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Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe [1 ed.]
 1138275832, 9781138275836

Table of contents :
Contents
Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Notes on the Editor and Contributors
PART I: INTRODUCTION
Theorizing the Relationships between Architecture and Gender inEarly Modern Europe 3Helen Hills
PART II: PRODUCTION: ARCHITECTS AND PATRONS
1 A Noble Residence for a Female Regent: Margaret of Austria and the ‘Court of Savoy’ in Mechelen • Dagmar Eichberger
2 The Val-de-Grâce as a Portrait of Anne of Austria: Queen, Queen Regent, Queen Mother • Jennifer G. Germann
3 The Architecture of Institutionalism: Women’s Space in Renaissance Hospitals • Eunice D. Howe
4 Women and the Practice of Architecture in Eighteenth-century France • Tanis Hinchcliffe
PART III: PRACTICE AND RESISTANCE
5 ‘Repaired by me to my exceeding great Cost and Charges’: Anne Clifford and the Uses of Architecture • Elizabeth V. Chew
6 ‘Women in wolves’ mouths’: Nun’s Reputations, Enclosure and Architecture at the Convent of the Le Murate in Florence • Saundra Weddle
7 Spatial Discipline and its Limits: Nuns and the Built Environment in Early Modern Spain • Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt
8 Spaces Shaped for Spiritual Perfection: Convent Architecture and Nuns in Early Modern Rome • Marilyn Dunn
9 Women in the Charterhouse: the Liminality of Cloistered Spaces at the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon • Sherry C. M. Lindquist
Select Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

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Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe

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Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series Editors: Allyson Poska and Abby Zanger In the past decade, the study of women and gender has offered some of the most vital and innovative challenges to scholarship on the early modern period. Ashgate’s new series of interdisciplinary and comparative studies, ‘Women and Gender in the Early Modern World’, takes up this challenge, reaching beyond geographical limitations to explore the experiences of early modern women and the nature of gender in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Titles in the series include: Maternal Measures Figuring Caregiving in the Early Modern Period Edited by Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh The Political Theory of Christine de Pizan Kate Langdon Forhan Women, Art and the Politics of Identity in Eighteenth-Century Europe Edited by Melissa Hyde and Jennifer Milam ‘Shall She Famish Then?’ Female Food Refusal in Early Modern England Nancy A. Gutierrez Marie Madeleine Jodin 1741–1790 Actress, Philosophe and Feminist Felicia Gordon and P. N. Furbank

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Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe Edited by Helen Hills University of Manchester

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First published 2003 by Ashgate Publishing Published 2016 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business Copyright © 2003 Helen Hills Helen Hills has asserted her moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the editor of this work.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World). 1. Architecture and women–Europe–History–1500. 2. Architecture–Europe–16th century. 3. Architecture–Europe–17th century. 4. Architecture–Europe–18th century. I. Hills, Helen 720.8’2’094’0903 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe p. cm. (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World). Includes bibliographical references. 1. Architecture and women–Europe–History. 2. Architecture and society–Europe– History. I. Hills, Helen NA2543.W65A73 2003 720’.82’094-dc21 2002038461 ISBN 9780754603092 (hbk) ISBN 9781138275836 (pbk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Bournemouth Colour Press, Parkstone, Poole.

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Contents Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Notes on the Editor and Contributors

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PART I INTRODUCTION

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Theorizing the Relationships between Architecture and Gender in Early Modern Europe Helen Hills

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PART II PRODUCTION: ARCHITECTS AND PATRONS 1

A Noble Residence for a Female Regent: Margaret of Austria and the ‘Court of Savoy’ in Mechelen Dagmar Eichberger

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2 The Val-de-Grâce as a Portrait of Anne of Austria: Queen, Queen Regent, Queen Mother Jennifer G. Germann

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3 The Architecture of Institutionalism: Women’s Space in Renaissance Hospitals Eunice D. Howe

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4

Women and the Practice of Architecture in Eighteenth-century France Tanis Hinchcliffe

PART III PRACTICE AND RESISTANCE 5

6

‘Repaired by me to my exceeding great Cost and Charges’: Anne Clifford and the Uses of Architecture Elizabeth V. Chew ‘Women in wolves’ mouths’: Nun’s Reputations, Enclosure and Architecture at the Convent of the Le Murate in Florence Saundra Weddle

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CONTENTS

Spatial Discipline and its Limits: Nuns and the Built Environment in Early Modern Spain Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt

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Spaces Shaped for Spiritual Perfection: Convent Architecture and Nuns in Early Modern Rome Marilyn Dunn

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Women in the Charterhouse: the Liminality of Cloistered Spaces at the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon Sherry C. M. Lindquist

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Select Bibliography Index

193 209

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Acknowledgements This book was completed during research leave funded by the AHRB. I am pleased to thank that institution and the University of Manchester, which afforded me leave from teaching and administrative duties. Some of the chapters in this volume started life as papers in sessions on ‘Gender & Architecture’ which I chaired at the College Art Association in Toronto in 1998 and at the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies Conference in Pittsburgh in 1996. The enthusiasm with which both sessions were greeted, together with provocative questions from the audience, prompted me to consider putting together a volume like this one. I thank everyone who participated then and who encouraged me subsequently. I would like to thank the contributors for all their hard work. Most of them adhered rigorously to the deadlines and responded to requests with enthusiasm. My special thanks to Michael Savage for his insights and support throughout the project, but particularly for his patient technical assistance during the final stages. Publishing with Ashgate has been a pleasure. Many thanks to Kirsten Weissenberg for her excellent work as desk editor and to Tom Norton for his help with the index. Above all, I am extremely grateful to Erika Gaffney. She is that rare thing – a kind and intellectual editor.

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List of Illustrations FIGURES 1.1

1.2

1.3

1.4

1.5

1.6

1.7

1.8

1.9

Conrat Meit, Margaret of Austria as a widow, pear wood sculpture, 7.4 cm, c. 1518, Munich, Bayrisches Nationalmuseum (R 420). (Photo: © Munich, Bayrisches Nationalmuseum) The ‘Court of Savoy’, Mechelen, inner courtyard with the great hall and the staircase leading to the new audience chamber. (Photo: © Dagmar Eichberger) Plan for the reconstruction of the former palace as a French law court, Mechelen, Stadsarchief, no. B 10388, before 1814. (Photo: © Thomas Bachmann & Mechelen, Stadsarchief) Reconstruction of Margaret’s former apartments on the first floor of the western wing of the ‘Court of Savoy’, Mechelen. (Reconstruction: © Dagmar Eichberger) The ‘Court of Savoy’, Mechelen, view of the southern section of the western wing with the living quarters of Margaret of Austria on the first floor. (Photo: © Thomas Bachmann) Auguste van den Eynde, the ‘Court of Savoy’, Mechelen, view of the southern wing from Voochtstraat with the chapelle, the large staircase with two tracery windows and the entrance gate, watercolour, Mechelen, Stadsarchief, Sch 345. (Photo: © Thomas Bachmann & Mechelen, Stadsarchief) Dirk Verijk, eastern view of the old Saint Peter’s church with the wooden walkway across Korte Magdenstraat, drawing, late eighteenth century, Arnheim, Gemeentearchief. (Photo: © Arnheim, Gemeentearchief) Boccaccio, Theseida, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2627, Provence, c. 1460, fol. 53r: Emilia in the garden of Theseus’ castle. (Photo: © Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) Hennessy Hours, Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale d’Albert,

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ms. II 158, southern Netherlandish, early sixteenth century, fol. 3v: View of a Flemish residence with garden. (Photo: © Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique) 1.10 Brou, Augustinian monastery, Margaret of Austria’s living quarters on the first floor of the northern cloister. (Photo: © Bourg-en-Bresse, Musée de l’Ain) 1.11 Jan Mostaert, Philibert of Savoy, oil on wood, Madrid, Prado. (Photo: © Madrid, Prado) 2.1 2.2

2.3 2.4

2.5

2.6

2.7

3.1

3.2

3.3

Façade, Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) Inscription on the frieze of the dome. Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) The nave vault. Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) The Virtues, from left to right, Temperance, Fortitude, Religion, Divine Love, Faith and Charity, on the north side of the nave. Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) The Virtues, from left to right, Prudence, Justice, Kindness, Hope, Humility and Virginity, on the south side of the nave. Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) The Nativity, by Michel Anguier (1614–86). Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) Anne of Austria presenting the Val-de-Grâce to the Holy Trinity, in the fresco by Pierre Mignard (1612–95). Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France. (Photo: © Caroline Rose) Filarete, Ground plan of the Ospedale Maggiore, Milan from Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture, c. 1461–65, Book XI, fol. 82v. (Photo after facsimile: Author) Filarete, Façade of the Ospedale Maggiore, Milan from Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture, c. 1461–65, Book XI, fol. 83v. (Photo after facsimile: Author) Filarete, Cruciform plan of the Men’s Wards and Proportions of the Ospedale Maggiore, Milan from Filarete’s

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ILLUSTRATIONS

3.4

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3.6

3.7

4.1

4.2

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4.4

5.1

5.2 5.3 5.4

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Treatise on Architecture, c. 1461–65, Book XI, fol. 79r. (Photo after facsimile: Author) Filarete, Cruciform plan of the Women’s Wards of the Ospedale Maggiore, Milan from Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture, c. 1461–65, Book XI, fol. 82r. (Photo after facsimile: Author) Filarete, Court-yard ‘of the Pharmacy’ at the Ospedale Maggiore, Milan. (Photo: © Author) Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, attrib., Drawing of Plan of Ospedale Maggiore (and the Portal of the Palazzo Fieschi), Drawing: Uffizi 895A. (Photo: Gabinetto dei Disegni) Ospedale Maggiore, Wood-cut illustration from Book VI, fol. 99v: Vitruvius, Architectura, trans. and ed. Cesare Cesariano, Como, 1521. (Photo after facsimile: Author) Map of Paris, c. 1789, redrawn from Pierre Lavedan, Nouvelle Histoire de Paris: Histoire de l’Urbanisme à Paris, Paris: Hachette, 1993, pp. 8–9. Alexandre-Theodore Brongniart and Francois Joseph Belanger, House for Mademoiselle Dervieux. Detail from J. Ch. Krafft and N. Ransonette, Les plus belles maisons de Paris, Paris, 1801–03, Vol. I, pl. 7. C.-N. Ledoux, House of Mademoiselle Guimard, front elevation. Engraving from Daniel Ramée, Architecture de C.N. Ledoux, Paris, 1847, Vol. 2, pl. 176. C.-N. Ledoux, House of Mademoiselle Guimard. Ground floor plan. Detail of engraving from Daniel Ramée, Architecture de C.N. Ledoux, Paris, 1847, Vol. 2, pl. 175. Artist unknown, Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, c. early 1670s. By courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. View of Brougham Castle from the east. (Photo: Elizabeth Chew) Plan of Brougham Castle, RCHME Plans of keep and inner and outer gatehouses at Brougham Castle. Courtesy of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archeological Society. View of Brough Castle from the south. (Photo: Elizabeth Chew)

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5.6 5.7

Plan of Brough Castle, RCHME Plan of Pendragon Castle, RCHME

6.1

Pietro del Massaio’s illustration of Florence from Ptolemy’s Geografia, c. 1472. Ink sketch on vellum. Vatican library, Cod. Vat. Urb. 277. Rubaconte Ponte is circled. (Photo: courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence) Stefano Buonsignori, Nova pulcherrimae civitati Florentiae topographia accuratissime delineata. Circles indicate the Ponte Rubaconte bridge and the complex of Le Murate on via Ghibellina. (Photo: courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence) Stefano Buonsignori, Nova pulcherrimae civitatis Florentiae topographia accuratissime delineata: detail showing the complex of Le Murate. (Photo: courtesy of the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence) Florence, convent of Le Murate: ground plan. Legend: A: parlour; B: church; C: sacristy; D: refectory; E: sala grande. Via Ghibellina lies at the bottom of the drawing. (Drawing by Robert Weddle after the 1832 site plan of Le Murate, Museo di Forenze com’era, Florence) Florence, convent of Le Murate: first-floor plan. Legend: A: choir; B: dormitory. (Drawing by Robert Weddle)

6.2

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6.4

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8.1

8.2 8.3

8.4

8.5

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Rome, S. Bernardino ai Monti: interior view towards the high altar. (Hutzel 1970, Library, Getty Research Institute, 86.P.8) Rome, S. Lucia in Selci: view towards the choir gallery. (McGuire) Francesco da Volterra: Elevation drawing of S. Silvestro in Capite, Rome, 1591. (Archivio di Stato, Rome: Disegni e Mappe, Coll. I, Cartella 86, no. 531-D) Rome, S. Silvestro in Capite: ground plan of the church and convent. (ASR: Disegni e Mappe, Coll. I, Cartella 86, no. 531-E) Rome, S. Ambrogio della Massima: ground plan of the church and convent. (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione: F 3409) Rome, S. Ambrogio della Massima: high altar. (McGuire) Rome, S. Ambrogio della Massima: high altar detail showing

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the De Torres family stemma. (McGuire) 9.1

9.2

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Aimé Piron, 1686. Drawing of the Chartreuse de Champmol. Dijon, Bibliothèque Municipale, portefueille de la Chartreuse. (Photo: Dijon, Bibliothèque Municipale) Anonymous plan of the Chartreuse de Champmol, detail, eighteenth century. Dijon, Archives Municipales, D47 bis. (Photo: Dijon, Archives Municipales, cliché D. Geoffroy) Claus Sluter, Well of Moses, Moses and David, c. 1394–1404. Stone, gilding, polychromy, figures approx 1.75 m in height. Dijon, Chartreuse de Champmol. (Photo: John Nagel) Claus Sluter, Portal of the Church of the Chartreuse de Champmol, c. 1385–93. Stone, H: 1.29–1.7 m. (Photo: M. P. Lindquist) Claus Sluter and Claus de Werve, Tomb of Philip the Bold, c. 1384–1411, alabaster and marble, L: 3.6 m, W: 2.54 m, H: 2.43 m. Dijon, Museé des Beaux-Arts. (Photo: John Nagel) Jacques de Baerze, Saints and Martyrs Altarpiece, wood, with gilding and polychromy, c. 1390–1403, H: 1.50 m, L: 3.77 m. Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts. (Photo: John Nagel) Jacques de Baerze, Saints and Martyrs Altarpiece. Detail, Temptation of St Anthony, wood, with gilding and polychromy, c. 1390–1403. H: 1.50 m, L: 3.77 m. Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts. (Photo: M. P. Lindquist)

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Notes on the Editor and Contributors Helen Hills is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Manchester. Her research interests focus on the relationships between religious beliefs and practices and architecture, urbanism and gender. Her publications include Invisible City: the architecture of aristocratic convents in baroque Naples (Oxford University Press, 2003). Elizabeth V. Chew received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in Art History from Yale, the Courtauld Institute, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, respectively. Her research interests include the relationships between architecture, material culture, and gender and family politics in early modern Britain and America. The essay included in this collection is adapted from her doctoral dissertation on female architectural patronage and art collecting in seventeenth-century Britain. She is currently Associate Curator of Collections at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Marilyn Dunn received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts, Loyola University, Chicago. Her numerous articles on art and patronage in seventeenth-century Rome have appeared in Antologia delle Belle Arti, The Art Bulletin, Aurora, Burlington Magazine, and Römisches Jahrbuch der Bibliotheca Hertziana. She has also published essays on women as patrons and producers of art in Women and Art in Early Modern Europe (Penn State Press, 1997) and the Dictionary of Women Artists (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997). Her current projects include examinations of identity construction in Roman convent churches and of the interaction of nuns and their families in patronage. She is working on a book on female convents and art patronage in seventeenth-century Rome. Dagmar Eichberger has taught Art History and Museum Studies in Canberra, Melbourne and Saarbrücken, and is now attached to the University of Heidelberg. Her publications in Northern Renaissance Art encompass studies on Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, early modern court culture, the iconography of death, and so on. Her most recent book investigates the art patronage and collection of Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands Leben mit Kunst – Wirken durch Kunst, (Brepols, 2003).

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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Jennifer G. Germann is currently Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in French Art, The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. She has recently finished her dissertation (at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) on the representation of Marie Leszczinska, queen of France. She is currently assisting with the research and production of a catalogue of the French collection at the Huntington, and continuing her research into Marie Leszczinska’s portraits. Tanis Hinchcliffe is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster, London, where she teaches the history of architecture. Her publications include North Oxford (Yale University Press, 1992) and articles on eighteenth-century French architectural theory, nineteenth-century English suburbs, and twentieth-century housing history. Her specialist area of research is women and the practice of architecture. At present she is engaged in a comparative study of French and Canadian conventual architecture. Eunice D. Howe is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California. She publishes on Roman art and architecture, and her research interests (in addition to hospital design) extend to women’s history, urbanism, and travel literature. Selected publications include: ‘Appropriating Space: Woman’s Place in Confraternal Life at Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome’, in Confraternities and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy: Ritual, Spectacle, Images (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Andrea Palladio, the Churches of Rome (Medieval and Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1991). Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt is Associate Professor of History at Cleveland State University. Her work on convents and gender history in Spain includes articles in Renaissance Quarterly, Journal of Social History and Sixteenth Century Journal. She is currently working on a study of gender and political legitimacy during the reign of Isabel and Ferdinand. Sherry Lindquist received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her work on artistic identity and court art appear in Gesta, Manuscripta and Source. She has essays forthcoming in Manuscripts, Images and Publics: Creating and Consuming Medieval Pictures (Ashgate), The Court Artist in Renaissance Europe (Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum) and Les princes des fleurs de lis: L’art à la cour de Bourgogne, Le mécénat de Philippe le Hardi et de Jean sans Peur et l’art en Bourgogne (1360–1420) (Beaux-Arts de Dijon et le Cleveland Museum of Art). Her current work includes a booklength study on agency, visuality, and society at the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon, and an investigation into the relationship among optics, artistic style

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and socual maening grounded in writings of Jean Gerson. These studies are supported by a J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities and a Fulbright research fellowship repectively. Saundra Weddle received her Ph.D. in the History of Architecture and Urbanism at Cornell University. She is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Art History at Drury University.

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Introduction

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PART I INTRODUCTION

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Theorizing the Relationships between Architecture and Gender in Early Modern Europe Helen Hills The Women, as they make here the Language and fashions, so they sway in Architecture. Christopher Wren to an unnamed friend, during his visit to Paris in 1655.1

The essays in this volume examine the relationships between the built environment and gendered identity in late medieval and early modern Europe. In what ways is architectural practice gendered at this date? With what consequences? What part does architecture play in producing sexual difference? In what ways were assumptions about gender articulated architecturally, why and how were they enforced, amplified and resisted, by whom, and with what results? This book explores the relationship between the architecture of early modern Europe and the bodies it was built to represent or to house, seeking to link architectural discourse not simply to that of social hierarchy and exclusivity, but to the anxieties and unspoken fears circulating in the shadows of proud proclamations and cautionary warnings. Discussion of the ways in which architecture plays a part in constructing specific gendered identities and of how architectural space may be gendered in relation to institutional discourse has become increasingly sophisticated. But it remains focused on modern and contemporary architecture. The purpose of this book is to turn the focus on to the architecture of early modern Europe. The early modern period was decisive for our understanding of gender and sexuality, as Natalie Zemon Davis, Joan Kelly, Michel Foucault, Thomas Laqueur, Guido Ruggiero and many others have shown.2 Expanding secular bureaucracies, accelerated urban migration, spreading literacy, and reform and counter-reform in the Churches all affected gender relations. But how were these changes articulated architecturally? And what part did architecture play in bringing them about? The interface between gender and spatial organization has received

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considerable attention in recent years from sociologists, geographers and architects, in particular.3 Much excellent scholarship has enhanced our understanding of gender divisions in early modern Europe, but often this scholarship is blunted because it considers gender in isolation from other vital factors, especially social class.4 Social class is a crucial aspect of the politics of gender. The intersection of social rank and gender is, therefore, at the heart of all the essays presented here. The chapters of this book engage with the developing analysis of how the social organization of women’s and men’s bodies (sexual and otherwise), the institutions of family, class relationships, and religious and social regulation are defined by, relate to, and resist architectural discourses. Urbanism, architecture and architectural decoration actively produce meanings through their own social, semiotic, metaphorical and symbolic references and procedures – references and procedures which are always implicated in social relationships of power. Architecture does not simply frame a pre-existing practice; it serves to produce specific social practices and social relations.5 It is both the locus and the agent of change. The relationships between architectural organization, sexual and gendered difference, and social, religious and political power are examined here. The book comprises nine case studies, selected to illuminate critical junctures, places, institutions and issues in this debate. Inevitably there are limits to what can be achieved in a collection of essays. This book does not attempt to present a survey of the relationships between architecture and gender throughout Europe. Not all of Europe is represented; nor are all social classes. The essays focus predominantly, but not exclusively, on upper-class women. But gender, rather than women, is the focus of the analysis, since the aim is not simply to recover the history of women’s involvement in architecture, but to examine the ways in which early modern architecture defined and shaped gendered identities and sexual difference.

Architectural history and gender Women were for many years more or less absent from accounts of architectural history, and gender was, at best, an untheorized presence. More so than in any other area of art history, gender differences were assumed to be irrelevant to the concerns of architectural history much beyond the position of the cooker or the height of the kitchen sink.6 In other areas of art history, particularly in studies of the history of painting, the rediscovery of a significant number of neglected female artists and the representation of the female body were the principal subjects of feminist

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interventions from the 1970s, which led rapidly to the development and application of theories of representation, sexual difference and gendered identities.7 It was characteristic of the contributions of feminist art historians of that first generation to celebrate female creativity and to focus on female practitioners.8 Although this work fundamentally changed our picture of artistic creativity, it tended towards an ‘additive’ approach to art history, in which female artists were merely added to a long list of their male counterparts. More recent feminist work has sought to go further (or, arguably, to take another path entirely), demonstrating that the consideration of gender in relation to artistic production is not simply a matter of making its social or cultural analysis more comprehensive. Instead it poses new questions, as well as opening to new interpretation material previously neatly packaged without any reference to gender. Rather than assuming a fixed nature for the categories of ‘male’ and ‘female’, this scholarship has examined the role of art in constructing difference between ‘masculinities’ and ‘femininities’; that is, it has been concerned with analysing the relationships between sexual difference, sexualities, desire, representation (art), and ideology.9 Developments in architectural history have assumed rather different shape. Although the first wave of feminist scholarship concentrated on female architects and on historical and institutional obstacles to their training and emergence, much feminist scholarship bypassed architectural history.10 The reasons for this are complex, related to the ‘masculinizing’ of the architectural profession itself, the relative absence of female architects on whom ‘heroic’ narratives can be focused, and the non-figurative nature of architecture, which means it resists analysis of the sort developed for representations of the human body. Thus architecture evades ready subjection to the sorts of analysis developed in relation to figurative art. For those same reasons, scholars have had to adopt or invent different modes of analysing gender in relation to architecture. The relationships between gender and architecture are the subject of increasing scholarly interest. Much early work on gender and architecture viewed spatial arrangements as a simple reflection of social relations, and accepted as a corollary of this that architectural arrangements reveal gender relations.11 Structuralism encouraged the trend to use formal analysis to read architecture like a separate language. Although valuable in attending to pattern, these studies neglect the specificity of context, often assume that gender relations are fixed, and overlook the added complication that space does not simply map existing social relations, but helps to construct them – indeed, has a primary role here. Together gender and spatial organization may change meanings over time, according to changing cultural circumstances and metaphors, and therefore they can only be understood in relation to them. But while the meanings of spatial organization may shift radically through time,

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they are not without far-reaching cultural consequences. These consequences are particularly profound because architecture and the built environment are the products of strategies (conscious or unconscious) directed towards the satisfaction of material and symbolic interests and undertaken in relation to given economic and social conditions (hence the emphasis on politics – which is intended in the broadest sense – in the title of this book).12 And while architecture shares much with the other arts (especially with painting and sculpture), it functions both more inescapably and more insidiously than they, because it organizes almost all aspects of life spatially through the body, while that organization, in spite of its radicality, is rarely subject to the degree of conscious awareness to which even the least unsettling painting is exposed. Thus an all-pervasive art form, adept at organizing, separating and ranking bodies, is often taken for granted and, in turn, its most profound effects become invisible. Henrietta Moore has argued that ‘spatial representations help to produce and reproduce the distinctions on which the cultural constructions of gender are based’.13 In other words, spatial representations help to support gender ideologies. Moore argues that gender ideologies do not reflect a ‘true nature of gender relations’, but she sees ‘the values which both produce and are produced by the spatial text’ as being the dominant values of society, so that the spatial text is involved in reproducing the dominant male ideology.14 The organization of space helps construct a representation of gender relations which presents male authority as natural and pre-given.15 Although the notion that architecture is shaped by the ‘dominant values’ of society with regard to gender is useful in connecting both architecture and gender directly to power relations, this model is perhaps too rigid in supposing that that relationship is clear-cut. Although Moore concedes that ‘the true nature of gender relations’ is not represented spatially, she sees ‘the dominant male ideology’ as smoothly reproduced in space. The work of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, among others, helps to conceive rather more fragmented, contradictory and complex notions of these relationships. Foucault has shown that power does not flow unidirectionally, as Moore’s model implies, and Bourdieu argues that cultural capital may be at cross-purposes with economic capital, so that the relationship between economic power and spatial representation is not necessarily straightforward; a careful understanding of what constitutes cultural capital in any time or place is essential to grasping social power.16 Likewise, scholarship on social class and ethnicity renders the characterization of authority as ‘male’ unacceptably simplistic. The formulation of the essays presented in this book assumes that women of early modern Europe were subject to and indeed complicit in many of the pressures of patriarchal society; but they also postulate that women were not passive foils on which men could simply project their needs and ideals of

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womanhood, but were instead active shapers of their lives, capable of conforming to or resisting stereotypes. In this regard, social class played a central role in determining women’s actions. Early feminist approaches to space frequently emphasized ‘separate spheres’ in which men and women occupied separate areas of work and influence.17 These domains have been characterized as a dichotomy between men and women, in which men inhabit a public sphere and women are confined to the private sphere of the household: From the depths of the earth to the vast expanse of heaven, time and again he robs femininity of the tissue and texture of her spatiality. In exchange, though it is never one, he buys her a house, shuts her up in it, and places limits on her.18

Scholars initially concentrated on modern architecture to frame this discussion, resulting in a preoccupation with the private/public division, crucial to thinking about the gendering of space in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.19 Early studies of women and social space attacked the domestic sphere as a material expression of women’s subordination, and one which confirmed her lack of status. More recently, feminist studies have sought to re-evaluate the private domestic sphere, traditionally devalued by western European attitudes which have prioritized the public.20 Absent from the debate has been a consideration of these questions in relation to early modern architecture, when the ‘domestic’ was neither exclusively private nor familial, but was necessarily the sphere of work and business and was the locus of political patronage.21 Moreover, the emphasis on public/private distinctions as key to understanding the spatial organization of gendered relations has diverted scholarly attention away from ecclesiastical architecture. The central role of the Church and religious devotion in early modern Europe in terms of creating symbolic and social hierarchy means that an analysis of ecclesiastical architecture is vital to any understanding of the relationships between gendered identity, architecture and power and, indeed, that a division between secular and non-secular rapidly founders in any consideration of early modern architecture. The intimacy of relationships between religious beliefs, social relations and architecture has long been recognized, but Seicento architectural history frequently persists in presenting these ideologically interwoven aspects as separate strands. The gendering of religious devotion is an area of rapidly growing scholarly interest and sophistication.22 However, this scholarship tends to shrink from relating devotion to the architecture and decoration of the churches, monasteries and convents where most religious experiences occurred.23 Several essays in this volume examine spaces of religious devotion; and

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others look at the overlap, or even indistinguishability, between the domestic and the political, the secular and the religious, and the ways in which architecture framed and dissolved such boundaries in the early modern period. As such, they form part of a current in contemporary scholarship which seeks to avoid resorting to a much-overworked ‘explanation’ of intervention, especially female intervention, in these spaces as simply ‘pious’.24 While piety and religious conviction are a central aspect of ecclesiastical patronage and cannot be reduced to political or other motivation, the assumption that piety is separate and primary, causal in relation to ecclesiastical patronage, must be critically examined. Piety, in itself, neither explains nor determines. Indeed, as Craig Monson has observed, artistic activities, such as the patronage of churches and chapels and their decoration, could form important impetuses to nuns’ spiritual lives.25 An analysis of piety reveals it to be more complex and less socially neutral than a simple model of piety-as-cause implies. Piety is anticipated, delayed and traversed by social currents (including gender), and therefore needs to be analysed in relation to them. A failure to undertake this task condemns us to a continuing neglect of the forms that pious patronage produced, in favour of a superficial concern with iconographies. It is the interconnections between piety, desire for social distinction, political ambition and familial status that are most sharply borne out in architectural patronage and organization. It is important to consider how architecture operates in ways that are distinct from those of other forms of representation. In this respect, this collection is an interrogation of Lefebvre’s claims: I am not saying that the monument is not the outcome of a signifying practice, or of a particular way of proposing a meaning, but merely that it can be reduced neither to a language or discourse nor to the categories and concepts developed for the study of language. A spatial work (monument or architectural project) attains a complexity fundamentally different from the complexity of a text, whether prose or poetry.26

It is above all in the built environment, much more than in figurative representations (and far more than in the circumscribed area of painting, paradoxically the subject of disproportionately greater scrutiny by brilliant feminist scholars), that gendered relationships are produced, reproduced and written into the body. Inhabited space, architecture, is the principal locus for the objectification (which remains subjectively experienced through the body) of hierarchical and generative arrangements. Architecture is a tangible classifying system continuously inculcating and reinforcing the taxonomic principles underlying all the arbitrary provisions of a culture.27 This is particularly evident in early modern architectural practice, with its emphasis on social hierarchy as spatially performed through etiquette, processional

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ritual, and the conjuring of vistas and enfilades to evoke the distance conferred by power. Moreover, the lessons of architecture are embedded into the body itself. It is the dialectical relationship between the body and structured space that leads to the embodying of the structures of the world. Architecture, in Bourdieu’s words, is a ‘book read with the body’, in and through the movements and displacements which make the space within which they are enacted as much as they are made by it.28 The relationships between bodies and the spaces that inform them are consequently particularly intimate, particularly difficult to disentangle (and, for that reason, often taken for granted, naturalized and made rhetorically invisible). The ways in which architecture embodies power relations and performs them on and through bodies is one of the major contributions of Foucault’s work.29 It has particularly profoundly affected our understanding of institutional control of sexuality; and his influence pervades the essays presented here. But why should women as active social agents accept gender relations which oppress them? Are they forced to comply? Or are they voluntarily complicit in their own subordination? If we wish to escape the crudest naïveties of legalism (which construes practice as resulting from obeying rules), Bourdieu’s notion of habitus is helpful. He suggests that agency, the activities of individual social actors, supports hierarchical systems of organization based on age and gender.30 Individuals are not necessarily aware of the consequences of their actions in any broad sense, or in relation to others. Actions which reproduce structural relations against a protagonist’s own best interests are produced by ‘learned ignorance’ or habitus, which lends agents a sense of order. The habitus is the internalization of objective structures, the immanent law, lex insita, established in each person during his/her earliest upbringing, which is brought to bear on his/her behaviours, both physical and mental, and body. Thus the individual’s ‘disposition’, assumptions, appearance, gestures, represent a nexus of social, economic and religious arrangements and relations, which, in turn, also means that those assumptions and social conditions are marked on that person and perpetuated by her or him.31 In Bourdieu’s words, ‘agents have an interest in obeying the rule, or more precisely, in being in a regular situation’.32 Bourdieu also points out that conformity to the rule can bring secondary benefits, such as the prestige and respect which reward actions apparently motivated by nothing other than pure, disinterested respect for convention. In other words, it is their present and past positions in the social structure that individuals carry with them, in the form of dispositions that are so many marks of social position and hence of the social distance between objective positions.33 Such a model allows us to understand why women acting on their habitus may well reproduce structural relations which determine their subordination

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to men, even while they may sometimes exploit their freedoms to initiate social change. Foucault describes how power grips at the point where desires and the very sense of the possibilities for self-definition are constituted.34 Thus analysing the politics of gendered architecture is a more ambitious project than cataloguing the activities of women in relation to architecture (a confusion persisting at the heart of much scholarship on early modern art and architecture), since it seeks to illuminate significant enactments of the relationships between disposition and spatial organization, and to analyse the social formation of that disposition which required or desired specific spatial arrangements.

Gendered patronage Several of the essays here shed light on the politics of architectural patronage, particularly female architectural patronage. Up until a few years ago, female patrons on the whole received less nuanced treatments than their male counterparts. But this picture is changing rapidly as more critical research dedicated specifically to patronage by women is undertaken.35 This has (belatedly) forced attention not only to the social conditions in which such patronage is possible and even sustained, but to the purposes and functions of such patronage. Within patronage studies which pay attention to gender, there lurk two opposed dangers. The first is that of ascribing female architectural patronage to a singular ‘exceptional’ woman, whose undertakings are portrayed as innocent of the muddy compromises of familial and urban politics. This has produced a flowering of scholarship focused on individual artists, architects, and even artist–nuns.36 Fascinating though such studies are, they risk interpreting art and architecture as the inspired product of one or two exceptional individuals, whether artists or patrons, whose capacity for innovation is explained in terms of their exceptionality, their disconnection to their context, effectively dehistoricizing them (thus falling into the trap of early ‘celebratory’ feminist studies), rather than as participants in broader social forces, subject to (not separate from) specific historical circumstances. The second danger arises from an approach, willed or unwilled, to the social history of art which contextualizes artistic production in such a way as to make the art produced seem inevitable. That is to say, the more seamlessly art is seen in relation to the contexts in which it was produced, the less readily retained is any sense of contingency, chance, or impetus for change in the production of those objects and their peculiar appearance, their curious fashioning and stylistic handling. Too often still, perhaps, that sense of contingency and of a desire to push things in a certain direction is retained

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only by recourse, to a greater or lesser degree, to the notion of ‘genius’, by explaining the intervention in terms of the extraordinary individual, the gifted artist, or even the far-sighted patron. Although the seamless contextualizing approach appears to differ fundamentally from one which explains female patrons and artists in terms of their exceptionality as individuals, they are, in fact, intimately related. Emphasis on the exceptionality of individual artists or patrons, more divorced from than embedded in their times, tends to blind us to the social implications of exceptionally courageous and ambitious art works, as does the seamless contextualizing approach. Thus we have the familiar art-historical dichotomy between contextualization and an essentially Kantian notion of art work that – propelled by artist or by patron – orbits outside its time. It is the seamlessness of the contextual model that is problematic. The essays here seek to expose architectural patronage and form as not inevitably arising from given specific historical, material and religious conditions, but as necessary for, or useful to, certain groups or interests in the specific and changing – often uncomfortable and awkward – historical circumstances in which they found themselves. In this regard, it is important to grasp that a building produces new spaces inside and out, and can suggest, indicate and even make necessary an alteration of social relations, rather than simply perpetuating an existing arrangement. In short, architecture is part of a social dynamic co-involving all participants in its production and use. Thus there is, in Tafuri’s words, no historical ‘background’ against which architecture is made: architecture is part of the social and political history that is irrevocably changed by its being made.37 Thus a more attentive architectural history is needed which analyses the forces that made certain spatial arrangements desirable, the specific historical circumstances which brought them into being, including the role of architects and patrons, and the social effects of those spaces once produced. The essays presented here seek to treat architecture as the never inevitable product of specific historical conjunctions of skills, ambitions, aspirations and anxieties, involving groups of people, always politically and socially motivated, intent on ensuring that they were not obscured by rival aristocrats, competing religious orders, or jealous subjects. These essays also seek to circumvent the persistent resort in discussions of female patronage in particular to a model either of ‘reflection’ or of architecture as ‘proclaiming’ or ‘expressing’ the patron’s ‘own taste’, as if that ‘taste’ already existed fully formed, but invisible and entirely personal before being metamorphosed into architectural form.38 Art history which ‘explains’ interventions in terms of the ‘taste’ of the patron (or artist) actually shrinks from addressing the issues it purports to analyse.39 Reifying taste stagnates the explanation of a process that is dynamic and involves change. To regard architecture of this period as the ‘reflection’ of something else (whether social

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class, wealth, status, or taste) is to ignore the fact that architectural production would be unnecessary if what it represents existed already elsewhere in clearly defined form; and it ducks the difficult issues involved in trying to account for the invention and adoption of specific architectural forms, why wealth is ‘reflected’, for instance, in a grand portico in one case and in a splendid dome elsewhere. Thinking of patrons as gendered and in relation to their social and economic circumstances, their social class and habitus, allows these subjects’ identities to remain contingent, shifting and unstable and helps to avoid a superficial circularity of argument (a woman of a certain taste brings into being art that precisely embodies that taste). By drawing on the theoretical resources of Pierre Bourdieu and Henri Lefebvre in particular it is possible to trace a path which avoids the present dichotomy between the ‘heroic’ and the ‘passive’ view of women and architecture, as the essays gathered here attempt to do. Bourdieu’s concept of habitus and Lefebvre’s of spatiality help to inflect Foucault’s still useful conceptualization of relationships between space and power. These essays fully acknowledge the degree to which art patronage is not simply the product of social and political privilege, but actively helps to maintain that privilege. In other words, the social conditions in which certain forms of architecture are brought into being are central and not incidental to an understanding of those forms. This allows us to depart from the restrictive celebratory mode which has dominated studies of female patronage, and to appreciate the degree to which art patronage was a mode by which women could use architecture to change social relations in a way that was not possible through other forms of representation. It should also require us to pay scrupulous attention to architectural form itself. All the essays presented here emphasize the significance of practice and social structure, rather than discourse alone, in interpreting architecture.40 As Bourdieu has argued, ‘The explanation agents may provide of their own practice, thanks to a quasi theoretical reflection on their practice, conceals, even from their own eyes, the true nature of their practical mastery.’41 Protagonists’ claims or descriptions of architecture and architectural practice can never be accepted at face value, but must always be read in relation to the social structures in which such utterances and practices have meaning. Nevertheless, some of the essays presented here show that discourse, though never simply at face value, is significant, a vital part of the triangular relationship between architecture, social structure and discourse, each node of which and their interrelationships are interrogated here in relation to gender.42

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The organization of this book The first section of this book (Part II) includes essays which address the gendering of the production of institutional architecture, ecclesiastical and secular. It focuses on the roles of architects and patrons, while seeking to explain them in relation to broader historical issues. Essays in the second section (Part III) address the relationships between built form and social practice, how architecture was used and resisted, both by institutions and individuals responsible for its production and by their successors. Although there are overlaps between these sections, this organization of material usefully emphasizes the most important themes the collection addresses. Two chapters (Germann and Eichberger) emphasize the significance of individual female patrons, not in order to identify and pursue exceptional female figures, but to trace their architectural relationship to the prominent institutions with which they are most sharply identified architecturally, and to investigate both the degree to which their architectural projects can be said to be gendered, and the ways in which architecture afforded them the possibility to articulate or disguise some of the contradictions of their public roles. Dagmar Eichberger’s essay investigates the architectural consequences of a woman’s holding a powerful political office thitherto held by men. She examines the ways in which the social rank and gender of Margaret of Austria, governor-general and regent of the Burgundian–Habsburgian Netherlands, impacted on the design and decoration of her principal residence, the ‘Court of Savoy’ in Mechelen. She shows that while the floor plan and elevations were left as designed for previous (male) holders of the office and were untouched by Margaret, the treatment of some of the rooms and of the gardens surrounding the palace can be read as gendered feminine. Those aspects of architecture (floor plan, exterior elevations) which were most publicly visible and which functioned at the broadest and highest political levels to articulate and advertise the status of the governor-general remained ‘ungendered’ (or masculinized), and were beyond Margaret’s touch, because too intimately connected to the power of the office of governor-general: changes made there would have risked immediate loss of face, of political status and power. However, the more marginal and private – less politically exposed – areas, such as the garden and library, were personalizable and feminizable. While Margaret’s concentration on the interior of her house was in keeping with conventional views on women’s domestic duties, her orchestration of distinctive displays in her library, dining-room and her cabinets indicate a more ambitious wish to define herself publicly in intellectual and cultural activities on an international stage. Thus her architectural interventions can be read as both attempting to assert and accommodate her intellectual curiosity while maintaining the conventionalized political power of her office.

