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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2015

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2015

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Subject:

Re: FEAST - A saint for the day (March 3): St. Kunigunda (Cunigunde of Luxembourg), empress

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:32:55 -0600

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Kunigunde of Luxemburg (d. 1033 or 1039). Daughter of count Siegfried I of Lützelburg (Luxemburg), Kunigunde was married in about the year 1000 to duke Henry III of Bavaria (the future emperor Henry II). In June 1002, six months after the death of his cousin Otto III, Henry had himself crowned king of the Germans at Mainz. A separate coronation of Kunigunde as queen took place in early August in the cathedral of Paderborn. In 1014 they were jointly crowned as emperor and empress by Benedict VIII. Most of Kunigunde's official acts have to do with support for churches and monasteries. In 1017 the imperial couple used her dowry to endow their newly founded diocese of Bamberg. After Henry's death in 1024 Kunigunde exercised a brief regency. In 1025, after the accession of Konrad II, she retired to the monastery of Kaufungen near Kassel where she spent the remainder of her life as a simple nun.

Kunigunde's cult seems to have begun after Henry's canonization in 1146. A partly legendary Vita surviving in several versions (BHL 2001-2002b) preceded her canonization in 1200 by Innocent III; in 1201 her remains were translated to the cathedral of Bamberg. In 1513 she and Henry were translated within that church to their present resting place, a splendid tomb carved by Tilman Riemenschneider and considered one of his masterpieces. 

Some medieval images of Kunigunde (along with Henry, one of the patron saints of what is now the archdiocese of Bamberg):

a) Kunigunde (just right of center) and Henry being crowned as depicted in a full-page miniature in the early eleventh-century Gospel Pericopes of Henry II (betw. 1007 and 1014) now in the BSB in Munich (Clm 4452, fol. 2r):
http://tinyurl.com/cl3z452

b) Kunigunde and Henry in proskinesis at the feet of Christ as portrayed on the early eleventh-century Antependium of Basel now in the Musée National du Moyen Age (Musée Cluny) in Paris (photographs courtesy of Genevra Kornbluth):
http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/images/BaselAntependium_1-1.jpg
Detail view (Kunigunde):
http://tinyurl.com/qbvajnu
Genevra has an entire page on this object:
http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/BaselAntependium.html

c) Kunigunde and Henry as portrayed, in recent replacement copies (mounted, 2002), in full-length statues on the earlier thirteenth-century Adamspforte (Adam's Portal; variously dated to ca. 1225 or to ca. 1237) of Bamberg cathedral.
http://www.hochmittelalter.net/Wissenswertes/Kleidung/10110006.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/ygabfrd
The original statues are now in the diocesan museum. Detail views of that pair's Kunigunde may be seen here:
http://tinyurl.com/qc2reu7

d) Kunigunde and Henry in late thirteenth-century statues (ca. 1290) on Basel's ex-cathedral, the Basler Münster, whose rebuilding Henry initiated and which later medieval tradition in Basel held had been consecrated in the couple's presence in 1019:
http://www.altbasel.ch/pic/doss_heinrich1.jpg
Detail view (Kunigunde):
http://tinyurl.com/72lvhns

e) Kunigunde and Henry as portrayed in high relief as founders on the fourteenth-century tomb (1340) of bishop St. Otto of Bamberg (d. 1139) in the crypt of Bamberg's St. Michelskirche:
http://tinyurl.com/l9c65p
http://tinyurl.com/ykrx3se

f) Kundigunde portrayed in relief as founder on the fourteenth-century stalls of the east choir (1300-1370) of Bamberg's cathedral:
http://tinyurl.com/pf45mvg

g) Kunigunde as depicted in a panel of a mid-fourteenth-century window (ca. 1340-1350) formerly in the Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Leonhard in Bad Sankt Leonhard im Lavanttal in Austria's Land Kärnten and now in the Cloisters Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/471934

h) Kundigunde portrayed in relief (at lower left) as founder on the late fourteenth-century stalls of the west choir of Bamberg's cathedral (for much higher resolution click on "Vollbild"):
http://bamberger-dom.de/kirchenraum/westchor/chorgestuehl

i) Kunigunde (at far right) and Henry (at far left) as depicted in the upper register of an originally early fifteenth-century window (ca. 1414) from the Andreaskapelle in the cloister of Bamberg's cathedral, now in the diocesan museum:
http://tinyurl.com/yjfcxjr

j) Kunigunde and Henry between St. Lawrence and Jesus as depicted as founders in the earlier fifteenth-century Ehenheim Epitaph (after 1438) in the St. Lorenzkirche in Nürnberg (since 1015 part of the diocese of Bamberg):
https://asunews.asu.edu/files/images/Ehenheim%20Epitpah.jpg 

k) Kunigunde and Henry as founders as depicted in a hand-colored woodcut in an unidentified copy of the Bamberg breviary of 1484 (the arms at right are those of prince bishop Philipp von Henneberg):
http://tinyurl.com/k26b9x6 

l) Kunigunde and Henry as founders as depicted in a hand-colored woodcut in the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg's copy of the Bamberg missal of 1507 (the arms at right are those of prince bishop Georg III. Schenk von Limburg):
http://tinyurl.com/m62djl3

m) Kunigunde and Henry as founders as depicted in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's _Nuremberg Chronicle_ (1493) at fol. CLXXXVIr:
http://tinyurl.com/c3hpqf

n) Kunigunde and Henry as founders (each holding a different half of the cathedral) as portrayed on a pair of late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century wooden panels now in the diocesan museum in Bamberg:
http://images.eo-bamberg.de/5/430/1/11400220657930457.jpg 

o) Kunigunde and Henry as portrayed flanking the BVM in a sculpture of ca. 1511 above the clock on the facade of Basel's city hall:
http://tinyurl.com/mubwlq8

p) Kunigunde and Henry as portrayed in relief by Tilman Riemenschneider on their present tomb in Bamberg's cathedral (contracted for in 1499, completed in 1513):
http://tinyurl.com/6oq2gl2

q) Kunigunde (at right) in a relief on the same tomb, showing an incident from her Vita in which she is said to have defended herself successfully, by walking barefoot over red-hot ploughshares, against an accusation of adultery:
http://tinyurl.com/yzmhwcn

r) Kundigunde and Henry as depicted (bottom register at right) on the cross of a chasuble from 1519 in the cathedral museum in Salzburg:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7003054.JPG

Best,
John Dillon
(matter from an older post lightly revised and somewhat expanded)


On 03/03/15, Matt Heintzelman wrote:
> 
> https://www.facebook.com/604882972899463/photos/a.624764970911263.1073741830.604882972899463/789197774467981/?type=1&theater
> 
> 
> 
> &#8220;She was a seventh-generation descendant of Charlemagne. She married St. King Henry in 999. It is said that she had long wanted to be a nun, and that her marriage to St. Henry II was a spiritual one (also called a "white marriage"); that is, they married for companionship alone, and by mutual agreement did not consummate their relationship. It has been claimed that Cunigunde made a vow of virginity with Henry's consent prior to their marriage.&#8221; (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunigunde_of_Luxembourg)
>

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