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Marsha Meskimmon

(b nr Mainz, Sept 16, 1098; d Rupertsberg, nr Bingen, Sept 17, 1179).

German ecclesiastic, visionary, philosopher, composer and visual artist. Hildegard of Bingen is one of the best known and most significant figures of 12th-century Europe. Her father was a knight in the Count of Spanheim’s court and throughout her life she corresponded with prominent European leaders, such as King Henry II of England, Queen Eleanor and Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. Hildegard took her Benedictine vows in 1117 and became an abbess in 1136. She articulated a specifically female mystic theology that was, at the same time, a powerful and acknowledged message (see fig.).

Her work as a visual artist is primarily ascribed to her contribution to the Rupertsberg Scivias (c.1165, destr. 1945; facs. Eibingen, Bibl. St Hildegard, see fig.); a manuscript that contains images and texts that record her visions. Throughout the 1140s there is evidence of her writing and drawing in tandem, and scholars have made the important point that her work breaks with conventional divisions between text and image (Caviness, ...

Article

Rowan Watson

(b ?Reims, c. 1300; d ?April 13, 1377).

French composer and poet. He was the most prolific and inventive poet and composer of his day. His texts and manuscripts characterize the taste of the royal court in mid-14th-century France. From c. 1323 to 1346 he was in the service of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, after which he served members of the French royal family, among them Jean, Duc de Berry. Despite a peripatetic career, Machaut’s chief home was in Reims, where he finally became a canon in 1337, and where the Dauphin, the future Charles V, had him sought from his house during a visit to the city in 1361.

Machaut’s autobiographical poem Voir-dit (1362–5) shows his working methods. In his mature years at least, he dictated work to a secretary and could call on the services of copyists. Mention of Machaut’s Livre où je met toutes mes choses in the poem appears to refer to a personal copy of his works, possibly partly in his own hand, that was unbound to facilitate copying, re-ordering, and further additions. Miniatures showing the poet writing upon a roll refer to another means by which he transmitted texts, particularly suited for performance or reading aloud....

Article

Flemish School, 12th century, male.

Died 1158, in Liège.

Painter, musician, writer.

Waselin painted religious subjects on canvas that were paraded in church possessions during Lent.