medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

A daughter of king Andrew II of Hungary, Elizabeth was married in 1221 to Ludwig IV, landgrave of Thüringen (whence she is also known as Elizabeth of Thüringen).  They had three children of whom the third, a daughter, was born after her crusading father's death at Otranto in 1227 and died in infancy.  Only twenty when she was widowed, Elizabeth left the Thuringian court soon afterward -- there was a nasty struggle over her dowry -- and took up residence in Marburg (in today's Hessen), where she lived ascetically, devoted herself to works of charity, and died in 1231 at the age of twenty-four.  Miracles were reported at her tomb and a cult arose.  Two canonization trials ensued, followed by a canonization in 1235.  Having dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi a hospital she had built in Marburg, she was subsequently promoted by Franciscans as a model of lay spirituality and charity.  But she was educated at a Dominican convent in Hungary and the Dominicans claim her as well.

Elizabeth has a very extensive hagiographic dossier, including rather different miracle collections emanating from the Order of Friars Minor and from the Order of Preachers.  In one legend, the young Elizabeth was forbidden by her father to distribute food to the poor. She of course did so anyway and was stopped for inspection, whereupon the food was changed miraculously to flowers (or was miraculously covered by them).  17. November is her _dies natalis_ and her feast day in the Roman Calendar (but in German-speaking countries this feast is kept on 19. November).  In the Church of England her feast day is 18. November; other churches of the Anglican Communion celebrate her on 19. November.  Most Lutheran churches celebrate her on 19. November; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America celebrates her on 17. November.

Supplementing Gordon Plumb's post of 17. November, herewith links to other period-pertinent images of St. Elizabeth of Hungary / of Thüringen:

a) as portrayed at the base of her tomb (ca. 1235-1250) in the originally thirteenth- and earlier fourteenth-century St. Elisabethkirche in Marburg an der Lahn, begun in the year of her canonization:  [photo courtesy of Genevra Kornbluth]
The tomb as a whole:  [photo courtesy of Genevra Kornbluth]

b) as portrayed on her copper-gilt shrine (betw. 1235 and 1250) in the same church:
1) on one of the shrine's short ends (standing):
2) on the roof of the shrine (scenes):

c) as portrayed in an earlier thirteenth-century statue, thought to be from very shortly after her canonization in 1235, in the Kirche (ex-cathedral) St. Peter und Paul in Naumburg:

d) as depicted (scenes) in several panels of the earlier thirteenth-century glass window (before 1250) devoted to her in the choir of the St. Elisabethkirche in Marburg an der Lahn:
1)  AND (larger view):

e) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the _Legenda aurea_ (San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 157r):

f) as depicted (tending the sick) in the late thirteenth-century Livre d'images de Madame Marie (ca. 1285-1290; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 103v):

g) as depicted (at left; with Sts. Margaret of Hungary and Henry of Hungary) by Simone Martini in his early fourteenth-century frescoes of Franciscan saints (ca. 1318) in the south transept of the lower church of the basilica di San Francesco at Assisi:

h)  as depicted (at right; at left, St. Clare of Assisi) by Simone Martini in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (ca. 1318-1320) at the entrance to the cappella di San Martino in the lower church of the basilica di San Francesco at Assisi:
Detail view (Elizabeth):

i) as depicted (giving a cloak to a beggar) in a panel of the earlier fourteenth-century Altenberg Altarpiece (ca. 1330) in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt am Main: 

j) as depicted (at right; miracle of the flowers) in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (ca. 1337) formerly in the chiesa di Sant'Elisabetta d'Ungheria in Perugia and now in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria in that city: 

k) as depicted (experiencing a vision) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1326-1350; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fol. 223r):

l) as depicted (experiencing a vision) as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century copy, from the workshop of Richard and Jeanne de Montbaston, of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1348; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 305r):

m) as depicted in two panels of a later fourteenth-century glass window (ca. 1360-1400) in the St.-Jacobi-Kirche in Stendal:
1) giving alms:
2) clothing a cripple:
More greatly expandable images of these and other panels depicting Elisabeth in the same window are accessible here:

n) as depicted (on her deathbed) in a later fourteenth-century copy of the _Grandes Chroniques de France_ (ca. 1370; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 10135, fol. 315r):

o) as depicted on the upper portion of a wing of a later fourteenth-century altarpiece (ca. 1370-1373; from Schloss Tirol) in the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck:
The altarpiece as a whole:

p) as depicted (on her deathbed) in a later fourteenth-century copy of the _Grandes chroniques de France_ (ca. 1375-1380; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 2813, fol. 269v):

q) as depicted (holding flowers) in a late fourteenth- or very early fifteenth-century panel painting attributed to Gherardo Starnina (formerly known as the Maestro del Bambino Vispo) sold at auction at Sotheby's in 1962:
Expandable grayscale views of the painting as photographed prior to that sale are here:
Where is the painting now?

