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Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...


Neil Stratford

(fl Bury St Edmunds, c. 1125–56).

Metalworker and illuminator, active in England. The Gesta sacristarum of Bury St Edmunds Abbey, written in the late 13th century, mentions magister Hugo three times. He ‘sculpted’ (insculptas) two metal doors (valvas) for the church façade, surpassing even himself in this wonderful work; Hervey the sacrist, for his brother Prior Talbot (c. 1125–38), paid for a great Bible, which was painted by Master Hugo on parchment acquired ‘in Scotiae partibus’ (perhaps Ireland); and Elias, sacrist under Abbot Ordning (1148–56), commissioned the crucifix in the choir and the figures of the Virgin and St John, which were incomparably ‘sculpted’ by Master Hugo. A 14th-century source records the inscription on a bell that was cast by a certain Hugo during the abbacy of Anselm (1121–48). A 15th-century manuscript refers to the façade doors of the abbey church as cast (arte fusoria...


Italian, 12th century, male.

Active in Puglia.

Sculptor, illuminator, goldsmith.