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Access to a public space crucially allowed women to put on a public face. Jennifer Germann’s essay subjects the public face of the church of the Val-deGrâce to scrutiny, reading it as a portrait of Anne of Austria, its patron. The very subject of this essay usefully exposes the problems of seeking to distinguish sharply between secular and ecclesiastical architecture and issues at this date, as a secular patron exploits ecclesiastical architecture for both religious and political ends. Harnessing Gadamer’s notion that decoration is ontological, Germann focuses on the relationship between decoration and patronage. Anne of Austria, she shows, built a church which articulates key components of her public identity to meet her political needs, using the church as a tool to negotiate the demanding and sometimes contradictory roles of queen, queen mother and queen regent. Eunice Howe’s essay focuses on the gendering of institutional space in hospitals in Renaissance Italy. She shows how the assumptions made by the architects Leon Battista Alberti and Filarete about ideals of hospital organization and architecture stem as much from their ideological views about the family as the immutable representation of the correct ordering of social class and gender, as from their understanding of physiological illness. Believing in the close relationship between social conduct and architectural organization, Alberti advocates the separation of the curable from the incurable and of women from men. He treats social class itself as a contagion, insisting on segregating one class from another, as important as the separation of chronic from non-chronic illness. In his hospital the spaces where men were housed are visible, accessible and extroverted, while spaces for women are internal, policed and introverted. Meanwhile Filarete’s sick women are equally cocooned from contact with men, even a priest. For both Alberti and Filarete the starting-point for their designs is the intensely hierarchical household, in which the dominance of the male head of household is expressed architecturally. Naturalizing their concept of the well-ordered family allowed these men to design architecture which continues to reproduce the gender inequivalences of the upper-class family home. Tanis Hinchcliffe’s essay focuses on the professional formation of the architect in eighteenth-century France. She discusses the ways in which the career was restricted to men, and the ways in which it was masculinized. But she takes pains to illuminate the important roles assumed by women at key moments in specific architects’ distinguished careers and argues that familial connections, often through women, played a vital part in the construction of a network of professional patronage at this date. She goes on to argue that interventions by women in the production of architecture which assumed more direct form also bear the imprint of gendered identities. Her examination of late eighteenth-century Parisian suburban villa architecture, patronized by economically independent women, argues that the often innovative spatial

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design of such buildings, privileging luxury, even sensuality, was masked behind conventionalized façades and their discreet suburban location. The principal theme explored in the essays in Part III is the relationship between architecture and practice, including resistance (that is, the relationship between architecture and practical relationships). De Certeau argues that the ‘geometrical space of urbanists and architects seems to have the status of the “proper meaning” constructed by grammarians and linguists in order to have a normal and normative level to which they can compare the drifting of “figurative” language’.43 ‘In reality’, argues De Certeau, ‘this faceless “proper” meaning cannot be found in current use, whether verbal or pedestrian; it is merely the fiction produced by a use that is also particular, the metalinguistic use of science that distinguishes itself by that very distinction.’44 All the essays in this section, in varying ways, address these claims. How women actually used and moved through architecture in the early modern period is rarely glimpsed, but Elizabeth Chew presents remarkable evidence of both practice and its rhetorical significances in her account of Lady Anne Clifford (1590–1676). She reveals a woman remarkably conscious of the degree to which the ownership of property was embodied through avidly architectural privileges and rituals. This essay is important in its concern less with Clifford as an architectural patron than with her awareness of the uses of practice in her residences. Clifford’s careful written record of her routes through and use of (especially sleeping in) specific rooms in her several houses served both to connect herself through them to her dead ancestors, rendering her (precarious) birthright inalienably her own by inscribing the passages and privileges of ownership on to her own body, and to obliterate time (and gender difference) both by her bodily spatial identification with her forebears (often through sleep) and by her insistent communication of these processes in writing to her descendants. Monastic architecture, which is investigated in relation to its uses and abuses in four essays here, was central to the social construction of difference between religious men and women, and even between men and women tout court. The Augustinian view of Creation regarded maleness as of the soul, spirit and intellect, while women were equated with sin, carnality and the body. In the thirteenth century Aquinas developed the theological understanding of women’s natural inferiority by isolating the reason for women’s existence in terms of biological reproduction alone. Women were excluded from the sacramental and teaching functions of the priesthood, because they were identified with their body and corporeality, which were regarded as inferior to the spirit and intellect. But virginal monasticism offered women the possibility of individual spiritual equality. Christianity proffered sexual equality in salvation as a result of accepting inferiority,

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including social inferiority, within Creation. Active participation in religious life allowed women access to power which was in other spheres closed to them. Indeed, it gave them access to a ‘public’ space, when such spaces were generally inaccessible to women. The constraints on that access and the nature of that ‘publicness’, arising in part from definitions derived from Christian exegetes and historical circumstances, are examined in essays here by Dunn, Lehfeldt, Lindquist and Weddle. Conventual space poses particularly interesting questions. If it is careless to assume that a space almost devoid of the physical presence of men can be described as ‘female’, and if it is rash to suppose that conventual space is necessarily organized for the benefits of its female occupants, how do gender politics affect the organization and use of conventual space beyond the separation of the sexes? Elizabeth Lehfeldt’s, Marilyn Dunn’s and Saundra Weddle’s essays examine these issues in relation to female conventual architecture. They trace the official declarations of ecclesiastical prescription, made at the Council of Trent, in relation to both built architecture itself and its uses by conventual inmates and outsiders in Italy and Spain. They find that while practice departs from the official pronouncements, just as the tracery of pathways existing on the ground departs from the neat line indicating a bridlepath on a map, nevertheless, there is adherence to the prescripts of the Church, at least in appearance. In other words, part of architecture’s functioning as a disciplinary machine, as Foucault brilliantly identified, is that it also acts as a bulwark offering the reassurance of conformity, while simultaneously hiding non-conformity from critical eyes behind high walls. The capacity of architecture to assist the resistance to power, even as it appears to conform to it, is one of its most important characteristics, and one which necessitates an analysis of architectural form in relation to social practice, as these essays attempt to do. Institutions discipline minds, bodies and emotions, according to hierarchical relations within them, such as social class or religious or health status. Power is exercised through relations which classify the body. While Howe explores how hospital design focused on the containment of the contaminating body, in convents bodies were classified through the discourse on chastity and virginity, as we see in Dunn’s, Lindquist’s and Weddle’s essays, and through spatial organization which separated nuns not only from the outside world, but hierarchically from each other, as Dunn shows. Convents were closely linked to the aristocracy through their material culture, to particular families through sites and bequests, but above all to the habitus of aristocratic women. Architecture constructed the habitus which connected common interest groups. Religious identities, personal mobility and sexuality were maintained through space, boundaries and architectural adornment. Control of female sexuality was a central function of post-Tridentine convents

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and at the same time spirituality became particularly sexualized. Thus sexuality and virginity were themes of great weight both inside and outside the convent, though with different emphases and for differing reasons. Weddle, Dunn and Lindquist present detailed studies of convent architecture, planning, organization and decoration to relate these issues to social, devotional, urban and sexual politics. Saundra Weddle’s essay focuses on one institution, the Florentine convent of Le Murate, and traces its development in terms of architectural change, religious reputation and social status between 1390 and 1597. She argues that Trent ‘changed image more than practice’, and demonstrates the crucial role architecture and architectural discourse played both in constructing a prescribed image and in betraying practice which ran counter to it. Elizabeth Lehfeldt’s essay concentrates on Spanish case studies which chronologically straddle the Council of Trent, often regarded as a moment or rupture, in order to investigate the degree to which Trent affected convents’ adherence to the principles of chastity and separation from the world. She shows that conventual enclosure was permeated with holes from within and without, that nuns asserted direct control over conventual space, fashioning it to suit their needs, breaking active enclosure if necessary, while their families violated passive enclosure to make their mark through artistic patronage inside convent walls. Marilyn Dunn analyses spatial divisions within Roman convents in relation to institutional organization, ecclesiastical prescription, and evidence of inmates’ practices. She shows that these spaces, in spite of a rhetoric of impermeability, were richly multi-layered, and able to present a wide range of simultaneously conflicting realities, to audiences, visitors, and inhabitants – surely one of the remarkable characteristics of architecture. Sherry Lindquist’s essay, which examines the late medieval Charterhouse at Champmol in Dijon, focuses on a male institution haunted by women, or, more precisely, by the threat of defilement represented by the temptations of the female body, figured as an outsider (just as female convents were haunted by the spectre of the defiling male). But whereas the protection and control of religious women is undertaken through their unrelenting surveillance (insisted upon architecturally throughout female conventual institutions), the Carthusian monks were isolated architecturally, their preserve of solitude, the monastic cell, was figured as innocence, charged with representing their dedication and spirituality, and became the hallmark of institutional identity, while the rest of the monastery afforded more liberal interpretation of the Rule.

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Notes 1. 2.

3.

4. 5.

6.

7.

S. Wren, Parentalia, or, Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens (London, 1750), p. 261. See, for instance, N. Zemon Davis, ‘City Women and Religious Change’ and ‘Women on Top: Symbolic Sexual Inversion and Political Disorder in Early Modern Europe’, in Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), pp. 65–95, 147–90; N. Zemon Davis and A. Farge, eds, A History of Women: Renaisssance and Enlightenment Paradoxes (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1993); J. Kelly, Women, History and Theory (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1984); T. Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990); J. G. Turner, ed., Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); M. Gallucci, C. Gallucci, G. Ruggiero and E. Muir, eds, Sex and Gender in Historical Perspective: Selections from Quaderni Storici (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990). The interest in space as a subject of study arises partly from its materiality and everyday relevance, and partly because it is the context in which all other cultural representations are produced and reproduced. Space is the medium in which social relationships are organized and negotiated; space becomes a map in which personal identity and boundaries between social groups are expressed. G. Lerner usefully warns of the dangers of class erasure in historical analysis of gender. G. Lerner, ‘Placing Women in History: Definitions and Challenges’, Feminist Studies, 3, Fall 1975, 1–8. Lefebvre is key in thinking of space as socially and historically produced. See, especially, H. Lefebvre, La Production de l’espace, trans. D. Nicholson-Smith, The Production of Space (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), esp. pp. 1–60, 68–168. For a further discussion of how this might be thought in relation to Cartesian philosophy, see A. Benjamin, ‘Policing the Body: Descartes and the architecture of change’, in N. Leach, ed., Architecture and Revolution (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), pp. 81–91. Women’s groups and feminists have long been active in architectural design; but architectural history, especially of early modern Europe, blithely disregarded the implications of gender for architectural design, meanings and interpretation. Influential textbooks and surveys, such as S. Giedion, Space, Time & Architecture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959 and 1980), C. NorbergSchulz’s Baroque Architecture (New York: Abrams, 1979), or Spiro Kostof’s A History of Architecture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), ignored the implications of gender entirely, even at a time when their counterparts writing about other forms of visual art production were demonstrating its centrality. The historical relationship between feminism and art history has been plotted many times elsewhere. See, for instance, N. Broude and M. Garrard, ‘Introduction: Feminism and Art History’, in N. Broude and M. Garrard, eds, Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany (New York: Harper & Row, 1982), pp. 1–18; N. Broude and M. Garrard, ‘Introduction: The Expanding Discourse’, in N. Broude and M. Garrard, eds, The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History (New York: Harper & Row, 1992), pp. 1–26; R. Parker and G. Pollock, Framing Feminism: Art and the Women’s Movement 1970–85 (London: Pandora Books, 1987).

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8.

9. 10.

11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

19

K. Petersen and J. Wilson, Women Artists: Recognition and Reappraisal from the Early Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), was one of the key publications in bringing the work of female artists to the attention of a wide public during the 1970s and R. Parker and G. Pollock, Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology (London and Sydney: HarperCollins, 1981), guided the debate beyond simply adding women to the canon of artists to considering the relationships between art history and the treatment of women in art. See, for example, G. Pollock, Vision and Difference, Feminism, Femininities and the Histories of Art (London: Routledge, 1988), Differencing the Canon (London: Routledge, 1999). The first wave of feminism saw the publication of a range of different sorts of studies addressing the exclusion of women from architectural practice, the effect of gender on design, and the impact of gendered design on social relationships. See, for instance, S. Torre, ed., Women in American Architecture: A Historical and Contemporary Perspective (New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1977); Dolores Hayden, The Grand Domestic Revolution (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982); C. Lorenz, Women in Architecture: a contemporary perspective (London: Trefoil, 1990); A. Garland, ‘A Woman’s Place’, Building Design, 664, June 1983 and ‘Getting an Even Deal for Women’, Building Design, 675, Feb 1984, and their bibliographies. An outstanding analysis of architecture designed by men in terms of gendered identities remains M. Roberts, Living in a Man-Made World (London and New York: Routledge, 1991). Among the exhibitions on the subject, ‘The History of Women Architects’, held in Berlin in 1986, organized by the Union Internationale des Femmes Architectes Sektion Bundesrepublik e V., and ‘That Exceptional One’, an exhibition of work by female architects from 1888 to 1988, touring in the USA 1988–90, were particularly important. The reasons why architectural history has proved more or less impermeable to many of the intellectual currents which have transformed the rest of art history, such as poststructuralism, is an issue deserving of examination, but beyond the scope of this book. This problem is touched on briskly and provocatively in M. McLeod, ‘Introduction’, in M. McLeod, ed., Architecture and Ideology: Proceedings of the Symposium (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1985), pp. 7–11. See, for example, S. Kent, Domestic Architecture and the Use of Space (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). Hillier and Hanson proceed on these assumptions in using structuralist arguments to develop formal analysis of spatial patterns in architecture. B. Hillier and J. Hanson, The Social Logic of Space (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); B. Hillier, Space is the machine: a configurational theory of architecture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). Though useful in providing a language in which to articulate spatiality, this approach fails to consider meanings within specific cultural contexts. I do not, of course, suggest that these strategies are necessarily successful. H. Moore, Space, Text and Gender: an anthropological study of the Marakwet of Kenya (New York and London: Guilford Press, 1999), p. 188. Ibid. Ibid. P. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. R. Nice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977); and Distinction: a social critique of the judgement of taste (La distinction: critique sociale du jugement) (London:

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17.

18. 19.

20.

21.

22.

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Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986); M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), pp. 195–230. L. Davidoff and C. Hall, ‘The Architecture of Public and Private Life: English Middle-Class Society in a Provincial Town 1780–1850’, in D. Fraser and A. Sutcliffe, eds, The Pursuit of Urban History (London: Edward Arnold, 1983); S. Ardener, ed., Women and Space: Ground Rules and Social Maps (Oxford and Providence, RI: Berg, 1993); J. Wolff, Feminine Sentences: Essays on women and culture (Oxford: Polity, 1990). L. Irigaray, ‘Sexual difference’, in T. Moi, ed., French Feminist Thought (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987), p. 123. Domestic architecture has most famously been investigated in relation to gender by Dolores Hayden, who examined feminists’ attempts to reform the nature of unpaid domestic work and the problems for women resulting from a sexual division of labour. Her research focused primarily on nineteenth-century reformers in the United States. Much of the more recent scholarship concerned with precisely such problems comes from the USA and continues to focus almost exclusively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century, mostly domestic, architecture. See, for instance, B. Colomina, ed., Sexuality and Space (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992); D. Agrest et al., eds, The Sex of Architecture (New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1996); D. Coleman et al., eds, Architecture and Feminism (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996); M. Roberts, Living in a Man-Made World: Gender Assumptions in Modern Housing Design (London and New York: Routledge, 1991); E. P. Berkeley and M. McQuaid, Architecture: A Place for Women (Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989). J. Rendell, B. Penner and I. Borden, eds, Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (New York and London: Routledge, 2000), likewise presents texts concentrating overwhelmingly on twentieth-century issues. But see L. Durning and R. Wrigley, eds, Gender and Architecture (Chichester: John Wiley, 2000) for a usefully more ambitious chronological span. R. Hirschon, Women and Property: women as property (Beckenham: Croom Helm, 1983); J. Attfield and P. Kirkham, eds, A View from the Interior: Feminism, Women and Design (London: Women’s Press, 1989); L. Walker, ‘Home making: an architectural perspective’, Signs, 27, Spring 2002, 823–30. Patricia Waddy’s stimulating analysis of seventeenth-century palace plans in relation to the gender of their occupants remains exceptional. P. Waddy, Seventeenth-Century Roman Palace Architecture (New York: Architectural History Foundation; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), pp. 25–30. See, for instance, the work of C. W. Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), and Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion (New York: Zone Books, 1991); S. Boesch-Gajano and L. Sebastiani, eds, Culto dei Santi, istituzioni e classi sociali in età preindustriale (Aquila: LU Iapadre Editore, 1984); L. Panizza, ed., Women in Italian Renaissance Culture and Society (Oxford: University of Oxford European Humanities Research Centre, 2000); C. Monson, ed., The Crannied Wall (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992); G. Zarri, Donna, Disciplina, Creanza Cristiana dal XV al XVII Secolo (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1996), and Recinti: Donne, clausura, matrimonio nella prima età moderna (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2000).

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21

23. But for useful work which seeks to address this relationship in the early modern period, see S. Boesch-Gajano and L. Scaraffia, eds, Luoghi sacri e spazi della santità (Turin: Rosenberg & Sellier, 1990); M. Dunn, ‘Piety and Patronage in Seicento Rome’, Art Bulletin, LXXVI, 1994, 644–63; J. W. Mann, ‘The Annunciation Chapel in the Quirinal Palace, Rome’, Art Bulletin, LXXV, 1993, 113–34. See also H. Hills, Invisible City: The Architecture of Aristocratic Convents in Baroque Naples (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) pp. 2–8. 24. See C. Lawrence, ‘Introduction’, in C. Lawrence, ed., Women and Art in Early Modern Europe (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), p. 5. For a more complex discussion see E. Schulte van Kessel, ‘Virgins and Mothers between Heaven and Earth’, in N. Zemon Davis and A. Farge, eds, A History of Women in the West: III Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1993), pp. 132–66 and ‘Gender and Spirit, pietas et contemptus mundi. Matrons–Patrons in Early Modern Rome’, in E. Schulte van Kessel, ed., Women and Men in Spiritual Culture (XIV–XVII Centuries) (The Hague: Netherlands Government Publishing Office, 1986), pp. 47–68. 25. He regards it as significant that, for instance, Sister Maria Domitilla Galuzzi’s visions should have begun soon after the redecoration and adornment with new icons of the chapel where she meditated. Monson, Crannied Wall, p. 6. 26. Lefebvre, The Production of Space, p. 222. 27. The fullest analysis of this remains P. Bourdieu, Esquisse d’une théorie de la pratique: précédé de trois études d’ethnologie kabyle (Paris and Geneva: Seuil, 2000), pp. 45–69, which remains untranslated in full into English. But see P. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. R. Nice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977); also Language and Symbolic Power, ed. J. B. Thompson and trans. G. Raymond and M. Adamson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 117–36, 229–51. 28. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, p. 90. 29. See, especially, M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, trans. A. Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), pp. 195–308. 30. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, pp. 72–95. 31. ‘The structures constitutive of a particular type of environment (e.g. the material conditions of existence characteristic of a class condition) produce habitus, systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structures predisposed to functioning as structuring structures, that is, as principles of the generation and structuring of practices and representations which can be objectively “regulated” and “regular” without in any way being the product of obedience to rules, objectively adapted to their goals without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary to attain them and, being all this, collectively orchestrated without being the product of the orchestrating action of a conductor.’ Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, p. 72. 32. Ibid., p. 22. 33. See ibid., pp. 72–95. 34. Antonio Gramsci’s notion of hegemony also illuminates these apparent paradoxes of people acting against their own interests. A. Gramsci, Further Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. and trans. D. Boothman (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1995). He argues that consensus is developed between dominant and subordinate groups through the process of hegemony, which may be very slow and gradual. Subordinate groups, which may include women,

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35.

36.

37. 38. 39.

40.

41. 42.

43. 44.

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subscribe to dominant values, symbols and beliefs, which are part of an encoded value system which is maintained through institutional and individual action. But interest groups, such as aristocratic women, may also develop views which differ from prevailing orthodoxies. See, for example, C. E. King, Renaissance Women Patrons (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1998), for a rich treatment of the subject. See also C. Lawrence, ed., Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997). Scholars have energetically investigated art work and music produced by nuns inside convents. Particularly useful are J. Hamburger, Nuns as Artists: the visual culture of a medieval convent (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1997), and C. Monson, ‘La Pratica della musica nei monasteri femminili bolognesi’, in O. Mischiati and P. Russo, eds, La Cappella Musicale nell’Italia della Controriforma (Cento: L. S. Olschki, 1989), pp. 143–60. Mary-Ann Winkelmes argues that the nuns of S. Zaccaria in Venice, S. Paolo in Parma, and S. Maurizio in Milan communicated with local monks of the Cassinese Congregation of reformed Benedictines regarding the building and decoration of their churches, while working with marked autonomy as art patrons. M.-A. Winkelmes, ‘Taking Part: Benedictine Nuns as Patrons of Art and Architecture’, in G. A. Johnson and S. F. Matthews Grieco, eds, Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 91–110. M. Tafuri, The Sphere and the Labyrinth: Avant-gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), pp. 1–24. Lawrence, Women and Art in Early Modern Europe, p. 7. The best critique of this mode of approach remains Pierre Bourdieu’s remarkable Distinction: a social critique of the judgement of taste (La distinction: critique sociale du jugement) (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986), a thesis which remains disturbing to many who prefer to regard the marks of their social and economic privileges as signs of their innate individual talent and taste. See also J. Wolff, The Social Production of Art (New York: New York University Press, 1981), pp. 49–70. Paul Ricoeur usefully distinguishes between physical movement through space (as a mnemonic which informs and reinforces social action) and the activity of interpreting spatial orientation. He sees meaning as produced by actions and interpretations of individual social actors in specific historical settings. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, p. 19. Compare Griselda Pollock’s claim that ‘[r]epresentation is to be understood as a social relation enacted and performed via specific appeals to vision, specific managements of imaginary spaces and bodies for a gaze. The efficacy of representation, furthermore, relies on a ceaseless exchange with other representations.’ G. Pollock, ‘Feminism/Foucault – Surveillance/Sexuality’, in N. Bryson, M. A. Holly and K. Moxey, eds, Visual Culture: Images and Interpretations (Hanover and London: University Press of New England for Wesleyan University Press, 1994), p. 14. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everday Life, trans. by S. Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), p. 100. Ibid.

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A Noble Residence for a Female Regent: Margaret of Austria and the ‘Court of Savoy’ in Mechelen Dagmar Eichberger* This chapter investigates the principal residence, the ‘Court of Savoy’, of Archduchess Margaret of Austria (1480–1530), governor-general and regent of the Burgundian–Habsburgian Netherlands (Fig. 1.1).1 Margaret of Austria is the first of a series of female regents who resided and ruled in this economically important part of the Holy Roman Empire.2 Margaret’s residence in Mechelen was one of the most significant princely courts in the early sixteenth-century Netherlands, which attracted the attention of humanists, international diplomats and artists alike. This chapter examines the ways in which Margaret of Austria’s social rank and gender had a particular impact on the edifice itself or on the interior decoration of her residence. The first part of this study looks closely at the architectural structure of the so-called ‘Court of Savoy’ (Fig. 1.2) and the built environment surrounding the residence. Particular attention is paid to the living quarters inhabited by the widowed archduchess and to her garden. The second part of this chapter analyses how Margaret of Austria organized and interpreted these spaces by carefully furnishing her rooms with a large variety of objects and artefacts. It argues that her identity as a female regent is clearly reflected in the way in which she decorated her residence. When Margaret of Austria returned from the Duchy of Savoy to the Low Countries in October 1506, she established her permanent residence in the city of Mechelen. While her forebears, the dukes of Burgundy, had resided in princely residences in Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Lille, Hesdin and Arras, she chose to live in the city where her close relative and foster mother, Dowager-Duchess Margaret of York (1446–1503), had spent the last thirty years of her life.3 Margaret of Austria took over her foster mother’s last apartment and her private oratory at the old St Peter’s church and integrated them both into her new residence. The city of Mechelen, which was also the seat of the Great Council, was

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eager to become the new centre of political activities. The town council therefore offered to pay for the erection of a new residence worthy of a highranking court with international connections. The burghers of Mechelen hoped that the presence of such a court would bring trade and prosperity to their community.4

The construction of the ‘Court of Savoy’ The site chosen for the erection of Margaret of Austria’s ‘Court of Savoy’ was situated opposite the so-called ‘Court of Austria’ or ‘Court of the Emperor’.5 This spacious fifteenth-century mansion on Keizerstraat had been given to Maximilian by the city of Mechelen as a residence for his grandchildren, the young prince Charles (1500–58) and three of his sisters. In 1507, Maximilian acquired several houses in the vicinity of the ‘Court of Austria’ from his treasurer-general Hieronymus Lauwerijn in order to secure a large block of land for the future domicile of his only daughter.6 Margaret’s future residence was to be framed in the north by Keizerstraat and in the south by Voochtstraat. The other two sides of the precinct bordered on to the medieval St Julian’s Hospital on its eastern and the old St Peter’s church on its western side. The churchyard was separated from the new residence by a narrow road called Korte Magdenstraat.7 My reconstruction of the rooms on the first floor of the western wing (Figs 1.3 and 1.4) is based on the earliest existing floor plan of the ‘Court of Savoy’8 as well as on written and visual documents. Construction of three wings which constituted Margaret of Austria’s residence began in 1507, but the residence was still unfinished twenty-three years later when the archduchess died unexpectedly at the age of fifty. The task of planning and execution of Margaret of Austria’s official seat of government was entrusted to three members of the Keldermans family, one of the foremost families of architects and entrepreneurs in the Burgundian– Habsburgian Netherlands.9 Anthonis Keldermans I (d. 1512), city architect of Mechelen, and his son Anthonis II (d. 1515) were responsible for the first building phase of the ‘Court of Savoy’ between 1507 and 1515. Their first priority was to construct comfortable living quarters and the necessary administrative areas for the regent and her sizeable household. For economic reasons, the Keldermans made use of extant structures, particularly a long row of smaller houses along Korte Magdenstraat. These older structures are still recognizable today (rooms D to J), as the difference in width and height of the individual segments was not harmonized by the Keldermans. The older houses were integrated into the newly formed western wing of Margaret’s residence. There is thus a marked difference between the regular and grander elevation facing

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the inner courtyard (B, C, K, L) and the irregular and unassuming elevation facing Korte Magdenstraat. Up until the late eighteenth century, this irregularity was partly concealed by the church of St Peter, which occupied the site on the opposite side of the narrow lane. The southern wing on Voochtstraat (Fig. 1.6) with its tall new house on the corner of Korte Magdenstraat (nieuw huys), the spacious entrance gate (a), and the large staircase (b) was an entirely new construction. The architectural style in which it was built was less of a compromise and represented the residence’s outer front, while the principal façade and entrance gate on Keizerstraat were still under construction. In 1515, soon after the death of Anthonis I and Anthonis II, Rombout II Keldermans (c. 1460–1531) assumed the role of city architect. In the following years, Rombout drew up additional plans for the ‘Court of Savoy’10 and started work on the northern section of the residence. This part of Margaret’s residence comprised the great hall (K), the new audience chamber (L) and the modern stone façade with a second entrance gate on Keizerstraat (Figs 1.2 and 1.3). The floor plan (Figs 1.3 and 1.4) suggests that the architect initially intended to provide two main entrance-ways into the residence, one for the members of the household (a) and one for visitors who did not require to proceed to the inner parts of the residence (d). As the audience chamber and the festive hall residence were not operational during Margaret’s lifetime, this division between the official rooms in the north and the sections with limited access in the southern and western wing was never put into action. Instead, Margaret had to organize her daily life within the parameters of the completed sections of her residence.11 We do not know why the city made no stronger effort to complete the two large halls (K, L), which would have given the residence a grander appearance. The city of Mechelen may have held the view that a small residence the size of a middling urban palace would be sufficient for Margaret of Austria, as her family still had the Coudenberg palace in Brussels at their disposal. Important events, such as the coronation festivities for Charles V, were held in this older, more spacious and more prestigious Burgundian residence. Mary of Hungary, who took over the regency after the death of her aunt, soon turned her back on Mechelen and moved to Brussels, where she was given new rooms and a large festive hall in the Coudenberg palace.

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Margaret of Austria’s living quarters and their location within the residence While parts of the original building structure were altered by later occupants, the suite of rooms once inhabited by Margaret of Austria can be identified (Fig. 1.5).12 My proposed reconstruction (Fig. 1.4) is based on early floor plans (Fig. 1.3), the existing building structure, Margaret’s detailed inventories, the yearly accounts of the city of Mechelen, and a large set of watercolours by the nineteenth-century artist Auguste van den Eynde.13 The contents of the individual rooms indicated in the inventories yield valuable insights into the ways individual rooms were used. A contemporary court ordinance of 1525 sheds light on the rules and regulations of everyday life, which were intricately tied to the various spaces within the residence.14 As long as the main entrance on Keizerstraat was still under construction, visitors had to enter the residence from Voochtstraat (a) (Fig. 1.6). After passing through a portico made from bluestone, one could reach the first floor via a wide, two-aisled staircase with two large tracery windows (b). The upper landing provided access either to a large hall with a small apsidial window (A) or to a spacious chamber facing the southern courtyard (B).15 The large hall can be identified as the former court chapel or chappelle.16 Room B is identical with the première chambre à chemynée and contained Margaret’s official portrait gallery. It also served as her large dining room.17 Beyond the official dining hall was the seconde chambre à chemynée (C), Margaret’s multifunctional bedroom.18 Adjacent to Margaret’s most personal chamber was her petit cabinet or study (E). This small cabinet housed some of Margaret’s personal belongings, especially small collectible items and writing utensils. The description in the inventory (1523–24) suggests that this cabinet was located next to the walkway (G) which connected Margaret’s bedroom with a private oratory on the other side of Korte Magdenstraat.19 This double-storied oratory was attached to the chancel of the old parish church of St Peter. The walkway and the private oratory had initially been constructed for the ageing duchess, Margaret of York, after her retirement to one of Hieronymus Lauwerijn’s houses on Korte Magdenstraat. Margaret of Austria lived the solitary life of a devout widow, quite similar to that of the old dowager-duchess, who remained a single woman for the last twenty-six years of her life. It was, in all likelihood, Margaret of Austria’s own decision to occupy the bedroom and oratory which had been used by her close relative and foster mother until 1503. Religious life could take many different forms at the court of Margaret of Austria. In her court chapel, she employed a priest for performing mass; in her bedroom she installed an altar-like structure for her private devotions; and on the other side of Korte Magdenstraat she actively used the private oratory

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attached to her parish church.20 Private oratories of that kind were quite common in the late Middle Ages and were popular with men and women alike.21 Such oratories allowed the inhabitant to attend a mass without leaving their residence. Men and women of high social standing wished to be able to pray in relative privacy, that is, without being watched by the general public. A recently discovered eighteenth-century drawing by Dirk Verijk gives us a lively impression of how the wooden bridge once connected Margaret’s residence with the neighbouring church (Fig. 1.7).22 The fact that this bridge remained intact until the late eighteenth century suggests that it continued to be used by later occupants. Most of Margaret’s gold and silver plate was kept in a room described in the civic accounts as camere vanden jouweelen or ‘jewellery chamber’.23 For reasons of safekeeping, precious objects were kept in the room with the strongest walls, a veritable strong chamber (H). This room could also be reached from the walkway (G) connecting the bedroom with the oratory.24 Along Korte Magdenstraat, there were a number of smaller rooms or cabinets which formed part of Margaret’s living quarters. The two spaces which were connected to the small spiral staircase on Korte Magdenstraat functioned as alternative passage-ways from one story to the other (I, J). This staircase was used by Margaret’s ladies-in-waiting, who occupied a number of spacious and well-lit rooms on the second floor. In the Flemish accounts, there is also mention of a ‘dressing room of Milady’ (garderobbe van my vrouwen), most likely a room for keeping Margaret’s clothing and linen, perhaps identical with the cabinet adjacent to Margaret’s bedroom and study (F).25 The inventory of 1523–24 mentions another small room, the riche cabinet (D), which housed a choice of valuable artefacts such as a large silver chandelier, a gilded wooden tower and a small foldable table from Spain with coats of arms and rich silver ornaments. The baldachin made from green and white silk, embroidered with the letters ‘M’ and ‘a’ (Marguerite d’autriche), and two chairs suggest that the riche cabinet was used as an intimate reception room by the regent.26 The most interesting piece of decoration in the riche cabinet was a valuable diptych with an elaborate silver frame ornamented with Margaret’s coats of arms, angels and enamelled daisies. This rich silver frame had been commissioned by Margaret in 1527, for displaying twenty highly treasured panel paintings by Juan de Flandes. These panels had initially belonged to Queen Isabella of Castile, her first mother-in-law.27 The furnishing of this room suggests that Margaret wished to be seen as a female leader who emanated magnificence and, at the same time, had a discerning taste in art. The paintings by Juan de Flandes were displayed for several reasons. The diptych as well as the small table stressed her close dynastic links with the Spain which now

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belonged to the house of Habsburg. The artistic quality and the religious content of the diptych both appealed to Margaret. The panels commissioned by Isabella of Castile represented a programme which was designed specifically for a female patron, as there is a strong emphasis on biblical scenes in which Christ meets and interacts with women.28 The fact that Margaret relocated these panels from the cupboard of her bedroom to her small reception room is a clear expression of her high appreciation of this particular object. The reconstruction of Margaret’s personal apartment on the first floor of the western wing has shown that the regent had two large rooms and several small cabinets at her disposal, in which she could conduct her daily business and also devise an environment suitable for herself and her court. Margaret worked creatively with the limited space made available to her by occasionally refurbishing her rooms and by adding a new cabinet to the core unit. The large reception room and the festive hall were intended to give Margaret’s residence a grander appearance, but were not completed during her lifetime.

Margaret of Austria’s ‘garden cabinet’ or ‘coral cabinet’ The most remarkable cabinet within Margaret’s residence was her cabinet emprès le jardin also called the ‘cabinet where there are the corals [and] all things made from silver’.29 It is thus characterized by its location as a ‘garden cabinet’ and by its most exotic and most valuable contents, as a ‘coral and silver cabinet’. This cabinet contained a large variety of items, including paintings, small-scale sculptures, embroidered images, clocks, astrolabes, games, mirrors, and so on.30 Margaret kept only a single manuscript in this room, Jean Lemaire de Belges’s allegorical treatise called La Couronne Margaritique.31 Lemaire had been Margaret’s court poet and historian until 1511.32 The ‘garden cabinet’ was set up by Margaret of Austria sometime after 1516 as an extension to her small study upstairs which must have proved too small for all the treasures which Margaret had accumulated over the years.33 The new ‘garden cabinet’ served the sole purpose of displaying 248 valuable artefacts, rarities and curiosities.34 The corals are of particular interest, as they represent one of the most modern components of Margaret’s collection and carried specific significance for the regent herself.35 Margaret owned close to fifty branches of uncarved coral and a small number of religious figurines made from the same material. The coral branches were part of a larger group of rare materials in the garden cabinet and the study upstairs, which can be categorized as Naturalia. Contemporary collectors such as Lorenzo de Medici and Isabella d’Este are also known to have owned natural objects.36 The corals, shells, precious

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stones, pearls, gold and silver ore in Margaret’s collection demonstrate the growing interest in nature in its raw form. Such Naturalia and rarities were often seen as a reflection of the great abundance and diversity in the universe.37 Precious stones and corals were also imbued with symbolic qualities, which were discussed and explored in contemporary literature. Lemaire’s panegyric poem La Couronne Margaritique, dating from 1504/5, describes the fashioning of a symbolic crown for the recently widowed Margaret of Austria.38 The crown is decorated with representations of ten different virtues and ten precious stones. The initials of each virtue and stone correspond to one letter in the French name M-A-R-G-U-E-R-I-T-E. Lemaire correlates the letter ‘G’ with the virtue grace, or ‘mercy’, and the precious stone Gorgonia, or coral.39 In Lemaire’s text, the coral is described as a stone which provides protection against the perils of the sea, dangerous winds and nightmares and also has certain medical properties. He continues to explain that both the virtue of mercy and the coral are most suitable attributes for Margaret of Austria, as she is an outstanding princess who has been chosen by God. By placing Lemaire’s manuscript in the same room as her corals, Margaret of Austria offers an interpretation for the coral branches which goes beyond a general interest in natural history and the macrocosm. Lemaire’s manuscript provides an allegorical account of Margaret’s momentous life and her noble character. It also contains a passage in which the author talks about the leading artists of his time, many of whom were represented in the regent’s collection.40 Margaret thus created layers of meaning which are specifically tailored to herself as the owner of the cabinet. The ‘coral cabinet’ has been described as a space on the ground floor of the residence in which its owner demonstrated her strong interest in collecting and displaying objects of artistic, material and scientific value. This room, which was not used for any other purpose, must have played a significant role in shaping Margaret’s public identity as a cultured and discerning patron of art and literature.

The garden – a female metaphor? The garden (c) was situated away from the street, in the inner courtyard of Margaret’s residence (Fig. 1.4 and 1.5).41 Margaret instructed her gardeners to plant flowers, herbs and vines. There was also a well for water. The vines formed shady arbours or covered walkways. Judging from the sparse evidence that we have, Margaret’s garden was more than a utilitarian kitchen garden. Indeed, in summer, Margaret occasionally dined outdoors. She may well have used it for promenading, reading and conversing within the sheltered walls of

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her residence. The garden was added to her residence as an embellishment to and an extension of the architectural structures. In my view, it can also be seen as an expression of her interest in controlled nature. Since the turn of the century, the cultivated garden had developed into an important feature of contemporary court culture north of the Alps.42 Margaret must have been aware of this trend, which not only affected the French châteaux in the Loire valley but also had an impact on her nephew, Charles V.43 Margaret’s decision to set up a cabinet with Naturalia in the immediate vicinity of the garden can be understood as an enlightened response to this general trend. Illuminated French and Flemish manuscripts give some indication of the appearance of well-tended gardens in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.44 In Margaret of Austria’s exquisitely illuminated edition of Boccaccio’s Theseida we find an illustration of an idealized enclosed garden in the vicinity of a noble residence (Fig. 1.8).45 Emilia, the beautiful sister of the amazon Hippolyte, sits on a grassy bench, weaving a garland of white and red roses. She is surrounded by green arbours, blooming rose bushes and varied flower beds. Margaret kept this manuscript in her study upstairs, which suggests that she had a particular interest in this exquisitely illuminated manuscript. A full-page calendar miniature from the Hennessy Hours represents a realistic example of an early sixteenth-century residence with garden (Fig. 1.9). The mansion in the background has several features in common with the newly constructed southern wing of Margaret of Austria’s palace in Mechelen. The motif of an upper-class couple supervising the cultivation of their private garden in spring is a new motif in calendar illustrations and reflects the growing concern for well-kept gardens in Flemish society.46 In earlier calendar illustrations the nobility had been portrayed as taking pleasure from nature in a variety of ways, for example riding out on horseback, collecting flowers, hunting in the forest, and so on. In the calendar scene from the Hennessy Hours the owner of the residence takes on a more active role as he controls the appearance of his own garden. The garden is thus a microcosm of nature shaped by the patron himself. Late medieval gardens are commonly imbued with Marian symbolism as certain plants and architectural components were linked closely to the theological concept of the ‘hortus conclusus’ or enclosed garden.47 The fountain, the well, the rosebush, the lily are frequently employed to characterize Mary’s immaculacy, her virginity, her modesty and her piety. These values correspond closely to women’s prescribed role in early modern society as defined, for instance, by Juan Luis Vives in his treatise De institutione feminae Christianae (1524).48 If the most prominent space assigned to women was inside the house, a sheltered garden can be seen as a safe and contained extension to such interior spaces. In Mechelen, Margaret

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not only had to safeguard her own reputation, but also had to watch over the behaviour of the young girls and women who belonged to her household. The ‘enclosed garden’ allowed Margaret’s nieces, her maiden-of-honour and her ladies-in-waiting to spend time outdoors without leaving the sheltered milieu of her residence. The garden of the ‘Court of Savoy’ can thus be interpreted as an environment which was well suited for an educated lady of high moral standing and contributed positively to Margaret of Austria’s public profile as a caring and responsible head of a chaste household. Unlike most other women, Margaret was not restricted to her garden to experience nature and the open countryside. We know that as a young woman she greatly enjoyed hunting. In Mechelen, she cultivated the unusual habit of riding out by herself.49 Her role as regent of the Netherlands gave her plenty of opportunities to travel through her provinces, to visit important cities and noble estates. The fact that she presented herself to the public as a pious and unwavering widow made it easier for her to conquer these domains, which were traditionally reserved for men.50 When Isabella d’Este’s new apartment was constructed on the ground floor of the ducal palace in Mantua during the first decade of the sixteenth century, a very private, walled-in garden with an arcade adjoined her camerini and her collection cabinets.51 Margaret of Austria’s garden was not nearly as secluded from the outside world as Isabella’s giardino secreto. In Margaret’s case, the garden was linked to the street via the southern entrance gate. Visitors and members of the household had to pass by the garden when they entered her residence. The garden could be accessed via the main staircase and probably also by a door close to the ‘garden cabinet’. The explicit link between the cabinet emprès le jardin, Margaret’s main collection cabinet, and the cultivated courtyard suggests that the regent consciously extended the private sphere of her residence into her garden. By placing her corals and shells in close vicinity to the garden, Margaret may have also responded to an important Renaissance concept which regarded a private collection as a representing of ‘microcosm in macrocosm’. The conspicuous connection between inside and outside thus had not only practical but also symbolical connotations.

The ‘Court of Savoy’ – a residence for a female regent? Margaret of Austria’s official residence was constructed by the city of Mechelen to cater for her position as the newly appointed governor-general of the Burgundian–Habsburgian Netherlands. In 1509 Margaret was promoted from governor-general to the more powerful position of regent. The question arises whether the ‘Court of Savoy’ reflected the fact that the head of the household was a widowed woman.

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The reconstruction of Margaret’s residence makes clear that her personal living quarters consisted of two large rooms (première chambre, seconde chambre), three smaller rooms (riche cabinet, petit cabinet, cabinet emprès le jardin), a garderobe and a private oratory located next to the St Peter’s church. These rooms were complemented by a library, a court chapel and a treasure chamber. A great hall and an additional audience chamber were under construction. Let us now consider what such accommodation represented socially. Krista De Jonge’s investigation of Netherlandish residences and Burgundian court ritual has shed light on living standards for leading members of the imperial family.52 De Jonge distinguishes between two alternative sizes of accommodation: a small suite of rooms (three rooms) and a more commodious setting (four rooms). As far as the number of rooms and the spatial arrangement were concerned, no significant difference existed between male and female members of the imperial family. The need for specific rooms such as a large dining room, a stately bedroom or a studiolo was dictated by the elaborate Burgundian court ritual which had been developed in the second half of the fifteenth century.53 The simple version of a residential suite consisted of a formal dining room (salle à manger), a bedroom (chambre à coucher) and a study (retraite). The more elaborate arrangement consisted of the basic module plus one additional chamber. The second model provided the head of the household with more privacy, as greater distance lay between the formal dining room and the master bedroom. The existing evidence suggests that women were not treated differently from men if they held a sufficiently high position at court, such as queen or regent.54 Rank was more important than gender whenever a city provided space for a visiting sovereign or a resident regent. In 1517, the city of Tordesillas made arrangements for housing the young Prince Charles. The newly appointed king of Castile was offered a hall decorated with tapestries, two large rooms and a cabinet.55 The layout of Margaret of Austria’s residence in Mechelen also consisted of two chambers plus one study. She had one additional small room, the riche cabinet, at her disposal and later added a second cabinet, the cabinet emprès le jardin, to the basic module. It is noticeable that when plans were drawn up for Margaret’s living quarters at her monastery in Brou, Margaret opted for the second model, which was more spacious than her accommodation in Mechelen (Fig. 1.10). The monastic buildings adjacent to the church of St Nicolas-de-Tolentin were erected between 1506 and 1512, approximately at the same time as her residential wing in Mechelen.56 Margaret’s princely suite in Brou was located on the first floor of the northern cloister and consisted of three, rather than two, large rooms, plus a small, oblong cabinet. In her convent, all rooms were

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arranged in a linear sequence so that, in accordance with contemporary court etiquette, one could proceed from more public to more private spaces.57 The layout of Margaret’s personal suite corresponds to the commodious set-up described above. The largest of all three rooms (a) was located next to a grand hall (e), which had five window bays on its northern wall (first cloister) and six on its southern wall (second cloister).58 The size and location of room (a) suggest that it was conceived as Margaret’s formal dining room. Adjacent to the first room there was a small, subdivided cabinet (b)59 which was followed by two middle-sized rooms (c, d). The last room (d) was fitted with a fireplace and a small rectangular niche with a groin vault, presumably Margaret’s bedroom with an in-built oratory for private devotions. Her bedroom was located closest to the passage-way (f) which led directly to Margaret’s double-storied chapel at the eastern end of the church of St Nicolas-de-Tolentin. Compared to the residential wing in Brou, the layout of the regent’s apartment in Mechelen was more modest in size. At the ‘Court of Savoy’ Margaret of Austria had only two large rooms at her disposal. While provisions were made, probably in 1515, for a large hall with six window bays (K), Margaret was never in a position to use this section of her residence. The new audience room (L) equally remained unfinished. In Mechelen Margaret clearly had little success in convincing the city of the urgency of executing Rombout Keldermans’s master plan. As the construction was paid for by the city council, she had to accept the pace at which the city proceeded with the construction. The Augustinian church and monastery, on the other hand, were built entirely at Margaret’s own expense and completed in a short period of time. Once the regent had moved into the southern half of her Mechelen residence and managed to conduct her daily operations within the rooms allotted to her, the city lost its impetus and was no longer eager to turn the ‘Court of Savoy’ into a stately residence of grander dimensions. When Margaret decided on the design for her accommodation in Brou, she must have thought she would spend her last years in this monastery.60 She prepared for an aristocratic lifestyle which could keep up with the European courts she had been to or heard of. While the architectural complex in Brou is located far from the main centres of power, it must be seen as a project which emerged in competition with other royal projects, in particular those undertaken by Anne de Bretagne.61 In 1510 Margaret states that the tombs should be ‘rich and sumptuous, in a manner befitting for a prince or a princess’.62 In January 1511, Perréal, then her architect-in-charge, explains his high expenses by comparing Margaret’s majestic project favourably with the ‘modest’ tomb commissioned by her arch-rival Anne. Soon after, Lemaire reports from Tours that the king and queen of France were both so impressed by Colombe’s clay models for Margaret’s tombs that the project has to be

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described as ‘le plus grand chief-d’euvre qu’on faira es parties par deça’.63 The imposing tombs erected by Lodewijk van Boghem and Conrad Meit confirm that Margaret was an ambitious patron. Following her father’s notion of artistic patronage, she clearly wanted to be remembered by a distinguished monument, which she commissioned for herself and in memory of her late husband, Philibert of Savoy. Not only the noble tombs but also Margaret’s festive hall and her living quarters in Brou were planned with her peers in mind. The large hall in Brou, measuring 8.5 m by 27 m, had courtly dimensions.64 Margaret’s decision to build a large palatial section into the monastery in Brou was not inspired by French or Netherlandish models. The idea of a convent palace refers back to a distinctly Spanish custom which existed long before the construction of the Escorial. This tradition can be found in the royal foundations of Toledo, Granada and Avila.65 In the Dominican monastery of Santo Tomás in Avila we can observe the same disposition as in Brou: three courtyards flank the church; the royal hall extends on the first floor along two sides of the biggest courtyard.66 Santo Tomás was a particularly important foundation both for the Spanish king and queen and for Margaret of Austria. Juan of Castille, their son and Margaret’s first husband (d. 1497), was buried in one of the richest chapels of this church. Margaret not only donated large sums of money to this Spanish monastery; she also copied the basic idea for the church and convent she commissioned herself. As it happened, Margaret never returned to Brou and her stately rooms never fulfilled their envisaged grand functions. The evidence gleaned from the analysis of her apartments in Brou and Mechelen leaves no doubt that Margaret enjoyed a high standard of living. She clearly saw space as one important criterion for projecting political and social significance. Brou was the place where she could present herself in the best possible light. This leaves us with the question why Margaret of Austria accepted the limitations imposed on her by the specific situation in Mechelen. She probably acceded to the unsatisfactory nature of a half-finished residence in Mechelen because she did not want to be perceived as self-important or vainglorious by her native citizens. As far as the outer appearance of the ‘Court of Savoy’ was concerned, it projected an image of economy rather than of splendour. In Mechelen, Margaret’s principal objective was to further the political interests of her family.67 Here she did not aim at building an architectural monument to herself and there is no evidence that she ever contributed financially to the construction of the ‘Court of Savoy’. In Mechelen, all her energies went into furnishing the rooms in which she lived on a daily basis. Only inside the walls of her residence did she provide visual clues and information about herself as the resident ruler.

