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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (March 3): St. Kunigunde of Luxemburg, empress

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 3 Mar 2016 10:25:36 +0000

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

A 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.  The year of Kunigunde's death is not known: one sees it given both as 1033 and as 1039.

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.  Kunigunde and Henry are patron saints of what is now the archdiocese of Bamberg and were often portrayed medievally as founders of the diocese holding a model of its cathedral.


Some period-pertinent images of Kunigunde of Luxemburg:

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; Munich, BSB, Clm 4452, fol. 2r):
http://tinyurl.com/cl3z452

b) Kunigunde (at right) 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 de 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 (at left) and Henry as portrayed in recent replacement copies (mounted, 2002) of their 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 (at left) 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://tinyurl.com/qxztblo
http://www.altbasel.ch/pic/doss_heinrich1.jpg
Detail views (Kunigunde):
http://www.baselinsider.ch/typo3temp/pics/eeebde9f01.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/72lvhns

e) Kunigunde (at far right) portrayed in relief as founder on the fourteenth-century stalls of the east choir (1300-1370) of Bamberg's cathedral (for much higher resolution click on the image):
http://bamberger-dom.de/kirchenraum/ostchor/chorgestuehl

f) Kunigunde (at right) and Henry as portrayed in 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

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) Kunigunde (at left, successfully defending herself against an accusation of adultery by walking unshod over red-hot ploughshares [an incident from her Vita]) as depicted in an enameled medallion on the foot of the mid-fourteenth-century reliquary monstrance of Sts. Henry II and Kunigunde (betw. 1347 and 1356) in the Historisches Museum Basel:
http://tinyurl.com/jmlfbz3
The monstrance itself, with Kunigunde portrayed in a statuette at upper right:
http://tinyurl.com/jv3m8tt

i) Kundigunde as portrayed in relief (at right) as founder on the upper range of  the late fourteenth-century stalls of the west choir of Bamberg's cathedral:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/46693089@N00/14949304902

j) Kunigunde portrayed in relief (at lower left) as founder on an end of the lower range of  the late fourteenth-century stalls of the west choir of Bamberg's cathedral:
http://tinyurl.com/gkvfeve
Another view (for much higher resolution click on the image):
http://bamberger-dom.de/kirchenraum/westchor/chorgestuehl

k) Kunigunde (at right) and Henry as portrayed in early fifteenth-century statues formerly on the west pediment of the Basler Münster and now on display in the Museum Kleines Klingental in Basel:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/40826712@N00/17189584610

l) Kunigunde (at right, flanking the BVM and Christ Child) and Henry (at 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

m) Kunigunde (at lower right; Henry at lower left) as depicted in an early fifteenth-century drawing of the back of the Bamberg Rationale (probably ca. 1415; Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Add. 3001):
http://tinyurl.com/h2blny2
Detail view (Kunigunde):
http://tinyurl.com/htyrfum

n) Kunigunde (second from left) and Henry between St. Lawrence and Jesus as depicted as founders in the earlier fifteenth-century Ehenheim Epitaph (1438 or slightly later) in the St. Lorenzkirche in Nürnberg, since 1015 part of the diocese of Bamberg:
http://differentvisions.org/issue1PDFs/Schleif.pdf [image is on p. 19]

o) Kunigunde (at left) and Henry as portrayed in relief (as founders of the diocese of Bamberg) in the mid-fifteenth-century choir stalls (1446) of the ex-cathedral of Merseburg (Henry was present at its consecration in 1021):
http://tinyurl.com/hzeh9cm

p) Kunigunde as twice depicted in the late fifteenth-century Hertnid von Stein altarpiece (betw. 1480 and 1486) in the St. Lorenzkirche in Hof: 1) at far left, walking unshod over red-hot ploughshares and 2) at center with Henry as founders of the cathedral of Bamberg:
http://test.lorenzkirche-hof.de/images/p022_1_01.jpg
Detail view (founders' portrait):
http://tinyurl.com/haaqzn5

q) Kunigunde (at right in the image at left) 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

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

s) Kunigunde (at right) 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 in the diocesan museum in Bamberg:
http://images.eo-bamberg.de/5/430/1/11400220657930457.jpg

t) Kunigunde (at center) and Henry (at left; both holding a model of a church [the cathedral of Merseburg?]) as depicted in a panel of the late fifteenth- or earlier sixteenth-century predella affixed in 1926 to the so-called Riemenschneider altarpiece in the cathedral of Bamberg:
http://tinyurl.com/olxmgc2

u) Kunigunde (at right in the image at left) 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

v) Kunigunde (at right) and Henry as portrayed flanking the BVM in modern replacements for their early sixteenth-century statues (ca. 1511) above the clock on the facade of Basel's city hall:
http://tinyurl.com/mubwlq8
The original statues mounted inside the city hall (the BVM was refashioned in 1609 as Justitia):
http://www.feierabend.de/images/channel/web/16/8/g.1498498.jpg
A better view of the original statue of Kunigunde:
http://tinyurl.com/hswrayq

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

x) Kunigunde (at right, walking barefoot over red-hot ploughshares) as portrayed in relief on a flank of the same early sixteenth-century tomb:
http://tinyurl.com/yzmhwcn

y) Kunigunde (bottom register at right) and Henry as depicted on the cross of an early sixteenth-century chasuble (1519) in the cathedral museum in Salzburg:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7003054.JPG

z) Kunigunde as portrayed in relief (holding one half of a model of the cathedral of Bamberg) on an earlier sixteenth-century stall end (1519) in the ex-cathedral of Merseburg:
http://tinyurl.com/p6skceo
On the corresponding stall end in the facing stalls Henry holds the other half of the cathedral:
http://tinyurl.com/ordu3r5

aa) Kunigunde (image at left) as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger in an an earlier sixteenth-century drawing (ca. 1525-1526; study for an organ shutter) in the Kunstmuseum Basel:
http://tinyurl.com/z2ht8ob

bb) Kunigunde as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger or by someone in his workshop in an earlier sixteenth-century drawing (ca. 1528–1532) in the Fralin Art Museum, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA:
http://tinyurl.com/hmto33b

Best,
John Dillon
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