standing triumphal crucifix in Sweden— the usual practice is to suspend them from the ceiling.
Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea
A medieval German crucifix from the church of St. George, Cologne, Germany. The Germans really know how to depict scenes from the Passion of Christ with such pathos.
Master of the Saint Lucy Legend - Mary, Queen of Heaven; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., c. 1500
The last page of our 4th Grade religion textbook featured this painting. I was always very fond of looking at it; indeed, most of the time, I was just staring at it rather than listening to my teacher’s lecture. I did not know what it was called at the time, and am glad to be reacquainted with it.
Center panel of the High Altar of Saint John’s church in Osnabruck, Lower Saxony, Germany
High Altar of Saint Nicholas Catholic church in Kalkar, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. This church has one of the most significant inventories of medieval sacred art in the region, and features an intricately carved, and extremely elaborate, crucifixion tableau in the reredos.