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Margaret’s library – ‘una libreria per donne assai ornata et riccha’ The architectural framework of Margaret of Austria’s residence in Mechelen may not have been the largest and most magnificent in the Burgundian– Habsburgian Netherlands, but the regent made strenuous efforts to improve the appearance of the ‘Court of Savoy’ by turning her attention to the decoration of the principal rooms inside her residence. The inventories of 1516 and 1523–24 reveal that, over the years, Margaret built up a considerable collection of artefacts, Naturalia and Exotica, including approximately 380 manuscripts and printed books, 176 paintings, 130 tapestries, 7 embroidered images, 52 sculptures and 46 objects made from gold, enamel and precious stones. The care with which the regent administered her residence and her valuable collection of movable objects was remarked upon by the Italian diplomat Antonio de Beatis, who visited Margaret’s residence in 1517: At Mechelen one sees the house of Madame Margaret, which is very beautiful and ordered, although it does not have much of a view, where there is a very ornate and well-stocked library for women … And there are beautiful paintings and other varied pictures and all in a good hand. And in marble there is the head of the duke of Savoy, her deceased husband, who is shown as a very handsome young man, as he is said to have been, and of her Serene Highness herself, when she was young, done with great skill and of naturalistic proportions.68

Of particular interest here is de Beatis’s reference to the ‘very ornate and well-stocked library for women’. There are two ways in which his remarks can be understood. Either de Beatis refers to the contents of the library or he alludes to the way in which the library was decorated. Both readings are possible, but only one stands up to closer scrutiny. Margaret’s substantial collection of books, which contained manuscripts on chivalric romance, history and philosophy, as well as devotional books, cannot be described as a typically female library. Margaret owned many books which were not considered suitable reading material for women by such authorities as Juan Luis Vives.69 Notably, while the contents of her library challenged some more conservative views on gender, certain aspects of its decoration were deliberately gender-specific. Significantly, Margaret turned her library into a public memorial to her late husband, Philibert of Savoy (Fig. 1.11). Next to the marble busts of young Margaret and Philibert, the regent hung two painted portraits of Philibert and placed his complete armour on a metal stand. The inventory of 1516 mentions an epitaph for Duke Philibert of Savoy, mounted on a small wooden panel.70 In public, Margaret consistently presented herself either as a dutiful widow or as the wife of Philibert of Savoy. She was addressed by her subjects as

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‘Milady from Savoy’; her residence was called the ‘Court of Savoy’. Margaret considered it important to demonstrate publicly her unwavering loyalty towards her last husband.71 Like many other women at her time, Margaret felt obliged to define herself in relation to a male consort. Apart from fulfilling the prevalent expectations of a dutiful wife, Margaret probably also adopted this attitude to protect herself from being remarried a fourth time at the expressed wish of her father and her brother. Only towards the end of Margaret’s life can we observe the development of two alternative modes of representation. In a portrait medallion by Conrad Meit dating from 1528 she is presented as the ‘only daughter and aunt of the Austrian emperor’.72 Her prominent place in the Habsburg dynasty is also stressed in the illuminated genealogy which she commissioned around 1527.73 In the late 1520s, it may have been politically more significant for Margaret to be known as a member of this powerful family than as the wife of the late duke of Savoy. A more allegorical mode of representation can be found in two paintings of the crucifixion, designed by her court painter, Bernard van Orley.74 In each painting, a portrait of Margaret of Austria in the guise of Caritas or ‘Charity’ appears on the left side of Christ’s cross. A personification of ‘Justice’ putting away her sword is shown on the opposite side.75 The concept of Margaret as Charity was devised by the regent in collaboration with her court artist with the aim of presenting herself as a benevolent and just ruler, who cared for the well-being of her people and her family like a mother.76 This analysis of Margaret’s residence and her personal suite of rooms demonstrates that the floor plans and elevations contained no particular clues to the female gender of its occupant. The city of Mechelen built a palace befitting the governor-general and regent of the Burgundian–Habsburgian Netherlands, who happened to be a woman. Margaret was the first of a series of female regents who conscientiously represented the interests of the emperor in his Netherlandish provinces. Compared to the Coudenberg palace in Brussels, her ‘Court of Savoy’ in Mechelen was of moderate dimensions, but its original design still contained all the elements which were required for holding court as regent. While gardens were constructed by men and women alike, the garden inside the ‘Court of Savoy’ can be described as a space which carried specific connotations for a female user. Its sheltered nature, closed off from the public life on the streets and places of the city of Mechelen, was ideally suited for those female occupants of her residence, who preferred the comparative privacy of the ‘Court of Savoy’. The fact that Margaret established one of the first garden cabinets north of the Alps is striking. By placing a certain part of her collection, including her Naturalia, in a cabinet located on the ground floor, Margaret was able to create meaningful connections between her encyclopaedic collection and the garden as an artificially cultured and

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controlled piece of nature.77 This arrangement can be seen as one of the most modern features of her residence, which parallels the situation in Isabella d’Este’s second apartment in Mantua. Questions of gender come into play even more distinctly in the decoration of her library. Here Margaret made a gender-specific statement about her role as a loyal and devoted widow even as she exceeded this traditional image of dutiful woman in what she put on its shelves.78 Margaret seems to have paid much more attention to the furnishing and maintenance of her residence than did her male relatives. This may partly be explained by the fact that she led a relatively stationary existence in comparison to her father, Maximilian I, and her nephew, Charles V, who constantly travelled from one end of their vast empire to the other. While Margaret’s itinerary shows that she spent a reasonable amount of time each year outside the city of Mechelen, there is no indication that she transported all her movable possessions with her.79 Instead, she regarded the ‘Court of Savoy’ as her principal base and developed a strong interest in its meaningful decoration. In this regard Margaret’s demeanour fits the parameters defined for women during the early modern period. In the public eye the life of a woman was closely tied to the house and was hence regarded as less dynamic and more static.80 Despite the fact that Margaret of Austria occupied an important public and political office and consequently had to fulfil many roles traditionally reserved for men, she nevertheless concentrated much of her energies on the interior of her residence as a publicly acknowledged female domain. This situation, which could be regarded by some as a limitation of her gender, was used by Margaret to her own advantage. By building up an important collection of artefacts and collectible items, Margaret developed a tool useful for conveying a range of messages to visiting dignitaries, local nobility and to the upper echelons of her household. The careful and intelligent way in which she orchestrated the distinctive displays in her library, her dining room, her bedroom and her cabinets allowed Margaret to make strong visual statements about herself and her dynasty. Even if the city had not provided all the comfort and luxury that Margaret had hoped for at the outset of her regency, she actively created an intellectual climate and generated cultural activities which compensated her for these shortcomings. Margaret’s significant collecting activities and her patronage of the arts stimulated a wider interest in private collections amongst the local high nobility and prepared the ground for later generations of Habsburg collectors. Several characteristics of the so-called ‘art and curiosity cabinet’, usually seen as a product of the second half of the sixteenth century, can be traced back to Margaret’s residence and collection in Mechelen. It was due to Margaret’s tenacity and initiative that the ‘Court of Savoy’ in Mechelen was turned into one of the most important cultural centres within the Habsburgian empire and became a true focal point of female rulership.

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Notes *

1.

2.

3. 4.

5.

6.

7. 8. 9.

I wish to thank the following friends and colleagues for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this chapter: Krista De Jonge, Catherine Kovesi, Markus Hörsch, Marie-Françoise Poiret and Charles Zika. Henri Installé gave generous assistance in my search for archival material. Wim Hüsken transcribed the Flemish sources, Thomas Bachmann provided several photographs (Figs 1.3, 1.5, 1.6). The initial research for this project was made possible through grants provided by the Australian Research Council and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. For libraries and archival material, the following abbreviations have been used: Brussels, AR = Brussels, Archives du Royaume de Belgique; Mechelen, StM = Mechelen, Stadsarchief; Lille, ADN = Lille, Archives Départementales du Nord, Chambre des Comptes; ÖNB = Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; BR = Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale. Wim Blockmans and Walter Prevenier, ‘The second Flowering 1492–1530’, in W. Blockmans and W. Prevenier, eds, The Promised Lands. The Low Countries under Burgundian Rule, 1369–1530 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998), pp. 206–34. After Margaret of Austria’s death the regency was assumed by Mary of Hungary (1505–58), followed by Margaret of Parma (1522–86) and Isabella of Austria (1566–1633); see M. Triest, Macht, vrouwen en politik 1477–1558. Maria van Bourgondië, Margareta van Oostenrijk, Maria van Hongarije (Leuven: Uitgeverij Van Halewyck, 2000); Luc Duerloo and Werner Thomas, Albrecht & Isabella 1598–1621 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998). F. Steurs, Het Keizershof en het Hof van Margareta van Oostenrijk te Mechelen (Mechelen, 1879). The city of Mechelen and surrounding countryside formed part of Margaret’s personal territories. After 1506, many noblemen, courtiers and diplomats settled in Mechelen or erected grand residences; see M. Geys, ‘Openbare Werken te Mechelen tijdens het bewind van Margaretha van Oostentijk (1507–1530), Proefschrift tot het verkrijgen van de graad van licenciate in de geschiedenis’, unpublished M.A. thesis (Brussels, 1987). In the annual accounts of the city of Mechelen, the residence is listed under a number of different names such as: hof van oesterijke or ‘Court of Austria’ (1506/7), hof vanden keysere van rome or ‘Court of the Emperor of Rome’ (1507/8) and hof vanden keyser van hertoge kaerle or ‘Court of the emperor and of Duke Charles’ (1508/9). Henri Installé, Historische Stedenatlas van België. Mechelen II (Mechelen: Handelingen van de Koninklijke Kring voor Oudheidkunde, Letteren en Kunst van Mechelen, 1997), p. 223. Over the following years the city purchased additional houses to close the remaining gaps in the precinct. Ibid., pp. 31–5 and 132–4. This plan was drawn up by the French government in the early nineteenth century with the intention of transforming the derelict building into a law court for the revolutionary forces. The following account is a summary of my research on the residence and the collection of Margaret of Austria: D. Eichberger, ‘Die Sammlung Margarete von Österreichs. Mäzenatentum, Sammelwesen und Kunstkennerschaft am “Hof van Savoyen” in Mecheln’, unpublished Habilitationsschrift (Universität des

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10.

11.

12. 13.

14.

15.

16. 17. 18.

41

Saarlandes, 1999), to be published as: Leben mit Kunst – Wirken durch Kunst. Sammelwesen und Hofkunst unter Margarete von Österreich, Regentin der Niederlande (London and Turnhout: Brepols, 2002); on the Keldermans see H. Janse, R. Meischke, H. v. Mosselveld and F. v. Tyghem, Keldermans: Een architectonisch netwerk in de Nederlanden (Den Haag: Staatsuitgeverij, 1987). Brussels, AR, StM, 1517–18, fol. 230r, no. 5: ‘Item Betaelt Mr. rombout Keldermans van zekere patronen te beworpenne der stad ende || den houe van my vrouwen van sauoeyen ae[n]gaende iiij septembris – ij £ x sen’; this translates as: ‘Item, paid Master Rombout Keldermans for designing several plans for the city and the court of Milady of Savoy’; 1519–20, fol. 229v; 1526–27, fol. 227r, no. 8; ibid., fol. 227v, no. 12. On the problems related to the reconstruction and the later additions, see Krista De Jonge, ‘Une œuvre disparue de la Renaissance flamande dans une album de Du Cerceau: le portail d’entrée de l’Hôtel de Maximilien Transsylvanus à Bruxelles’, Revue Belge d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’Art, LXVI, 1997, 75–105. The section along Keizerstraat was drastically transformed by the far-reaching restoration campaigns of the late nineteenth century, Installé, Historische Stedenatlas, pp. 224–5. M. Kocken, Mechelen volgens van den Eynde (Mechelen: Stevens, 1982). For a more detailed discussion of the reconstruction, see ch. II in Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’, pp. 58–86. The only room which I could not locate with certainty is Margaret of Austria’s library. Ordonnance of 3 April 1525, Brussels, AR, published in E. De Quinsonas, Materiaux pour servir à l’Histoire de Marguerite d’Autriche, Duchesse de Savoie, Régente des Pays-Bas (Paris: Delaroque Frères, 1860), vol. 3, pp. 281–90. Room (B) is identical with the ‘première chambre à chemynée’, the first large chamber listed in the inventory of 1523–24. This document describes all those rooms occupied by Margaret of Austria which contained her movable objects apart from jewellery and clothing. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cinq Cents de Colbert 128, published by M. Michelant, ‘Inventaire des vaisselles, joyaux, peintures, manuscrits etc., de Marguerite d’Autriche, régente et gouvernante des Pays-Bas, dressé en son palais de Malines, le 9 juillet 1523’, in Compte rendue des séances de la Comission royale d’histoire. Académie royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (Bruxelles), 3e serie, 12, 1871, 5–78 and 83–136. It can be assumed that this multifunctional space also served as an assembly room for the ducal household until the large hall (K) was completed. Dagmar Eichberger and Lisa Beaven, ‘Family Members and Political Allies: The Portrait Gallery of Margaret of Austria in Mechelen’, Art Bulletin, LXXVII (2), 1995, 225–48 and Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’ ch. II. This space is called mij vrouwen camere or ‘Milady’s room’ and mij vrouwen slaep cameren or ‘Milady’s bedroom’ in the civic accounts. More information on this room and its decoration is provided in D. Eichberger, ‘Female patronage in the light of dynastic ambitions and artistic quality’, Oxford Journal of Renaissance Studies, 10 (2), 1996, 259–79 and ‘Devotional Objects in Book Format: Diptychs in the Art Collection of Margaret of Austria and her Family’, in Margaret Manion and Bernhard Muir, eds, The Art of the Book: Its Place in Medieval Worship (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1998), pp. 285–303.

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20. 21.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

27. 28.

29.

30. 31.

32. 33.

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Margaret’s inventory for internal record keeping is kept in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cinq Cents de Colbert 128, fol. 80r: [1523–24] Aultres meubles estans dedans le petit cabinet joignent la chambre a chemynée tirant sur la gallerie de la chapelle. In 1523–24 the city silversmith is paid for some repairs at ‘the porch where she listens to mass’ (int poortael daer zij misse doer hoort), see Brussels, AR, StM, 1523–24, fol. 210r, no. 2. H. Lickes, ‘Chorflankierende Oratorien und Herrschaftslogen des späteren Mittelalters’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, 1982). The best-preserved example is the private oratory of the Gruuthuse family in Bruges; see M. P. M. Martens, Lodewijk van Gruuthuse. Mecenas en Europees Diplomaat ca. 1427–1492 (Brügge: Stichting Kunstboek, 1992). The church of Saint Peter and the wooden walkway were destroyed in the late eighteenth century. Brussels, AR, StM, 1525–26, fol. 201v, no. 3. Margaret’s valuable tapestries were probably kept either in this room or in the equivalent room on the ground floor. Brussels, AR, StM, 1523–24, fol. 210r, no. 2. There may have been another doorway connecting the bedroom directly with the dressing room. The ciel of the baldachin measured 120.6 by 86.2 cm. Room (D) is the most likely candidate for this cabinet as it could be accessed both from the large hall and from the dining hall. The contents of this cabinet are described immediately after the description of the première chambre and before the section on the seconde chambre. Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’, ch. III and C. L. Ishikawa, ‘The “Retablo de la Reina Catolica” by Juan de Flandes’, unpublished dissertation (Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr College, 1989). These scenes are: The penitence of Mary Magdalene, Christ and the Woman with the Issue of Blood, Christ and the Woman of Samaria, The Resurrection of Lazarus, Three Maries at the Tomb, Noli me Tangere; see Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’, ch. IV, pp. 234–48. Paris, B.N., Cinq Cents de Colbert 128: the general heading for this room on fol. 89r is: Bacgues, menutez de vaicelles, estans au cabinet emprès le jardin ou sont les coraulx, le tous d’argent; on fol. 102r a sub-section within the same cabinet carries the heading: Aultres menutez estans au petit cabinet ou sont les coraulx et jardin de fleurs de soie, fil d’or et autres choses fait à l’esgulle, dont s’ensuyt, pièces y estant d’argent. Margaret kept more than 60 objects made from or with silver in this particular room. Within the limits of this chapter I will only touch upon certain aspects of the garden cabinet; see Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’, ch. VII. Jean Lemaire, La Couronne Margaritique, Vienna, Ö.N., Cod. 3441, 1504–5, see Marguerite Debae, La bibliothèque de Marguerite d’Autriche: essai de reconstruction d’après l’inventaire de 1523–24 (Louvain and Paris: Peeters, 1995), cat. no. 374, pp. 504–7. M. M. Fontaine, ‘Lemaire de Belges’, in J. P. de Beaumarchais, D. Conty and A. Roy, eds, Dictionnaire des Littératures de Langue Française (Paris: Bordas, 1994), pp. 1367–9. In Margaret’s household inventory, the description of this small room on the ground floor follows on immediately from the section dedicated to the regent’s study. Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’, ch. VII.

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34.

35.

36.

37.

38. 39. 40. 41.

42.

43. 44.

45.

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Her most important painting in this cabinet was Jan Gossaert’s Hermaphroditus and Salamacis. It shows the Nymph Salamacis violently embracing the object of her desire, the boy Hermaphroditus. This theme fits very well into the context of garden and nature. F. Lammerste, ed., Van Eyck to Bruegel. 1400–1550. Dutch and Flemish painting in the collection of the Museum Boymans–van Beuningen (Rotterdam: Museum Boymans–van-Beuningen, 1994), cat. no. 36, pp. 174–9. In contrast to medieval collections, Margaret kept a considerable amount of natural objects in their natural state and did not use them as raw material for jewellery or reliquary containers. This suggests a proto-scientific interest in substances such as gems, precious stones and so on. W. Liebenwein, Studiolo. Zur Entstehung eines Raumtyps und seiner Entwicklung (Berlin: Mann, 1977), chs III and IV, pp. 74ff; E. Bergvelt, D. J. Meijers and M. Rijnders, eds, Verzamelen. Van Rariteitenkabinet tot Kunstmuseum (Heerlen: Gaarde Uitgevers, 1993), pp. 18–26. K. Pomian, ‘Sammlungen – eine historische Typologie’, in A. Grote, ed., Macrocosmos in Microcosmos. Die Welt in der Stube. Zur Geschichte des Sammelns, 1450–1800 (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1994), pp. 112–13. Only in the second half of the sixteenth century are the various categories of collecting defined in theoretical treatises; see H. Roth, Der Anfang der Museumslehre in Deutschland. Das Traktat ‘Inscriptiones vel Tituli Theatri Amplissimi’ von Samuel Quiccheberg (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2000); for Naturalia see pp. 55–61 and 238–41. Published by J. Stecher, ed., Œuvres de Jean Lemaire de Belges (Louvain: De J. Lefever, 1891), vol. 4, pp. 10–167. Marie-Madeleine Fontaine and Hélène Naïs are preparing a new edition of this important manuscript. According to Lemaire the term Gorgonia is used by Pliny in his Historia Naturalis; see Stecher, Œuvres, vol. 4, p. 84. Eichberger, ‘Leben mit Kunst’, ch. VI, pp. 1350–53. Brussels, AR, StM, 1515–16, fol. 230v, no. 6; ibid., 1516–17, fol. 219v, no. 4; fol. 233r, no. 3; ibid., 1517–18, fol. 226r, no. 4; ibid., 1518–19, fol. 234r, no. 4; ibid., 1521–22, fol. 233v, no. 3; see also Brussels, AR, Acquits de Lille, no. 524 VIII, as quoted in Ghislaine De Boom, Marguerite d’Autriche-Savoie et la PréRenaissance (Brussels: Droz + Falk Fils, 1935), p. 130, fn. 1. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the southern half of the courtyard was closed off by a high wall which created a much more sheltered terrain than exists nowadays. J. Guillaume, ‘Château, jardin, paysage en France du XVe au XVIIIe siècle’, Revue de l’Art, 124, 1999, 13–32. The development of the Renaissance garden with its complex internal structures reflects a basic change in the way nature was perceived by humankind. For recent research on this topic, see J. Guillaume, ed., Architecture, Jardin, Paysage. L’environement du château et de la villa aux XVe et XVIe siècles (Paris: Picard, 1999). Brussels, B.R., Ms. II158, fol. 3v, c. 1530, attributed to Simon Bening; see W. Prevenier, Le prince et le peuple. Images de la societé du temps des ducs de Bourgogne 1384–1530 (Antwerpen: Mercatorfonds, 1998), pp. 133–4; see also R. De Herdt, Tuinen van Eden, Van Keizer Karel tot heden (Ghent: Museum voor Industriele Archeologie en Textiel, 2000), pp. 12–23 and 84–5. Vienna, Ö.N., Cod. 2627, Provence, c. 1460; see Debae, La bibliothèque de Marguerite d’Autriche, no. 370, pp. 495–8 and F. Brachert, ed., Von Minne,

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46. 47.

48. 49. 50.

51. 52.

53.

54.

55. 56. 57. 58.

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Kampf und Leidenschaft. Die Bilder der Wiener Théséide (Graz: Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt, 1989). There are, for instance, an arcade made from bluestone, a stepped gable built from brick and large square-shaped windows with mullion and transom. De Herdt, Tuinen van Eden, pp. 13–15; see also John Harvey, Mediaeval Gardens (London: Batsford, 1981), pp. 134–43 and G. Venturi, ‘Der “Giardino Segreto” der Renaissance: Ursprung und Entwicklung’, in M. Mosser and G. Teyssot, eds, Die Gartenkunst des Abendlandes von der Renaissance bis zur Gegenwart (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1993), pp. 84–6. Juan Luis Vives, The Education of a Christian Woman: a sixteenth-century manual, edited and translated by Charles Fantazzi (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000). De Quinsonas, Materiaux pour servir à l’Histoire de Marguerite d’Autriche, vol. 3, p. 289: ‘un cheval deffroié quand Madame yra par les champs seullement’. See D. Eichberger, ‘A Renaissance Princess Named Margaret. Fashioning a Public Image in a Courtly Society’, Melbourne Art Journal, 4, 2001. On this aspect of gender also see S. Bertière, ‘Regence et pouvoir féminin’, in K. Wilson-Chevalier and E. Viennot, eds, Royaume de Fémynie. Pouvoir, contraintes, espaces de liberté des femmes, de la Renaissance à la Fronde (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1999), p. 69. Liebenwein, Studiolo, pp. 108–13. Krista De Jonge, ‘Der herzogliche und kaiserliche Palast zu Brüssel und die Entwicklung des höfischen Zeremoniells im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert’, Jahrbuch des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte, V/VI, 1989/90, especially 269–71; K. De Jonge, ‘Het paleis op de Coudenberg te Brussel in de vijftiende Eeuw. De verdwenen hertogelijke Residenties in de zuidelijke Nederlanden in een nieuw Licht geplaatst’, Revue Belge d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’Art, LIX, 1990, 5–38; K. De Jonge, ‘Le palais de Charles-Quint à Bruxelles’, in Jean Guillaume, ed., Architecture et Vie Sociale. L’organisation des grandes demeures à la fin du Moyen Age et à la Renaissance, Bd. 1 (Paris: Picard, 1994), pp. 107–25. W. Paravicini, ‘The Court of the Burgundian Dukes of Burgundy: A Model for Europe?’, in R. G. Asch and A. M. Birke, eds, Princes, patronage and the nobility. The court at the beginning of the modern age, c. 1450–1650 (Oxford: German Historical Institute, 1999), pp. 69–102, and H. Kruse and W. Paravicini, eds, Höfe und Hofordnungen 1200–1600 (Sigmaringen: Thorbecke, 1999). These are, however, only two of several factors which have to be taken into account when judging the relative size and comfort of an apartment. The financial means of the host and the structure of the residence may have determined equally the degree of comfort which was provided. De Jonge, ‘Le palais’, p. 107. M.-F. Poiret, Le Monastère de Brou. Le chef-d’oeuvre d’une fille d’empereur (Paris CNRS Editions, 1994), p. 8. It was also possible to reach each room via the gallery. The room is described in more detail in a manuscript dating from the late seventeenth century, which was written by a prior from the Augustinian monastery in Brou; Père Raphaël de la Vierge Marie, ‘Description historique de la Belle Eglise et du couvent Royal de Brou tirée de leurs archives et des meilleurs historiens qui en ont écrit’, unpublished manuscript owned by the Société d’Emulation de l’Ain, p. 120: ‘et l’autre d’une partie de la salle de la Princesse éclairée de ce côté là par six croisées de fenétres […]’. I wish to thank

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59. 60. 61.

62. 63. 64.

65. 66. 67.

68.

69. 70. 71.

72.

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Marie-Françoise Poiret, Musée de Brou, for providing the information on Père Raphaël. The unfinished large hall in Mechelen also had six window bays. It is not clear whether this cabinet was destined to be Margaret’s study or whether it was meant to fulfil another function. In later years her plans changed and she intended to move into a house located next to the Annonciade monastery in Bruges. Margaret was one of the main patrons of this female convent. On this note see W. Cahn, ‘Towards the enduring monument: Nantes, Brou, Margaret of Austria’, in Masterpieces. Chapters in the History of an Idea (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979), pp. 43–64 and T. Tolley, ‘States of independence: women regents as patrons of the visual arts in Renaissance France’, Renaissance Studies, 10, 1996, 237–58. Poiret, Le Monastère de Brou, p. 75: ‘sepultures si riches et sumptueuses comme telz prince et princesse appartient’. ‘The greatest masterpiece that is going to be made in this part of the country’, ibid., pp. 72 and 75. Père Raphaël, ‘Description historique’, pp. 116–17: ‘elle pouvait aller directement à plain pied et à couvert, de ses chambres à son oratoire dans l’église, en cette salle dont nous avons parlé (une des plus grandes qu’on voit dans les provinces)’. In the margins, the measurements are given: ‘longueur de la sale 87 piés et demi, largeur 27 piés et demi’. I am grateful to Krista De Jonge, who drew my attention to this link and pointed to the examples listed here; as reference see F. Chueca Goitia, Casas Reales en monasterios y conventos españoles (Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia, 1966). Ibid., p. 133. This may also explain why visual references to Margaret are less conspicuous in Mechelen than in her funerary church in Brou. There was only one single portrait of her in the more public sections of her residence, compared to multiple portraits of Maximilian I and Charles V. See Eichberger, ‘Female patronage’. The Italian quote reads: ‘Lli te Mechelen se vedde la casa di madamma Margarita, quale è molto bella et assai in ordine, benchè non di molta vista, dove è una libraria per donne assai ornata et riccha […] Et vi sono de belle tavole et altre picture de diverse et tucte bone mane. Et di marmore vi sono le teste del duca di Savoya di fe. me. suo marito, che mostra essere stato bellissimo giovene como dicono che era, et de sua S. illma quando era jovenecta con molto artificio facte et secondo la relatione naturalissime’, in L. Pastor, Die Reise des Luigi d’Aragona … 1517–8, beschrieben von Antonio de Beatis (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1905), p. 115. This matter is discussed in more detail in Eichberger, ‘Die Sammlung’. Lille, ADN, B 3513 [1516], ‘L’epitaphe du Philibert de Savoy, second de son nom, sur ung petit tableaul de bois’, quoted from J. Finot, Inventaire sommaire des Archives Départmentales antérieures à 1790 (Lille: L. Danel, 1895), p. 236. Philibert’s social standing was not quite as high as that of Margaret’s first two partners, Charles VIII and Juan of Castille, but he still belonged to one of the leading noble families in France. His sister, Louise of Savoy, had married into the French royal family and was most influential as regent and mother of the new king, Francis I. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Kunstkammer, Inv. Nr. 3150: ‘MARGARETA CESA[R]UM AUSTRI[A]E UNICA FILIA ET AMITA 1528’; for further information see Eichberger, ‘A Renaissance Princess’.

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78. 79. 80.

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Jean Franco, Généalogie abrégée de Charles Quint, Paris, B.N., ms.fr. 5616, c. 1527, see Debae, La bibliothèque de Marguerite d’Autriche, cat. no. 356, pp. 490–2. These paintings were not kept in her residence; however, a similar iconography was used for her state baldachin; see Eichberger, ‘A Renaissance Princess’, pp. 19–22. Bernard van Orley and workshop, ‘Allegorical crucifixion with Caritas and Iustitia’, after 1524, Rotterdam, Museum Boymans Van Beuningen; see Lammertse, Van Eyck to Bruegel, cat. no. 37, pp. 180–3. See Eichberger, ‘A Renaissance Princess’. Here it is worthwhile to mention again (see note 34) the important painting by Gossaert of the Nymph Salamacis embracing her object of desire, Hermaphroditus, in a pond (Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen). This theme fits very well into the context of garden and nature. The bedroom was a further area within the residence in which Margaret attempted to demonstrate female virtues via her collection of artefacts and devotionalia. See M. Bruchet and E. Lancien, Itinéraire de Marguerite d’Autriche, gouvernante des Pays-Bas (Lille: Max Pierre Movie, 1934). Mark Wigley, ‘Untitled: The Housing of Gender’, in B. Colomina, ed., Sexuality and Space (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992), pp. 326–51; L. Roper, ‘Tokens of affection: the meaning of love in sixteenth-century Germany’, in Dagmar Eichberger and Charles Zika, eds, Dürer and his Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 143–63.

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CHAPTER TWO

The Val-de-Grâce as a Portrait of Anne of Austria: Queen, Queen Regent, Queen Mother Jennifer G. Germann* The Val-de-Grâce is generally considered a product of Anne of Austria’s (1601–66) relief at the miraculous birth of her son, the dauphin and future Louis XIV (1638–1715) (Fig. 2.1). In relation to her, the Val-de-Grâce is therefore read simply as an ex voto built in thanksgiving for the birth of a son and heir by the ‘sterile queen.’1 Most accounts ignore the queen from this point. Instead they concentrate on the architects, favoring an exploration of the development of the structure, as well as more speculative work on the intentions of François Mansart (1598–1666).2 Recently there has been a shift in this emphasis.3 Claude Mignot has argued that the Val-de-Grâce ‘is not the work of Mansart or of Le Muet, but that of Anne of Austria.’4 Lisa Anne Rotmil has observed that while ‘the Valde-Grâce was the primary site of the queen’s religious observance … it also served as part of the campaign to present an official image of the queen and was a visual manifestation of her power.’5 Indeed, it is my contention that the symbols and inscriptions on the exterior and the interior of the church constitute a precise discourse on the roles and the status of the queen. The Valde-Grâce can be read as a portrait of Anne of Austria, offering the viewer an array of symbols that refer to her and draw on debates about contemporary religious and political issues. Using Hans-Georg Gadamer’s idea of occasionality, I will focus here on the relationship between decoration and patronage.6 Gadamer explains that, ‘Someone represented in a portrait is so much himself that he does not appear to be dressed up, even if the splendid costume he is wearing attracts attention.’7 The Val-de-Grâce represents Anne as a mother, but there is more to this motherhood than meets the eye. The queen marshaled other components of her public identity in order to build a church that responded to her personal and political needs.

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The choice of decoration and the disposition of internal spaces in the Valde-Grâce raise other questions. How do the numerous references to Anne of Austria and her role as queen, queen regent, and queen mother work with the also-abundant images of the Virgin and her family? What is the relationship between the patron and the architects, artists, and craftsmen working for her? How can we read through the ‘splendor of appearance’ that is a part of the Valde-Grâce and move beyond the image of the ‘sterile queen’ and the ‘miracle baby’?8 This church reveals the complexities of Anne of Austria’s identity. By examining the dedicatory inscriptions, the sculptural decoration, and the relationship between the church and convent, the Val-de-Grâce emerges as a portrait of the queen.9 In this essay, I explore the way Anne of Austria is figured in this church and analyze the building both as a product of her experiences and as a means to negotiate the demands of being a queen, queen mother, and queen regent, leading a country that prohibited female rule, had faced continuous tensions over succession, and was in the midst of challenging the legitimacy of the growing royal absolutism.10

Anne of Austria: from infanta to queen regent of France Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III and Margaret of Austria, king and queen of Spain, was married to Louis XIII (1601–43) in 1615.11 Anne and Louis became estranged almost immediately; living separate lives, their contact was generally limited to what protocol demanded.12 Aside from court functions, Anne spent her time continuing the traditional activities of the Spanish royal family in France, including visits to convents and churches.13 These visits also allowed her to cultivate relationships with religious women throughout France, and provided her with a degree of privacy that enabled her to carry on correspondence with friends and family, an activity disapproved of by Louis and Cardinal Richelieu, the king’s first minister.14 In the course of these visits, Anne encountered Marguerite de Veny d’Arbouze, at Notre-Dame-de-Grâce de la Ville-d’Evêque. In 1618, Anne secured from Louis the position of abbess for her at the Val-de-Grâce de Notre-Dame-de-la-Crèche, a Benedictine convent founded in the eleventh century in Bièvres.15 On 7 May 1621, Anne purchased the ‘fief of the PetitBourbon,’ and the convent was transferred from Bièvres to Paris. The same year, Anne was declared their new foundress and she installed the convent in the Hôtel de Petit Bourbon (formerly the Hôtel de Valois).16 Between 1620 and 1625, she had a small church and convent built for them, which included an apartment for herself.17 She maintained close ties with the abbey, spending two days a week there, as well as taking her meals there once a week. After the death of Mother Marguerite, Anne became close with the new superior,

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Louise de Milley, Mother Saint-Etienne. In 1637, the king discovered the secret correspondence that Anne had maintained with women whom he had exiled from court and with her brother, the Cardinal Infante in Brussels. Louis forbade her to visit this or any other convent because she had used the Val-deGrâce for the composition and receipt of these letters.18 On 5 September 1638, Anne of Austria gave birth to the royal heir and future Louis XIV. The king showed his pleasure by granting Anne permission to visit any convent she liked, except for the Val-de-Grâce.19 She declined. In the eyes of the court, Anne had failed in her duty to produce an heir to the throne for twenty-three years of her married life. She was treated, at best, as an outcast, and at worst, as an unwelcome foreigner.20 Rumors circulated throughout Europe that Louis was seeking an annulment from the pope. When Anne did conceive and bear the future Louis XIV, it was regarded as a miraculous event and was likened to the birth of Christ. For France, it meant the stability of the Bourbon dynasty and of the current reign.21 Unfortunately, Louis XIII died in 1643, leaving a minor son too young to rule.22 According to the king’s will, Anne was appointed regent but her power was limited by the council, which included the king’s brother, Gaston d’Orléans, the prince de Condé, Chancellor Séguier, and Cardinal Mazarin.23 Anne appealed to the Parlement to give her full power to rule without the council, and was successful, though the Cardinal became the queen’s, and later her son’s, first minister.24 Upon the death of her husband, Anne both assumed the regency, minus the council Louis had intended, and renewed her relationship with the abbey.25 Two hours after the king’s death, she sent for the abbess who had been banished to the provinces by Louis. One year later, she attended services at the Val-de-Grâce with her two sons.26 In 1644, Anne of Austria, now the queen regent of France, began planning a new complex of palace, church, and convent to be known as Notre-Dame du Val-de-Grâce.27 The queen now had access to finances, power, and authority and she used them to articulate an identity for herself, unconstrained by her husband. Her patronage of the Val-de-Grâce was a means to claim her authority and to advance an independent identity. It was also an act of defiance against the late king. She had been forbidden to return to this convent during his lifetime, but she returned to it following his death. The Val-de-Grâce, therefore, is far more than an expression of her gratitude for the birth of a royal heir, although it does serve this function. It became a celebration of Anne’s triumph in the Fronde and of her status as sovereign. Contemporary interpretations of the Salic Law prevented the queen from ruling independently; her primary role was seen as the production of an heir.28 In the event of the death of the king during the dauphin’s minority, the queen was generally regarded as the legitimate regent, who would safeguard the interests of her son, and therefore those of the state.29 For queens of France in

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the early modern period, the death of their husband and the acquisition of the title of regent was an opportunity to act autonomously, to pursue independent projects on a grand scale, and to assert their identities.30 By highlighting her motherhood, Anne could lay claim to her legitimate authority as regent, which derived from her status as the queen mother.31 Anne of Austria embraced this opportunity, and the Val-de-Grâce was the result.

The Val-de-Grâce as a portrait of the queen In 1645, François Mansart was commissioned by Anne of Austria to design and build the Val-de-Grâce, on what was then the outskirts of the city of Paris, facing the Rue Saint-Jacques, an area burgeoning with newly built religious foundations.32 On 25 February 1645, workers began to dig the foundations.33 Louis XIV laid the first stone on 1 April 1645. The foundation to the level of the floor of the nave was completed by mid-July, later than the 1 July deadline specified in the contract.34 The next stage of construction, the walls and the façade up to the first cornice, were to be completed in June 1646, but work progressed slowly, becoming extremely costly and much delayed.35 Mansart was dismissed at the end of the first two years of building, so he can only be credited with the portion of the church built by 1646.36 Jacques Lemercier (c. 1585–1654) took over from Mansart and replaced Mansart’s plan with his own design.37 In 1650, the church had reached the cornice of the dome. The Fronde interrupted the work at this point, and in the interim, Lemercier died; Pierre Le Muet (1591–1669) and Gabriel Le Duc (c. 1623–96) took over, completing the church largely following their predecessors’ design. The forecourt was built in the 1660s.38 The altar was also built in this period, and finished with a sculptural group of the Nativity by Michel Anguier (1614–86). The decoration of the church was not finished until 1682 and the final dedication took place in 1710, long after Anne of Austria’s death in 1666. The façade of the Val-de-Grâce is organized into three bays (Fig. 2.1). In the central bay, the names of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary are aligned with those of Anne of Austria and Louis XIV. In this bay, four Corinthian columns support the pedimented portico. The frieze on the portico bears the prominent dedication to ‘Jesus born and to the Virgin Mother.’39 Above the frieze and inside the pediment are the intertwined initials, not of Anne and her husband, nor of her husband and her son, but of Anne and her son, Louis XIV. The second story is finished with a segmental pediment, where the arms of the queen, which combined the arms of France and Spain, are held aloft by two angels. The side bays on the ground floor contain niches with the figures of Saint Scholastica, the foundress of the female branch of the Benedictine

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Order, on the left, and Saint Benedict of Nursia, the author of the Benedictine Rule, on the right.40 While the inscription on the exterior frieze, ‘Jesus born and to the Virgin Mother,’ overtly refers to the sacred and votive purpose of this church, an inscription inside the church refers to the queen’s political situation. The interior inscription, on the frieze of the dome, proclaims: ‘Anne of Austria, by the grace of God, queen of France and regent of the kingdom, to whom God has submitted her enemies, for which she founded this house in His name, in the year of grace, 1650’41 (Fig. 2.2). This inscription refers to the Fronde, which began in 1648 and lasted through 1653.42 The Fronde was a series of revolts that began with the Parlement’s anger over taxes and became a struggle for power among the nobles, eventually leading to war with Spain. Anne of Austria and Louis XIV were forced to flee Paris, but returned in 1649. The major internal struggles were all but over in 1650, although the war with Spain continued until 1653. The inscription tells of Anne’s triumph over her enemies and is also a warning against those who might opt for revolt a second time, but notably there is no reference to her son. In the choir, Anne’s presence is asserted by the coats of arms, not only as the patron but also as the victorious queen and regent. The inscription is an assertion of the queen’s divine authority to rule, despite the challenges of Parlement or the princes in the Fronde. Sculptural decoration on the interior surfaces of the Val-de-Grâce, by Philippe de Buyster (1595–1688) and François (1604–69) and Michel Anguier, upholds the legitimacy of Anne’s political role through the representation of the heavenly and royal families. I will discuss the decoration of the church interior as one would experience it, moving from the entrance through the nave to the main altar. The surfaces of the nave received a wealth of sculptural attention, since this was a space for the lay public. In the nave vault, bas-relief portrait busts represent the Virgin Mary’s family (Fig. 2.3). From the first to the third bay are portraits of Saint Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary’s cousin, and her husband, Zacharias, Saint Joseph and the Virgin, and Saints Anne and Joachim, Mary’s parents, all paired and in profile. In addition to the sculptural portraits, the sixteen Virtues of the Virgin are depicted following Cesare Ripa’s designs in his Iconologia43 (Figs 2.4 and 2.5). These relief sculptures are located in the spandrels of the arches, distributed along the nave and around the choir. The attributes represented on the north side of the nave are Temperance, Fortitude, Religion, Divine Love, Faith and Charity. Concord and Benevolence are found over the Chapel of Saint Anne. On the south side of the nave are Prudence, Justice, Kindness, Hope, Humility and Virginity. Simplicity and Innocence are located above the nuns’ choir, which is dedicated to Saint Louis. The Virtues on the north side of the nave and over the Chapel of Saint Anne may allude to Anne of Austria, and are appropriate

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in light of her triumph in the Fronde.44 The Virtues on the south side of the nave and those over the nuns’ choir are more fitting for the resident nuns. The arrangement of the bas-relief portraits in the nave vault also seems to correspond to this relationship. On the north side of the church, in the third bay, Saint Anne is portrayed, and on the south side, in the central bay, the Virgin is found. The sculptural decoration presents a symbolic genealogy and description of Mary and Christ, and parallels that of Anne and Louis. In short, the relief sculptures further Anne’s message concerning her personal qualities, her fitness for rule, and her significant role as mother of the dauphin. The Val-de-Grâce also has dynastic significance. In Mansart’s original plans, six chapels were envisioned, three on either side of the nave, dedicated to sanctified kings and queens.45 These chapels were never completed, but they stress the nature of this church as a celebration of the royal family’s devout history. More significantly, the Val-de-Grâce was also a royal mausoleum and housed the hearts of members of the royal family. In 1662, the queen obtained the heart of her sister-in-law, Anne Elizabeth of France, to place in the Chapel of Saint Anne.46 In 1676, the hearts of the queen and the princes and princesses of France were installed in this chapel, which originally displayed Anne’s initials in the vault. Anne of Austria was herself interred in 1666 in the Chapel of Saint Sacrament, in the most sacred position behind the altar, along with the body of Marguerite d’Arbouze.47 The inclusion of funerary functions seems to be at odds with the church’s celebration of birth. Yet in the seventeenth century, the separate interment of body parts, particularly the heart, was linked to concerns about the celebration of lineage.48 By burying the hearts of the royal family in a church that also celebrated the miraculous birth of the heir to the throne, the past and future of the extended Bourbon line is connected. More importantly, it is Anne who connects them through her role in its (re)production. Anne of Austria sought to make claims for her own authority on the only basis that she could. As a mother, she could claim the regency. Her childlessness plagued her early years with Louis XIII, and in this church she does celebrate the birth of her child. However, the birth of this child enabled her access to power, as ‘the regent of this kingdom.’ At the end of the nave, located just past the crossing, is the main altar, featuring the Holy Family (Fig. 2.6). This scene, a nativity, links the convent to its original dedication to the crèche.49 Above the altar, Anne makes her only figural appearance in the church. In the fresco, completed by Pierre Mignard (1612–95) in 1666, Anne appears alone to present a model of the church to the Holy Trinity. Anne is led, and almost supported, by Saint Anne and Saint Louis (Fig. 2.7). The Virgin floats on a layer of clouds between the figure of the queen presented by the Saints, below, and the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost whom she gazes at above, in the center and highest point of

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the dome. Anne becomes a part of the fabric of the church, appearing over her declaration on the frieze. For the queen, this fresco solidified the relationship between herself and the Virgin Mary and Saint Anne, who embraces them. The blue of the royal mantel that Anne wears connects with that of the robes of the Virgin. The poses of Mary and Anne echo each other. On the pendentives, relief sculptures of the four evangelists, the witnesses and recorders of the life of Christ, appear to observe the scene above, and direct the attention of the visitor upward to this scene (Fig. 2.6).

