Illuminating Women in the Medieval World
June 20–September 17, 2017, Getty Center
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The lives of women in the Middle Ages were nuanced and varied, reflecting diverse geographic, financial, and religious circumstances. The pages of illuminated manuscripts reveal the many facets of and attitudes toward medieval womanhood.
Drawn primarily from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition presents the biblical heroines, female saints, and pious nuns who embodied ideals of proper behavior, as well as figures who strayed from the path of righteousness. Beyond being subjects, women were also involved in the creation of manuscripts; they commissioned books and sometimes illuminated them.