The Art of Healing: Painting for the Sick and the Sinner in by Marcia Kupfer

By Marcia Kupfer

Many historians of medieval paintings now glance past hovering cathedrals to review the connection of structure and image-making to lifestyles in medieval society. within the artwork of therapeutic, Marcia Kupfer explores the interaction among church ornament and formality perform in taking good care of the unwell. Her inquiry bridges cultural anthropology and the social heritage of drugs while it additionally expands our realizing of ways clergy hired mural portray to treatment physique and soul. having a look heavily at work from ca. 1200 within the church of Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, a fortress city in imperative France, Kupfer strains their hyperlinks to burial practices, the veneration of saints, and the care of the ailing in close by hospitals. via cautious research of the encompassing agrarian panorama, dotted with cults concentrating on particular afflictions, particularly ergotism (then often called St. Silvan's fire), Kupfer sheds new gentle at the function of wall portray in an ecclesiastical economic climate of therapeutic and redemption. disorder and loss of life, she argues, carry the most important to realizing the dynamics of Christian neighborhood within the center a long time. The artwork of therapeutic should be vital examining for cultural anthropologists and historians of either medication and faith in addition to for medievalists and artwork historians.

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Extra info for The Art of Healing: Painting for the Sick and the Sinner in a Medieval Town

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46 Still, Saint-Lazare may have been gradually transformed into a benefice as secular clergy appointed by the chapter came over time to dominate the administration of the house. 47 Two exceptions were written into the decretal, however, which greatly weakened its effect. Secular clergy could receive the administration of a hospital in beneficium if such an arrangement was stipulated at the establishment’s foundation or if they were elected by the hospital community (of which presumably they were members).

The leprosery, home to a permanent community of lay residents, was partly conceived in relation to monastic norms of regularity. Equipped with church, cemetery, and its own priest, the leprosery also mirrored the parish, whose primacy nevertheless remained inviolable. The decretal codified fundamental principles. The specific modalities of its application varied from house to house depending on the particular terms of foundation. Because ecclesiastical patrons took care to safeguard the integrity of their dependent parishes, they monitored the leproseries under the jurisdiction of their possessions.

Coincidence or not, the Donzy count of Nevers becomes important to my story for other reasons. We will meet him again in connection with the local propagation of a healing cult whose customary ritual practice—the ceremonial gifting of the cured to saint and church—he was sworn to uphold. From the late eleventh through the early thirteenth century, the Donzy acted in their capacity as lords of Saint-Aignan on behalf of many ecclesiastical institutions. 38 The collegiate church of Saint-Aignan was not forgotten.

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