Miraculous motherhood What is the relationship between Anne of Austria and Mary, the Virgin Mother? How did Anne use this church to develop and represent the relationship between herself and Mary? Rosemary Muir Wright argues that the honor reflected on to terrestrial queens from that paid to Mary ‘may be the accidental consequence of a suitable symbol being ready at hand when the rights of aristocratic women needed visual expression.’50 This does not, however, diminish the usefulness of this association in the hands of a queen, courtier, or artist who could use it to advantage. For the monarchy, the association of the queen with Mary emphasizes its divine character, something Anne of Austria clearly wished to exploit.51 For Anne, the parallel between Mary, the queen of Heaven and a miraculous mother, and herself, the queen of France and a miraculous mother, must have been particularly and peculiarly attractive. Like Catherine de’Medici and Marie de’Medici before her, Anne had to develop an ‘iconography of power’ upon becoming queen regent during and after the fractious period of the Fronde.52 It may be that the image of Mary was the least controversial and most popularly accessible imagery to adapt to her grand architectural monument. As David Slaven and Jeffrey Merrick have demonstrated, the Mazarinades represented Anne’s rule as unnatural, yet the Val-de-Grâce reframed Anne’s position in terms of the divine context of Mary and her role as queen of Heaven, mother of Christ, and intercessor.53 The cult of Mary grew in popularity in seventeenth-century France as the mother of Christ attained great prominence in a redemptive role, salvaging lost humanity and combating heresy.54 She became an active, creative being, and thus a suitable model for women in the Church, and for Anne, in the political arena. The main emphasis of the iconography in the Val-de-Grâce refers to the miraculous motherhood of Anne of Austria, and drew on popular and theological views on Mary’s virginity, sacredness, and immaculacy. Within this church, there are at least three references to ‘miraculous births,’ or more, and especially to the mothers of those births. Saint Anne, Saint

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Elizabeth, and Mary all experienced miracles. Saints Anne and Elizabeth were both too advanced in age to conceive, but did. Mary experienced a virgin birth. The Benedictines, the order of this convent, were devoted to Mary as a mother and, within this church, these mothers are the main celebratory figures. Although Christ is present and celebrated, John the Baptist, son of Elizabeth and Zacharias, is not represented anywhere in the church. The Virgin Mary was, herself, a miracle child, and her mother, Saint Anne, also accomplished a miraculous birth.55 According to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, Mary was conceived without sin and is exempt from the first instant of her existence from the stain of original sin.56 The Immaculate Conception is the attribute of the Virgin Mary, thereby emphasizing the significance less of Christ than of his mother. And like Anne of Austria, Saint Anne was barren for many years of marriage before the conception of Mary. The inscription on the exterior also emphasizes the birth, signaled by the word ‘nascenti’ (born), rather than simply celebrating the child, the mother, or the state of virginity. When Anne of Austria feared that she would not give birth to an heir to the throne, she sought the Virgin’s help in conceiving a child. The Virgin’s belt, held at the Benedictine abbey of Le Puy, was brought to the queen in its casket from the cathedral when she gave birth to the dauphin, Louis XIV, in 1638.57 In this sense, the Virgin’s own miraculous birth of her son, symbolized by the girdle, was connected with Anne’s birth of Louis XIV. In rededicating the abbey to ‘Jesus born and to the Virgin Mother,’ it is the birth of Jesus and Mary’s role as birth mother that was celebrated. The main altar also supports this interpretation (Fig. 2.6). Mary’s drapery anchors her in front of Christ; Joseph appears to sweep in. His drapery is agitated and flies behind him and he has not yet knelt. Joseph appears as a secondary player in this event. The relationship between Mary and the Christ child is primary, emphasized by their intense shared gaze.

The Val-de-Grâce as a heterotopia If Anne of Austria and the Virgin Mary relate to one another via the concept of ‘miraculous motherhood,’ how do the nuns fit into this scheme? Michel Foucault’s notion of ‘heterotopia’ is useful in grasping the spatial arrangement of the Val-de-Grâce, but first one must consider the development of the disposition of spaces within the church. The Val-de-Grâce, as conceived of by Anne of Austria and François Mansart, was to be the center of a great palatial and monastic complex similar to the Escorial in Spain.58 In Mansart’s plan, the queen’s palace and the nuns’ convent were to be located across from each

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other on the axes of the church’s transept.59 A gallery running behind the altar and the chapel of Saint Sacrament connected the queen’s apartment to the convent, bridging the gap between the spiritual life and the secular life.60 Although the palace was never built, something of this uneasy relationship was preserved. The Chapel of Saint Anne, on the north side, faces the nuns’ choir, on the south, and the two spaces are connected via a passage around the altar.61 Foucault’s concept of ‘heterotopia’ offers an illuminating way of interpreting this space.62 Foucault defines ‘heterotopias’ as: real and effective spaces which are outlined in the very institution of society, but which constitute a sort of counter-arrangement of effectively realized utopia, in which all the real arrangements, all the other real arrangements that can be found within society, are at one and the same time represented, challenged, and overturned.63

Foucault’s third and sixth principles of heterotopia are the most relevant to the Val-de-Grâce. The third principle states that ‘heterotopia has the power of juxtaposing in a single real place different spaces and locations that are incompatible with each other.’64 The Val-de-Grâce has multiple juxtapositions. There are spaces for virgins (the nuns’ choir and convent) in a church dedicated to birth and maternity. There are spaces for burial (the chapels of Saint Anne and Saint Sacrament) in a church dedicated to the production of life. This is a space built in celebration of Anne of Austria’s reproductive power yet it is also a space dedicated to sacred virginity. Anne of Austria, a woman who was not a virgin, compares herself to the Virgin Mary. Here Foucault’s sixth principle may help. It states that heterotopias ‘have, in relation to the rest of space, a function that takes place between two opposite poles.’65 Their function is to compensate for the contradictions at work in a given society. The Val-de-Grâce is such a space. In celebrating both virginity and motherhood, it holds together two contradictory views of womanhood, and in celebrating birth and death, it connects the poles of life within the sphere of lineage. In this sense, the Virgin Mary is herself ‘heterotopic’ and mediates between the secular and religious inhabitants of this space. Anne of Austria used the identification with the Virgin Mary (and other miraculous mothers) to strengthen her political position. She made this identification through the decorative program of her church. As Gadamer states, ‘ornament is not primarily something by itself that is then applied to something else … Ornament is a part of the presentation. But presentation is an ontological event; it is representation.’66 In other words, the decoration of the Val-de-Grâce is far from being subsidiary; decoration here is the key to the church as a whole and to Anne of Austria’s presentation of self since she was deeply involved in the design for each aspect of her church and its decorative

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program. The decoration was used to assert Anne’s role as rightful queen and regent, in the wake of the Fronde. Her identification with the Virgin can be interpreted as a strategic move on her part. The decoration of the Val-de-Grâce was not additive or superficial; it conveys the real meaning beyond the function and structure as church and convent. It is a representation of her, at different moments in her life, and facilitates her claim to political authority and psychic territory in the French imagination. However, Anne of Austria’s strategic use of architecture and decoration indicates the limitations placed upon her. Her power derived only through her relationships with men. No doubt cautious as a result of the troubles that confronted her mother-in-law, Marie de’Medici, who was exiled from France in 1642, Anne chose to build a convent and church in contrast to Marie’s choice of a palace. She also chose to reference biblical women, rather than the mothers of great princes (including sanctified queens) as Marie had selected.67 Anne, who had witnessed the fall of her mother-in-law, was more careful about preserving her power. By choosing to celebrate her role as mother, and doing so in the religious arena, Anne could celebrate her role as queen, queen regent, and queen mother and offer a portrait of herself to the city of Paris.

Notes *

1.

2.

I would like to thank Helen Hills for her support and encouragement over the course of this project. I would also like to thank the anonymous reader for their suggestions and assistance in improving this paper. Elizabeth Hudson and Peter McCracken read early drafts and I am grateful for their suggestions. Although I will argue against this as the sole motivation for Anne of Austria’s patronage, the birth of a dauphin was greeted with profound relief. The Bourbon dynasty was newly founded, established by Henri IV in 1592. Henri was assassinated in 1610 and the turbulent reign of the regent, Marie de’Medici, followed. Louis XIII finally ousted his mother in 1631. There was also serious concern that if Louis XIII and Anne of Austria did not produce an heir, Louis would be overthrown by his brother, Gaston, duc d’Orléans. The birth of an heir stabilized a shaky reign and provided for its continuation. Claude Mignot describes Anne of Austria as a ‘jeune reine sterile.’ Claude Mignot, Le Val-deGrâce: L’ermitage d’une reine (Paris: CNRS Editions, 1994), p. 24. Allan Braham and Peter Smith, who have written the standard monograph on Mansart, focus on determining his intentions and impact on the church as it stands today. See François Mansart, 2 vols (London: A. Zwemmer Ltd, 1973). The problem with this approach is that Anne of Austria replaced Mansart, over the course of construction, with a succession of architects: Jacques Lemercier, Gabriel Le Duc, and Pierre Le Muet. Also see Allan Braham, ‘Mansart Studies I: The Val-de-Grâce,’ Burlington Magazine, 105, August 1963, 351–63, Peter Smith, ‘Mansart Studies II: The Val-de-Grâce,’ Burlington Magazine, 106, March 1964, 106–15, Anthony Blunt, François Mansart and the Origins of French Classical Architecture (London: The Warburg Institute, 1941), and

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Maurice Dumolin, ‘La Construction du Val-de-Grace,’ Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de Paris, 57, 1930, 92–150. 3. Claude Mignot argues that it is a myth that seventeenth-century French architecture ‘was dominated by the single genius of Mansart.’ He demonstrates that greater consideration needs to be given to Le Muet and his work in the completion of the structure and decoration of the Val-de-Grâce. See ‘L’Eglise du Val-de-Grâce au Faubourg Saint-Jacques de Paris: architecture et decor (Nouveau Documents 1645–1667),’ Société de l’histoire de l’art français, December 1975, 101–36. Mignot pays much more attention to Anne of Austria’s interventions in the church in his indispensable 1994 book, Le Val-de-Grâce. 4. Mignot states, ‘Il y a le mythe d’un XVIIe siècle dominé par le seul génie de Mansart, la volonté d’effacer les vissicitudes de l’histoire,’ and concludes that ‘le Val-de-Grâce n’est pas l’oeuvre de Mansart ou de Le Muet, mais celle d’Anne d’Autriche.’ Mignot, ‘L’Eglise du Val-de-Grâce,’ p. 108. 5. I thank the anonymous reader for bringing this dissertation to my attention. Lisa Anne Rotmil, ‘The Artistic Patronage of Anne of Austria (1601–1666): ImageMaking at the French Court’ (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 2000), p. 217. Rotmil’s dissertation provides a fascinating analysis of the relationship between the Val-de-Grâce and the Escorial, as well as fitting the Val-de-Grâce into the larger scope of the queen’s art patronage. 6. Gadamer discusses ‘occasionality’ in his essay, ‘The Ontological Foundation of the Occasional and the Decorative,’ in Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory, ed. Neil Leach (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 126–37. It can also be found in Truth and Method (New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1982), pp. 127–42. 7. Gadamer, Rethinking Architecture, p. 126. 8. Gadamer uses the phrase ‘the splendour of appearance’ (ibid., p. 126), Mignot describes Anne of Austria as ‘une jeune reine stérile’ (Le Val-de-Grâce, p. 24), and Ruth Kleinman describes Louis XIV as a miracle baby. Ruth Kleinman, Anne of Austria: Queen of France (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1985), p. 102. 9. The Val-de-Grâce is located in the Faubourg Saint-Jacques, on the Rue SaintJacques, an area populated by numerous religious communities, and south of seventeenth-century Paris. Anne’s interventions joined some prestigious foundations and created a stronger lure for other Counter-Reformation religious houses. Dumolin, ‘La Construction,’ pp. 94–6. 10. For a historical overview of the period, see G. R. R. Treasure, SeventeenthCentury France (London: Rivingtons, 1966). For an interesting analysis of the Mazarinades, the scandalous pamphlet literature that flourished during this period and criticized the queen and especially Jules Mazarin, the first minister, see Jeffrey Merrick’s ‘The Cardinal and the Queen: Sexual and Political Disorders in the Mazarinades,’ French Historical Studies, 18 (3), Spring 1994, 667–99. Michael D. Slaven also analyzes the Mazarinades, focusing more attention on Anne of Austria. ‘“The Mirror Which Flatters Not”: Anne of Austria and Representations of the Regency During the Fronde,’ Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, 24, 1997, 451–61. 11. Ruth Kleinman has written the most recent English-language biography of Anne of Austria. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 53–4. Zanger discusses the importance of the new queen’s body in her analysis of both of the weddings of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria and Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse. See Abby

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12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

19. 20. 21.

22.

23. 24. 25.

26. 27. 28.

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Zanger, Scenes from the Marriage of Louis XIV: Nuptial Fictions and the Making of Absolutist Power (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), pp. 59–76. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 34–8. In the Spanish court, the royal family often visited convents and churches together, a pastime which Anne of Austria continued when in France. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 53–4. Ibid., pp. 34–8. In 1513, this convent had been under the protection of Anne de Bretagne. Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, p. 14. Louis XIII ceded the seignorial rights of the property to the convent. In addition, in 1622, Louis granted the convent the privilege of electing their own abbess. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, p. 53. Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, pp. 14, 17, 24–6. Dumolin, ‘La Construction’, pp. 98–101; Kleinman, Anne of Austria, p. 54. Anne had been corresponding with members of her household whom the king had sent away from court, including Madame du Fargis and Madame de Chevreuse. These two women were helping her maintain a correspondence with her brother, Ferdinand, the Cardinal Infante, in Brussels. Many of these letters were written in her apartment at the Val-de-Grâce. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 84–5, 96–9. The incident that pushed Louis to bar her from visiting any convents was the discovery of a letter written by Anne to Madame de Chevreuse. The queen’s apartment at the Val-de-Grâce was searched, as were the cells of the nuns. On 17 August, the queen had to sign a confession and agree not to visit any convents. Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, p. 26. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, p. 99. Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, p. 26. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 86–101. The lack of an heir to the French crown was distressing not only to France, but also to Spain and the Catholic Church. The marriage of Anne of Austria and Louis XIII was regarded as cementing the alliance of the major Catholic powers of Europe, specifically against the Protestants. Without an heir, it was feared that there would be a resurgence of Protestantism in Europe. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 41, 94–5. Louis XIII died when his son, the future Louis XIV, was five years old. He would reach his majority in 1651, at the age of thirteen. Anne of Austria was named regent, and was to govern with the royal council. A. Lloyd Moote, Louis XIII, the Just (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), p. 282. Treasure, Seventeenth-Century France, p. 189. Ibid., pp. 188–90. This was not the first time Anne was given charge of the government. In 1620 and 1622, Louis left Anne in charge, with the assistance of the royal council. In this case, Anne of Austria’s rule would last longer, until her son achieved the age of majority. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 47, 55. Philippe, duc d’Anjou, was born in 1640, and ensured the continuation of the Bourbon line, should something happen to Louis. Due to financial difficulties, only the church and convent were built. Braham and Smith, François Mansart, vol. 1, p. 57. The Salic Law was instituted as a regulation for inheritance, restricting the bequest of lands to the eldest sons (primogeniture) and the ‘biens mobiliers’ (movable goods) to daughters. A succession crisis in the fourteenth century, following the death of Louis X, made the exclusion of daughters and their sons from succession to the throne a fixed feature of the French monarchy. Although

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30.

31.

32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

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the legitimacy of this interpretation of the Salic Law was questioned in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it was generally accepted as a fundamental law of France. In the seventeenth century, it was assimilated to the idea of women’s natural weakness, that is, the idea that women could not rule because of their natural incapacity, reinforcing the Salic Law as both fundamental and natural. See Fanny Cosandey, La Reine de France: Symbole et pouvoir, XVe–XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Gallimard, 2000), pp. 27–54, and Sarah Hanley, ‘Les visages de la loi salique dans la quête pour le droit des hommes et l’exclusion des femmes du gouvernement monarchique,’ in Les droits des femmes et la loi salique, introduced by Sarah Hanley (Paris: Indigo & Côté-femmes, 1994). As Harriet Lightman discusses in her essay, there remained an inherent tension in the idea of ‘legitimate’ female rule. Harriet Lightman, ‘Political Power and the Queen of France: Pierre Dupuy’s Treatise on Regency Governments’, Canada Journal of History/Annals Canadiennes d’Histoire 3 (1986), pp. 299–312. As Michael Slaven points out, emphasis on Anne of Austria’s motherhood more effectively buttressed her authority than claims to her rightful position as regent. Slaven, ‘“The Mirror,”’ p. 455. An example of this is the art patronage of Marie de’Medici. Before the death of Henri IV, her patronage was limited to primarily small-scale (though expensive) objects, such as jewelry. After his death, when she had access to greater funds, she proceeded to build a palace (the Palais du Luxembourg, then called the Palais de Medici), to commission the large-scale portrait cycle by Peter Paul Rubens, as well as to support convents throughout France. Perhaps the best source for information on Marie de’Medici’s art patronage is Deborah Marrow, The Art Patronage of Marie de’Medici (Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1982). A helpful and more recent account can be found in Géraldine Johnson’s ‘Imagining Images of Powerful Women: Maria de’Medici’s Patronage of Art and Architecture,’ in Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs, ed. Cynthia Lawrence (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), pp. 126–53. A fascinating analysis of the difficulties that Marie de’Medici faced in formulating a powerful image of herself through her art patronage is Géraldine Johnson’s ‘Pictures Fit For A Queen: Peter Paul Rubens and the Marie de’Medici Cycle,’ Art History, 16 (3), September 1993, 447–69. For an extended discussion of the regency in relation to queen mothers, see Elizabeth McCartney’s dissertation, ‘Queens in the Cult of the French Renaissance Monarchy: Selected Studies in Public Law, Royal Ceremonial, and Political Discourse, 1484–1610’ (Ph.D. diss., University of Iowa, 1998). Braham, ‘Mansart Studies I,’ p. 351. Claude Mignot, ‘L’Eglise du Val-de-Grâce au faubourg Saint-Jacques 1645–1646,’ in Francois Mansart: Le génie de l’architecture, eds Jean-Pierre Babelon and Claude Mignot (Paris: Gallimard, 1998), p. 186. Braham, ‘Mansart Studies I,’ p. 352. This delay was due in part to the discovery of cellars beneath the site for the church. Ibid. Mignot, ‘L’Eglise du Val-de-Grâce,’ p. 186. Ibid. Braham, ‘Mansart Studies I,’ p. 352. Ibid., p. 360. The phrase on the entrance portico reads, ‘IESU NASCENTI VIRGINIQ. MATRI.’ Jean-Pierre Babelon interprets the dedication of the Val-de-Grâce to the miracle of the Nativity. I argue that rather than a dedication to the Nativity, the church is

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41.

42. 43. 44. 45. 46.

47. 48. 49.

50.

51. 52.

53.

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a celebration of ‘miraculous motherhood.’ Jean-Pierre Babelon, ‘Le Val-deGrâce redécouvert,’ Connaisance des Arts, Jan.–June 1989, 75. Saint Benedict is commonly called the ‘father of Western monasticism.’ Benedictine nuns follow his Rule, written in the sixth century. Saint Scholastica is his twin sister and received the veil from him and, under his auspices, founded the first community of Benedictine nuns. Their images were commonly found in, or on, Counter-Reformation Benedictine churches. See Joan Evans, Monastic Iconography in France from the Renaissance to the Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), p. 11. The inscription on the frieze reads in Latin: ‘ANNA AUSTRIA D.G. FRANCORUM REGINA REGNIQ. RECTRIX CUI SUBJECIT DEUS OMNES HOSTES UT CONDERET DOMUM IN NOMINE SUO ECC. A.M.D.C.L.’ See Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, p. 112. Mignot also points this out. Ibid. Evans, Monastic Iconography, p. 8; Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, pp. 96–7. Ibid., p. 98. Ibid., pp. 112–13. When Anne married Louis, Louis’s sister, Anne Elizabeth, married Anne’s brother, the prince of the Asturias, future Philip IV. This was celebrated in Peter Paul Rubens’s painting, The Exchange of the Princesses (Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1623–25). The significance of bringing Anne Elizabeth’s heart back to France may have been that her heart rejoined those of her natal family in the collective celebration of the Bourbon line. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, p. 15; Moote, Louis XIII, pp. 48, 51–2. Marguerite d’Arbouze died in 1626. When the queen was buried in 1666, Marguerite d’Arbouze’s body was buried with hers. Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, p. 112. Jean Nagel, La civilisation du coeur: Histoire du sentiment politique en France du XIIe au XIXe siècle (Paris: Fayard, 1998), p. 16. The present sculpture is a copy after the original, which was moved to SaintRoch in Paris in 1869–70 for restoration and then was kept by that church. This nativity scene is framed by a marble and bronze baldaquin, sculpted by Le Duc and Le Muet and modeled on Bernini’s at Saint Peter’s. Anne of Austria invited Bernini to submit a design for this baldaquin, which she reviewed and rejected. Mignot, Le Val-de-Grâce, pp. 86–9. Rosemary Muir White, ‘The Virgin in the Sun and the Tree,’ Women and Sovereignty, Cosmos: The Yearbook of the Traditional Cosmology Society, vol. 7, ed. Louisa Olga Fradenberg (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992), p. 32. See also Penny Schine Gold, The Lady and the Virgin: Image, Attitude, and Experience in Twelfth-Century France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985). Cosandey, La Reine de France, p. 278. Sheila ffolliott uses this phrase to describe Catherine de’Medici’s use of the imagery of Artemisia following the death of Henri II. See Sheila ffolloitt, ‘Catherine de’Medici as Artemisia: Figuring the Powerful Widow,’ in Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe, ed. Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan, and Nancy J. Vickers (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1986), p. 228. For Marie de’Medici, see the work of Deborah Marrow and Géraldine Johnson, cited above, note 30. Slaven, ‘“The Mirror,”’ p. 452.

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54. Elaine Rhea Rubin, ‘The Heroic Image: Women and Power in EarlySeventeenth-Century France, 1610–1661’ (Ph.D. diss., The George Washington University, 1977), pp. 9, 138. For a more general discussion, see Hilda C. de Graef, Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion, 2 vols (London and New York: Sheed and Ward, 1964). 55. The debate over the Immaculate Conception continued in the seventeenth century and the Benedictines supported this doctrine. However, the Benedictines in France were also devoted to Mary as an intercessor for infertile women and a protector of women in labor. See Chapter 18, ‘The Sweetness of Life,’ in Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns through Two Millennia, by Jo Ann Kay McNamara (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), pp. 526–62. On French Marian devotion, see Raymond Deville, The French School of Spirituality: An Introduction and Reader (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 1994). 56. Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, 1908 edn, s.v. ‘Immaculée Conception.’ For a more wide-ranging discussion of virginity, with an appendix on the theological question of the Immaculate Conception, see John Bugge, Virginitas: An Essay in the History of a Medieval Ideal (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1975). 57. The belt was brought for the births of both of the queen’s sons. Kleinman, Anne of Austria, pp. 107, 114; Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York: Knopf, 1976), pp. 280–81. 58. Smith, ‘Mansart Studies II,’ pp. 106–15. Smith’s discussion is focused around a drawing he found in the stacks of the Départment des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale, in 1963. The drawing is cut off on the left side, so the full development of Mansart’s plans is unknown. Ibid., p. 106, footnote 3. According to Smith there are no precedents for this type of palace-convent structure in France. Ibid., p. 106. Rotmil explores the connection in depth. Rotmil, ‘Artistic Patronage,’ pp. 234–47. 59. Smith also notes that there is a second, smaller apartment, which he identifies as suitable for a lady-in-waiting; however, he suggests that a more probable identification of this space is an apartment for the young king. Smith, ‘Mansart Studies II,’ p. 106. 60. This was so despite the fact that the ‘abbesse représenta plusieurs fois à la reine que leur maison ne devait pas être un palais mais un monastère de religieuses qui font voeu de pauvrete.’ C. Fleury, La vie de la vénérable mère Marguerite d’Arbouze, abbesse et réformatrice de l’abbaye royale du Val-de-Grâce (Paris, 1684), quoted in Mignot, ‘L’Eglise du Val-de-Grâce au faubourg Saint-Jacques’ p. 183. Smith also mentions that the nuns objected to the work done on their convent. Smith, ‘Mansart Studies II,’ p. 109; Braham and Smith, François Mansart, vol. 1 p. 63. 61. Smith, ‘Mansart Studies II,’ pp. 106, 109. 62. Michel Foucault, ‘Other Spaces: The Principles of Heterotopia,’ Lotus International, 48/49 (1985–86), 9–19. 63. Ibid., p. 12. 64. Ibid., p. 16. 65. Ibid., p. 19. 66. Gadamer, Rethinking Architecture, p. 136. 67. Marrow describes the Palais du Luxembourg and gives the list of the queens Marie de’Medici chose to decorate the entrance pavillion of her palace. Marrow, Art Patronage, pp. 21–3.

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The Architecture of Institutionalism: Women’s Space in Renaissance Hospitals Eunice D. Howe The hospital has embodied notions of communal welfare since its origins in antiquity, when the concept of offering shelter to a guest, or hospes, was identified with the structure itself, the hospitium.1 By the Renaissance, hospitals not only provided shelter to transients, assistance to the poor, and medical care to the sick, but they also operated as sites of spiritual and social transformation. The ideal hospital of the Renaissance responded to inhabitants’ needs and simultaneously improved their condition, ordering social relations through spatial arrangements. Despite their different approaches to housing a hospital population, both Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72) and Antonio Averlino, better known as Filarete (c. 1400–69), found inspiration in the most advanced institutions of their day and in the hospitals of antiquity, described in literary accounts. Here it is suggested that these Renaissance architect–theorists were also driven to enforce categories of gender difference in defining the parameters of women’s space in the general hospital. Although a recurrent concern in hospital planning, the segregation of the sexes took on new urgency and meanings in fifteenth-century Italy.2 Architectural plans for the ideal hospital designated separate areas for men and women, even as they intersected with other categories of difference such as age, social status and degrees of infirmity. That basic principle finds confirmation in the general ideas of Alberti on hospital planning and in the specific formula offered by Filarete. This analysis explores their unrealized projects, and concludes with a hospital design fabricated by Cesare Cesariano (1483–1543). This early sixteenth-century commentator on Vitruvius used the Renaissance hospital plan of his forerunners to illustrate ancient ideas on hospitality and, in so doing, articulated underlying assumptions about the interdependence of architectural space and gender. It is often presumed that hospitals are intended for the treatment of bodies,

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but not often are they acknowledged as instruments in the construction of social relations between bodies. Michel Foucault regarded the hospital as a site where medical knowledge and social relations converged.3 He associated hospitals with the illnesses, medical practices and politics that impacted the social construction of the body.4 The architecture of ‘enclosure’ and of ‘serial space’ parallels the organization of the hospital with the result that ‘prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons.’5 Observatories on the model of the military camp produced an architecture for the hospital that privileged surveillance, offering the potential of transformation.6 Foucault’s now-classic analysis of the architecture in Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon seals the connection between systems of incarceration and rituals of power pertaining to the asylum.7 However, whereas Foucault identified core properties of the institutional plan, he did so without regard to the Renaissance examples that in some ways anticipated eighteenth-century ‘panoptic regimes’ that I discuss here.8 Nor did he address issues of gender, overlooking or perhaps discounting views on female inmates.9 Recently, scholars have continued to investigate the links between hospital architecture and specific cultural practices. Their attention has been drawn to the complex discourses surrounding institutional foundations and design, resulting in a new awareness of the diversity of hospital populations and the historical tensions revealed by architectural form.10 For their builders and sponsors, Renaissance hospitals served practical ends while offering the potential for the formation of the utopian body. In reality, Renaissance hospitals varied widely in their purpose and complexity. They ran the gamut from humble shelters with few occupants to multi-faceted institutions with highly organized residential populations. At the very least, hospitals offered asylum, while at most they provided physical care and the promise of spiritual healing.11 When a coherent vision of the ideal hospital emerged in the mid-fifteenth century, it was allied with a health care system that promoted shelter, seclusion and order. The two most influential writers on the subject were Leon Battista Alberti in his treatise De Re Aedificatoria completed shortly before 1452, and Filarete, who produced his plan for the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan in 1456, incorporating the project into his own Trattato di Architettura eight years later. In their treatises, these humanist architects acknowledged that the architecture of the general hospital was an urban representation. Ideal hospitals operated in a civic context, with impressive loggias and fresco cycles for public view, and with interior spaces for diverse constituencies. Furthermore, the general hospital was intended for all sectors of the population – women and men, children and elderly, the sick and the homeless, the wealthy and the poor.12 Tuscany was renowned for its hospitals, many of which had been operating since the late Middle Ages.13 Both Leon Battista Alberti and Filarete had first-

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hand knowledge of the two most famous: the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence and the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. Alberti’s praise for existing hospitals establishes his familiarity with these charitable institutions: ‘In Tuscany, in keeping with the long-standing local tradition for religious piety, wonderful hospitals are to be found, built at vast expense, where any citizen or stranger would feel there to be nothing amiss to ensure his well-being.’14 Filarete was similarly aware of his homeland’s reputation for maintaining the most efficient and beautiful hospitals of the day. Whether or not he needed to refresh his memory, he toured Tuscan hospitals at the insistence of the duke of Milan.15 On that basis, Filarete relates that the duke agreed that no existing hospital offered a suitable model for the Ospedale Maggiore, thereby setting the stage for Filarete’s innovative proposal.16 To be sure, the architect’s narrative privileges his own role in designing a revolutionary institution for Milan, and yet Filarete was correct in insisting that his vision of hospital architecture differed significantly from that of his Tuscan precursors. Neither the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence nor the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena provided a model for the paired Greek crosses of Filarete’s plan for the Ospedale Maggiore (Fig. 3.1). More precisely, the segregation of the sexes in separate cruciform units found no precedent in existing Tuscan hospitals.17 Filarete was as likely to have been impressed by the institutional rituals and interior appointments at these hospitals as by their architectural design. For example, at the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, Sienese artists had revitalized the spacious infirmary – the Pellegrinaio – with a fresco cycle in 1443–44, just before Filarete’s visit to Tuscany.18 Filarete did not need to have seen the new frescoes himself to have learned about the up-to-date practices at the hospital, represented in four scenes along one wall, and the history of the venerable institution, related in the four scenes opposite.19 On the other hand, the architectural plan of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala itself was the product of incremental growth and, lacking a unified design, it would have appeared outdated to the discerning visitor. In a conventional division of the sexes, male patients were treated in the Pellegrinaio, while female residents occupied separate, cramped quarters in the adjacent Palazzo Squarcialupi.20 Moreover, scenes in the new fresco cycle underscored the traditional distinctions between gendered spaces that would have been obvious – if unremarkable – to any spectator or raconteur of their narratives. The ‘Care of the Sick’ takes place in an architectural setting that recalls the spacious interior of the Pellegrinaio, while the women at the hospital, in the ‘Nurturing and Education of Foundlings and the Marriage of a Hospital Girl’, appear in compartmentalized spaces adapted to multiple female activities and rituals. Filarete’s plans for the Milan hospital were more extensive and developed than at the existing

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Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, since he envisioned men and women occupying separate, but largely equal, quarters in his utopian scheme. Filarete conceived of a new order of institution – inclusive, grand and functional – where the maintenance of gendered identity was a major concern. Leon Battista Alberti preceded Filarete in establishing a theoretical foundation for the urban conventions of the hospital. He approached the hospital as an institution at the core of society, referring it back to the family as a naturalized unit, and comparing the hospital to the private palace, a metaphor that becomes crucial. While Alberti was informed by existing practices in Italian institutions as well as by ancient authors, his ideological views on gender, social class and illness shaped his agenda. Alberti’s belief in the indivisibility of social conduct and architecture is a consistent theme in his writing, as Anthony Grafton notes: What unifies these discussions – so far as anything does – is Alberti’s insistence that buildings should reshape those who inhabit them. Good houses, he argues in his prologus, have saved ‘honorable Families’ in Florence and elsewhere. Buildings should work not only as hydraulic devices, engineered to throw off rainwater and release sewage, but also as therapeutic machines, designed to promote good health.21

In On the Art of Building in Ten Books, Alberti promotes the segregation of the curable from the incurable, and of women from men. In reference to hospitals, he writes: The buildings where they all [i.e. the sick] live should be divided up and laid out as follows: the curable should be kept somewhere separate from those, such as the decrepit and the mentally insane, who are admitted not so much to be cured as to be nursed until struck down by fate. In addition, the women, whether patients or nurses, should be kept apart from men.22

Here he embraces hierarchies based on degrees of illness and adversity, separating those with hope for rehabilitation from those with no future. Similarly, he groups women together, regardless of physical condition and occupation, as though their gender alone carried the seeds of contamination. His discourse reveals a strategy for exerting power over the female body, advocating containment and control, and treating sexuality as a ‘medical and medicalizable object.’23 Alberti then proceeds to compare the ideal hospital to the private house, revealing the prerogatives of both the male sex and the upper class: And, as in a family home, it is best to have some apartments more private than others, depending on the nature of the treatment and the inmates’ way of life – a subject that we need not discuss further. Suffice it to say that every building of this type should be laid out according to the requirements of a private house.24

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While this succinct passage on the organization of the hospital appears to be descriptive, Alberti’s terms are, in fact, prescriptive and ideologically driven. He advises that hospitals reserve private precincts for patients with specific illnesses or medical procedures, and for patients of an elevated social stature. He thereby designates spaces for afflictions that have been classified as physical conditions, by means of medical knowledge. He also treats lower social rank as a contagion, necessitating the segregation of one class from another, just as he espoused the separation of chronic from non-chronic illness, and women from men. None of Alberti’s notions – taken individually – introduces innovative features of hospital planning, for segregation of the sexes and social groups was hardly new. Hospital complexes had long incorporated areas for patients with special medical conditions, for the poor or aged, and for the nobility, while segregation on the basis of gender was a universal concern.25 There were various methods of separating the sexes in medieval infirmaries: a chapel positioned at the center of two segregated wings, a partition at the center of the ward with chapels at both sides, a gallery for female patients elevated above the space occupied by males, separate wings similar to the transepts of a church for the female patients and – most elementary – beds for men and women along opposite walls, separated by a chapel. Yet Alberti evokes the parallel of the private house, disclosing underlying patriarchal principles in his vision of an orderly hospital environment. Alberti describes the family palace, and by extension the hospital, as a product of intellectual planning and moral consequence, with attendant assumptions about class and gender. In describing public and private buildings commissioned by individuals, Alberti refers to a model society where citizens are imbued with civic values through architecture. The private house itself is presented in On the Art of Building in Ten Books as a miniature city, conceived at the discretion of and for the protection of the property owner.26 The house should be designed to promote good health and tranquillity, and it should be self-sufficient – whether the patron be prince, gentleman or merchant. But the crucial element in the plan was the hierarchical division of space into ‘public, semi-private and private zones,’ with the courtyard at the ‘heart’ (‘sinum’) of the house and with rooms for female family members ‘to be treated as though dedicated to religion and chastity’ under the supervision of the matron.27 The head of household’s study was located at the nexus of this design. Whatever precise form it assumed, the palace privileged the head male occupant (particularly his intellectual space), relegated women to secondary spaces (relevant to religious and chaste concerns) and excluded, or at least sealed off, the affairs of the lower classes. Alberti elaborates his notions on the private home and household management in On the Family, where he conceives of the house as a marvel

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of patriarchal order that conserves the family unit: ‘children, wife, and other members of the household, both relatives and servants.’28 In mapping the spatial organization of the interior, Alberti effectively genders specific spaces within the private palace, simultaneously prescribing specific male and female behavior through his discourse. Since men possess a higher intellect and stronger character than women, they are better suited to public life, whereas women should stay still and guard personal belongings.29 For inspiration on domesticity, he follows the authority of the fifth-century Greek Xenophon, who summarized the ideal education of a wife.30 The wife, coached by her husband in household management, was to occupy interior rooms that were explicitly domestic in nature, venturing into the public realm only under the watchful gaze of her husband. The well-run house in turn reflected the honor of the family, the community and the city. It required coherent relationships within a complex family unit with the ‘father of the family’ at the center – like a spider in its web.31 Alberti applied the ideologies from this ordered and refined domestic world to hospitals, where a strong central authority oversaw multiple social groups defined by spatial barriers. Both Alberti and Filarete negotiated the topic of gender by advocating segregated areas for men and women in the ideal hospital. But did each architect envision women’s spaces as otherwise architecturally differentiated, and as reinforcing gendered attributes? Alberti certainly did. Just as he espoused the paradigm of the Vitruvian male in architectural design (the perfectly proportioned nude figure inscribed by both the circle and the square), his prescription for the hospital ensured that male space was visible, accessible and archetypal, while female space was internal and guarded. Filarete, however, although familiar with Alberti’s architectural theories, broke with them in his signature design for the ideal city of Sforzinda that includes his general hospital for Milan.32 His design for the Ospedale Maggiore was ostensibly radical in social terms, striking a balance between the spaces inhabited by men and women. He devised an architecture of segregated precincts that seemed to promote separate, but equal, living arrangements. Of the women’s hospital, Filarete noted: ‘This side, as I have said, is the same size as the other, proportioned and constructed in the same manner. It is bound and enclosed together with the other, and yet the men’s [quarters] are separated from the women’s, as you can see from the drawing.’33 Only a close reading of Filarete’s text, and accompanying illustrations, reveals the extent to which architecture classified bodies hierarchically according to gender, and served to control relations between the sexes by safeguarding female chastity. The architect was in earnest about the ambitious project which he presents in Book XI of his Treatise on Architecture (Figs 3.1–3.4).34 Duke Francesco Sforza and Duchess Bianca Maria Sforza responded by commissioning the

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Ospedale Maggiore as the centerpiece of a program of charitable reform combining the independent hospitals of Milan. The duke donated his own property for a hospital ‘solemn enough to emerge as worthy of a ducal dominion of a city as illustrious as Milan,’ and laid the foundation stone in 1456.35 The façade of the Ospedale Maggiore was to be decorated with inscriptions and paintings confirming the foundation of this exemplar of institutional charity. The details in Filarete’s sketch of the façade suggest complexity and sweeping scale, epitomized by a centralized church with a tall dome and four towers as the centerpiece (Fig. 3.2).36 A portico on the piano nobile and a loggia above (which was never built) are raised four braccia above street level, while towers and gabled staircases accent the verticality of the corners and points of access, like protruding frontispieces. Yet the visual image camouflages the verbal description of the elevation in which Filarete concentrates on practical features such as the shops at ground level and the stairs that give controlled access. He does not otherwise attempt to relate the palatial effects of the graphic representation of the exterior to the ground plan of the hospital.37 Filarete’s real interest was in the spatial organization of the Ospedale Maggiore which orders the bodies within. Filarete begins his account by drawing the hospital foundations, and thereafter interjects with references to the ground plan whenever possible. The proposed hospital complex, as indicated in Filarete’s text and drawings, encompasses two cruciform buildings, inscribed by squares 160 braccia wide flanking the central courtyard. The ground plan of the hospital is rectangular, with the width of the central section equal to one-half of either side (Figs 3.1, 3.3, 3.4).38 The geometric proportions convey the overriding symmetry and presumed rationality of an architectural design that is presented as applicable to both sexes. The twin cruciform buildings house male patients to the right and women to the left. Work and recreation took place in the four square courts abutting the hospital wards, with gardens and two-story porticoes for the hospital community. Large windows along the upper walls of the infirmaries overlook the adjacent courtyards, providing light and ventilation for the sick. Altars are situated at the center of each crossing, beneath octagonal drums, for patients to witness the celebration of daily Mass from their beds, while the church within the central cloister (between the cruciform buildings) represents another site of spiritual healing at the core of the plan. Finally, as Filarete himself boasts, the matching dimensions of the male and female hospital wards, envisioned as spacious and light-filled, suggest a relational equilibrium between the sexes.39 The double cruciforms of the male and female quarters become the hall-mark of his design. Filarete specifies that the design of a general hospital must ‘be capable of fulfilling the needs of the infirm, both men and women, and of children born out of wedlock.’40 In sketching the section for male patients, Filarete’s

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preoccupation with the functional character of his design first emerges. He describes an elaborate system of latrines with canals, reservoirs and sluice gates incorporated into the building foundations, and spiracles to carry foul odors up to the roof level, and cleansing rainwater back down.41 A staircase one bay in width leads to the entrance portal of the cruciform area, and the level beneath the portico has room for shops.42 Off the square court to the right, there are ‘rooms for gentlemen, who will be kept separate from the commoners because of greater honor.’43 The private quarters for the upper class are beautiful and surround a small fish pond.44 In this cruciform area alone, Filarete has responded to the challenge of hospital design by incorporating ideas on utility, beauty and social distinction. He describes the men’s quarters succinctly, but completely, from the inside out, with attention to both practical and aesthetic issues. Filarete’s discourse on the hospital environment, at this juncture, suggests his confidence in ancient health regimes that stressed the connection between medical practices and good architectural design. In discussing the women’s cruciform area, Filarete is concerned above all with issues of separation and containment. He first emphasizes spatial conformity with the male quarters, but gradually qualifies this premise in the illustrations and text: It is in the same form and size as the men’s side except that this, the women’s side, has beds only in three parts. Because there are not the same number of sick women as sick men (who have beds throughout the cross) it is almost in the form of a T, that is, in the way that you see it drawn here. [See Fig. 3.4].45

Filarete goes on to explain that the fourth arm of the women’s cross is a passage for the priest to reach the altar for Mass and that the altar will be surrounded by an iron grating, preventing access to the sick wards. In Filarete’s drawing, a series of looped forms represents the porticoes that lead along the sides of the fourth arm of the cross to the center, providing access to the altar from the exterior of the hospital (Fig. 3.4). Thus, the women’s quarters have boundaries that are impermeable to any man, even a priest, who would have been visible to female patients only through the iron grating. The author’s preoccupation with matters of control surfaces again in connection with the elevation of the hospital. Although Filarete’s drawing of the façade seems to indicate an entrance on the women’s side, his text casts this feature into doubt, as he indicates that the main entrance to the women’s hospital is on the side (Fig. 3.2).46 He locates a small chapel nearby, and two adjacent rooms outfitted with orphans’ wheels or turntables for the reception of foundlings, rooms that also do not appear on the ground plan (Fig. 3.4). In the women’s quarters, the four courtyards are reserved for labor, not the prospect

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of leisure or health provided by some courtyards in the men’s area. Instead, these spaces are designated for female-centered tasks, identified as the education of foundlings, the activities of those who tend patients, the kitchen, laundry, baths for the entire hospital, and ‘other things.’47 In effect, the open areas abutting the female cruciform accommodate messy business such as the care of orphans and hospital maintenance that would have crammed these spaces with what was classified as women’s work. Filarete proposed comparable spaces for men and women not only at the Ospedale Maggiore, but also at the palace court in the ideal city of Sforzinda in Book IX. The lord’s and lady’s courts were to have similar dimensions, building materials and decoration.48 Not only the general hospital but the private palace had an architectural plan that designated equal space for women, at least on the surface. To be sure, the architect’s eagerness to privilege the status of worthy women might be explained by the importance of pleasing his female patron, Bianca Maria Sforza. Yet, although Filarete was receptive to new ideas, he was hardly a believer in gender equality, for his architectural vision was hierarchical, with deference paid to illustrious women like the duchess.49 Assumptions about male dominance and the natural inferiority of women emerge in his discussion of cultural practices within the spaces of the Ospedale Maggiore. Elsewhere in his Treatise, he envisions the male body as an analogue for architecture, and simultaneously claims a procreative role for the male architect.50 He also articulates his belief in supervising women, both to control them and to protect their chastity until marriage, in a passage concerning the ideal housing for young girls, the ‘Domus Honestatis’, which conjures up Alberti’s prescriptions for women within the family home: I want them to be visible in the rooms where they are learning, but I do not wish, as I said, that their men go there … and there will be ironbarred windows. Those outside will be able to look into the rooms where the skills are being learned, and will be able to see what is being done for them through these places.51

Despite Filarete’s unconventional decision to make the women’s quarters prominent at the Ospedale Maggiore, his architectural plan insures their isolation. He does not mention surveillance in connection with the elevation of the hospital, but the idea may have been implicit in his otherwise curious façade, where the projecting frontispieces, noted above, resemble military watchtowers (Fig. 3.2). What seems a fanciful exterior appended to a functional ground plan may instead represent a dominant male authority rising over the residents of both sides of the hospital. Filarete’s double cruciform plan ultimately disappeared, and the symmetry of the hospital design gave way to practical considerations, as construction

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progressed. When Filarete withdrew from the project in 1465, due to increasingly bitter relations with his co-workers and hospital administrators, half of the cruciform structure for the male patients was finished, and the decoration of the interior was under way.52 On the right-hand side of the complex towards San Nazaro, two extant courtyards conform to the original plan. Designated as the courtyards ‘della farmacia’ (of the pharmacy) (1463–67) and ‘dei bagni’ (of the baths) (1463–73), these enclosed spaces, that were accessed from the interior, preserve the double order of Ionic columns of the portico as well as architectural details in terracotta designed by Filarete (Fig. 3.5). The Milanese engineer who succeeded Filarete as hospital architect, Guiniforte Solari, made decisive changes to the design of the façade, and later architects completed the cruciform area.53 But Filarete’s grand scheme had been altered irrevocably by 1497, when, to all intents and purposes, building of the Renaissance hospital ceased, and the abstraction of the cruciform fell hostage to visible markers of sexual difference. With one cruciform complete, female patients were installed in the right arm of the cross originally intended for males, and yet the configuration proved not only impractical but perilous as a repository for both sexes. A chain was placed across the entrance to the right arm of the cruciform, marking it off-limits (at least symbolically) to all male personnel, even the administrator, leading one to recall Filarete’s original warnings about the necessity of iron grates and separate access points. Gian Giacomo Gilino, a hospital deputy, deemed the physical isolation of the sexes a success in 1508, admiring the strict governance of sexual segregation resulting from the chain across the women’s wing that prevented ‘promiscuity.’ He observes: All these solutions aim to be effective at giving the right care for the needs of the poor and sick. If there were no guiding principle not to mix men and women freely, little praise could be given to the care administered in nourishing and helping the sick. This was the intention of those who laid the foundations of this hospital, that of the two large divisions which we said they had planned for the north and the south, one would be maintained specially for the treatment of males, the other for females. Accordingly, all the while until fortune, or more truly divine goodness, provides vigor for living in what is beyond their capacity, each sex is kept decently in a separate part. This principle determined that of the four wings of the infirmary, three, facing toward the rising and the setting sun and to the north, are devoted to men alone. The fourth, which extends to the south, contains only women and this part, separated from contact with the men, is distinguished from the other parts by a panel near the altar.54

Construction of the Ospedale Maggiore, stretching over three centuries, diverged from the original plan. The elevation of the hospital rose to only one and a half stories, and the church rose to the rear of an enlarged courtyard.

