Medieval Women Artists
In my story, Seizing Heaven the Reynard family has continued on along with their home, Foxwoods Hall. Lord Savaric Reynard is pragmatic and doesn’t believe in true love or that the family betrothal ring will always choose the right bride. He is about to arrange a marriage with the wealthy widow from the neighbouring estate when he is intercepted by a travelling artist, Rosamund.
While researching, finding copious amounts of information on medieval women artists was a little challenging. Much of the arts and crafts of the time were largely anonymous.
Medieval art was produced in many media, and the works that remain in large numbers include sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork and mosaics, all of which have had a higher survival rate than other media such as fresco wall-paintings, work in precious metals or textiles, including tapestry.
Especially in the early part of the period, works in the so-called "minor arts" or decorative arts, such as metalwork, ivory carving, enamel and embroidery using precious metals, were probably more highly valued than paintings or monumental sculpture.
Of course this is a huge area of study and one in which it is very easy to become lost in. However I did come across an interesting book by Daniel V. Thompson called – The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. It discusses the carriers and ground, binding media, pigments, colouring materials and metals used during that period.
There was also the rise of craft and merchant guilds during this period. Here’s a link to EH.net’s paper on it.
Middle Ages women artists are difficult to research. Medieval women during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages were dominated by men. Medieval women had few options in relation to their lives. They basically either married or entered a religious institution as a nun in a convent.
Early Middle Ages Art was initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. Both Monks and Nuns were the main artists during the Medieval times and era. The women who became nuns were responsible for many illuminated manuscripts.
The known names of Middle Ages women artists are included on the following list who were manuscript illuminators:
Claricia - German female artist and nun who illuminated manuscripts in the 12th century
Herrad of Landsberg (1125-1195) Abbess of Hohenburg
Ende - 11th century nun and illuminator
Guda or Guta - German 12th century nun and illuminator
Diemud or Diemudis (1057-1130) - 12th century Bavarian nun and illuminator
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Embroidery and Tapestry Art
Embroidery and tapestry art such as the Bayeux Tapestry was an accepted art form of Middle Ages women artist.
The names of the women who created the Bayeux tapestry are unknown but are believed to have worked in English convents or nunneries.
Where this may be true, there were women artists and crafts women working outside holy orders.