r) as depicted (experiencing a vision) in the earlier fifteenth-century Châteauroux Breviary (ca. 1414; Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 415v): 

s) as depicted (washing a leper) in an early fifteenth-century copy of the _Elsässische Legenda aurea_ (1419; Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. germ. 144, fol. 242v):

t) as depicted (experiencing a vision) in an earlier-to-mid-fifteenth century Franciscan breviary of Milanese origin (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 760, fol. 573r):

u) as depicted (scenes) on the earlier fifteenth-century choir screen (ca. 1420-1430) of the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital in Lübeck:
The panels _in situ_:

v) as depicted (at right, holding flowers; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Piero della Francesca in his later fifteenth-century Polyptych of Sant'Antonio (ca. 1460-1470) in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria in Perugia:

w) as portrayed in a later fifteenth-century polychromed wooden statue (ca. 1470; the crown is later) in the nave (near the choir screen) in the St. Elisabethkirche in Marburg an der Lahn:

x) as depicted in grisaille by Jean le Tavernier in the Suffrages of the mid-fifteenth-century Hours of Philip of Burgundy (ca. 1451-1460; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 2, fol. 277v):

y) as depicted (with a jug and a loaf, succoring the poor) by the Master of the Drapery Studies in the central panel of the later fifteenth-century St. Elizabeth Triptych (ca. 1480) in the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe:
The altarpiece as a whole:

z) as depicted (scenes) in a later fifteenth-century tapestry (ca. 1480) in Wienhausen Abbey in Wienhausen (Lkr. Celle) in Niedersachsen:

aa) as depicted (succoring the poor) in a later fifteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1480-1490; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 245, fol. 175r):

bb) as portrayed in a late fifteenth-century wooden statue (ca. 1490) in the Universitätsmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte in Marburg an der Lahn:

cc) as depicted (at top in left margin; holding a jug and a loaf) in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (_Nuremberg Chronicle_; 1493) at fol. CCXIr:

dd) as portrayed (holding a loaf and a spouted jug) by the Master of the Imberger Altar in a late fifteenth-century polychromed statuette in the altarpiece of the BVM and Saints (1495) in the Kapelle St. Jakobus at Reichenbach, a locality of Oberstdorf (Lkr. Oberallgäu) in Bavaria:
1) at right here:
2) at left here (at right, St. Sebastian):

ee) as portrayed (second from left, holding flowers and looking remarkably aged for someone who died at age twenty-four; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Andrea della Robbia in about 1500 in his great terracotta relief of the Madonna and Child with Saints in the chiesa di Sant'Agata in Radicofani (SI) in Tuscany:

ff) as portrayed (holding a jug) by Tilman Riemenschneider in polychromed wooden statue of ca. 1500 in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg:

gg) as portrayed (also elderly; holding loaves and a jug) in a late fifteenth- or earlier sixteenth-century statue in the Stiftskirche in Stuttgart:

hh) as depicted (holding a loaf and a jug) in a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century panel painting on an altarpiece wing in the Stiftsgalerie in Herzogenburg (Land Niederösterreich):

ii) as portrayed in relief on an early sixteenth-century Guldengroschen (1502) struck in Kassel by Wilhelm II, Landgraf of Hessen: 

jj) as depicted in a panel of the early sixteenth-century Magi window (1507/1508) in Köln's Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria:

kk) as portrayed in an earlier sixteenth-century polychromed wooden statue (1511) by Ludwig Juppe on the celebrants' _sedile_ in the east choir of the St. Elisabethkirche in Marburg an der Lahn:
Detail view:

ll) as portrayed in an earlier sixteenth-century statue (ca. 1520) of Bavarian origin, ascribed to the workshop of Hans Leinberger, in the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame in Strasbourg:

mm) as portrayed in relief (detail views) by Ludwig Juppe in an earlier sixteenth-century sculpture (1524; once on Marburg's City Hall) in the Museum für Kulturgeschichte in the Marburger Schloss:
A modern copy, restored and painted, on Marburg's City Hall:

John Dillon
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