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When the second cruciform building (that intended for women) was finally realized in the 1600s, it housed men. Yet the account in Filarete’s treatise had an immediate impact. What distinguished the general hospital, such as the Ospedale Maggiore, was not only its scale, but its civic importance. Prominent patrons, writers and architects of the Renaissance were soon eager to consult Filarete’s ideas in his treatise On Architecture.55 In 1484, a drawing of the Milan hospital was commissioned from the young Bramante by the Venetian Republic.56 Antonio da Sangallo the Younger referenced Filarete’s plan in his early design for the new Roman Hospital of San Giacomo in Augusta.57 Known as San Giacomo degli Incurabili, the hospital was founded for incurables, primarily victims of syphilis, and it was to house both sexes, unlike many specialized institutions of its era. Sangallo deftly recorded Filarete’s plan for the Ospedale Maggiore in another drawing. He aimed for symmetry in a sketch inscribed as the ‘spedale di Milano moderno’ (modern hospital of Milan), altering the original dimensions of the central court to make it equal to the squares inscribing the twin cruciforms58 (Fig. 3.6). By the sixteenth century in Italy, however, the foundation of single-sex institutions had become common, and the issues surrounding the isolation of the sexes were muted as women were channeled into specialized facilities.59 Filarete’s double cruciform was attractive not only because of its formal and functional attributes, but also because it evoked the authority of antiquity with regard to gendered space. When Cesare Cesariano produced the first Italian translation of Vitruvius in 1521, he composed a revealing passage on Renaissance hospitals. Cesariano, like Filarete before him, was an aspiring architect–author; he was also from Lombardy, and looked to Milan, rather than Florence or Rome, for models of good architecture based on the antique.60 Thus his wood-cut illustrations combine classical sources with unusual contemporary examples, while his discursive annotations on Vitruvius’ text contain revealing, if eccentric, observations. His discussion of the hospital plan surfaces as he attempts to unravel Vitruvius’ explanation of the Roman house in Book VI.61 Cesariano’s commentary on ancient Greek Oeci, here deemed to be equivalent to spacious rooms, or even courtyards, flows from his identification of their etymological source as the xenos (Greek), or the hospes (in Latin).62 He thereby links the Oecus to the ‘Xenodochia’ or hospital as a building type, and adds an original wood-cut illustration that derives, in part, from Filarete’s treatise (Fig. 3.7). The title inscribed at the top of the image reads: ‘Picture of oeci of the Corinthians or Egyptians built and ornamented in the Greek manner, which is called [the type] of the Cyzicenes’.63 The wood-cut combines three elevations, two floor plans, one cross-section and one perspective view – several of which resemble Filarete’s Ospedale Maggiore in Milan. A single cruciform structure appears to the right, not as it stood in Milan as related below,

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but in the three-story elevation that Filarete originally planned. Cesariano distinguished the components of the ground plan clearly, including a section of a courtyard to the right. The façade to the left offers a variant design – an oblong structure that contains a vaulted space, an ornate floor (or ceiling) in the interior, and possibly a vaulted loggia on the other side (Fig. 3.7). As a result of Cesariano choosing the general hospital of Milan to represent the ancient Oecus, Filarete’s plan achieved not only new visibility for its design features, but also new prominence as a social enterprise. When Cesariano compares the Ospedale Maggiore to a Greek Oecus, he associates hospital design with the ancient household, where guests entered into a protective and spacious interior, and the attendant concept of hospitality. In his text, Cesariano went so far as to connect the Vitruvian Oecus with the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Rome, as well as with the famous hospitals in Milan, Florence and Siena.64 The ostensible grounds for the relationship of the Vitruvian home with the Renaissance hospital lay in the spaciousness of their plans. For Cesariano, the triclinia flanking the central waiting room of the ancient palace evoked the large wings of the Renaissance hospital.65 From this perspective, the four arms of Filarete’s cruciform plan resembled grand reception rooms connoting hospitality, where patients’ beds were placed along the walls, and functionality, where patients were served like guests in dining halls. No matter how far-fetched the analogy might appear, Cesariano makes the familiar observation that a symmetrical plan was fundamental to the orderly government of male and female patients. He concludes his account of Renaissance hospitals by noting that men and women are kept separate, and that they are cared for and supervised for the rest of their lives.66 Praising the Milan hospital founded by Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria for a design that achieves the perfection of the ancients, Cesare Cesariano revived concepts that had guided earlier theorists and builders.67 In citing the most famous general hospitals of Italy, Cesariano was evoking more than the symmetry of their plans. Only Milan, after all, possessed a cruciform design; the hospitals of Siena, Florence and Rome did not. Nevertheless all incorporated large halls for male patients that resembled reception rooms. Furthermore, like distinguished private homes, Renaissance hospitals had fresco scenes along the walls that celebrated their origins and achievements.68 Cesariano’s account refers back to Alberti’s notion of the private house, and, ultimately, the social institution of the family as the model for hospital design. It also evokes the origins of the hospital in the hospitality of the ancients. Therein lay a rationale for the patriarchal order of the Renaissance hospital that shaped the public and private precincts, and the spatial barriers erected between male and female bodies. Even Filarete, who seemed to propose a balanced spatial equation in the twin cruciforms of the Milan hospital, reinforced established cultural practices in the spaces of the

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female wards. As the texts of Alberti and Filarete suggest, the architecture of the hospital was one of both containment and display. Renaissance architects adopted various styles, approaches and even goals for hospitals, but their plans advanced the prerequisite of gendered space for communal order.

Notes 1.

The transformation from hospice to hospital is traced by Walsh (1907–12). A scrupulous analysis appears in Risse (1999), pp. 15–67. 2. For an overview of hospital planning, including non-western examples, see Thompson and Goldin (1975). 3. Foucault did not necessarily view the hospital in a positive light. In The Birth of the Clinic, he claims that at the end of the eighteenth century, ‘like civilization, the hospital is an artificial locus,’ and goes on to equate it with ‘an unkempt garden’ and a ‘“temple of death”.’ With the organization of teaching hospitals (‘the hospital domain and the teaching domain’) clinical medicine triumphs, and ‘the patient has to be enveloped in a collective, homogeneous space.’ Foucault (1976), pp. 17, 109, 196. 4. See Foucault (1971; 1978; and 1980). 5. Foucault (1977), pp. 141–9, 228. 6. In a long passage on the hierarchical character of the hospital building, Foucault concludes that ‘The hospital … was no longer simply the roof under which penury and imminent death took shelter; it was, in its very materiality, a therapeutic operator.’ Ibid., p. 172. 7. Ibid., pp. 195–228. An excellent analysis of women’s institutions originating in sixteenth-century Italy is found in Cohen (1992), pp. 13–35, but she does not deal with their architecture. 8. Cohen (1992), pp. 5–6, arguing for the seminal role played by women’s asylums in sixteenth-century Italy, raised the point that ‘Foucault located the emergence of institutions of confinement in seventeenth-century Europe.’ I suggest here that the origins of female confinement, at least in Italy, go back to hospital plans of the fifteenth century. A concise review of Foucault’s approach to hospitals, including a critical response, is found in Stevenson (2000), pp. 4–5. 9. McNay (1992), p. 34. While his theories of ‘otherness’ allow for attention to spaces traditionally defined as female, Foucault did not acknowledge the claims of everyday women. For further discussion, see McLeod (1996). 10. For noteworthy examples, see Forty (1980); Gilchrist (1992); Stevenson (2000). 11. Stevenson (2000), p. 11 underscores the spiritual mission of the medieval hospital, which could be extended to the early Renaissance hospital, noting that ‘what we would call a hospital was therefore more of a function than a place … Their most important work, which they shared with other kinds of religious houses, was prayer, including prayer for the souls of the founders.’ 12. To be sure, the goal of inclusion was abstract and elusive. For example, when it opened in 1476, Filarete’s Ospedale Maggiore in Milan was available exclusively to nobility (presumably males). La Ca’ Granda: cinque secoli di storia e d’arte dell’Ospedale Maggiore di Milano [1981], p. 86. Further, it treated ‘acute’ rather than ‘chronic’ illness. Welch (1995), p. 162.

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13. For the progressive features of Florentine hospitals, see Henderson (1989); Park and Henderson (1991); Henderson (2001) and Henderson, The Renaissance Hospital, New Haven: Yale University Press (forthcoming). 14. Book V, Cap. 8 in Alberti (1988), p. 129. Alberti’s original text reads: ‘Apud Etruriam pro vetere illo sanctitatis et verissimae religionis cultu, quo semper claruit, mirifica visuntur hospitaria incredibili habita impensa, ubi civium peregrinorumve quivis nullam, quae ad salutem pertineat, rem sibi defuturam sentiat.’ Alberti (1966), vol. 1, p. 369. It is vital to remember that Alberti associated hospital foundations with Christian piety. 15. In June 1456, Francesco Sforza sent Filarete to Florence to visit Santa Maria Nuova. In a letter of 25 June 1456, Giovanni de’Medici relates that he showed the hospital to Filarete, and that he ordered hospital plans by other masters to be sent to the duke: Spencer (1971), p. 115. Welch (1995), pp. 141–52 speculates that Filarete was competing with other Florentine architects, such as Bernardino Rossellino, for the duke’s patronage. For Filarete’s trip to Florence in general, see Lazzaroni and Muñoz (1908), pp. 186–8. 16. ‘In prima mi domandò s’io avevo veduto quello di Firenze o quello di Siena, e se io mi ricordavo come stavano. Dissi che sì. Volle vedere uno certo congetto del fondamento e io così lineato come meglio mi ricordavo glie ne disegnai uno come quello di Firenze. Pure parendo a lui non essere sì idonio come lui arebbe voluto ed ancora per vantaggiare gli altri, stava pure sospeso.’ (‘First he asked me if I had seen the hospitals in Florence and Siena, and if I remembered how they looked. I replied yes. He wanted to see a rough sketch of the foundations and I drew him one as best I remembered. I drew the hospital in Florence for him. However, it did not seem as suitable to him as he would have liked and he doubted if the others could be improved [enough to satisfy our needs].’) Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 137; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 79r. For Filarete’s Italian, I have followed throughout the transcription in Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), here found in vol. 1, pp. 299–300. I have translated certain passages directly from the Italian transcription, rather than follow the English translation of the 1965 facsimile. 17. In 1348, Giovanni Villani wrote that the hospital ‘was always full of sick men and women, who are cared for and treated with much diligence and abundance of good food and medicines.’ Nonetheless, existing documentation indicates that female patients had been transferred to another location as early as 1329. The Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova grew by accretion, and had not yet attained its eventual double, if irregular, cruciform plan at the time of Filarete’s visit. For Villani and an account of the evolution of Santa Maria Nuova, see Henderson (1989). See also Foster (1973), pp. 4–6; Thompson and Goldin (1975), p. 31. 18. Constructed in 1327–28 after French Cistercian models, the Pellegrinaio was likely the first longitudinal hospital ward in Italy. Its size was doubled in 1379, the roof was rebuilt in 1405, and the last bay was added in 1577. In the early fifteenth century, another infirmary was added perpendicular to the Pellegrinaio near its center, producing a more modern T-shape plan. Cavallero (1985), pp. 13, 77, 147–87. Foster (1973), pp. 2 n. 12, 4. The artists of the frescoes were Lorenzo Vecchietta, Domenico di Bartolo, and Priamo della Quercia. According to Cavallero (1985), pp. 153–72, the rector of the hospital, Giovanni di Francesco Buzzichelli (1434–44), commissioned the decorative program in emulation of scenes of everyday life in the houses of gentlemen. 19. As indicated by Duke Sforza’s question regarding the hospital in Siena (note 16,

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20. 21. 22.

23. 24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

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above), Filarete was expected to be familiar with Santa Maria della Scala. The new frescoes in the respected hospital were famous in their own day. Cavallero (1985), pp. 13–61. For a diagram and description of the women’s quarters, see Cavallero and Brogi (1987), pp. 43–4, 52–67. Grafton (2000), p. 287. Book V, Cap. 8 in Alberti (1988), p. 130. Alberti’s original text reads: ‘Istorum omnium tecta partiantur et distribuantur sic, ut alibi se recipiant qui curantur, alibi quos non curandos magis susceperis quam servandos, quoad sic se sua tulerint fata, uti sunt decrepiti et capti mente. Adde quod alibi foeminas alibi mares, sive aegrotent sive istos curent, separatim habendi sunt.’ Alberti (1966), vol. 1, pp. 369–71. Michel Foucault (1978), pp. 44, 98–9 uses this phrase to characterize medical practices of the late nineteenth century, but Alberti’s words prefigure the diagnosis and treatment of a problematic. Book V, Cap. 8 in Alberti (1988), p. 130. Alberti’s original text reads: ‘Adde etiam quod veluti in familiis et in his aliorum alias secretiores alias communiores esse diversorii partes convenit, prout ipsa curandi et cohabitandi ratio modusque monstrabit; de quibus nostrum non est prolixius prosequi. Tantum hoc faciat ad rem, fore istiusmodi omnia suis totis partibus ex privatorum usibus diffinienda.’ Alberti (1966), vol. 1, p. 371. Buildings planned as general hospitals designated areas for men and women, as well as those suffering from identifiable diseases. In 1077, the archbishop of Canterbury founded a hospital – later dedicated to St John – where the main building was divided into male and female quarters ‘with no opportunity for the men to approach the women or the women to approach the men.’ There was also a lepers’ hospital with male and female quarters. Orme and Webster (1995), pp. 22, 88–90. The once-famous Hospital of the Pantocrater in Constantinople, which functioned from the twelfth to the mid-fifteenth century, had five precincts, of which one was designated for women. Other sections offered specialized care for medical patients, surgical patients, and two areas for patients with minor afflictions. Despite the loss of the hospital plan, administrative records show a total of fifty beds. Thompson and Goldin (1975), pp. 10–14; Risse (1999), pp. 125–34. In Book I, Cap. 9, Alberti likens the house to a city: ‘If (as the philosophers maintain) the city is like some large house, and the house is in turn like some small city.’ He returns to the simile in Book V, Cap. 14: ‘We earlier described the house as a miniature city.’ Alberti (1988), pp. 23, 140. Alberti’s original text reads: ‘Quod si civitas philosophorum sententia maxima quaedam est domus et contra domus ipsa minima quaedam est civitas’ and ‘Domum alibi pusillam esse urbem diximus.’ Alberti (1966), vol. 1, pp. 65, 399. ‘Omnium pars primaria ea est, quam, seu cavam aedium seu atrium putes dici, nos sinum appellabimus.’ Later in the chapter, Alberti writes: ‘Et profecto, ubi quidem congruant mulieres, loca esse oportere arbitror non secus atque dicata religioni et castimoniae … Matrona utilius illic assidebit, unde quae quisque domi agat intelligat.’Alberti (1966), vol. 1, pp. 425–7. For the English translation of Book V, Cap. 17, see Alberti (1988), pp. 145–9. Book III of Alberti (1969), p. 180. I Libri della famiglia was Alberti’s first major treatise. In De Re Aedificatoria, Alberti writes in Book XV, Cap. XVII: ‘Familiam constituent vir et uxor et liberi et parentes, et qui horum usu una

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29. 30. 31.

32. 33.

34.

35.

36.

37. 38. 39.

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diversentur, curatores ministri servi; tum et hospitem familia non excludet.’ Alberti (1966), vol. 1, p. 417. For the continuity of Alberti’s theories from this early work to On the Art of Building in Ten Books, see Oppel (1987). Alberti (1969), p. 207. In a post-structuralist reading of Alberti, Wigley posits that sexuality is inscribed in building space, labeling gender a ‘pre-architectural given.’ Wigley (1992), pp. 327–89. Alberti (1969), pp. 7, 18; Xenophon (1994), esp. pp. 74–5, 143–4; Wigley (1992), pp. 334–6; Grafton (2000), pp. 154–82. See also Foucault (1985), vol. 2, pp. 154–9. ‘You know the spider and how he constructs his web. All the threads spread out in rays, each of which, however long, has its source, its roots or birthplace, as we might say, at the center … The most industrious creature himself then sits at that spot and has his residence there … Let the father of a family do likewise. Let him arrange his affairs and place them so that all look up to him alone as head.’ Alberti (1969), p. 206. For the hospital in relation to Sforzinda, see Welch (1995), pp. 120–24. Book XI, fol. 82v: ‘Questo come ho detto è della grandezza dell’altro e proporzionato e fatto l’uno come l’altro; e legato e ricinto insieme coll’altro e niente di meno è spartito quello degli uomini da quello delle donne, come per lo disegno si può vedere.’ Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 316. His plan emerges in ten pages of description and ten images in Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, pp. 137–46; vol. 2, Book XI, fols 79r–83v. For the social relations surrounding the foundation of the Ospedale Maggiore under the new Sforza Republic and Filarete’s involvement, see Welch (1995), pp. 80–166. The decree reads: ‘tanto solenne da riuscir degno dell’altezza del dominio ducale d’una città così illustre come Milano.’ Bascape (1953–66), p. 403. Construction was under way between 1461 and 1465, even as the architect was reworking the Treatise that would be presented as an illustrated manuscript to Piero de’ Medici. Welch (1995), p. 153 sees the influence of the Roman Colosseum in Filarete’s drawing of the three-story elevation of the Ospedale Maggiore, as well as the prototype of San Lorenzo with its towers in Milan for the hospital church. The elaborate towers that appear in the sketch of the façade are not included in the ground plan. The rear of the hospital lacked such architectural features because, invisible to the public, it served as a dock for transport along the canal. Filarete was probably seeking to please his patrons with the extravagance of his vision, commensurate with ducal prestige and a ‘city as illustrious as Milan.’ See note 34, above. As built, the central courtyard is square, a deviation from Filarete’s original plan. See note 32 above for Filarete’s claim. Filarete was surely aware of new hospitals designed on the cruciform plan in northern Italy, of which the earliest was the Hospital of San Matteo in Pavia, approved by Francesco Sforza in 1447 just before his conquest of Milan. San Matteo was soon followed by the Hospital of Cremona. Hospital reform in Lombardy began in Pavia and spread to Lodi and Cremona. Welch (1995), pp. 136, 149. These Lombard hospitals were notably less ambitious than the Ospedale Maggiore. They were built on the model of a single Greek cross, and it is unclear where female patients were housed, if at all. Foster (1973), pp. 1–22 points out that the Hospital of Mantua adhered to the Greek cross plan, and notes the connection with Luca Fancelli’s plan, and possibly with Nicholas V, the patron of Leon Battista Alberti.

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40. ‘Utile a simile bisogno d’infermi, d’uomini e di donne, ed anche di questi putti i quali nascono indirettamente.’ Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 137; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 79r. Filarete here suggests that a foundling home was an essential part of the general hospital, or he may have been thinking of the Ospedale degli Innocenti, after his recent visit to Florence. Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 299. 41. Filarete was criticized by a competitor as early as 1473 for these vertical towers that, despite their spiral cores, apparently allowed rainwater to damage the walls. Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 139, n. 5; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 80r. 42. Filarete’s pride in the efficiency of his staircase is also an implicit criticism of Brunelleschi’s design of the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence. Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 139, n. 6; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 80r. 43. ‘Camere per gentili uomini, che staranno separati da comuni per più onestà.’ Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 308. 44. ‘V’è pur camere e luoghi separati per gentili uomini, begli, con una peschiera, la quale non è però molto grande, ma è bella.’ Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 140; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 80v. Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 310. 45. ‘Il quale è d’una medesima forma e grandezza che è quello degli uomini, eccetto che quello delle donne, perché non ha tanta quantità di donne amalate quanto ha quello degli uomini che ha i letti che sono per tutta la croce, e questo delle donne nogli ha se none in tre partite e sta quasi come dire un T, cioè in questa forma. E per questo come vedete qui disegnato.’ Book XI, fol. 82r: Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 315. 46. ‘Its door and the entrance to the portico correspond to the other doors. However, these give on the side portico and not on the façade.’ (‘Corresponde la porta e la sua entrata in sul portico come l’altre porte: ma questa risponde nel portico da canto e non dinanzi.’) Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 143; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 82v. Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, pp. 315–16. His account is unambiguous, but it also contradicts his earlier assertion that access to the women’s quarters was impossible from the fourth wing of the cruciform. He must have envisioned an entrance for women only, with the assumption that it would be guarded. 47. ‘Nell’altro stanno altri luoghi bisognevoli al detto ospedale: e l’altro è cucina, e dove si lava panni, e dove si fanno acque e altre cose a’ bisogni apartenenti al detto spedale.’ Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 143; vol. 2, Book XI, fol. 82v. Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 316. 48. Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, p. 117; vol. 2, Book IX, fol. 67v. Antonio Averlino detto il Filarete (1972), vol. 1, p. 259. 49. His notion of women’s equality may have been based on the ‘guardian woman’ in Book VII of Plato’s Laws. Filarete was much influenced by his friend, the humanist Francesco Filelfo, who revived interest in ancient Greek culture at the Milanese court. Onians (1988), pp. 158–65. 50. Agrest (1988), pp. 33–4. 51. ‘Voglio bene che dove stanno a imprendere che si possa vedere, ma che da loro uomini, come ho detto, non ci possa andare.’ He adds: ‘E poi saranno finestre ferrate, dove che fuori si potrà vedere da canto dentro quegli esercizii che in quegli luoghi saranno, ed ancora potranno vedere per quegli luoghi di quelle cose che per loro saranno fatte.’ Book XVII, fols 140v–141r: Antonio Averlino detto

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52.

53. 54.

55.

56. 57.

58. 59.

60.

61.

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il Filarete (1972), vol. 2, pp. 523, 525. The arrangement was likened to a protoPanopticon by Simons (1992), p. 52. For analysis of such iron grilles in southern Italian convents, see Hills (1999), esp. pp. 34, 46–52. The politics and professional rivalries are detailed by Welch (1995), pp. 150–57. For an account of the stages of construction, see Lazzaroni and Muñoz (1908), pp. 207–12; La Ca’ Granda: cinque secoli di storia e d’arte dell’Ospedale Maggiore di Milano [1981], pp. 32–41, 86. Solari added the Gothic-style ogival windows on the upper level of the façade, contrary to Filarete’s intentions. Lazzaroni and Muñoz (1908), p. 209. ‘Haec omnia eo spectant ut commode inopum atque aegrorum necessitatibus opera dari valeant quorum nisi ea haberetur ratio ne promiscue cum maribus feminae miscerentur parum laudis secum ferret cura quae alendis iuvandisque aegris adhiberetur. Eorum igitur qui huius hospitalis fundamenta iecerunt ea fuit mens ut duorum ingentium quadratorum quae ab eis ad meridiem ac sepentrionem designata diximus alterum in marium alterum in feminarum usum separatim haberetur. Itaque interim dum alterius quod superest conficiendi vires fortuna imo verius divina bonitas subministrabit ut in parte confecta uterque sexus honeste contineatur: haec ratio inita est ut e quatuor valitudinarii beachiis tria quae ad ortum solis occasumque ac septentriones respiciunt maribus tantum dicata sunt. In quarto quod ad meridiem procurrit muliebris tantum sexus contineatur atque haec pars tabulato qua arae propinqua est ceteris partibus discreta a marium consuetindine separetur.’ Gian Giacomo Gilino, De magni hospitalis forma, Milano, 1508. Reproduced in Lazzaroni and Muñoz (1908), pp. 213–14. See also La Ca’ Granda: cinque secoli di storia e d’arte dell’Ospedale Maggiore di Milano [1981], p. 100. The German architect Joseph Furtenbach segregated the sexes in a similar manner when, inspired by the cruciform plan of the Ospedale Maggiore, he chained off the right arm of the cruciform in his plan for ‘A Hospital in the Italian Style’ (1628). Thompson and Goldin (1975), p. 37. It circulated in manuscript version. The text was copied by an unknown hand and presented to Piero de’ Medici at the beginning of 1465, and the Medici manuscript was copied for Alfonso of Aragon, king of Naples. For the various dates of the 24 books of the treatise, see Giordano (1998), pp. 52–3. Foster (1973), p. 11; Welch (1995), p. 165. Uffizi 870A relates to a preliminary stage in the progression of plans that Antonio da Sangallo the Younger produced from 1537 to 1549 in connection with the design of the Roman hospital. For the complicated history of the hospital design, see Heinz (1981). For the Sangallo drawing related to San Giacomo in Augusta, see Frommel and Adams (1994), vol. 2, pp. 168–69, 377. Foster (1973), pp. 11, 18; Heinz (1981), p. 48, Fig. 21. Indeed this was the case in Milan, where a system of specialized hospitals, including three hospitals for mentally ill women and foundling girls, was in place by the end of the fifteenth century. See Gilino’s account reproduced in La Ca’ Granda: cinque secoli di storia e d’arte dell’Ospedale Maggiore di Milano [1981], p. 100; Thompson and Goldin (1975), p. 329, n. 24. For women’s institutions in sixteenth-century Italy, see Cohen (1992). The fundamental work on Cesariano’s edition of Vitruvius remains Krinsky (1965). For further insights, see Krinsky (1971); Fiore (1989); Rowland (1998). The Como edition of 1521 is available in facsimile editions as Vitruvius (1969; 1981). For crucial reconstructions of the Vitruvian atrium, see Pellecchia (1992).

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62. ‘Est etiam Oecus uti Xenos quod significant hospes: et ea hospitalia ipsa Xenodochia dicuntur quasi hospitium receptacula.’ (‘Likewise because both the Oecus [household] and Xenos mean a guest in the home, those same Xenodochia are called hospitals, like shelters for guests.’) Cesariano in Book VI of Vitruvius (1521), fol. 99v. See also Foster (1973), p. 11, n. 97. 63. ‘Oeciorum Corinthiorum seu Aegyptiorum Graeco more perstructiam ac perornaia affiguratio que Cizicenorum dicitur.’ The English translation follows Krinsky (1965), p. 317, who is the only scholar to have analyzed the wood-cut in any detail. 64. ‘Così possemo dire: si fa a tali hospitali como a casa sua chi va & chi viene, & è portato etc. Per la qual cosa Vitruvio (se io non erro) intende dimostrarne una casa magna composita in siema como due trinclinii che intra epsi siano spectanti … et in fra loro complexi como saria propriamente la magna casa Oeconomica del Hospitale maggiore in Roma di Sancto Spirito aut como quello Egregio di Sena vel di Florenza aut in Milano: et dice Vitruvio. E così circa li parieti le lecti ordinariamente sono collocati.’ (‘Therefore we can say that such hospitals are made like your house for whomever comes and goes and is brought there, and so forth. For which Vitruvius (if I am not mistaken) means to show that this large house is composed of two triclinia that both serve as waiting rooms … and thus among those complexes can be correctly cited the great Oeconomica (enterprise) of the general hospital of Santo Spirito in Rome or that famous [hospital] of Siena, or of Florence or Milan. Thus says Vitruvius. And thus the beds are ordinarily set up around the walls.’) Cesariano in Book VI of Vitruvius (1521), fols 99v–100r. 65. For the evolving function and form of the triclinium, see Bek (1983). It should also be noted that an infirmary for sick monks in a Byzantine hospital, such as the great Xenon of the Pantocrator in Constantinople, was called a triclinon. Risse (1999), pp. 128–9. See Rowland (1998), pp. 113–14 for Cesariano’s efforts to reconcile ancient and modern terminology. 66. ‘Con diligentissima Oeconomia li poveri infirmi masculi e foemine separati sono substentati e administrati usque ad ultimum aegritudinis vel vitae suae. Et percho dice Vitruvio.’ (‘With very careful oversight, the poor sick men are separated from sick women, and they are cared for and tended until their old age. And thus says Vitruvius.’) Cesariano in Book VI of Vitruvius (1521), fols 99v–100r. 67. ‘In queste generatione de aedificii sono facte tute le ratione de le symmetrie etc. Ma questo è in tal spacio che non ha impedimento da li altri loci e di tanta magnitudine che bene si è potuto pervalere de tute le ratione de le symmetrie etc. Francisco Sfortia Vicecomite e Blanca Maria sua uxore essendo pervenuti Duci de Milano con tranquilla pace questo e il maximo Castello fecero aedificare.’ (‘The buildings of this era are all made with logic and symmetry, and so forth. But this one is located on a site that is not impeded by others, and it is of such a magnitude that it could well prevail over others in respect to logic and symmetry, and so forth. Francesco Sforza (co-commissioner) and Bianca Maria his wife, having attained the dukedom of Milan with serene peace, had this large Castle built.’) Cesariano in Book VI of Vitruvius (1521), fol. 100r. Cesariano continues to praise the design of the hospital, and the Sforza family, and then celebrates his own master, Bramante, who, as we have seen above, was familiar with the Milan hospital. Vitruvius (1521), fols 99v–100r. Also Foster (1973), p. 11, n. 97. 68. The decoration of hospitals is a larger theme, but the four establishments noted above boasted famous cycles. Especially pertinent to this discussion are the

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frescoes of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, already mentioned, that showcased the origins of the institution, as well as its charitable practices. Also significant is Filarete’s own proposal for the decorative program at the Ospedale Maggiore, described in Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture (1965), vol. 1, pp. 145–6; vol. 2, Book XI, fols 83v–84r. For the commemorative paintings of the hospital foundation, see Lazzaroni and Muñoz (1908), p. 186; Welch (1995), pp. 121–4.

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CHAPTER FOUR

Women and the Practice of Architecture in Eighteenth-century France Tanis Hinchcliffe Parisian woman of letters, Madame Louise-Florence d’Epinay, notes in 1771 in her correspondence with the Abbé Ferdinand Galiani that knowledge was not enough; without practice, still denied to women, there was no hope of being useful to society.1 In early modern France there were no women architects, whereas there were female practitioners of painting such as Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755–1842). But while architectural practice may have been denied them at this period, women nevertheless intervened in crucial ways in architectural production. This essay examines important themes from the life narratives of architects working in France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which, despite women’s exclusion from practice, demonstrate the results of specific female intervention.2 A comparison of building with the pursuit of war illuminates the gendered practice of architecture in early modern France. In an engraving showing the building of Claude Perrault’s east end of the Louvre, a number of figures are depicted gesturing with outstretched arm in a manner we associate with authority.3 This is the same gesture which appears in prints illustrating military scenes of the time by Jacques Callot and Stefano della Bella, where those in command indicate something that should be done or observed. This similarity between the depiction of a building site and that of a battlefield may not be coincidental. Both locations bring men and materials together for a specific purpose, whether it be the defeat of the enemy or the erection of a building. The triumph of a building over inertia and gravity is in a sense a victory which must be planned and plotted as much as a victory over an enemy is planned by the generals of an army. In addition, the two spheres of activity are gendered, with men exclusively abrogating the roles of soldier and architect. Both the site of the building and the site of the battle are organized hierarchically, with the architect carrying out the wishes of the client, just as

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the generals execute the wishes of their political masters, but with the assistance of many different ranks of men. In the early modern period architects often had expertise in fortification and ballistics. Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72) claims for the architect a prime place in the practice of war: ‘Should you examine the various military campaigns undertaken, you would perhaps discover that the skill and ability of the architect have been responsible for more victories than have the command and foresight of any general.’4 In the wake of the Fronde in France, 1648–53, Louis XIV established a professional army which excluded women from arms. Later, by making the connection between architectural prowess and victory in war, Louis ensured that the design of royal buildings and gardens, such as those at Versailles, became the clear prerogative of men.5 From this time, if women were involved at all in architecture or in war it was as observers, patrons or as members of the lower ranks; and women holding such positions were unusual enough to cause remark. With women to all intents excluded from the practice of architecture, how could they exert their influence on architects’ careers? I have identified three aspects of architects’ lives which inform us of the gendered relations within architecture: first, their formation within a gendered activity and how this was mediated through the Académie Royale d’Architecture; second, the involvement of family and female relatives in their progress as architects; and third, the design work of the architects, particularly their work for women. The first contributes to our understanding of the construction of masculinity in the professional lives of architects; the second and third points provide insight into the active role women played in the practice of architecture.

The masculinized career Good family connections, vital to architects’ careers at a time when the guild system still operated, were superseded from its foundation in 1671 by the Académie Royale d’Architecture, the institution which ensured that the masculine practice of architecture continued to exclude women.6 The Académie controlled architectural education through its lectures and competitions, and directed architectural debate through its formal sessions. To become a first-class member of the Académie was one of the prizes of a successful career.7 Once the aspiring architect had embarked on his study of architecture, he entered a predominantly male social milieu, whether he worked in the office of an architect or attended one of the schools of architecture which sprang up in the wake of Jacques-François Blondel’s École des Arts, established 1743.8 Friendships were forged in the offices and the schools, and these were intensified through the competitions organized by the

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École of the Académie d’Architecture which ultimately culminated in the Grand Prix de Rome.9 In 1720 a prize of three years’ study in Rome was established, modelled on those already existing for students of painting and sculpture.10 The Grand Prix exposed students to Italian art and architecture and equipped them with first-hand knowledge of the classical works believed to be the origin of French art of the day. A Lockean belief in the importance of sensible experience meant that the first-hand visit was valued more than second-hand learning through books and prints.11 For the students the Roman sojourn marked a rite of passage, and was expected to inculcate the values of the Académie. At the same time, filled as it was with difficulties, danger and excitement, the journey to Italy often proved an intense bonding experience for aspiring architects, and lifelong friendships and useful acquaintances were forged. In 1753 Marie-Joseph Peyre (l’Ainé) (1730–88) arrived at the Palazzo Mancini, the home of the Académie de France in Rome, followed at the beginning of 1754 by PierreLouis Moreau-Desproux (d. 1793) and his friend Charles De Wailly (1729–98).12 Although De Wailly won the first prize in the Grand Prix de Rome and Moreau only the second, Moreau’s aunt – in an example of crucial female intervention – successfully petitioned the Académie on her nephew’s behalf, with the result that De Wailly was given permission to share the prize with his friend.13 Peyre, De Wailly and Moreau pursued archaeological studies together, and later in life Peyre and De Wailly designed the Comédie Française (the present-day Odéon) in Paris.14 Another partnership was established when Charles Percier (1764–1838) and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762–1853) met up in Rome in 1786.15 The Prix de Rome remained one of the most exclusive and prestigious prizes for budding architects and the Rome experience continued to be considered the crowning point of an architect’s education.16 The trip to Rome excluded women from a vital part of architectural training, but some architects who had established bonds with colleagues in Italy later strengthened their close association by marrying a sister of one of their friends.17 Thus Marie-Joseph Peyre (l’Ainé) married Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux’s sister, while his younger brother, Antoine-François Peyre (le Jeune), married Sophie, the sister of his friend, Antoine-Joseph Debourge (fl. 1785).18 After his training was complete, the aspiring architect had new goals such as membership of the Académie Royale d’Architecture and even the title ‘Architecte du Roi’. Membership of the Académie was important in order to gain the recognition of his peers and the legitimatization of his position as architect.19 Although the Académie held architectural debate under masculine control, women did enjoy access to architectural discussion in the salons of Paris.20 These mixed gatherings, hosted by women, gave architects the

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opportunity to present their theories to an audience outside the Académie.21 Although reference to the salons is rare in architects’ life stories, Soufflot, for instance, frequented the Monday luncheons of Madame Marie-Thérèse Geoffrin, who kept, in Kalnein’s words, her ‘Neoclassically minded salon’ in the rue Saint Honoré.22 Joan DeJean points out that the two institutions, the Académie and the salons, established at the same time in the seventeenth century, were rivals during two centuries.23 For architects, their Académie dominated their professional life, but the salon and the company of women exercised its own influence, and it is to the influence of women we now turn.

Female influence Crucial female influence first appears at the beginning of architects’ careers. In a system of patronage personal introductions were extremely advantageous, and usually a contact of either father or mother was most efficacious. The biographies of the architects demonstrate that this contact is significantly that of the mother. After the waning of the influence of the court at the end of the seventeenth century, a few dynastic families of architects were still responsible for many of the most prestigious buildings produced for the aristocracy and for the growing number of wealthy bourgeois. What comes as a surprise, however, is the way in which the architectural dynasties were connected to each other by the female members of the families. The most influential architect at the end of the seventeenth century was Jules Hardouin Mansart (1646–1708), a nephew of the great François Mansart (1598–1666), through his mother.24 Out of respect for his uncle and with the hope of gaining advantage, he added ‘Mansart’ to his name, and by the end of his career he had received recognition by his appointment in 1699 as Surintendant of the Service des Bâtiments du Roi.25 Robert de Cotte (1656–1735), a younger colleague, who was himself to become an architect of great importance, and from 1699 the director of the central office of the Bâtiments du Roi, was probably the grandson of an engineer and the son of an architect, while his brother and son were also architects.26 However, his association with Hardouin Mansart was strengthened by his marriage to Catherine Bodin, the sister of Hardouin Mansart’s wife, which usefully made him his master’s brother-in-law.27 It was through the female line, too, that François Mansart’s influence continued into the next generation. Jacques V Gabriel (1667–1742), a younger member of Hardouin Mansart’s office, was son of Hardouin’s niece, Marie De l’Isle, a favourite great-niece of François Mansart.28 It was she who purchased for her son the position of General Controller of the king’s buildings when in 1687 the position became free on the death of Hardouin Mansart’s brother,

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Michel.29 Gabriel’s first wife, Marie-Anne Delespine, was the daughter of a family of Parisian constructors.30 That such families dominated the architecture of the period is not surprising, since civil society depended heavily on family affiliations, but that women, in particular, should form crucial links demonstrates the key role they could play in advancing the careers of family members. Even if architects lacked illustrious connections in architecture, women often played a formative part in starting them on their careers. Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736–1806) was encouraged by his mother and his godmother who, he claimed, gave him his first pencils when he was a child in Dormans (Marne).31 Although Anthony Vidler suggests that this was a Rousseau-esque memory and may not have been true, what is evident is that Ledoux credited his architectural interest to early female influence. Most mothers of modest means could not contribute to their sons’ future, but JeanLouis Durand, whose family bordered on poverty, apparently owed his first compass to the small savings made by his mother.32 When mothers assisted future architects, their help usually came before, or on the point of, the boy’s leaving home, since his early education was usually under his mother’s control. Once he had embarked on the exclusively male education of school and later of architectural training, he passed beyond his mother’s means to help. There are instances, however, when a mother’s intervention came later, as, for example, when the architectural theorist, Quatremère de Quincy (1755–1849), was able to make the trip to Rome in 1774, despite opposition from his father, by drawing on the independent legacy left to him by his mother.33 If architects’ prospects were actively improved at the start of their careers by mothers and wives, female patrons intervened to ensure they later received the important commissions necessary for success. Madame Du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV, obtained for Ledoux in 1771 the position of Commissioner of the Salt Works for Franche-Comté and Lorraine, which led to his celebrated design for the salt works at Arc et Senan 1773–78.34 But more significantly, during the second half of the eighteenth century a number of female clients, Madame Du Barry among them, commissioned architects to design their houses, and it is these female clients we will now consider.

Female clients According to French academic theory, it was the responsibility of architects to produce a design appropriate to their clients’ status and character, since bienséance or appropriateness was one of the essentials of good building.35 When the client was female, cultural ideas about femininity played a part in

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the negotiations over the design between architect and client.36 In addition, notions about status and luxury had to be considered, as well as the more mundane question of funds available. A growing number of independent Parisian women could afford the services of architects. These women provide the focus for our investigation into the relations between architects and their female clients.37 In Paris during the first half of the eighteenth century, women in a position to commission architects of note were either widows or mistresses of men connected to the crown. For example, Madame d’Argenton, mistress of the duc d’Orléans (later the regent), commissioned Germain Boffrand (1667–1754) to design the Hôtel d’Argenton (1704), and Boffrand also refurbished the Petit Luxembourg (1709–13) for Anne Palatine de Bavière, the widow of the prince de Condé.38 As the century progressed, wealth became concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie, particularly bankers and financiers.39 For the most part, the bourgeoisie selected its mistresses not from the aristocracy, but from the theatre.40 The Swiss financier and arms dealer, Antoine Hogguer, for example, gave his mistress, the actress Charlotte Desmares, a piece of the park of the Hôtel d’Argenson on the Left Bank in 1720.41 There she had a small hôtel built for herself by the architect François Debias-Aubry (d. 1773).42 When her lover lost his money, she was forced at first to let her house and then to sell it, reminding us of the transitory nature of such arrangements.43 By the last quarter of the century, however, the wealth that even theatre performers were able to amass gave them greater independence and more autonomy in building and maintaining houses for themselves. The change in women’s fortunes coincided with the rapid speculative development of the northwest suburbs of Paris as a desirable residential district (Fig. 4.1).44 Rich financiers and bankers, such as Jean-Joseph Delaborde, were well placed to buy land around the newly laid-out Chaussée d’Antin, and Delaborde sold building leases here in collaboration with architects such as Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart (1739–1813) and François Joseph Belanger (1744–1818), all three of whom were engaged to build by female clients.45 The houses designed in this area tended to be relatively small on diminutive lots which were laid out as jardins anglais.46 French architects took particular pride in their hôtel plans in which they assembled public reception rooms and private apartments in clever configurations.47 These new, smaller houses were arranged as if the private apartments, or appartements de commodité, were extracted from hôtels and re-installed in free-standing buildings. The houses were not without rooms for public entertaining, but these spaces were much smaller than those in the grander hôtels and, more importantly, they were integrated with the private, intimate spaces.48 Given

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that a good number of these houses were designed specifically for women who intended to live in them not as wives but independently, this intimate plan expressed the ‘character’ of a house for a female client, desirous of female independence and luxury, but not grandeur. Brongniart, an architect deeply engaged in speculative development especially in the Chaussée d’Antin quarter, built just such a house for Charlotte-Jeanne, the marquise de Montesson.49 As the widow of the marquis de Montesson, lieutenant-general of the king’s army, the marquise was independently wealthy, and in 1759 she also inherited her family’s property on the untimely death of her only brother.50 In 1770 Brongniart built her a house in the rue de la Chaussée d’Antin. Only drawings of the façades survive, showing a relatively small house, with the main accommodation on one floor. What distinguishes this house and so many like it was the giant order on the façade, a feature that had until recently been reserved only for royalty. This signals a shift, noted at the time, from bienséance or appropriateness, determined by social convention, to a relatively free expression of character, which entitled women to employ a giant order even though their houses were small and intimate.51 Michael Dennis notes the similarities between the small neo-classical hôtel and ‘the modern, single-family suburban house’.52 We can imagine the new streets around the Chaussée d’Antin dotted with what were, in effect, suburban villas amidst generous planting in the fashionable ‘English style’. Discussions at the time and subsequently about the house types of the last quarter of the eighteenth century demonstrate the cultural importance of the houses built for women.53 An example was the house Brongniart designed in 1777–78 for the singer and dancer, Mademoiselle Anne-Victoire Dervieux (1752–1826), in the rue Chantereine (Fig. 4.2).54 This house was further distinguished when the interior was redesigned by Belanger in 1788 as a model of neo-classical decoration.55

Mademoiselle Guimard’s house Perhaps the most celebrated house of this suburban type was that designed by Ledoux for Mademoiselle Guimard (1743–1816) in 1770.56 Marie-Madeleine Guimard epitomized the young, female performers castigated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) for their independence.57 Having made her debut aged sixteen as a dancer in the ballet of the Comédie Française, Mademoiselle Guimard quickly superseded all her rivals, and shortly afterwards she was engaged at the Opéra. Her fame rested with her talent, not with her beauty; as the Nouvelle biographie générale states, she was ugly, dark, thin and very much marked by smallpox.58 Nevertheless she attracted many lovers,

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including the maréchal prince de Soubise, who spent enormous sums of money on her. In 1763 she removed to a house in Pantin outside Paris, where ‘her luxury, her spirit and her taste attracted all the celebrities of the age’.59 A few years later in 1770 Ledoux designed a house for her in the rue de la Chaussée d’Antin (Fig. 4.3).60 Mademoiselle Guimard’s house was a witness to her theatrical success in a society where women were excluded from easy access to fame.61 It is likely that Ledoux came to this commission through the fermier général, Fontaine de Cramayel, whose wife was sister to Jean Benjamin de la Borde (1734–94), himself a wealthy fermier général, dramatist, stage director and patron of Mademoiselle Guimard.62 At the time Ledoux was engaged in building nearby a hôtel for the Prince and Princesse de Montmorency, and that Mademoiselle Guimard was able to call upon the services of their architect and to build in such close proximity to people at the pinnacle of French society says much for her own success. There were a number of distinguishing features of Mademoiselle Guimard’s house which ensured it contributed to her fame. First a giant order of Ionic columns is superimposed by an entablature carrying a sculpture by Félix Lecomte (1737–1817) of the crowning of Terpsichore, the muse of dance, while on the wall behind is a bas-relief of Terpsichore drawn in triumph by putti, accompanied by dancing bacchantes and satyrs.63 The Ionic columns and the sculpture raised Mademoiselle Guimard’s status by associating her with classical culture. The second unusual feature of the house is the theatre placed at the street entrance of the property. This is a compact, but complete, theatrical space, including stage and auditorium for 500.64 Here the dancer would augment her already substantial fame through private performances for a select audience.65 This house itself is compact and cleverly planned (Fig. 4.4). Three distinct sections divide the interior space: the reception rooms are at the rear on the garden side; a top-lit central space forms the dining room and winter garden; and occupying nearly the whole front of the house is the bathroom and its ancillary rooms behind a portico of Ionic columns. Given the hierarchy of space at the time, the bathroom at the front of the house, just behind the entrance, appears a strange configuration. The usual bathing arrangement was the movable bath, and the bathroom was a luxury, associated with pleasure and particularly with women.66 As Annik Pardailhé-Galabrun observes, ‘Taking a bath was not simply a way of cleaning oneself. It was a pleasure of the rich that was both refined and sensual.’67 Yet even in women’s houses the bathroom was usually tucked away, although it might open on to the garden, as it did in Mademoiselle Dervieux’s house. The visitor to Mademoiselle Guimard, mounting her front steps, was confronted by the bathroom behind the portico, and might hesitate in

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momentary confusion before entering the house through the door to the right. The ceremonial entrance of many Parisian hôtels was off-axis, but to make space for a series of vestibules and antechambers, not for the bathroom. Once in the vestibule, it was possible to enter the bathroom directly by a passage on the left, and this suggests that at least some of Mademoiselle Guimard’s visitors were welcomed from the exterior into the bathroom and its cabinet. In putting the bath into its French eighteenth-century context, Sara F. Matthews Grieco argues that ‘hot baths in private homes were voluptuous events practiced by indolent women (and men), often in preparation for an amorous encounter’.68 By placing Mademoiselle Guimard’s bath just behind the front portico, Ledoux emphasized the sensual character of her house, and since he gave great credence to ‘character’, we must take what he does seriously.69 The ambiguity of the plan suggests a corresponding ambiguity of character in the house and in Ledoux’s understanding of its owner.70 Mademoiselle Guimard’s house appeared in texts which furthered her fame by disseminating descriptions of her little temple to a wider audience. In the novel published in 1774 under Jacques-François Blondel’s name, L’Homme du monde éclairé par les arts, there is a detailed description given by the comtesse de Vaujeu, the female protagonist of the novel. The comtesse, wishing to try out her new-found knowledge and expertise under the tutelage of the comte, takes a group of friends to look at Mademoiselle Guimard’s house, which she finds totally enchanting. Among the delights is a ‘delicious little bath apartment, perhaps unique in the style of its decoration’.71 This description was reprinted in Correspondance secrète in 1787, ensuring that a wider public became familiar with the house and its erstwhile owner.72 By the time its description appeared in the Correspondance secrète, Mademoiselle Guimard had been forced to sell her house, after her patron the prince de Soubise was caught up in the wake of the spectacular bankruptcy of Henri Rohan, prince de Guemené, in 1782. The sale was heralded with the utmost publicity, since Mademoiselle Guimard organized a lottery for a draw to take place 1 May 1786 in the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs.73 Ledoux was drafted in to value the property, estimated at 468,000 livres, and from the prospectus it appears that Mademoiselle Guimard hoped to make 300,000 livres from selling 2,500 tickets at 120 livres each.74 Once Mademoiselle Guimard had left it, her house lost its enchanted novelty, and eventually it was swept away by the construction of the rue Meyerbeer in 1862. Social change and innovation in house design, such as that found in Mademoiselle Guimard’s house, coincided in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. More women, whether through inheritance or patronage, were in a position to engage the services of an architect. Their position in society could be anomalous, as that of the marquise de Montesson, who, despite her wealth and her liaison with the duc d’Orléans, was not of

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royal blood, and therefore barred from court life at Versailles.75 Like Mademoiselle Guimard, she negotiated with her architect a house suited to the life of an independent woman. Without family responsibilities and the need to subsume their individuality in the female domestic role, these women commissioned houses where they and their concerns were central. At the same time criticism of their chosen way of life was deflected by the retired character of the suburbs and the discreet location of the houses behind walls and foliage. Nevertheless, the house itself could, as we have seen, contribute to a woman’s fame and reputation.

Conclusion In 1771 Madame d’Epinay saw no prospect of women engaging directly in the arts: ‘The impossibility of travel, of seeing the masterpieces of foreign schools, the “decency” that excludes us from studying the human form, everything in our ethos opposes our progress.’ She then went on to say, ‘I feel it pointless to speak of architecture.’76 In architecture, as in war, women were excluded from practice, and yet they were engaged in important ways in the construction of architectural culture and in the production of buildings. It is true that the Académie, and the training associated with it, excluded women. Particularly from the eighteenth century, the Académie fostered an exclusively masculine society of architects. This was countered by the Paris salons presided over by women where it was possible at least to discuss architecture in mixed company. Further, French women, in the traditional role of mother, were able to forge networks of influence which could forward the careers of their architect sons. Most importantly, female clients at the end of the period commissioned architects to design their houses. The collaboration between architects and their female clients helped to bring into being a new type of house which defined these women’s independent position. As mothers, sisters, wives, patrons and clients, women exerted influence enabling many architects to gain the education and experience they needed and, in some famous instances, gave them the opportunity to design truly innovative houses in which women created for themselves an alternative to the dependent female, domestic role.

Notes 1.

Quoted in Francis Steegmuller, A Woman, A Man and Two Kingdoms, the Story of Madame d’Epinay and the Abbé Galiani (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), p. 153. I would like to thank Lynne Walker for drawing my attention to this reference.

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2.

3. 4. 5.

6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

16. 17.

93

‘Life narratives’ rather than ‘biographies’ is a better description of what is referred to here, since the written lives of architects have assumed a narrative pattern which has contributed to the construction of what it is to be an architect. The principal lives I have used are Louis Gabriel Michaud, ed., Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne (nouvelle edition, Paris: A. Thoisnier Desplaces, 1843–65), vols 1–45; Charles Bauchal, Nouveau dictionnaire biographique et critique des architectes français (Paris: André, Daly, 1887); and Michel Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens du XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Mengès, 1995). I have also referred to the standard histories of the period: Louis Hautecoeur, Histoire de l’architecture classique en France (Paris: A. et J. Picard, 1943–57), vols 1–7; Allan Braham, The Architecture of the French Enlightenment (London: Thames and Hudson, 1980); and Wend von Kalnein, Architecture in France in the Eighteenth Century (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995). See Chandra Mukerji, Territorial Ambitions and the Gardens of Versailles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 138. Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books, c. 1450, trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach and Robert Tavernor (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994), p. 4. Mukerji makes the connection between architecture, war and the male power of the king: ‘Versailles was an elaborate earthwork, import depot, and architectural feat, a dramatic piece of material culture that was born of a passion for building and war placed in the service of the accumulation of power within the territorial state.’ Mukerji, Territorial Ambitions, p. 2. On the Académie in the eighteenth century see Donald Drew Egbert, The BeauxArts Tradition in French Architecture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), pp. 11–35. Membership of the Académie consisted of two classes of sixteen members each, the second and first classes, and appointment was by the king from a choice of three names submitted when a vacancy occurred. See Braham, Architecture of the French Enlightenment, p. 25. See Anthony Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Architecture and Social Reform at the End of the Ancien Regime (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), pp. 3–13, for a good discussion of the architect’s education during the eighteenth century. Egbert, Beaux-Arts Tradition, pp. 3–7. Kalnein, Architecture in France, p. 139. Barry Bergdoll, European Architecture 1750–1890 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 15–16. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 406. Ibid., pp. 189, 371. Kalnein, Architecture in France, pp. 178–80. Bauchal, Nouveau dictionnaire, p. 652; Michaud, Biographie universelle (1843–65), vol. 14, pp. 315–19. The previous year Fontaine had won second prize, while his friend Alexandre Dufour (d. 1835) gained the coveted trip to Rome. Despite this, Fontaine’s teacher, Jean-François Heurtier (1739–1822), arranged that his pupil receive a bursary from the Académie which enabled him to accompany his friend. Braham, Architecture of the French Enlightenment, p. 83. Madame d’Epinay refers to the exclusion of women from the trip to Rome in her January 1771 letter to the Abbé Galiani. See Steegmuller, A Woman, A Man and Two Kingdoms, p. 154.

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18. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, pp. 404, 406. 19. Even Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, considered to be one of the most inventive architects of the period, believed it necessary to become a member of the Académie. See Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, pp. 138–9. 20. Bergdoll, European Architecture, p. 10; for the place of the salons in the intellectual life of Paris see Dena Goodman, ‘Enlightenment Salons: The Convergence of Female and Philosophic Ambitions’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 22 (3), Spring 1989, 329–50. 21. See ibid., p. 330 for the intellectual importance of the salon hostess. 22. Kalnein, Architecture in France, p. 167. 23. Joan DeJean, Tender Geographies, Women and the Origins of the Novel in France (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), p. 195. 24. Bauchal, Nouveau dictionnaire, p. 396; Michaud, Biographie universelle (1843–65), vol. 26, pp. 369–71. For Mansart’s family connections see Allan Braham and Peter Smith, François Mansart (London: A. Zwemmer, 1973), vol. 1, pp. 179–83, and facing p. 190. 25. Kalnein, Architecture in France, p. 4. 26. Bauchal, Nouveau dictionnaire, p. 158; Michaud, Biographie universelle (1843–65), vol. 9, pp. 329–30. 27. Kalnein, Architecture in France, p. 8. 28. Bauchal, Nouveau dictionnaire, pp. 168, 236; Braham and Smith, François Mansart, p. 180. Jacques V Gabriel was the son of an architect and the father of Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the distinguished court architect under Louis XV. 29. Braham and Smith, François Mansart, p. 183. 30. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 224. After the early death of his first wife, Gabriel remarried Elisabeth Besnier, whose father was one of the first leaseholders of the speculative development of the Place Vendôme, the most prestigious urban development of its time. See Michael Dennis, Court and Garden: From the French Hôtel to the City of Modern Architecture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986), pp. 82–90. 31. Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, p. 5. 32. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 204. 33. Michaud, Biographie universelle (1843–65), vol. 34, p. 609. 34. Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, p. 75. 35. Jacques-François Blondel, L’Architecture française (Paris: Jombert, 1752–56), vol. I, p. 22, note a. 36. See my consideration of gendered relations between architect and client in Tanis Hinchcliffe, ‘Gender and the Architect: Women Clients of French Architects during the Enlightenment’, in Louise Durning and Richard Wrigley, eds, Gender and Architecture (Chichester: John Wiley, 2000), pp. 130–31. 37. For a discussion of the extent of women’s financial independence at the time see Vera Lee, The Reign of Women in Eighteenth-century France (Cambridge, MA: Schenkman, 1975). 38. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, pp. 73–4. 39. See Yves Durand, Finance et Mécénat, les fermiers généraux au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Hachette, 1976). 40. Ibid., p. 144. 41. Bauchal, Nouveau dictionnaire, p. 21; Roman d’Amat and R. LimouzinLamothe, eds, Dictionnaire de biographie française (Paris: Librairie Letouzey et Ané, 1965), vol. 10, pp. 1434–5.

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42. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 172. 43. D’Amat and Limouzin-Lamothe, Dictionnaire de biographie française (1965), vol. 10, p. 1435. 44. Hautecoeur, Histoire, vol. 4, pp. 120–24. 45. Durand, Finance et Mécénat, p. 214; Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, pp. 59–60. 46. Dennis, Court and Garden, p. 137. 47. Robin Middleton, ‘Jacques François Blondel and the Cours d’Architecture’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 18 (4), December 1959, 145. 48. In general, the width of the façade of these houses was approximately 15 m, and the houses varied in depth from 12 m to 20 m, within the range of the dimensions of the private apartments in the large eighteenth-century hôtels. 49. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 93. 50. Michaud, Biographie universelle (1843–65), vol. 29, p. 96. 51. Middleton, ‘Jacques François Blondel’, p. 146. Quatremère de Quincy was never reconciled to such impropriety and criticized the use of the orders in private houses. A. C. Quatremère de Quincy, ‘Caractère’, Architecture, Encyclopédie méthodique, vol. 1 (Paris: Panckoucke, 1788), pp. 475 ff. 52. Dennis, Court and Garden, p. 125. 53. Ledoux, Brongniart and Belanger all designed important houses for women, so that it follows that these houses feature prominently in the histories of the period such as Hautecoeur, Histoire, vol. 4; Braham, Architecture of the French Enlightenment; and Kalnein, Architecture in France. But the contemporary collection of house illustrations by Krafft and Ransonnette, Les Plus Belles Maisons de Paris, 2 vols (Paris, 1801–2), is distinguished by the number of houses designed for women. 54. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 94. 55. Kalnein, Architecture in France, pp. 269–70. 56. Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, pp. 51–4. 57. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics and the Arts, Letter to M. D’Alembert on the Theatre, translated by Allan Bloom (Glencoe, Il: The Free Press, 1960), p. 90. 58. Nouvelle biographie générale (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, 1855), vol. 13, p. 890. 59. Ibid. 60. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 303. 61. In Mémoires secrets, xviii, 23 July 1767, the critic L. P. de Bachaumont (1690–1771) reported that Mademoiselle Dangui, an aspiring actress, wrote these words to her sister, Madame Content, the wife of an architect: ‘a famous actress moves in a brilliant sphere, which expands as her talents develop. My name will be printed in the public news, in gazettes, in the Mercure; yours will appear for the first and last time in your burial notice.’ (une actrice célèbre roule dans une sphère brillante, qui s’étend à mesure que ses talents se développent. Mon nom sera imprimé dans les nouvelles publiques, dans les gazettes, dans le Mercure; le vôtre ne le sera pour la première et dernière fois que dans votre billet d’enterrement.) Quoted in Félix Gaiffe, Le Drame en France au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Armand Colin, 1910), pp. 115–16, note 2. 62. Edmond de Goncourt, La Guimard, d’après les Registres des Menus-Plaisirs de la Bibliothèque de l’Opéra (Paris, 1893), p. 90. 63. Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, p. 52. 64. Michel Gallet, Ledoux et Paris (Paris: Ville de Paris, Commission du Vieux Paris, 1979), p. 83.

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65. Cyril W. Beaumont, Three French Dancers of the Eighteenth Century (London: C. W. Beaumont, 1934), p. 30. 66. Monique Eleb-Vidal and Anne Debarre-Blanchard, Architecture de la vie privée XVIIe–XIXe siècles (Brussels: Archives d’Architecture Moderne, 1989), p. 54. 67. Annik Pardailhé-Galabrun, The Birth of Intimacy, Privacy and Domestic Life in Early Modern Paris, trans. Jocelyn Phelps (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), p. 138. 68. Sara F. Matthews Grieco, ‘The Body, Appearance, and Sexuality’, in Natalie Zemon Davis and Arlette Farge, eds, A History of Women in the West, Vol III: Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 54. 69. Ledoux revealed early his tendency to transgress against convention through an over-enthusiastic embrace of the classical theory of ‘character’. See a discussion of this in Vidler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, pp. 12–13. 70. Ibid., pp. 52–3. Michael Dennis notes, ‘Ledoux is able to paradoxically invert the normal order of things and at the same time comment on the nature of his client’; Dennis, Court and Garden, p. 157. 71. Jacques-François Blondel, L’Homme du monde éclairé par les arts (Amsterdam and Paris: Monory, 1774), vol. 2, p. 111. 72. Correspondance secrète, politique et littéraire ou mémoires pour servir à l’histoire des cours, des sociétés et de la littérature en France, depuis la mort de Louis X, vol. 8 (London: John Adamson, 1787), pp. 403–5. The version of the description of Mademoiselle Guimard’s house that appears here is an approximation of the one in Blondel’s novel, although the locator is now male. The Correspondance secrète was a journal containing political and literary gossip of the day. 73. Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie, Paris, Carton Paris 62/ Dossier V. 74. Ibid. This was at the same time as a one-room dwelling in the St Paul quarter of Paris cost 80 livres per annum and 500 livres annual rent put the tenant into the category of the rich. Daniel Roche, The People of Paris, trans. Marie Evans (Leamington Spa: Berg, 1987), pp. 110, 113. 75. Gallet, Les Architectes parisiens, p. 94. 76. Steegmuller, A Woman, A Man and Two Kingdoms, p. 153.

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CHAPTER FIVE

‘Repaired by me to my exceeding great Cost and Charges’: Anne Clifford and the Uses of Architecture Elizabeth V. Chew Although Anne Clifford (1590–1676) – Dowager Countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery, Baroness Clifford, Westmorland, and Vescy, hereditary high sheriff of the county of Westmorland, and Lady of the Honour of Skipton in Craven – is known by social, literary, and art historians as a prolific diarist and chronicler of the late Elizabethan and Jacobean courts, the architectural patronage activities of her later life have not been comprehensively examined.1 This essay demonstrates how her single-minded goal – to control and be associated with the properties belonging to the earldom of Cumberland – was successfully carried out due in large measure to her effectiveness as an architectural patron and her awareness of the importance of architectural space in the establishment and expression of social hegemony. For the last 33 of her 86 years, Anne Clifford lived as a significant landowner in the counties of Westmorland and Yorkshire in northern England and as the heir to one of the great northern English dynasties of the Middle Ages (Fig. 5.1).2 An ardent architectural patron and family historian, she restored and inhabited six ancestral Norman castles (Appleby, Brougham, Brough, Pendragon, Skipton, and Barden), renovated numerous churches, and erected public buildings and commemorative and funerary monuments. These achievements of her old age, however, were hard won. On his death in 1605 Clifford’s father, George, third earl of Cumberland, disinherited her even though she was his only surviving child and despite an entail protecting female heirs. From the time of her father’s death when she was fifteen until 1643, Clifford – first with her mother, Margaret Russell Clifford, countess of Cumberland, and later alone – fought persistently through all the channels open to her for the restoration of her inheritance. In her quest, she operated

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independently from her two prominent husbands, Richard Sackville, third earl of Dorset (married 1609–24), and Philip Herbert, fourth earl of Pembroke (married 1630–50), and vociferously rejected their efforts to persuade her to acquiesce to unfavorable legal decisions. She finally inherited the property in 1643 aged 53, when her first cousin died without a male heir. In 1649, at the end of the Civil War, Clifford left the earl of Pembroke, from whom she was already estranged, and moved north to her ancestral lands, remaining there until her death in 1676.3 This essay demonstrates that Clifford’s writings about her understanding and use of her castles expose her powerful resolve to bind herself and her progeny to the legacy of her distinguished family. As an heiress who had fought long to assume her lands and as an aristocratic woman occupying medieval houses in the middle of the seventeenth century, Clifford exploited architectural patronage and used her houses as both family monuments and significant social spaces in which she performed her long-coveted role of head of the family. By simultaneously assuming the roles of participant and observer – by occupying a house while exhaustively documenting her actions therein – Clifford asserted her place in the family’s dynastic tradition and reshaped it for her own benefit. Clifford’s actions as an architectural patron alter our picture of early modern domestic architecture in Britain and its uses. In a society in which it is often assumed that architectural success entailed competition with one’s social peers and superiors to build the largest, grandest, or most innovative house, Clifford eschewed all contemporary models for claiming distinction. Despite her experiences of living in her two husbands’ great southern English houses of Knole (Kent) and Wilton (Wiltshire), she made no attempt to participate in the prevailing architectural styles or innovations when she became a patron in her own right. She adopted neither the model of the great Jacobean prodigy house, such as Knole, through which the Sackville family demonstrated familial prowess and alliance with the monarchy, nor the courtly Italianate innovations of the next generation, as emulated by the earl of Pembroke in the renovations at Wilton in the late 1630s. Nor did her own projects utilize the eclectic architectural vocabulary of the style known as ‘artisan mannerism’, employed from the 1630s through the 1650s. She chose instead to be consciously anachronistic, adapting medieval buildings because of their importance as witnesses to past glories of the house of Clifford or to specific events in her own life. In looking to the distant past instead of current fashion to inform the present and future, Clifford alters our perception of the available options for producing architecture with real resonance for seventeenth-century patrons and audiences. Clifford’s choices also subtly change our conception of female architectural patronage in early modern Britain. Alice Friedman has argued

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that gender enabled both Bess of Hardwick and Mary Sidney Herbert, countess of Pembroke, to choose progressive Renaissance or Italianate features at Hardwick Hall (1590–97) and Houghton Conquest (c. 1615–19).4 Although Clifford’s unconventional reliance on English medieval architecture was not dependent on a desire for innovation, her decisions to medievalize do seem to be based on the same desire to create visual spectacle that may have driven the countesses of Shrewsbury and Pembroke. Clifford’s preservation and reuse of the family castles was calculated to maintain in the present the authority of the past. Hers is an example of female architectural patronage that sought the spectacular in the old rather than the new.

Clifford’s writings Since Clifford’s peculiar construction of her autobiography sheds light on her architectural patronage activities, her writings, though they have not heretofore been used this way, can serve as richly productive sources for art and architectural historians investigating relationships between architecture and gender in the early modern period.5 Clifford’s personal diaries, chronicles and family histories play a crucial role in her presentation of her familial and architectural accomplishments; her texts should be understood as vehicles consciously created to substantiate her achievements and place them in the context of family history, while transmitting her story to future generations.6 Like her buildings, Clifford’s written works were intended to remain when she was dead as testaments to the glories of the Clifford family and to her specific achievements as a self-made female landowner. In her yearly chronicles for 1650–75, Clifford explicitly connects her restoration and reuse of her houses with her role as the sole heir, propagator and historian of her distinguished family. Besides her building activities, she meticulously records particular phenomena that obviously held profound significance for her. These include: how much time she spent at each of her residences, the exact dates and sequences of her movements between them, visits from her two daughters and many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, how much time had elapsed since the visitor’s last visit, which house and even room she occupied when important family events occurred, and which events in the lives of her parents had also taken place in those spaces. Clifford’s words suggest that she saw quite specific connections between her own life, her land and houses, as the physical and material aspects of her inheritance, the history of her family, with which she was intimately familiar, and the promise of its continuance in the hands of her progeny. Beyond the

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security of her titles and the knowledge that she had claimed her properties and made the dwellings habitable again, it was extremely important for her to experience the estates physically and in relation both to past events and to living family members and future descendants. She did this by spatially connecting her occupation of the castles with past events in the history of the family and with time spent in the castles earlier in her life, and by seeing and enjoying her family on her estates.7 Beyond emphasis on the connections between kinship and place, Clifford’s documentation of events of importance to her family had a spatial dimension, evident in her scrupulous attention to noting not only in which house visits from family occurred and how long they lasted, and in which room visitors slept, but also in which room she customarily slept and which room she occupied when important family events transpired. This intense interest in the use of particular rooms by herself and others suggests that Clifford desired to connect the present use of the castle with its past, and, through the actions of her offspring, its potential for the future. She also frequently connected her family’s use of the buildings with her own efforts to make them habitable and comfortable, thus valorizing her achievements in the history of the relationship of building to family. Clifford’s writings contain rich references to architecture and to her building projects, particularly to her specific use and understanding of her houses. Her texts make it clear that exploiting aspects of architectural space enabled Clifford to both understand and manipulate her position. This essay will focus on Clifford’s architectural patronage as an outgrowth of her triumphant inheritance fight. Viewing her writing and building endeavors as parallel activities, I will consider how Clifford produced a space, both narrative and concrete, for herself and her achievements.

‘Building and reparacons’ When Anne Clifford assumed the role of keeper of her six castles, she inherited complex physical and social structures in varying states of repair that were and for centuries had been domestic forts, venerable residences, and the administrative and cultural centers of the surrounding areas. Her new role involved far more for her than just legal ownership; it meant inhabiting the structures, touring among them regularly, and maintaining and improving them by repairing the damage of time and war. Clifford’s efforts created habitable domiciles for herself and her successors out of structures that had been neglected in some cases for centuries. In taking on a series of restoration projects of such magnitude she was not merely behaving as her uncle and father as earls of Cumberland had before her, but radically reclaiming ancient

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properties for herself and connecting her tenure to the tenures of ancestors of centuries past. Clifford announced that her architectural heritage was of the utmost importance to her almost as soon as she arrived in the north at Skipton Castle in July 1649 by beginning her ambitious program of building and renovation of the castles and also of local churches and other civic buildings. She first mentioned her ongoing building work in her yearly chronicle for 1650, emphasizing the ‘disorder’ of her properties and the pleasure she obtained from improving matters: I enjoyed my selfe in Building and Reparacons at Skipton and Barden Tower, and in Causeing the Boundaries to be ridden, and my Howses kept in my severall Manners in Craven, and in those kind of Countrie Affairs about my estate. Which I found in extreme Disorder by reason it had bene so long kept from mee, from the death of my Father till this time, and by occasion of the late Civil Warres in England.8

The riding of the boundaries in particular would have been an overt statement of her assumption of control over the ‘disorderly’ situation. In 1651 she began repairs at Appleby and Brougham Castles. She also early on undertook charitable architectural projects, by erecting her own almshouse and maintaining one founded by her mother.9 Clifford continued her building and restoration for twelve years, noting the details in her chronicles. Clifford’s steward Gabriel Vincent oversaw her works, residing at whichever castle was currently under repair. Her account books indicate that Clifford maintained a heavy personal involvement, down to her examination and approval of all expenditures on building.10 George Sedgwick, Clifford’s secretary from 1652 to 1668, estimated that she spent a total of about £40,000 on building projects.11 Each of her six castles held a different meaning for Clifford because of its particular relationship to her family history.12 This essay will consider Brougham, Brough and Pendragon Castles as three case studies. Although many of Clifford’s overarching preoccupations are evident at all of the three, this scheme also allows for discussion of several distinct and unique features.

Brougham Castle: connections with the lives of her parents As the birthplace of her father and the last home of her mother, Brougham Castle occupied a monumental place in Clifford’s imagination (Fig. 5.2).13 Clifford made only modest and practical interventions at Brougham, choosing to maintain the castle as it had been at the time of her mother’s death in 1616, while making it as conveniently habitable as she could for herself. She reroofed and reconditioned the existing buildings, adding fireplaces to make

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them more comfortable.14 She also built a new brewhouse and bakehouse, and added a large walled garden outside of the castle walls to the southeast.15 Clifford’s early fourteenth-century ancestor Robert Clifford, first Lord Clifford (c. 1274–1314) expressed his authority over the region around Brougham by making the castle his principal seat; he rendered Brougham architecturally unique by incorporating the Norman keep into a domestic apartment with a defensible entrance.16 No doubt because of its profound role in the lives of her parents, Clifford elected to use the centuries-old apartment in the keep for herself. Significantly, she chose Brougham as her final destination, dying on 22 March 1676 in the historic chamber in the keep where her father was born and her mother died. Clifford’s descriptions of her arrivals and departures at Brougham enable us to consider the castle’s plan and its significance to her as the owner and primary user of the building (Fig. 5.3). The transfer of her household from one residence to another, undertaken two or three times a year, became an event of particular ritual significance to Clifford. She was accompanied on each move by a large retinue comprised her household staff and groups of local gentry, other neighbors and tenants; she would dismiss anyone not residing with her upon her safe entry of the house that was her destination. From 1666 until her death in 1676, she described her procession through architectural spaces during these moves as thoroughly as she did her overland journeys between the castles, and in a manner which reveals that particular rooms bore great and growing consequence.17 These writings provide the most complete evidence of the connections Clifford understood between physical spaces, their meanings for the past and future of her family, and her assumption of control of them. Clifford’s descriptions of her exits and entrances at Brougham highlight two aspects of her understanding of architectural space: the meanings and functions of the plan and the relationships between spaces and the individual lives that construct and are constructed by them. Arriving at Brougham from Appleby on 14 October 1670, Clifford says that after her traveling retinue took leave of her in the Hall, she: came up through the great chamber and painted chamber and the little Passage Room into my owne Chamber where I formerly used to lye and where my Noble Father was borne and my blessed Mother dyed. And I had not bin in this Brougham Castle since the 26th of June in 1668, when I removed with my family to the said Appleby Castle againe … 18

Leaving Brougham again in August 1671, Clifford mentioned a monument she had erected near the castle on the spot where she last saw her mother: after I had layn in my Castle of Brougham in Westmorland in the Chamber wherein my noble father was borne and my blessed mother

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dyed ever since the 14th of October last, did I go for a little while out of it into the Roome adjoining, being the middle Roome in the great Pagan Tower, and into that part of it where my old servant Jane Bricknell died and so came into my owne chamber again, where, after a short stay, I went from thence about 11 a clock of the same day through the little Passage Room and the Painted Chamber and the Hall down into the garden for a while and from thence back into the court of the castle where I took my Horslitter in which I ridd by the Pillar that I erected in memory of my last parting there with my blessed mother … 19

In addition to what these two statements tell us about the plan of the keep and gatehouses at Brougham, they also make clear the connections that Clifford forged, through both her processions and her writings about them, between her life, her parents’ lives, and the lives of her inner circle of trusted companions. In Clifford’s mind, these links across time connect life, death, and the bonds of family, friendship and obligation, via the architectural spaces that have contained and been shaped by each. At Brougham, as elsewhere, Clifford made a point of visiting rooms connected with dead relatives, servants, and friends. She notes several times that she honoured the memory of her servant Jane Bricknell on the second floor of the keep at Brougham. The connections she made between domestic spaces and the personal events they had witnessed, like her interest in documenting where she and her visitors slept, suggests that she understood rooms not just as neutral containers, but as repositories for memories of all the births, deaths, visitors, and events of the past five centuries. Produced by past events, her spaces, for Clifford, remained redolent of all that had transpired in them. Clifford next returned to Brougham in January of 1673. She says that she: alighted and went upstairs into ye Hall, where all ye company of my Neighbours and Tenants and other that came along with me took their leaves of mee and went away; and I came upstairs through the Great Chamber and painted chamber and ye passage room, into my own chamber in ye said Brougham Castle wherein my Noble Father was born and my Blessed Mother dyed.20

Although she makes a point of recording her dismissal of her retinue, she obviously wants the significance of her later ‘private’ procession into her bedchamber to be witnessed and understood by the readers/viewers of her texts. Her journey is at once social and solitary, public and private, conducted for an audience and for herself. It is clearly significant to Clifford that her bedchamber is the most important chamber in the castle, the one used by the lords of the manor since the early fourteenth century. Clifford’s writings capture and document her attainment of the spatial position of the owner in the central apartment. Like the processions themselves and the rooms through

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which they wove, her documents also proved to Clifford and to her retinue that she had assumed her rightful place. Clifford saw architecture not merely as a container for her actions, but as a crucial participant in her performance of the role of head of household. Leaving Brougham again the following July: did I goe for a while out of [her chamber] into the middle room in ye great Pagan Tower, there where my old servant Jane Bricknell dyed, and then came into my owne chamber againe, where, after a short stay I went from thence through ye little passage room and the painted chamber and great chamber and the Hall down into ye Court of that Castle, where I went into my Horslitter … 21

All of Clifford’s descriptions suggest the relationships between the hall, the Great Chamber, the inner and outer gatehouses, and the Norman keep, which Clifford called the ‘Pagan Tower’ even though no evidence suggests that this was its traditional name (see Fig. 5.3). Plans of the keep and gatehouses at Brougham enable us to see spatially what she creates with words (Fig. 5.4). Upon her arrivals, Clifford entered the fourteenth-century hall by its external stairs, where she dismissed her entourage. She then went upstairs to the Great Chamber, which was situated between the hall and the outer gatehouse, to which it connected on the gatehouse’s second floor via the room Clifford calls the ‘Painted Chamber,’ probably her withdrawing room, where she also may have dined.22 The Painted Chamber gave on to a mural passage room leading to Clifford’s own chamber on the second or top floor of the inner gatehouse.23 This was a long climb for a woman in her seventies and eighties, but the profound significance of the room compelled her to use it. Clifford’s room was also connected to the second floor of the keep, where some of her servants obviously slept, as she mentions honouring the memory of Jane Bricknell. The second floor of the keep also gave her access to the private chapel or oratory one floor up. Although the basic configuration and function of rooms mentioned by Clifford at Brougham conform to mid- to late seventeenth-century expectations, the layout of the space at Brougham required a great deal of climbing and involved winding through narrow mural passageways in what had originally been a medieval defensive tower. In choosing to reuse these spaces instead of modernizing them, Clifford signals clearly that the traditional configuration of the rooms at Brougham, and their associations with the lives of her parents, are more important to her than current aristocratic and courtly practices of occupying large and grand spaces embellished with carved wood, fine paintings, and expensive fabrics. Clifford made her final entry into Brougham on 5 October 1675. This time she says simply that she ‘continued to lye as usuall in the chamber wherein my Noble father was borne and my Blessed mother dyed … ’24 Clifford spent

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the last five months of her life at Brougham, rarely leaving this all-important chamber in the gatehouse. Her final diary provides much detailed insight into her activities and thoughts. It is clear from the diary that at age 86 she was directly involved with the running of her estates, the receiving of rents, and the paying out of sums of money for and receiving of household goods, materials, and services. Confined to the room where her father was born and her mother died, she negotiated between the past, present and future, daily noting the anniversaries of important events in her past, the visitors she received, and her actions in ensuring the efficient functioning of her estates.

Brough Castle: recreating a Clifford ancestral seat Brough Castle was badly damaged by fire in 1521 and remained derelict until Anne Clifford’s works of 1659–62.25 Of all her six castles, Anne Clifford made her most substantial building interventions at Brough, restoring the long-neglected structure to its configuration in the time of her fourteenthcentury forebear Roger Clifford (1333–89), fifth baron Clifford, who had brought Brough to the state in which it remained when it was accidentally burned in 1521. In addition to its family significance, Brough was important to Clifford as the location of the death in 1666 of her steward Gabriel Vincent, who had supervised all her building works and to whom she was devoted. Because it was neglected by Clifford’s heirs and sustained no later renovation, its surviving fragments today retain their basic configuration from her time (Fig. 5.5). At Brough, unlike Brougham which had been inhabited in living memory, Clifford took a structure that had lain in ruins for well over a century and turned it into a dwelling she could occupy with a fairly high degree of comfort. Clifford’s building achievements at Brough feature prominently in all her writings about the castle. She noted in her chronicle for 1660 that in April and May her masons were continuing the work they had started the previous summer.26 This included rebuilding the tower at the southeast that she called Clifford’s Tower and repairing the keep that she called the Roman Tower, the names, coined by her, linking her to her ancestors at Brough and the family to the ancient origins of building on the site. The hearth tax paid for 1665 indicates that she had 24 fireplaces at Brough.27 It also had new and enlarged windows, and new, functional service ranges for the needs of her large household, which included a coachman, at least two grooms, a postillion, baker, and brewer.28 She improved the southeast range of rooms, which contained the Great Hall, rebuilt the staircase to the Great Hall, and added kitchens, a bakehouse, brewhouse, and stables.29 Her work in the Roman Tower (keep) included adding a ground floor door in order to allow it

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to be used as lodgings, and adding fireplaces and windows (Fig. 5.6).30 Clifford first stayed at Brough in September of 1661. Her account of this visit emphasizes her own trouble and expense in her restoration efforts and indicates that she chose to sleep in both Clifford’s Tower and the Roman Tower during a three-night stay. She says that she spent: the first night in that halfe round Tower call’d Clifford’s Tower and the other two nights in the second Roome of the great Tower call’d Roman Tower, both of which Towers and Castle were newly repaired by me to my exceeding great Cost and Charges after they had layen desolate ever since the Timber thereof was casually burnt in the year 1521 … 31

Her occupation of both of the rooms implies that she wished to commune with each significant space at Brough, in order to enjoy the fruits of her renovation efforts and to articulate in bodily terms her connection with the history of the structure. As at Brougham, spending times in particular rooms, and most importantly, sleeping in them, gave Clifford her sense of ownership, continuity, and triumph over time past. Also as at Brougham, it was through documenting the experience that she suggested triumph over time to come. Clifford did not write as extensively about her processions at Brough as she did at Brougham. At Brough she emphasized the significance of visiting certain individual rooms because of their connection with both family history and contemporary people important to her. In a typical example from April 1666, she says that she: did remove with my family out of Brough Castle in Westmerland … after I had layn in the said Brough Castle in the uppermost Roome of Cliffords Tower ever since the 10th day of Novembre last till now … And the sayd 19th day in the morning before I came away from the sayd Brough Castle, did I go for a while into the great Roman Tower there into the best Roome in it, where I used sometimes to lye, and into the lower roome where Gabriell Vincent dyed the 12th day of February before, to my great grief and sorrow.32

We again see her carefully articulated emphasis on connections between architectural spaces and death, loss, and mourning, and the importance she placed on her sleeping location as a means of forging connections between the living and the dead, the present and the past. Her repeated use of the words ‘lie’ and ‘lay’ to mean ‘sleep,’ in particular, suggests connections between her corporeality in the present and sleep as a mediator between life and death. When she returned to Brough in October 1669, she again emphasizes the importance she places on the locations of sleep, noting that she ‘began to lye againe in the Round Tower called Clifford’s Tower in the upper Roome next the Leads in that Brough Castle, where I did alwaies used to lye since the repair of that Castle, excepting some four nights that I lay in the Roman Tower.’33 This statement again reinforces her achievements in making

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habitable the spaces where she sleeps. But when she leaves Brough in May 1670 she unusually remarks that she went ‘in the Roman Tower there to see it’ before taking her horselitter.34 Here seeing and visiting a room bind it to her at the moment of departure, thereby forging connections through her own body with one specific room and her next destination, in this case Pendragon Castle. Returning to Brough in April 1672, she provides a description more typical of her other moves. She says that she: allighted out of my litter, and came upstairs into ye Hall where all ye strangers that accompanied mee took their leaves of mee and went away to their severall Homes, and from thence I came upstairs into ye great chamber and through it to ye chamber adjoining, and came into my owne chamber in Clifford’s Tower … 35

Here she creates a distinction between the hall, where ‘strangers’ are allowed, and her apartment, or inner sanctum of the ‘lord,’ access to which is reserved for herself, her trusted servants, her family members, and, importantly, the readers of her texts. Clifford’s description of her exits and entrances indicates that she used Brough as her ancestors had. The Great Hall served as her point of contact with people who were not her relatives, the neighbors and tenants (‘strangers’) who had comprised her traveling retinue, and was the place where she most directly expressed her local power over them. The Great Chamber provided her segue into her more private apartment, at the apex of which was her own chamber in the center of the round tower she called Clifford’s Tower. Her work at Brough provided her with the opportunity to bind herself through architecture to the ways that Cliffords of previous centuries had lived there. When she spent Christmas of 1665 at Brough she noted that it ‘was the first Christmas I ever kept in the said Castle, nor had any of my Ancestors done it since the yeare 1521; it being then burnt downe when Henry, Lord Clifford, my fathers Grandfather then lay in the sayd Castle … ’36 In keeping with her preoccupation with recovering that which had been lost in the passage of time and her pride in perpetuating family customs, many of Clifford’s building works at Brough could be called restorations. For example, in the keep [the Roman Tower], the masonry work she commissioned imitated that of the late twelfth century, and her doors and windows copied Norman round arches and coupled windows.37 When she built fireplaces, she had to rely on her own preferences, and she used a type described by Douglas Simpson as ‘revived Tudor,’ with a depressed pointed arch cut in one stone, and a plain chamfer on arch and jambs.38

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Pendragon Castle: ‘the chief and beloved habitation of Idonea’ Pendragon Castle, an isolated keep known as a pele tower, was a much smaller building than any of Clifford’s other residences.39 A medieval defensive structure, it was a tower of three stories measuring 64 feet square externally. The second story had barrel-vaulted chambers in three corners connected by mural passages (Fig. 5.7).40 Probably due to its size and incommodious nature in comparison to her other houses, Clifford stayed there neither as frequently nor as long as she did at the others. She nevertheless kept it on her itinerary and made regular stops there after her renovations rendered it habitable because of its connections, established by her genealogical researches, with her female ancestor Idonea de Vipont, whose death without offspring caused Idonea’s Westmorland properties to descend to the Clifford family. Clifford noted in her chronicle for 1660 that she had begun her repairs to Pendragon in June. She was able to spend three nights there in October 1661. It was particularly significant to her that, based on her consultation of records in Skipton Castle, the last of her ancestors to stay there had been Idonea de Vipont.41 When Clifford slept there in 1661 she says, citing ‘old records and chronicles,’ that it was ‘the first time I lay in the said Pendraggon Castle since it was lately repaired and made habitable by mee to my great costs and charges after it had layen desolate ever since the 15th yeare of Edward the third in 1341, which is 320 yeares agoe.’ She went on to specify that before its destruction by the Scots it had been: the chiefe and beloved habitation of Idonea the younger daughter and Coheire of Robert de Viteriponte my Auncester, she dying without issue (as appears by Inquisition) later after her death in the 8th year of Edward the third; and then all her Inheritance in Westmerland came to her eldest Sister Isabella’s Grandchild Robert, Lord Clifford and his posteritie to whom I am heire by a lineal descent.42

Clifford was not entirely accurate in her discussion of the history of the castle, perhaps by choice. Pendragon was built at the end of the twelfth century, perhaps by Hugh de Morville, who held the Clifford Westmorland properties before they were granted to the first Robert de Vipont in 1204.43 Pendragon, like Brough, descended to Robert de Vipont’s great-granddaughter Idonea (d. 1333) and eventually to her great-nephew, Robert Clifford, third Lord Clifford (1305–44). Clifford seemed to be unaware of the castle’s history after Idonea. In 1341 it was burned by the Scots, but was rebuilt by Roger Clifford, fifth Lord Clifford between 1360 and 1370. In 1541 it was burned again; its last slighting was therefore some 200 years later than Clifford stated.44 The castle and Idonea de Vipont nevertheless featured vividly in Clifford’s accounts, as a means of establishing a tradition of female inheritance and rulership to

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justify her own position of control. In addition, Clifford’s conception of Idonea gave her a romantic fourteenth-century family association; this romanticizing attitude towards the past on Clifford’s part is also visible in her use of the names ‘Pagan’ and ‘Roman’ for newly refurbished keeps, and her choice of Norman-style doors and windows. In 1670 Clifford used Pendragon as the site to entertain her visiting granddaughter Lady Alethea Compton, only surviving child of her deceased daughter Isabella Sackville, countess of Northampton.45 She had never met this grandchild, then nine years old. Clifford carefully documented all of the important Clifford family locations seen by Alethea en route to Pendragon from her father’s house in Northamptonshire. In each case, Clifford connected the places with herself and her own contemporary activities there. They included ‘my’ Almshouse at Beamsley, ‘which she went in to see it,’ ‘my’ Castle at Skipton, ‘where she lay 2 nights in the highest Roome of the great rounde Tower at the end of the long Gallery there (where her father and mother had layn formerly),’ and ‘my’ house or tower of Barden.46 Clifford noted that Alethea stayed with her at Pendragon for 33 nights, sleeping ‘in that Chamber over the great Chamber which hath windows to ye East and South.’47 During her stay Lady Alethea also visited Mallerstang Chapel (‘which I, not long since had caused to be new-builded’) and, on her journey home, ‘my’ castle of Brough.48 The connections Clifford makes between her own restoration efforts, her accommodations, and those of her visiting family members suggest that she wishes to assert her accomplishments at insuring the continuing use and control by Cliffords of their ancestral seats and to bind present, past and future together through body and sight.

Conclusion For Clifford, her houses retained traces of past events of dynastic importance that could only be accessed by physically using the spaces. Instead of concentrating in her writings on describing tapestries, portraits, woodwork, or other embellishments through which to assert familial connections or ancestral pride, she seems to have viewed the house itself as a vessel of the past that connected her to the present and future. Whether the house was important for the longevity of its occupation by the Clifford family, or for its association with a particular forebear or deceased loyal servant, it was through using the house as a domestic entity – walking the corridors, climbing the stairs, visiting the rooms, and most particularly, sleeping in a certain chamber – that she evoked particular events and relationships from the past that were in other ways irrecoverable. The use of the spaces connected Clifford to her

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past and provided a tangible reminder of her place in the long line of her forebears who had inhabited them. It furthermore provided her with constant acknowledgment and affirmation of the success of her forty-year quest to regain possession of them.

Notes 1.

2. 3. 4.

5.

6.

This essay is adapted from Chapter One of my doctoral dissertation, ‘Female Architectural Patronage and Art Collecting in Seventeenth-Century Britain,’ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000. I would like to thank Helen Hills, Barbara Harris and Carolyn Allmendinger for advice on previous drafts and versions. I am grateful to the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for an Off-Campus Dissertation Grant that enabled my research in Britain. I would also like to thank the staff of the Cumbria Record Office, Kendal for facilitating my work with the Clifford material there. Clifford’s lands were located in the modern-day counties of Cumbria and North Yorkshire. For Clifford’s biography and the inheritance fight, see R. T. Spence, Lady Anne Clifford (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton, 1997). ‘Wife in the English Country House: Gender and the Meaning of Style in Early Modern England,’ in Cynthia Lawrence, ed., Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997). Alice T. Friedman is the only other art or architectural historian who has considered Clifford’s patronage, though my work discusses relationships between building, writing, and identity in greater detail. See ‘Lady Anne Clifford as a Patron of the Visual Arts,’ Quarto: the Quarterly Bulletin of the Abbott Hall Art Gallery, 28 (3), 1990, 6–10; ‘Constructing an Identity in Prose, Plaster and Paint: Lady Anne Clifford as Writer and Patron of the Arts,’ in Lucy Gent, ed., Albion’s Classicism: The Visual Arts in Britain, 1550–1660 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995); ‘Wife in the English Country House: Gender and the Meaning of Style in Early Modern England,’ in Cynthia Lawrence, ed., Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997). For discussion of the different genres and the manuscript and published versions of Clifford’s writings see Katherine O. Acheson, ed., The Diary of Anne Clifford 1616–1619: A Critical Edition (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1995), pp. 14–29. The diaries, which survive for the years 1616–19 and 1676 only, document her social activities and current events at court, and milestones in her quest to regain possession of her lands; they attest to her strong attachment to the properties from early in her adult life. Condensed yearly summaries, or chronicles, were prepared each year from the diaries; chronicles for 1603 and 1650–75 are extant. Beginning with family genealogy collected by her mother as evidence in their legal proceedings, Clifford eventually produced multiple copies of a massive three-volume work entitled The Great Books of the Clifford Family. These included extensive family genealogies going back to the twelfth century,

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7.

8. 9.

10. 11. 12.

13.

14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19.

113

lives of her parents, and an autobiography from her conception to the year 1650, written or dictated in 1652–53. Katharine Hodgkin discusses what she calls the ‘land/family link’ very briefly, ‘The Diary of Anne Clifford: A Study of Class and Gender in the Seventeenth Century,’ History Workshop, 19, Spring 1985, 157–8, but does not consider the implications for material culture of Clifford’s extreme preoccupation with family, land, and space. D. J. H. Clifford, ed., The Diaries of Lady Anne Clifford [hereafter Diaries] (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton, 1990), p. 106. She constructed St Anne’s Hospital, a women’s almshouse at Appleby, and maintained an almshouse erected by her mother at Beamsley in Yorkshire, Diaries, pp. 110, 116. As Lena Orlin noted in her response to the session ‘Women and Art in Early Modern Britain,’ at the North American Conference on British Studies, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 16 October 1998, almshouses are an important area for further investigation of women’s building. Diaries, pp. 130, 138. For Clifford’s devotion to Vincent, see below. Sedgwick’s memoir is published in Joseph Nicolson and Richard Burn, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland (London: W. Strachan and T. Cadell, 1777), p. 300. For Appleby Castle see Elizabeth V. Chew, ‘Si(gh)ting the Mistress of the House: Anne Clifford and Architectural Space,’ in Susan Shifrin, ed., Women as Sites of Culture: Women’s Roles in Cultural Formation from the Renaissance to the 20th Century (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002). Brougham is located eleven miles northwest of the town of Appleby, on the south bank of the river Eamont. On Brougham Castle, see George T. Clark, ‘The Castles of Brougham and Brough,’ Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society [TCWAAS], 6, 1883, 15–26; John F. Curwen, ‘Brougham Castle,’ TCWAAS, ns 22, 1922 143–57; Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, England [RCHME], An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1936), pp. 57–62; W. Douglas Simpson, ‘Brougham Castle,’ TCWAAS, ns 42, 1942, 170–79; John Charlton, Brougham Castle (London: English Heritage, 1985); Henry Summerson, Michael Trueman and Stuart Harrison, Brougham Castle, Cumbria (Kendal: Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 1998). Clifford’s account books from 1665 indicate that she paid taxes on 30 hearths at Brougham, Cumbria Record Office [CRO], Kendal, WD/Hoth/A988/17. RCHME, Westmorland, pp. 58–9; Summerson et al., Brougham Castle, pp. 58, 82. This was accomplished by attaching two gatehouses to the keep on its northern side, see Simpson, ‘Brougham Castle,’ pp. 174–7; Summerson et al., Brougham Castle, pp. 12–15. Robert Clifford entertained King Edward I at Brougham in 1300. According to Simpson, the keep-gatehouse is characteristic of castles built by Edward I in Wales but the arrangement of the double gatehouse at Brougham is unusual. For Robert Clifford see The Complete Peerage, vol. 3, pp. 290–91. Before April 1666, Clifford describes her moves in far less detail, only noting which chamber she slept in, but not describing her routes through houses. See Diaries, pp. 105–79. Ibid., p. 206. Ibid., p. 208.

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24. 25.

26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

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Ibid., p. 217. Ibid., p. 219. Charlton, Brougham Castle, p. 4. John Charlton, ‘The Lady Anne Clifford (1590–1676),’ in M. R. Apted, R. Gilyard-Beer and A. D. Saunders, eds, Ancient Monuments and their Interpretation, Essays Presented to A.J. Taylor (London: Phillimore, 1977), p. 307. Diaries, p. 227. On Brough see John F. Curwen, ‘Brough Castle,’ TCWAAS, ns 9, 1909, 177–91; John F. Curwen, The Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire North-of-the-Sands (Kendal: Titus Wilson, 1913), pp. 82–6; RCHME, Westmorland, pp. 50–53; W. Douglas Simpson, ‘Brough-underStainmore: The Castle and the Church,’ TCWAAS, ns 46, 1946, 223–83; John Charlton, Brough Castle (London: English Heritage, 1986). Diaries, p. 146. Account Book, CRO, Kendal, WD/Hoth/A988/17. Ibid. Diaries, pp. 157–8. RCHME, Westmorland, p. 52. Diaries, p. 152. Ibid., p. 180. Gabriel Vincent was her steward whom she describes on his gravestone in Brough Church as ‘chief director of all her building in the north.’ Her account book indicates that in 1665 Vincent was using the ‘chamber over the gate,’ 14 November 1665, CRO, Kendal, WD/Hoth/A988/17. Diaries, p. 200. Ibid., p. 201. Ibid., p. 212. Ibid., p. 178. Simpson, ‘Brough-under-Stainmore,’ p. 273. Ibid., p. 274. Pendragon Castle is located in the parish of Mallerstang, on the eastern bank of the river Eden in the upper Eden Valley five miles south of the town of Kirkby Stephen, RCHME, Westmorland, pp. 162–4; Curwen, Castles and Fortified Towers, pp. 121–4. RCHME, Westmorland, pp. 163–4. Diaries, p. 146. Ibid., p. 154. Curwen, Castles and Fortified Towers, p. 121. RCHME, Westmorland, p. 163; Curwen, Castles and Fortified Towers, p. 122. Diaries, pp. 202–3. Ibid., p. 202. Ibid. Ibid., p. 203.

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CHAPTER SIX

‘Women in wolves’ mouths’: Nuns’ Reputations, Enclosure and Architecture at the Convent of Le Murate in Florence Saundra Weddle Renaissance Florentines understood well architecture’s potential to project, through site, scale, material, typology and ornament, the status of the individuals who commissioned and inhabited it. Renaissance history is replete with examples of patrons who built buildings with the intention of affecting public perceptions of them or their families. Recognition of architecture’s capacity to affect public perceptions was not limited to lay people; it commonly motivated religious communities to solicit patronage offers, and provided church authorities a vehicle for controlling the image of the establishments under their control. The exploitation of architecture’s affective capacity was especially useful for the projection of a particular image of religious women. Indeed, the institution of the convent in Renaissance Florence expanded dramatically during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in large part because of the perceived need to protect the reputations of unmarried women by removing threats to their chastity and enclosing them within convents. As the late fourteenth-century writings of Paolo da Certaldo point out, enclosure was intended to preserve the ‘reputation of chastity’, which the author considered a ‘delicate thing’.1 Women not only had to behave virtuously, but they had to ensure that their behavior was perceived to be virtuous. Thus, convent architecture had to communicate the chastity and piety of the women it enclosed. This chapter investigates ways in which the architecture of Florentine convents communicated the religious, social and political position of those who lived in them, focusing on Santissima Annunziata delle Murate, popularly known as ‘Le Murate’ since the early fifteenth century. The name ‘Le Murate’ means literally the enclosed, or immured, women, making this convent a

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particularly revealing case study of how both nuns and church authorities manipulated architecture and architectural imagery to influence public perceptions of the religious community. Archbishop Alessandro de’ Medici’s ‘Trattato sopra il governo de’ monasteri’, written in 1601 and addressed to the archbishop’s vicar general, provides a succinct summary of the nature of observance of rules of enclosure in Florentine convents. The challenges to enclosure considered in the archbishop’s treatise were, of course, familiar. They had been addressed formally as early as 1298 in Pope Boniface VIII’s bull, Periculoso, and as recently as 1563 in the decrees issued by the Council of Trent.2 The novelty of the archbishop’s text lies in the nature of the solutions it proposes for, unlike the Church’s earlier proposals for improving monastic observance, they confirm the relationship between convent architecture and infractions of enclosure regulations. Before being elevated to the archiepiscopate, the author had served as an administrative guide and monitor at Le Murate, and his correspondence shows that he maintained close contact with the convent after assuming his new position.3 His text provides a useful guide for an analysis of how Le Murate’s complex functioned for a variety of reasons. First, it offers a unique description of architectural norms in Florence, where most Renaissance convents were dramatically transformed following the Napoleonic suppressions of the nineteenth century, providing the foundation for an evaluation of ways in which Le Murate’s architecture and monastic observance were representative of Florentine practices in general. Second, the treatise indicates the lengths to which church authorities would go in their attempt not only to improve nuns’ observance but also to control perceptions of it during the post-Tridentine period. Between 1390 and 1413, Le Murate’s founding members resisted the institutional conventions of monastic life and of traditional monastic architecture.4 First, the small group of women lived in a house on the Rubaconte bridge rather than in a monastic complex on terra firma (Fig. 6.1). Furthermore, the house’s inhabitants refused to submit to church authorities and accept the limitations that accompanied the profession of monastic vows. Although the women’s life and the buildings that serviced it were made to resemble those of a monastery in some aspects, the women were known as romite, or hermits, and the house was known simply as a romitorio, or hermitage. This identification of the community with hermits distinguished the women from nuns in significant ways. While the lives of both hermits and nuns are structured around the ideal of separation from the secular world, religious hermits differ from their monastic counterparts in the radical and anti-social nature of their isolation, independent from church hierarchy, authority and dogma.5 The community’s rejection of the conventional monastic life was not the only characteristic that determined its status as a romitorio. The romitorio’s

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site also contributed to this characterization. As a public thoroughfare, the Rubaconte bridge was like any Florentine street; it was even lined with buildings, constructed on its piers. What distinguished the bridge, however, was its location over the Arno River, which isolated it from the rest of the city and removed it from urban life. In fact, the bridge was home to a number of religious houses: of the twelve buildings constructed on the Rubaconte bridge’s piers, two were oratories and three were so-called hermitages inhabited by women (Fig. 6.2).6 Except for the fact that it had its own chapel, the romitorio associated with Le Murate probably looked like any of the other houses on the bridge. Indeed, its tiny chapel did not offer public devotion; it was so small that even the romite had to listen to mass from an adjoining room. In comparison with monastic institutions for women, therefore, the romitorio’s position within the city was marginal. This characterization would have been amplified by the fact that the romitorio was, unlike most hermitages, inhabited by women.7 In time, the community moved closer to a traditional monastic life. On 25 November 1413, the seven romite living in the house on the Rubaconte bridge accepted the Benedictine Rule.8 The Rule’s cornerstone consisted of solemn vows of poverty, obedience and chastity that professed nuns promised to observe for perpetuity. The vow of poverty discouraged the nuns from extensively embellishing their building. The promises of obedience and chastity required them to remain within the enclosure and forbade them to admit outsiders. Nevertheless, while acceptance of the Benedictine Rule changed the nuns’ status, it apparently did not change the architecture or perceptions of their house. One would expect that the house would become known as a monastery after the women took the habit and would have, at least superficially, assumed the identity of a traditional monastic foundation. Instead, pastoral visitation records from 1422 still identified the house as the Romitorio di Santa Maria Annunziata sul Ponte Rubaconte, even though the women there were referred to no longer as romite, but as moniales.9 Although a monastery is defined as a fixed residence for individuals under religious vows, in this case, at least, the status of the inhabitants in itself was not a sufficient condition for qualification of the building as a monastery. The nuns remained in their house on the Rubaconte bridge a further eleven years before church authorities compelled them to make another dramatic change. In 1424, the inadequacies of the romitorio came to the attention of Don Gomezio, the abbot of the Badia Fiorentina, marking the beginning of Le Murate’s emergence as a conventional religious community and the establishment and development of its permanent monastic complex. In 1645, Placido Puccinelli described Don Gomezio’s reaction to the community’s circumstances thus: These women are in the mouths of wolves as regards their bodies, and,

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as far as their souls are concerned, [they are] in the jaws of Satan … Women on a pier of a bridge without a guide, without government, and with no advice at all? If the river was flooded, as happened in the year 1333, so that it overflowed its banks, flooding the entire city, and [reaching the height of] the foot of the Badia’s main altar, who [would] free these women from impending ruin? Maybe you think it appears to be a decent thing, without scandal, that these women live in such a place, where a person cannot so much as pass by without them hearing? … Is the noise and uproar of the people who continually pass there not certain to be a disturbance to their every devotion?10

The text clearly reveals Gomezio’s fear of the nuns’ independence, his attempt to ridicule or discredit their stance, presented as pastoral concern that the house’s deficiencies could jeopardize the nuns’ observance.11 According to the convent’s chronicle, the nuns recognized that they were endangered physically and spiritually and that they should move to a more secure home before a mishap occurred.12 But Puccinelli’s account claims that the community’s abbess resisted change and objected to Don Gomezio’s assessment, leaning from one of the house’s windows and saying: Say, Reverend Father, explain to us please the sentiment with which you talk in that way about us poor women, who maintain our quiet here in the service of Jesus, who is never absent from those who serve Him faithfully? Fear of death doesn’t disturb us in the least … 13

Nevertheless, soon afterward, in 1424, the nuns accepted Don Gomezio’s offer of a house on via Ghibellina for the foundation of a monastery. The house on the bridge played a central role in the community’s transformation: while at first it served as a vehicle for the women’s isolation from the secular world and for their autonomy, it eventually became the symbol of independence that provoked the church hierarchy to restrict them. Once the community arrived at its new residence, the transformation of the nuns’ identity began. Church authorities directly affected the convent’s image, referring to the women as monache and their residence as a monastero.14 The nuns, too, were agents of change. Shortly after their arrival, they ‘walled up’ the door of the convent to separate themselves from the outside world in imitation of their predecessors at the house on the bridge, opening it only to receive girls into the convent upon their profession.15 This action demonstrates that the nuns believed that their residence in the convent, supposedly cloistered and protected from the secular world, was insufficient to secure their separation.16 It also served as a public and material sign of the nuns’ devoutness. Some time in the 1440s, the nuns made a literal statement of their religious devotion by placing a plaque outside the convent’s church on via Ghibellina proclaiming the nuns’ commitment to their enclosure by publicly assigning them the name Le Murate.17 It is noteworthy that the complex did

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not have a unifying enclosing wall at this date. The outside walls of its house served as the principal architectural barrier between the nuns and the outside world. Placement of this plaque on the architectural embodiment and instrument of the nuns’ enclosure made an unequivocal declaration about the community’s piety and chastity at a time when its social status had begun to shift dramatically. After the election of Scolastica Rondinelli as its abbess in 1439, the convent began the period of the most rapid and significant architectural development in its history. The first woman from a prominent Florentine family to govern Le Murate, Abbess Scolastica used her social connections to the convent’s benefit. During her tenure (1439–75) Le Murate began to attract women from Italy’s most prominent families, with a consequent rise in the community’s social status. In turn, this brought increased patronage from ruling-class families, including the Benci and the Medici, which sustained the most active period of building in Le Murate’s history. Public perceptions of the community and the social class of the convent and its patrons were intertwined. As more upper-class nuns and patrons became associated with the convent, the projection of the community’s piety became imperative, particularly as breaches of enclosure increased. With help from its patrons, the convent defined the permanent borders of its site by 1475 (Fig. 6.3). By then, the complex included a church, sacristy, choir, six dormitories, refectory, infirmary and scriptorium, all enclosed by imposing walls (Figs 6.4 and 6.5).18 The significant relationship between the convent’s social status, its observance of enclosure regulations, and the scale of its architecture, all of which began to take shape under Abbess Scolastica, marks the period of the convent’s history during which the demands of spiritual devotion were clearly compromised in the community’s complex as a result of demanding relationships with the secular world that transcended the convent’s boundaries. By adhering to a traditional monastic architectural typology, the convent of Le Murate projected the accepted monastic image of a community of pious women, separated from the secular world. The convent’s architecture played an important role in the campaign to promote the image of the immured women; it was complemented by the convent’s recorded history and by the testimonies of several lay people associated with the community. The nuns, their patrons and church authorities exploited these means because life inside the convent differed considerably from the ideal image promoted by ecclesiastical authorities during the Renaissance. The convent’s chronicle records many violations of Le Murate’s enclosure during the quattrocento and cinquecento. I shall examine one of them to analyze both the social status of the individuals who breached enclosure and the way in which the chronicler represented such violations in the convent’s

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history. The source for this is an anecdote from the chronicle in which Lorenzo de’ Medici dines with a group of young friends who question his high opinion of Le Murate’s nuns.19 The company doubted the community’s piety, claiming that although the women might endure some hardship, they pretended to endure more, whereas in fact, they ‘ate well and slept even better’.20 With more than a little sexual innuendo, the men became curious to know whether the nuns slept in a common dormitory and, indeed, whether they slept alone, or they rose early in the morning to recite the Matins service. In short, they wondered if the nuns lived with the austerity that Lorenzo claimed. To prove the truth of his assertions to his friends, Lorenzo accompanied one of them to the convent at night, scaled the wall and climbed through a window into the dormitory to see for himself.21 According to the story, Lorenzo found each of the nuns alone on her own bed of straw wearing a humble wool tunic.22 At the head of each bed, he saw a vision of a guardian angel who protected each woman. Impressed by this, the two young men went to see if the women had risen early to prepare for the Matins service. They found two nuns who, in accordance with constitutions written by Abbess Scolastica, were reciting psalms in the choir before the community gathered together to recite the Matins prayers. Satisfied with the convent’s devoutness, they left and told their friends that the nuns at Le Murate were as pious as Lorenzo had thought. No known corroborating evidence exists to suggest that this story is anything but the stuff of legend; indeed, the details of Lorenzo’s visit, from the account of his climb to the convent’s dormitory, to his vision of angels by the nuns’ beds, seem almost mythic. The chronicler, Suora Giustina, did not use this anecdote as an opportunity to censure Lorenzo for violating the convent’s enclosure; on the contrary, she closed the chapter by excusing him for his transgression and praising his generosity to the convent.23 Lorenzo certainly enjoyed a privileged relationship with the convent, not only because of his patronage but also because of his family’s social and political stature, so it suited the convent to be linked with his name. Moreover, Suora Giustina transformed a tale of a serious offense into an illustration of the convent’s piety, ignoring the obvious inadequacies of Le Murate’s material enclosure. The scribe’s opinion of Lorenzo’s violation of the convent’s enclosure clearly conflicts with the Church’s general attitude. The Church’s ideology of enclosure was sustained by a fear that even casual contact with lay people could lead to the loss of a nun’s virginity.24 It is notable that the very gaze that had the potential to damage the chastity of the nuns who slept in the dormitory became the means through which the community’s reputation was validated. Although the tale of Lorenzo’s nocturnal visit was probably a fabrication, such breaches of enclosure did occur in other Florentine convents, raising questions about the capacity of convent architecture to enclose the nuns

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securely.25 In his treatise on the government of Florentine convents, Archbishop Alessandro de’ Medici confirms that sturdy and imposing walls could provide a first line of defense, and advocates the construction of brick enclosing walls at a height exceeding the nuns’ line of sight.26 But he also recognizes that walls of imposing scale proved insufficient and proposes resorting to architectural deception. One strategy is to equip the wall with a wooden ledge topped with iron spikes to thwart those who might try to climb inside or outside the enclosure.27 Another involves capping the walls with two braccie of weak bricks so that anyone who tried to scale them would pull them down.28 The treatise demonstrates that the achievement of the ideal of monastic enclosure could not occur through the establishment of rules alone, but that it must be enforced by material means, not all of them obvious. What the story of Lorenzo’s trespass has in common with other, more thoroughly documented, breaches of enclosure at Le Murate is the high social standing of the lay people who gained illicit access to the life inside. The convent was a regular stop for ambassadors and dignitaries traveling through Florence, including one from Ferrara who noted in a letter to Duke Ercole d’Este that he had visited ‘the whole convent [of Le Murate]’.29 In 1492, Ercole himself visited Le Murate and saw ‘all the nuns, which was a beautiful thing to see’.30 A striking similarity between Lorenzo’s experience at Le Murate and that of Ercole and his ambassador is their goal – to observe the nuns. Church authorities believed that architectural barriers should prevent nuns from having either physical or visual contact with lay people. Archbishop Alessandro’s treatise gives special attention to those parts of the convent that were visible to lay people whose high opinion of the nuns’ piety church authorities valued, but it also suggests ways to prevent nuns from seeing lay people. The treatise brings to the fore concerns regarding those areas within the convent that gave on to spaces outside the enclosure. For example, it explains that choirs in the churches of most Florentine convents are rather high, most of them made at great expense and with disegno because they leave a lot of space, but they occupy half or a third of the church, which does not happen in those [choirs] that are located behind the altar with a grate above, as some are, and which I prefer. And if, in my time, some new ones were to be made, or already constructed ones were to be restored, it would be good to arrange them in this way [that is, behind the altar] so that the nuns cannot see the lay people, and they have no occasion to divert their minds from Divine Praises.31

Le Murate’s choir conformed to the Florentine model described by the archbishop, offering a view over the congregation toward the altar from the second floor. But the parlor was the archbishop’s greatest preoccupation because of the contact it offered between religious and lay people.32 The

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treatise instructs the vicar to confirm that the parlors of Florentine convents be located along the street and that they be outfitted with several grates where nuns and lay people could speak but not touch. It goes on to remind the vicar that the individuals who visited the parlor should approach a window fitted with a double grate of iron bars fixed at least one palm apart in the stone surrounding the opening; the lattice of bars was to have holes small enough to prevent one from putting a hand through.33 The turn, which should be located in the parlor, should be fixed with iron in its stone niche, and designed with a partition so that no contact could be made through the opening.34 In this case, Le Murate met the archbishop’s expectations. The parlor was located close to the complex’s main entrance, ensuring that visitors would not have to breach the enclosure to approach the grate. The room was fitted with four grates, although no known evidence exists to confirm whether the metal lattice was doubled. Even if all of these architectural tactics had been implemented at Le Murate, they would have been proven useless, however, because, in contrast to Lorenzo, who purportedly had to scale the convent walls to gain admittance, Ercole, his ambassador, and other dignitaries who visited the convent apparently entered through open doors, a mode of access that church authorities could not prevent through architectural means. In the period under consideration, the most typical breachers of Le Murate’s enclosure were not prominent laymen, but lay women and girls who were accepted into the complex as boarders to live temporarily within the enclosure and participate in the life of the convent; most of them had no intention of taking the veil.35 This practice conflicted with enclosure regulations stating that no lay person, male or female, could be admitted inside the convent’s enclosure unless the community required their assistance. These violations are inextricably tied to the convent’s social status: as the social rank of Le Murate’s nuns climbed, the convent attracted more and more boarders of similarly high rank. These boarders brought with them an income that supported their needs while living at Le Murate, and their families sometimes patronized the convent with additional financial support. The social connections and the potential for patronage these women brought with them made their demands to live within the enclosure hard to refuse. Decades of indifference toward enclosure regulations made Le Murate an example of the sort of laxness the Council of Trent sought to amend. The convent was forced to come to terms with the Church’s reform program when Florentine Archbishop Antonio Altoviti visited the monastic communities in his diocese in 1567 to announce the Council’s decrees. Some of these addressed the permeability of convent walls, focusing on the illicit entry of individuals who were not professed members of the community.36 This was a turning point in Le Murate’s history. The rules of enclosure, clearly stated and irrevocable, were now to be enforced by the ecclesiastical

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hierarchy. How did the convent adapt to this new state of affairs? Perhaps unsurprisingly, according to Suora Giustina’s version of events, the nuns followed the rules to the letter: Regarding the command to admit [no] layperson of any sort inside the enclosure, [it] has been [since the announcement of the Council of Trent’s decrees], and still is observed inviolably because we formerly admitted relatives, widows, married women and girls without a license into those rooms inside the [convent’s] door, but since [the proclamation was made], we do otherwise.37

According to the official version, then, laymen no longer came to the parlor grate without a license, and letters came and went only after the abbess reviewed their contents. Given the fact that the chronicler tended to exaggerate Le Murate’s monastic observance, however, the situation bears closer examination. During the late sixteenth century, Le Murate’s violations of the Council of Trent’s decrees regarding enclosure usually involved the admittance of lay women and relatives of professed religious into the complex’s private areas. After Trent, these offenses formed a pattern not discernible before Trent. While Le Murate’s close ties to the Medici and their allies existed for almost as long as the community had occupied its site on via Ghibellina, these connections form the predominant theme of Le Murate’s history by the end of the sixteenth century. By then, the convent’s population included many women from families closely associated with the Medici duchy, the Cybo and the Vitelli most important among them.38 During the post-Tridentine period, these families, along with the Medici, used Le Murate as a sort of depository for lay women despite the regulations announced by the Council of Trent.39 Suora Faustina Vitelli and Leonora Cybo were the most influential women at Le Murate during the sixteenth century, not only because they were both important benefactors, but also because of the connections they established between the convent and their respective families, placing the two women in matriarchal roles among their relatives inside the convent, and providing the community with a reliable source of substantial financial support.40 The lack of adherence to enclosure regulations on the part of the nuns and their families reveals the sort of pressure applied by influential patrons. It would be inaccurate to suggest that Le Murate’s principal function during the sixteenth century was to accommodate lay women at the behest of the Medici and their allies; the women placed at Le Murate by the Medici, Cybo and Vitelli families comprised a minority among the approximately 180 professed nuns who lived at the convent at the end of the century. But the importance of these families should not be underestimated. They enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the convent. Leonora Cybo and Suora Faustina Vitelli were, along with the Medici dukes, the convent’s most generous

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patrons during the period. The Medici arms practically replaced those of the Benci, the convent’s principal benefactors during the fifteenth century, and manifested the degree to which Le Murate was dependent on the Medici and their allies, and declared publicly that the convent was under Medici control. The infractions of enclosure regulations discussed above occurred behind the convent’s walls, hidden from view. By 1597, the nuns of Le Murate had not only constructed a complex that presented to the outside world an image of complete separation from secular society; they had also built a reputation as one of Florence’s most pious convents, and, thus, propagated the impression that they were indeed immured women. In short, Trent changed image more than practice. When the community occupied its house on the Rubaconte bridge, its separation from the secular world, achieved through voluntary enclosure, was represented as a means for enriching its devotional life. An important consequence of the community’s rise in social status was a corresponding increase in conspicuous signs to generate the perception that violations of enclosure would not and could not occur. Le Murate mastered the art of propaganda as its social status rose, and it exercised its skill to secure its reputation as a community of devout and pious women who maintained the sanctity of their enclosure. Its architectural façade presented the appearance of a unified and inviolable barrier to the Florentine lay and ecclesiastical public. The construction of Le Murate’s complex could not have been achieved without contributions from socially and politically prominent patrons, and the convent’s architectural definition can, to some extent, be considered a result of the nuns’ social status, which facilitated the cultivation of connections to important benefactors. In spite of the development of the functional elements necessary for the maintenance of a convent’s enclosure – the enclosing wall, the parlor and the choir – outsiders made their way inside the enclosure. During the quattrocento and through the cinquecento, Le Murate’s architecture functioned as an official stage set against which nuns could enact a play of their own scripting. Families who placed their women in convents were motivated, at least in part, by the knowledge that the monastic enclosure protected their honor. Nevertheless, many of these same families had no intention of respecting enclosure themselves. On the contrary, they demanded access to their relatives, and even passed beyond the limits of the enclosure. Indeed, given the entrenched interests of power politics, it is perhaps more surprising that enclosures were respected at all than that they were sometimes violated. Until recently, Le Murate’s architectural and literary propaganda was interpreted at face value. The convent’s architecture and its chronicle provided an official history, and the persistence of that history was practically ensured by events during the centuries after Suora Giustina wrote her

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manuscript. Le Murate was suppressed by Napoleon in 1808 and began to function as a prison for men beginning in the 1830s, a function it served until the site was vacated in 1983. An open-air theater occupies the convent’s main courtyard, and a bar is located in one of the loggias, but the rest of the complex remains closed and empty. The convent’s exterior walls have been clad with thick layers of stucco or brick; old doors and windows have been closed, and new ones created. Inside, little remains to suggest how the convent looked four centuries ago. The convent’s architecture has been so altered that the only evidence that it did, in fact, exist as it has been described here is documentary. Because the chronicle has been uncritically accepted as the official history of Le Murate, the text has functioned just as the architecture itself did. For centuries, Le Murate’s walls were assumed to have been the impermeable barrier they appeared to be. When examined closely, however, the chronicle’s encomium of the nuns’ obedience rings false and the convent’s architecture appears to be a screen that concealed the life it enclosed.

Notes 1. 2.

3. 4.

5.

6. 7.

Vittore Branca, ed., Mercanti scrittori: Ricordi nella Firenze tra Medioevo e Rinascimento (Milan: Rusconi, 1986), p. 59. The bull is quoted by Gerard Huyghe, La Cloture des Moniales des Origines à la fin du XIIIme siècle (Roubaix: J. Verschave-Hourquin, 1944), p. 100. For the monastic reforms decreed by the Council of Trent, see Raimondo Creytens, ‘La riforma dei monasteri femminili dopo i Decreti Tridentini’, in Il Concilio di Trento e la riforma tridentina (Rome: Herder, 1965), 1: 50–52. Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (henceforth BNCF), II II, 509, f. 112r; and Archivio di Stato di Firenze (from here ASF), Corporazioni Religiose Soppresse dal Governo Francese 81, n. 100. The principal source for my work on Le Murate is a 180-page chronicle, written by Suora Giustina Niccolini in 1597. For a complete transcription of the chronicle see Saundra Weddle, ‘Enclosing Le Murate: The Ideology of Enclosure and the Architecture of a Florentine Convent, 1390–1597’, Ph.D dissertation, Cornell University, 1997. For the original manuscript see BNCF, II II, 509. See Giles Constable, ‘Eremetical Forms of Monastic Life’, in Istituzioni monastiche e istituzioni canoniche (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 1980), pp. 239–64, in which the author argues that ‘hermit’ is ‘a negative term, implying not a presence but a lack, as in lack of inhabitants, cultivation or civilization’, thus indicating that a hermit must reject society with others. ‘Eremetical Forms of Monastic Life’, p. 241. Giuseppe Richa, Notizie Storiche delle chiese fiorentine (Florence: Pietro Gaetano Viviani, 1754–62), 1: 162–76. According to Kate Lowe, ‘It was not permitted for groups of women to live such a life together without being part of a larger organization, authorized and controlled by males’; ‘Female Strategies for Success in a Male-Oriented World:

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8.

9. 10.

11.

12. 13. 14.

15. 16.

17.

18.

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The Benedictine Convent of Le Murate’, in Studies in Church History, ed. E. J. Sheils and Diana Wood (Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1990), p. 213. Although such a way of life may have been unacceptable to many Florentines at that time, I have found no evidence that it was actually forbidden. For the names of the original seven women and the dates of their arrival at the community, see BNCF, Magliabechiana XXXVII, 307, f. 225. Although Saint Benedict never wrote a rule expressly for religious women, Benedictine nuns adapted his rule for monks for their own purposes. See Saint Benedict, Abbot of Monte Cassino, RB 1980: the Rule of St. Benedict in Latin and English with Notes, ed. Timothy Fry (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1981). Florence, Archivio Arcivescovile, VP.02, ff. 71–72v. Reference to the house as a romitorio may also be attributed to custom or tradition. The original Italian appears in Placido Puccinelli, Historia dell’eroiche attioni de’ BB. Gomezio portoghese abate di Badia e di Teazzone romito con la serie delle badesse dell’insigne monastero delle Murate di Firenze (Milan, 1645), pp. 34–5. Reference to the women ‘in the mouths of wolves’ (in boca de’ lupi) not only conveys the sense that their well-being was threatened, but also recalls the Italian phrase for good luck ‘in boca al lupo’, suggesting that the women’s fate had been left to chance. The abbot’s remarks reflect poorly on church authorities since they imply that the nuns had not been supervised properly. The romite of Arcangelo Raffaello were also transferred from their house on the bridge, to a site outside the Porta alla Croce. Richa, Notizie Storiche, 1: 166. Richa claims that Don Gomezio’s promotion of these moves resulted from Eugenius IV’s initiative to reform Florentine convents. Ibid. BNCF, II II, 509, ff. 8r–v. It must be recognized that nuns were actually powerless to refuse Don Gomezio’s offer, and therefore this may be a post-facto justification for the nuns’ acceptance of it. The original Italian appears in Puccinelli, Historia, p. 35. ‘intitolarlo et farlo chiamare monastero et monache di Santa Maria Annuntiata … ’. BNCF, II II, 509, f. 11r. Suora Giustina said the nuns were also known as le romite di Suor Agata – Sister Agata’s hermits – after the transfer. Ibid., f. 10v. I have found no other references to the nuns as romite post-dating their acceptance of the Benedictine Rule. In communal legislation, the community is sometimes referred to as Suora Agata’s nuns or Suora Agata’s women. See, for example, Archivio di Stato di Firenze (henceforth ASF), Provvisioni-Registri 127, f. 216; and ASF, Provvisioni-Registri 133, f. 137v. BNCF, II II, 509, f. 10v. The convent’s chronicler traced the name Le Murate to this act. Ibid. Nevertheless, an earlier reference to the nuns’ voluntary enclosure appears in a brief issued by Martin V in 1419 in which the women are described as ‘moniales eius socie, murate in pila ponte Rubacontis’; Dom Frey Gomez, vol. 1 (Braga: Livraria Editora Pax Limitada, 1963), 1: 309. The plaque read: ‘D. MARIAE/VIRGINI NUNCIATAE/VIRGINUM HIC SACRATUM EXAMEN/MURATARUM DICUNT/PONTI PRIMUM INCUBUERAT RUBACONTI’. The transcription was published in Richa, Notizie Storiche, 2: 82 and in Vincenzio Follini and Modesto Rastrelli, Firenze antica e moderna illustrata (Florence: Anton Giuseppe Pagani, 1745), 6: 7. Construction of an enclosing wall may have seemed impractical before 1453 because both the community’s population and the area of its site were still growing.

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19. BNCF, II II, 509, ff. 42v–43v. See also F. W. Kent, ‘Lorenzo de’Medici, Madonna Scolastica Rondinelli e la politica di mecenatismo architettonico nel convento delle Murate a Firenze (1471–72)’, in Arte, Commitenza ed Econommia a Roma e nelle Corti del Rinascimento, 1420–1530, ed. A. Esch and C. L. Frommel (Turin: Einaudi, 1995), pp. 353–82. 20. BNCF, II II, 509, f. 42v. 21. Ibid., f. 43r. 22. Ibid. 23. Following a fire at Le Murate in 1471, Lorenzo helped defray the cost of rebuilding the convent’s laundry and kitchen, and paid for the construction of a loggia, balcony and two dormitories. 24. Regarding the motivations that informed the Church’s ideology of enclosure, see Weddle, ‘Enclosing Le Murate’, pp. 42–7. 25. A Florentine who actually committed a crime similar to that attributed to Lorenzo at another convent was fined 400 florins by the commune’s Ufficiali dei monasteri. See ASF, Giudice degli appelli e nullità 77, ff. 340r–v. For similar violations of enclosure see ibid., ff. 383r–385r. 26. ‘e dove si è possuto far altro si è alzato sopra il tetto delle monache un muro di mattone sopra mattone che divida; è difficultri [sic] la salita, et il passo dell’uno nell’altra’. Ibid. 27. ‘Sopra questo tramezzo si è messo una piana di legno con ferri appuntati’. Ibid. 28. ‘Alle mura delli orti, che riescono sopra le strade, ho fatto per il più aggiungere due braccia pur di mattone sopra mattone molto debole, acciochè vi volesse salire, appoggiandovi, scale, si tiri addosso il muro’. Ibid. Two braccie equals 1.17 meters or 1.27 yards. 29. ‘andò a vedere le Murate et intrò dentro con alcuni deli suoi e nei oratori, et cerchò tuto el convento che è una gran cosa … ’. Modena, Archivio di Stato, Archivio Segreto Estense, Carteggio degli Ambasciatori di Firenze, f. 2/a. I would like to thank Gino Corti for this reference and transcription from the original manuscript. 30. The correspondence in which Ercole mentions his visit to the convent is cited by Kent, ‘Lorenzo’, pp. 358 and 375, n. 28. Regarding Ercole’s connection to Le Murate, see ASF, Corporazioni Religiose Soppresse dal Governo Francese 81, n. 100, ff. 190–94. For Ercole’s correspondence with Le Murate see ibid., ff. 288–97. Following his visit, the duke exchanged letters and gifts with the convent. 31. ‘Hanno in chiesa i cori così alti, per il più fatti con molta spesa, e con disegno, perché avanzavano molto sito, ma occupano la metà, o il terzo della chiesa, il che non succede in quelli che si fanno dietro all’altare con la grata sopra, come vene sono alcuni, e quali nondimeno mi piacciono più, e se a mi’ tempo se ne facessero de’ nuovi, o si restaurassero i fatti, sarebbe beni ridurli in questo modo, perché le monache non possono vedere i secolare, e non hanno occasione di svagar’ le mente dall’alterazione delle Divine Lodi.’ BNCF, Codice Panciatichi 119, tomo II, ff. 85–6. In saying that the choirs are ‘così alti’ the archbishop means that they were elevated over the entry to the church, facing the main altar. In this passage, I have left the word disegno in italics because it might have a number of meanings in this context. 32. Ibid., f. 86. 33. ‘e queste siano tanto distanti, che vi si possa metter’ le mani, anzi si è avvertito che i ferri de’ canti sieno più stretti, perché l’angolo suo … maggior distanza;

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35.

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sieno le ferrate lontane l’una dall’altra più di un palmo, acciochè le faccie e le mani non si possino accostare’. Ibid. These requirements had already been stated in Florentine synodal law. ‘In tutti è una ruota di plastra di ferro ben commessa in pietra acciò non si possa cavare; ha un tramezzo fermo che la divide acciò nè ancora i … vi possino entrare.’ Ibid. The turn, or ruota in Italian, is a device used to pass items into the convent without violating the enclosure. It usually took the form of a revolving cabinet with a single opening. An outsider placed something inside and turned the cabinet so that the opening faced the enclosure, where a member of the community retrieved the item without a nun and a lay person interacting with one another. The pattern for this arrangement was established by the Benci family: Caterina di Giovanni Benci boarded at Le Murate sometime between 1440 and 1455 when her father spent vast sums expanding and developing the complex; in 1461 Caterina’s brother, Amerigo, built the cell within the enclosure known as the cella de’ Benci, which probably housed his daughter Ginevra. Suora Giustina claimed that some boarders were lodged in rooms near the convent’s main door, outside the enclosure, confirming that the nuns at Le Murate were aware of the necessity of separating the lay population from the convent’s professed nuns. Apparently, the nuns made exceptions for particular individuals or families. BNCF, II II, 509, f. 114v. The Benci women were followed by many prominent women who visited Le Murate. Sometime between 1502 and 1509, Caterina Sforza built a private cell within the enclosure, and used it to retire to the convent for limited periods of time. Argentina Malaspina, the wife of Piero Soderini, also visited Le Murate at the beginning of the sixteenth century and stayed in a private cell. Among the other women who lived temporarily at Le Murate are Madonna Cosa Capponi, the wife of Bartolomeo Lenzi, an important patron at Le Murate; Madonna Nofria Ubaldini, the sister of Abbess Caterina Ubaldini; Madonna Lena Mannelli; Madonna Cosa Cambi; Madonna Gostanza Albizzi; and Madonna Isabella Bardi. Ibid., ff. 22r–v. Ibid., f. 112v. Regarding reforms issued by the Council of Trent, see Creytens, ‘La riforma’, 1: 50–52; and, for the text of chapter five of the Council of Trent’s twenty-fifth session, see Gian Domenico Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collecto, ed. D. D. Lodovico Petit and Joanne Baptista Martin (Paris: H. Welter, 1903–27), 33: 174. After Trent, Pope Pius V (r. 1566–72) and Pope Gregory XIII (r. 1572–85) elaborated on Trent’s decrees with constitutions that defined the application of rules of enclosure, but never strayed from the fundamental principle that no professed nun could leave the monastic enclosure, and no lay person could enter it. ‘Intorno al comandamento di metter secolare d’alcuna sorte drento alla clausura, si è osservato, et osserva inviolabilmente, perché prima, senza altra licenza, si metteva in quelle stanze drento alla porta, tutte le parente, vedove, maritate, et anciulle, ma di poi non si è fatto altrimenti.’ BNCF, II II, 509, f. 114v. Eric Cochrane, Florence in the Forgotten Centuries 1527–1800: A History of Florence and the Florentines in the Age of the Grand Dukes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), p. 44. The Cybo family’s connections to the Medici were cemented during the fifteenth century by the marriage of Franceschetto Cybo to Maddalena de’ Medici, the daughter of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Franceschetto and Maddalena’s son Lorenzo married Ricciarda Malaspini, a match chosen for him by Pope Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici);

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Lorenzo and Ricciarda were the parents of Leonora Cybo, who maintained a lifelong relationship with Le Murate. Leonora remained in Cosimo I’s good graces and he served as her protector: after Leonora’s first husband died, it was Cosimo who arranged her second marriage, to Chiappino Vitelli, thus tightening the ties between these three families. The Vitelli family’s ties to the Medici were secured through military service. Vitello Vitelli succeeded Giovanni de’ Medici as the commander of the Bande Nere and continued to serve the Medici after Giovanni’s death, but it was Alessandro Vitelli who was the most prominent of the Vitelli condottieri as a commander of armed forces under Duke Alessandro de’ Medici and then Cosimo I. Alessandro placed his daughter, whose monastic name was Suora Faustina, at Le Murate and she lived nearly her whole life at the convent. 39. The best-known example of a Medici boarder at Le Murate pre-dated the Council of Trent by about forty years, when Caterina de’ Medici was sent there for protection from the plague and from the revolution that raged against her family. The nuns’ reception of Caterina paved the way for the dukes to call on the convent for help later in the century. Twice during the post-Trent period a Medici duke placed women at Le Murate but, in both cases, the women left the convent following brief and unhappy stays. The first, Cammilla Martelli, the widow of Grand Duke Cosimo I, was forced by Grand Duke Francesco I to enter the convent the night her husband died in 1574. The second was Ginevra Perini, who came at the insistence of Francesco I a month after Martelli. BNCF, II II, 509, ff. 120–26v. One Medici woman was known to live at Le Murate on her own accord. Eleonora di Toledo regularly came to the convent on holy days, and during Holy Week she attended services there with her children. From Holy Thursday until Easter morning, Eleonora stayed at the convent, while her children left at the end of the day and returned in the morning. Ibid., f. 148v. 40. For a description of the patronage of Leonora Cybo and Suora Faustina Vitelli, see Weddle, ‘Enclosing Le Murate’.

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Spatial Discipline and its Limits: Nuns and the Built Environment in Early Modern Spain Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt* In their evaluation of early modern convents, historians have often employed the lens of the Council of Trent’s (1563) decree that all solemnly professed nuns observe strict enclosure. Doing so, however, has led to the portrayal of these convents as static and impermeable environments governed by rigid discipline.1 Yet a case study of the convents of early modern Spain, with an emphasis on pre-Tridentine developments, allows a different, more vibrant picture to emerge. Certainly even before Trent, male ecclesiastics and other reformers, in keeping with a centuries-old tradition, sought the imposition of active enclosure – that is, the prohibition against nuns leaving the convent. But convents countered these demands just as vigorously and found ways to assert control over their built environment. Even as these confrontations over active enclosure were taking place, secular patrons frequently entered the carefully demarcated space of the convent in a variety of ways – thus violating passive enclosure, the prohibition against secular individuals having access to the cloister. As a result conventual space was invested with overlapping pious and temporal meanings. The mutually beneficial character of most patronage relationships meant that convents supported these entrances and investments, even when they brought alterations to the interior spaces of the cloister. The space of the convent – its boundaries, its architectural features, and its dimensions – was a matter of constant renegotiation. This essay will examine how convents and nuns contested gender-specific demands for monastic discipline and other attempts to order their built environment. A close examination of the conflicts that these responses triggered indicates that conventual space was often the site of considerable contests about the proper relationship between the sacred and secular spheres of early modern life. Because the ideal of enclosure impinged particularly on the experiences of convents – even if convents rejected its imposition they still had to answer to it – these contests over the boundaries that were supposed to separate worldly

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from spiritual concerns also became contests over gendered definitions of monasticism. By the late medieval period Spanish nuns lived in institutions shaped by a gender-specific ideology of monastic discipline. Although monasteries and convents were united by liturgical responsibilities like the Divine Office and offering intercessory prayers, female convents in Spain were nonetheless more consistently and rigidly held to a code of enclosure than were their male counterparts.2 The monastic reform campaign of the late fifteenth century initiated by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel, for example, required the universal enclosure of convents and female tertiary communities, but did not require the same of male religious institutions.3 This was largely the result of the distinct responsibilities and identities that had developed for monks as opposed to nuns. The regulation of monastic architecture became the primary means by which these differences were ordered so that ‘space was used to construct and reinforce a gendering of women’s bodies which emphasised chastity and purity’.4 Generally speaking, Spanish male religious of the late Middle Ages were defined as regular clergy engaged in the active ‘business’ of monasticism, including tasks like serving convents as confessors and chaplains, and, somewhat ironically, overseeing reform movements that included enforcing enclosure in convents.5 The monks of the reformed Benedictine monastery of San Benito in Valladolid, for example, had the responsibility of ‘exporting’ monastic reform to other Spanish Benedictine institutions. All of these duties meant that they regularly transgressed the boundaries separating the sacred from the secular. The same spatial permeability did not apply to nuns. A more circumscribed and passive role structured their identity. Increasingly defined by their enclosure, they were expected to serve as paragons of virtue and chastity that would set the proper moral example for the populace. This disparity, as we shall see, was the result of general trends within Western monasticism and particular developments in Spain. Certainly, enclosure demarcated the lived, daily experiences of nuns. Yet at the same time, nuns, and often their patrons, were not always comfortable with this imposed role. Whether as a result of contests over the enforcement of claustration, allowing secular individuals to visit nuns, or other similar debates over the discipline governing the convent’s built environment, they tested this gendered definition of monasticism throughout the early modern period. In broad terms, contemplative monasticism – both male and female – had always required a separation from the temporal world, one expression of which was active enclosure. The enclosed space was dedicated to the responsibilities of monasticism like intercessory prayer. The Benedictine Rule, in fact, imagined monastic communities so self-contained that their contact with the temporal world would be minimal: ‘the monastery should be

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planned, if possible, with all the necessities – water, mill, garden, shops – within the walls. Thus the monks will not need to wander about outside, for this is not good for their souls.’6 By distancing themselves from worldly distractions, monastics could devote themselves more purely to their liturgical and spiritual responsibilities. The virginity and chastity of monks and nuns set them apart from their secular contemporaries; they had achieved a kind of perfection unavailable to those still mired in the quotidian world. The built environment of monasteries and convents created a sacred space that enshrined and celebrated this virtuous behavior.7 This was also a carefully ordered space that protected the integrity of monasticism. In all of these ways monasticism was sacrosanct, seeking to bring a parallel to the divine order into existence here on earth. Due to a powerful ideology of female chastity in European culture, however, differences in the monastic discipline expected of male as opposed to female institutions began to emerge in the early Middle Ages. Tension over female sexuality meant that convents required special measures and protections. These sentiments were evident in Spain as early as the seventh century, when the Spanish theologian Fructuoso of Braga defined the proper expectations for religious women, holding them to a much stricter standard of enclosure than their male counterparts.8 Here Mary Douglas’s ideas about purity and pollution are useful. The monastic precinct was a pure, holy space. Yet the presence of women threw this order into flux due to woman’s association with symbols of disorder and pollution.9 On the one hand, nuns needed to be protected from the dangers – unsolicited sexual advances, for example – of temporal society. On the other hand, they needed to be protected from themselves as women who, despite their dedication to a religious vocation, could not completely transcend their weaknesses as the carnal, sinful daughters of Eve. By the twelfth century a Cistercian monk, Idung of Prüfening, citing women’s inherent flaws, stated baldly: ‘the protection of an unbroken enclosure is more necessary for women than for men, for dedicated holy women than for monks’.10 Idung’s comments sprang from his consideration of whether the Benedictine Rule applied equally to monks and nuns. He argued that it did not, and that nuns should be held to a code of strict claustration that did not apply to monks.11 The double standard of monastic enclosure was endorsed by papal authority in 1298 with the promulgation of the bull Periculoso, which required strict claustration of all nuns – but not monks. While earlier admonitions to female monastic enclosure had been couched in the language of protection, suggesting that claustration offered shelter from the violence of wars and other physical threats, Periculoso became ‘an end in itself to which other values of religious life were increasingly subordinated’.12 The papacy expressed its motives colorfully, saying that it wished ‘to provide for the

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dangerous and abominable situation of certain nuns, who, casting off the reins of respectability and impudently abandoning nunnish modesty and the natural bashfulness of their sex, sometimes rove about outside of the monasteries’.13 Significantly, Periculoso drew attention to the ways in which nuns were vulnerable to their own desires; gone was the language of protecting them from dangers external to themselves. The emphasis was instead on their own propensity for sinful behavior. The Spanish writer Ambrosio de Montesino echoed this opinion in the fifteenth century when he despaired of the behavior of nuns, writing that ‘What good is it to enclose the nuns’ cloistered bodies when their judgement is in the courts and towns?’14 Various geographical and spatial means were employed to protect nuns from their propensity for sinful behavior. First, there was the question of location. Early medieval monasticism had rejected the city and the town as appropriate locations, seeking greater separation from secular temptation. Yet ironically, in light of Montesino’s statement, female convents were often moved to these more worldly sites to limit their exposure to the upheaval of wars and invasions, and perhaps, to keep these institutions under more careful and regular scrutiny. In the city of Valladolid, for example, by the late fifteenth century all of the city’s convents were safely housed within the walls. This meant that the three oldest convents (all founded by the midthirteenth century) – Santa María de las Huelgas, San Quirce, and Santa Clara – were all moved – presumably not without disruptions – from their extramural locations. Further, the city’s two fifteenth-century convents, Santa Isabel (1472) and Santa Catalina (1487), were established inside the city walls. Second, the vigilant guard over female sexuality largely determined the architectural layout of convents. Roberta Gilchrist argues that ‘levels of permeability’ meant that dormitories in convents were placed at the greatest distance possible from the entrance to the convent precinct.15 In contrast, the dormitories of monasteries were closer to the entrance to the cloister. Finally, active enclosure could be ensured by other architectural measures. High garden walls and strategic placement of windows could limit visual access to the precinct. Many convents also constructed revolving windows (tornos) which allowed the community to conduct business with the outside world without any physical contact. Despite the harsh language of Periculoso the enforcement of measures designed to guarantee enclosure was uneven.16 Yet in Spain, the Renaissance monarchs, Isabel (1451–1504) and Ferdinand (1452–1516), made female claustration one of the chief characteristics of their monastic reform campaign. This campaign is significant since it demonstrates that in the Iberian peninsula, the Council of Trent’s decrees were only the high-water mark of a trend begun at least a century earlier. Empowered by papal bulls, ecclesiastical visitors under the monarchs’ supervision began visiting

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convents throughout the peninsula, devoting particular attention to their architecture, especially their fortification against worldly temptations. In sharp contrast, when the visitors went to the monasteries they rarely enforced enclosure or required structural changes in the built environment.17 The reformers manipulated convent architecture in a number of ways. At Santa Clara of Barcelona in 1494 the reforming visitors insisted that the convent construct a wall in its garden in order to separate it more distinctly from neighboring buildings.18 At the convent of Las Puellas they required that some windows be permanently closed and that the remaining ones be outfitted with iron grilles.19 At San Daniel in Gerona they sought to limit the visibility and accessibility of nuns in the convent church by raising the choir and tearing down an interior staircase that led to it.20 All of these measures were directed at ‘openings’ in the cloister: garden, windows, choir. They were also the boundaries that separated the convent from the outside world, ‘the frontier that distinguishes and opposes two worlds’.21 Powerful echoes of these attempts to regulate the built environment can be found in the writings of Isabel’s confessor, the Jeronimite Hernando de Talavera. In his treatise for the Cistercian convents of Avila written in the 1480s, Talavera, then bishop of Avila, offered the nuns in his care an ideal model for female monasticism.22 Drawing his inspiration from St Jerome’s letter to Eustochium, in the twelfth chapter Talavera asserted the sacrosanct character of chastity and urged the nuns to flee with ‘loathing anything that could taint or bring infamy’ to their perfect chastity.23 He went on to outline an elaborate (and curious) defense system guiding the comportment of their bodies: they should never leave the convent; see a man (with the possible and carefully monitored exception of a relative); lean out of a window; receive a letter; look at themselves in the mirror; touch their bodies; raise puppies or kittens; see a rooster or hen or anything that could have sexual intercourse; be alone; sing secular songs; wear luxurious garments; sleep on soft beds; or be idle.24 If the nuns felt any insistent temptation they were to report it to the abbess or a senior member of the community (anciana) or a confessor and immediately begin praying.25 Talavera recommended bodily mortification and fasting as proper punishment for any transgressions. For him the five bodily senses were the ‘windows through which – if not well-sealed – the corrupt and pestilential air that kills the soul enters very easily’.26 This explains his admonitions to vigilance; the nuns were to monitor scrupulously their every bodily move and desire. Talavera’s text created striking parallels with the reformers’ regulation of the built environment of the convent. The ecclesiastical visitors tried to monitor the apertures that threatened to open the convent to the world. Similarly, Talavera worried about the openings of the senses, likening them, in fact, to their architectural counterpart of windows. Disorder loomed if these openings were penetrated. The virginal body was

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the very model of integrity. A powerful parallel between the regulation of nuns and paternal care for daughters is instructive in this context. The ability to control female sexual behavior was in early modern society a fundamental expression of power and order. The preservation of a daughter’s chastity, and thus her honor and that of her family, was of the utmost importance to the fathers of this era. Advice literature like the anonymous moral treatise Castigos y dotrinas advocated the close control of a young woman’s movement outside the home and saw a lack of such control as the sign of a disordered house and a father who could not properly assert his authority. In the cited treatise, for example, a father cautions his daughters to be scrupulous in guarding their chastity since it is the cornerstone of their virtue.27 For Isabel and Ferdinand, therefore, nuns who violated enclosure were disobedient daughters who threatened their patriarchal authority. This helps to explain their greater insistence on female, as opposed to male, claustration. Ferdinand and Isabel’s imposition of their authority in matters of female sexuality must be understood as part of an ideology which likened the power of the ruler to the power of the father in his household. Weary of the reports of dissolute convents, Ferdinand and Isabel used enclosure to prevent disruptions and to assert their authority. Isabel even struck the tone of an exasperated parent, saying that she wanted to hear no more about nuns who left their convents and spoke with outsiders because such actions created unseemly difficulties and set a bad example.28 Thus by the late fifteenth century, the combination of an ecclesiastical tradition that placed greater emphasis on female, as opposed to male, monastic claustration and the ideology of the patriarchal protection of female chastity coalesced in Spain to create a gendered definition of monasticism. Yet in their responses and reactions to ecclesiastical visitations sent by Isabel and Ferdinand, Spanish convents resisted this gender-specific definition of their identity and the accompanying restrictions it imposed upon them. Working within the system of monasticism that imposed the discipline of enclosure on them, they nonetheless sought ways to negotiate the terms of that discipline.29 The most fundamental tactic was to argue that the community did not need to observe enclosure.30 In 1494 the abbess of the Franciscan convent of Santa Clara in Barcelona argued, for example, that in resisting the imposition of enclosure on her community she had done ‘nothing against the Rule of Saint Clare’.31 She maintained that applying this discipline would be contrary to the ‘use, practice, and custom’ of the community.32 Other abbesses insisted that their convents were not dissolute and that their nuns already observed an acceptable code of decorum. During the same campaign, for example, Catalina Boil, abbess of the Cistercian convent of Valldoncella, told the visitors that came to her convent in 1494 that neither the pope nor Spain’s monarchs had ever required enclosure of the community and that such a

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demand was contrary to reason.33 Catalina also insisted, quite accurately, that there was nothing in the Benedictine Rule or constitutions (which typically also governed Cistercian houses) that required the structural changes such as altering the entrance to the convent and putting up double iron grilles in the visiting parlor proposed by the visitors. Why should the community be held to a new standard beyond the legitimate and approved one that already governed it?34 In essence, she maintained that it was the reformers’ demands that were irregular and inappropriate. While it is tempting to see the nuns’ resistance to reform as a way to avoid conformity with demanding codes of monastic discipline, doing so misinterprets what was at stake for these communities. The gendered code of monasticism requiring their enclosure disrupted their customary institutional identities and activities; it restricted the nuns’ public presence and thereby their ability to manage their institutions and estates. Convents were forced to rely more heavily on male administrators and appointees, who in turn exercised greater supervision of convent business. As Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg has remarked, ‘inherent in the ideology of enclosure was a basic assumption of the inability of the abbess and her community to order their lives’.35 Although the visitors probably did not realize this at the outset, a policy of strict claustration often also jeopardized the financial stability of these institutions.36 Enclosure greatly limited the ability of these houses to maintain an active presence in the marketplace, seek alms, interact with potential patrons, and recruit novices whose dowries were key to their fiscal stability. Among Spanish convents, for example, there is evidence that the demands of enclosure may have constrained their finances, leading them to require larger dowries over the course of the sixteenth century.37 Thus the gender identity at the heart of enclosure, imposed by external male reformers, was not compatible with the existing practices and social and economic independence of convents. Despite their protests, in most instances convents were not successful in resisting the imposition of enclosure. As a consequence, the monastic reforms overseen by Ferdinand and Isabel became the normative standard for Spanish convents. Such an assertion is borne out by the sixteenth-century constitutions drafted for religious orders in Spain. These guidelines displayed an obsessive preoccupation with specifying the physical details of the discipline of enclosure. Significantly, these measures also echoed the efforts of the ecclesiastical visitors commissioned by Isabel and Ferdinand. The Benedictine constitutions produced for women by the Valladolid Congregation of San Benito (1546) provided detailed instructions for monitoring the doors of foundations.38 The principal door was to be guarded by two nuns designated as porteras. The door was to have three keys; the abbess held one, the porteras the other two, and the door could not be opened

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without all three keys. Any chance of a nun slipping through the door and entering the secular world was thus tightly controlled by dividing control of the door’s accessibility among three people. The convent steward (mayordoma) or other officers of the convent had to be in the presence of the abbess or two or three other nuns if business was being conducted at the convent door.39 Perhaps the authors of the constitutions hoped that such a number of witnesses would create an adequate disincentive for inappropriate behavior. Franciscan constitutions first published in Madrid in 1642 directed that the door to the convent must not have a window or shutters – perhaps to avoid tempting glimpses of the world beyond the cloister?40 A senior nun of good character (anciana) was to monitor the door. Again there was a multiple key system; she would have one key to the door, the abbess the other.41 From within the tightly regulated confines of the cloister, however, convents continued to assert their control over the built environment in a variety of ways. To begin with, resistance to enclosure should not necessarily be interpreted as a rejection of decorum. There is evidence that convents were concerned with disciplinary standards and recognized the need to make physical modifications to their convents to ensure their proper separation from the world. In 1527, for example, the Dominican nuns of Santa Catalina in Valladolid reached a compromise with the count of Benavente over his work on his palace near the convent. The nuns insisted that he pay them 300 ducados in order to raise the walls of their garden since he could look into it from his windows.42 The nuns worried that moral harm might come from this intrusion. In 1619 the Cistercian convent of Nuestra Señora de Belén in Valladolid won a lawsuit against the monastery of La Merced. According to the terms of the settlement La Merced was prohibited from having windows looking out on to the nuns’ garden or cells.43 From 1491 until at least 1594 the Dominican convent of Santa Catalina fought a similar battle with the Dominican seminary of San Gregorio over a break in its walls. Concerned that this hole in the wall compromised their modesty by allowing the residents of San Gregorio to look in, the nuns insisted that something be done to fix it. The seminary responded that the break was so high up on the wall that no one could look through it anyway.44 All three of these cases demonstrate that convents anxiously protected their privacy and decorum – even if it meant manipulating the built environment outside the confines of the cloister. Significantly, the convents of the city of Valladolid also initiated a major burst of artistic and architectural commissions in the first half of the seventeenth century. While it allowed them to assert control over their built environment, it is also important to recognize that convents used these measures to cultivate relationships with their patrons. These projects may have been part of a deliberate effort to counter the emphasis on male sacramental power that emerged in the Tridentine era.45 Since they could not

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receive direct bequests for the saying of masses and were reliant on male priests for their performance, female religious had to design other means of creating distinctions and attracting attention, and thus endowments. Convents demonstrated their desire to meet the pious and aesthetic demands of these supporters through the number of projects commissioned and the care with which they were negotiated. During this period convents invested in a variety of projects that fortified and artistically enhanced their built environment. Between 1619 and 1622 the Cistercian convent of Santa María de las Huelgas had work done on its windows and the upper cloister. The work was expensive and cost the convent over 100,000 reales.46 In 1608 another Cistercian convent, Nuestra Señora de Belén, began a series of projects totaling 7000 ducados, including work on the cloister, church and choir.47 Work on the church at San Quirce (also Cistercian) in 1630 would eventually cost the convent 16,000 ducados.48 Commissions for new principal retables (retablos mayores) also abounded in this period and the nuns offered careful instructions for specific details they wanted included in these pieces. The Franciscan nuns of Santa Isabel, for example, had numerous specifications in mind when they commissioned a new retable in 1613. They wanted the wood to come from Soria (or to be of comparable quality) and to be clean and dry, and the figure of Santa Isabel, attended by two angels, was to appear wearing a crown.49 Similarly, in the same year, Santa María de las Huelgas contracted for a retablo and made at least nineteen specifications, including details about the altarpiece’s height and other measurements.50 In all of these cases, the convents clearly demonstrated their commitment to asserting control over the built environment. Their convent churches were a showcase for artistic projects that they had commissioned and whose details they had carefully delineated. Whether a repair to the physical plant or an investment in artistic endeavors, these works were costly and significant endeavors. While the commissions themselves did not emphasize a gender-specific definition of monasticism, they did represent an attempt to counter the gender-specific definition of male sacramental power. Providing their potential patrons with sumptuous altarpieces and other objects of devotion may have been an attempt to curry support and gain devotional distinction. In a similar and contemporaneous instance, the sisters of a convent in Lyon offered donors a ‘bouquet’ of devotional disciplines that an individual nun could perform, which included saying the rosary, wearing an iron girdle, and abstaining from wine.51 The deliberate measures of these architectural and artistic investments also reveal how nuns sought to order their built environment in particular ways. Even if reformers imposed enclosure, nuns could still direct their attentions inward and make their own mark on their surroundings.52 This explains the

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deliberate care with which they negotiated architectural and artistic commissions. Beyond grand community gestures like altarpieces and cloisters, nuns also asserted this kind of control through individual measures.53 In the late sixteenth century the abbess of Santa María de las Huelgas founded the chapel of San Bernardo at her convent, decorating it with her family coat of arms (escudo).54 This allowed her to manipulate the built environment in a way that deliberately ordered conventual space to suit her personal needs. It is clear through her choice that she maintained a sense of familial identity – and her family undoubtedly benefited from her decision as well. Having a female family member ascend to the rank of abbess, and having that fact memorialized in the publicly visible chapel, would have emphasized its prestige. Her investment in the convent clearly also entailed her financial support, allowing her to act as a kind of ‘protectoress’. Nuns who could afford to do so often created elaborate living quarters for themselves within the cloister precinct. In 1637, for example, a nun at Santa María de las Huelgas paid the convent 17,340 maravedís for expenses related to her cell.55 Designed as separate parlors or even apartments, these living quarters often functioned as mini-households. This was a source of unending consternation to religious reformers who frequently called for Spanish convents to return to a communal standard.56 At the same time, it reveals the degree of autonomy nuns enjoyed and their eagerness to order physical space in the convent in ways that may have imitated the household arrangement of castles and other élite living spaces.57 While debates over active enclosure and the extent to which nuns could order and control their built environment were raging, so, too, was a debate about passive enclosure. In fact, the interest of ecclesiastical reformers in regulating passive enclosure was as long-standing as their enthusiasm for active enclosure. They bemoaned the visits of family members and railed against the idle talk that took place in the convents’ visiting parlors (locutorios). Some access was vital – doctors had to be able to treat the sick and priests had to administer the sacraments – but even these visits, urged the visitors, had to be carefully monitored. Their fears betrayed the ambiguity of the boundary between the sacred and the secular, the space that Mircea Eliade has described as ‘the paradoxical place where those worlds communicate’.58 In many ways, however, the reformers were fighting an uphill battle. Secular society rarely recognized the sharp gendering of convent space embraced by ecclesiastics. In the minds of secular patrons and the nuns’ families, a convent’s value as a sacred space did not preclude its use for other purposes.59 Medieval and early modern convents readily demonstrated the palpable traces of the presence of secular individuals. The ties of family and patronage made the convent a world that possessed multiple spatial meanings, many of which ran counter to the gender-specific demands of enclosure.

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Buried beneath the stones of the church, memorialized in a side chapel, and commemorated by the display of a family coat of arms in the cloister, porticoes, or other parts of the convent, temporal society was omnipresent. This imparted to the enclosed nuns a daily sense of their relationship to the world beyond the cloister. On the one hand, these practices meant that convents lost some of their control of the built environment. On the other hand, these uses did not necessarily undermine their identity and defining mission. Indeed, it could underscore the necessity of offering intercessory prayers for the very individuals and world whose presence and concomitant absence constantly confronted them. Reformers were confronted with a variety of ways in which secular society used conventual space for its own purposes – only some of which they were able to combat. Some practices, like appropriating side chapels or requesting burial within convent churches, were universal and employed not only in convent churches, but also in monastery and parish churches. Yet the male ecclesiastical hierarchy regulated other uses, especially those centered on visiting parlors and the apartments of secular women within the cloister. In these instances, the reformers defined their regulation of passive enclosure, and hence, conventual space in deliberate ways. The tradition of individuals and their families staking claim to the side chapels of convent churches, usually for use as burial sites and to memorialize their families, was a popular patronage mechanism, but one that eluded the grasp of religious reformers. The contracts for these chapels are usually frustratingly silent as to the motives behind the choice of a particular convent for the site of a chapel, typically articulating no more than a special, but unexplained, devotion to the community or the religious order to which it belonged. In 1521, for example, Don Juan de Figueroa, an official of the Royal Chancellery (Real Chancillería) in Valladolid, and his wife, Doña María Núñez de Toledo, donated some of their houses for the creation of a Franciscan convent, Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, in the city of Valladolid.60 They endowed it with an annual rent of 3000 maravedís. Their piety was put to other uses, too. They retained the main chapel for the use of their family and proceeded to decorate it with the family coat of arms. The patronato (title to heritable property) of the chapel was inherited by successive generations of the family.61 Spanish testators might also request burial elsewhere in the cloister, usually in the church.62 They marked these sites with inscriptions and coats of arms that served secular and religious audiences: memorializing the enduring presence of the dead and reminding the nuns of their prayerful responsibilities on behalf of the departed. Like the contracts for side chapels, burial stipulations were carefully crafted. When Don Alonso Hernández Ganguero made his will in 1561 he said he wanted to be buried next to the grave of Juan Nuñez (whose identity or significance is

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not specified in the contract) at the entrance to the door with the wooden grille.63 For her part, Doña Beatriz de Pallares played two convents against each other: if Santa Isabel did not observe the fifteen masses each year that she requested, the funds she left for this purpose would go to the convent of Santissima Trinidad instead.64 Perhaps because practices such as these were universally employed throughout churches in Spain – whether attached to convents or not – there was little that reformers could do to combat them. There were, however, attempts to legislate against them. The Council of Toledo (1582) stated that the laity must not traffic in burial spaces.65 Technically, churches could not sell grave sites, but they could accept alms in exchange for the burial privileges of a donor.66 According to the Council of Toledo these sites were never to be regarded as the private property of the donor.67 Ecclesiastics were also troubled by the extravagance of burial practices and the endowment of masses, arguing that this money would better serve the needs of the poor.68 Overall, however, it was impossible for the Church to enforce legislation that ran counter to such widespread patronage impulses, and the efforts of ecclesiastics focused more frequently on regulating the accessibility of the cloister to the outside world. Here, too, however, they were fighting against deeply rooted customary practice, but in this case their efforts were specifically directed towards the use of conventual space and hence enforced gender-specific definitions of monasticism. To begin with, the reformers focused their attention on the observance of passive enclosure – the observance of which was minimal or non-existent in many convents. The built environment of convents accommodated a degree of contact since most of them had a visiting parlor where members of the community could receive guests. Such a location provided an identifiable space where such interaction could occur with the proper decorum. Yet as will be demonstrated below, medieval and early modern reformers feared that this was a dangerous breach of a nun’s separation from the world that only fostered gossip and idle talk. While the existence of these parlors certainly opened the door to potential scandal, we misunderstand this intersection of the spiritual and the temporal if we reduce it only to a site of intrigue. Taken on its own terms, the presence of family members and other visitors in the convents’ locutorios was entirely consistent with the relationship that all forms of patronage fostered. The secular world was already visibly present in heraldic emblems, epitaphs and tombs. Additionally, the defining mission of nuns to offer intercessory prayers – in contrast to the more active definition of male monasticism as outlined previously – encouraged family, friends and the spiritually curious to visit them seeking advice, solace and guidance.69 Thus secular visitors, and even the nuns they visited, probably registered less concern about these interactions than the suspicious ecclesiastics.

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For the ecclesiastics, however, the stakes were high. Their desire to regulate passive enclosure was entirely consistent with their overwhelming enthusiasm for enforcing active enclosure. If their goal was to carefully define and demarcate the space of the convent because of the special need to protect female chastity (we have already seen that they were much less preoccupied with the protection of male chastity), then the access of secular society would require vigilance as well. Their insistence on a higher standard of active enclosure for convents – as compared to monasteries – in turn also fostered a higher standard of passive enclosure. Their suspicions and concerns led the reformers to try to regulate these points of contact and even the conversations held there. They concentrated their attentions on the torno, the locutorio and the convent church. Religious constitutions, for example, expressed immense concern that the torno might be used to facilitate physical contact. The constitutions for discalced Carmelites, for example, instructed the precise size of the torno (four to five palm-widths wide) with an outer opening shaped like a small door, the opening and closing of which was controlled from inside through the operation of a chain.70 Franciscan ecclesiastics fretted that the torno might actually be used for the passage of human bodies; they specified its dimensions to preclude anyone entering or exiting through it.71 The locutorio was subject to similar directives. Hernando de Talavera’s instructions for the Cistercian nuns of Avila, for example, focused closely on its physical design and the kinds of conversations that might occur there. He advised that nuns be separated from their visitors by two partitions of iron grillework or wood hung with a cloth so that the visitors could hear, but not see, each other. He also specified the location of the parlor so that the side of the partition open to secular visitors would be in the church because such proximity would encourage them ‘to speak of holy and religious things’.72 The Benedictine constitutions of 1575 tried to eradicate any physical contact in the locutorio, specifying that the iron grillework separating the nuns from their secular visitors be cut in such a way that no arm nor hand would fit through it.73 All constitutions from the early modern period instructed convents to appoint escuchaderas (listeners) who were supposed to monitor conversations in the locutorio. When doctors or priests entered the precinct they had to be escorted by two of the senior members of the community, whose faces were to be covered by veils. In instances such as these, a bell would be rung to warn the residents that a visitor was present.74 Ecclesiastical reformers also worried about the space of the convent church – the part of the convent that was regularly turned over to public use, thus allowing for the presence of secular individuals. Since many convent churches served as local parish churches, there had to be safeguards against any inappropriate contact between the two worlds. Much of this problem was

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solved by having the nuns sit in the choir, apart from the other parishioners. Ecclesiastics tried to control the accessibility and visibility of the nuns even in their choir. Thus the Franciscan constitutions specified that there should be a grada (grate) or partition to separate the nuns in the choir from the church.75 The authors of the constitutions struggled, however, with the need for liturgical accessibility; enclosure should not separate the nuns too decisively from the mass. Thus the grada had to be structured in such a way that the nuns would not be unduly excluded from the key moments of the liturgy.76 The partition was to have a small, locked iron door through which the Eucharist could be passed. It could also be opened so that the sermon could be heard.77 A further potential secular breach of enclosure was the tradition of lay women, typically widows, residing in convents. Male ecclesiastics sought to regulate this, too. Yet in so doing they attacked a uniquely female practice in that widowers and other men did not choose to reside within the confines of monasteries. Many convents allowed secular women – some of them widows – to have secular apartments within the convent.78 This practice continued for many reasons. On a purely practical level, these women paid ‘rent’ to the convent and thus generated income.79 Convents were all-female communities that provided a safe haven and spiritual opportunity for these women. Widowhood offered some women a rare opportunity to make autonomous decisions. Rather than remarry or fight with their relatives over their inheritance, they may have chosen to dedicate themselves to a monastic life without taking formal vows. Other women, not identified as widows, may have used the convent to escape pressures in the temporal world or to embrace a life of piety. The fact that these women sometimes left legacies to the convents reveals the close relationship between the two.80 Yet whatever the benefits to individual women and convents, the Church fought vigorously against this practice. The Benedictine constitutions of 1546 instructed abbesses not to receive secular women in convents, arguing that their presence was disruptive since they did not follow the daily rhythm and spiritual exercises of the nuns.81 Although Pope Sixtus V outlawed this practice in 1589, the Franciscan constitutions of 1642 betrayed the continuing existence of this problem and instructed convents not to allow lay women to reside within the cloister.82 Convents were not unique among religious institutions for their ability to attract the types of patronage that entailed the alteration and use of conventual space. Yet in the early modern period religious reformers were increasingly defining convents as institutions that were supposed to be sharply demarcated from the secular world – and they did not make similar demands on the space of monasteries. This called prevailing relationships between convents and secular society into question. Where they were able to, reformers threw up boundaries between these two worlds. Through physical means such as

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partitions and grillework, and through regulations that barred the presence of secular individuals within the cloister, they asserted control over the physical space of the convent. Ideally, convents were ordered by the general precepts of monasticism and the specific ideology of female chastity that sought their separation from the world. Over the course of the Middle Ages, however, enclosure, both active and passive, became the gender-specific discipline that defined the identity of convents. Yet the evidence reveals that enclosure did not create a static environment. Running counter to the standards outlined by the decrees of the Council of Trent, convent space was a site of constant renegotiation and manipulation – by both nuns and their secular supporters. Nuns actively resisted the repeated attempts of male ecclesiastics to assert their control over these spaces. They refused to observe active enclosure and through apartments, retables and other structural decisions they altered and shaped their built environment to suit their needs and desires. For their part, family and patrons regularly violated passive enclosure and added additional layers of meaning to convent space. Side chapels, visiting parlors and secular apartments all blurred the ideal of a boundary separating the sacred from the secular. Far from the isolated precincts of ecclesiastical design and popular imagination, convents in early modern Spain were dynamic, permeable and contested spaces.

Notes *

1.

2.

I will use the following abbreviations in the notes: AHN: Archivo Histórico Nacional; leg.: legajo; and CM: Juan José Martín González and Francisco Javier de la Plaza Santiago, Monumentos Religiosos de la Ciudad de Valladolid, vol. 14, Part Two, Catálogo Monumental de la Provincia de Valladolid (Valladolid: Disputación Provincial de Valladolid, 1987). See, for example, Kathryn Norberg, ‘The Counter-Reformation and Women: Religious and Lay’, in Catholicism in Early Modern History: A Guide to Research, ed. John O’Malley (St Louis: Center for Reformation Research, 1988), pp. 133–46; Ruth P. Liebowitz, ‘Virgins in the Service of Christ: The Dispute over an Active Apostolate for Women during the Counter-Reformation’, in Women of Spirit: Female Leadership in the Jewish and Christian Traditions, eds Rosemary Ruether and Eleanor McLaughlin (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979), pp. 131–52; Gabriella Zarri, ‘Living Saints: A Typology of Female Sanctity in the Early Sixteenth Century’, in Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, eds Daniel Borstein and Roberto Rusconi (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 219–30; and idem, ‘Gender, Religious Institutions, and Social Discipline: The Reform of the Regulars’, in Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy eds Judith C. Brown and Robert C. Davis (London: Addison Wesley Longman, 1998), pp. 193–212. For a more extensive analysis of this disparity see Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt,

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3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10.

11.

12.

13. 14. 15.

16. 17. 18.

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‘Gender, Order and the Meaning of Monasticism during the Spanish Catholic Reformation’, forthcoming, Archive for Reformation History (2003). Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt, ‘Discipline, Vocation, and Patronage: Spanish Religious Women in a Tridentine Micro-Climate’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 30 (4), 1999, pp. 1018–19. Roberta Gilchrist, ‘Medieval bodies in the material world: gender, stigma and the body’, in Framing Medieval Bodies, eds Sarah Kay and Miri Rubin (New York: Manchester University Press, 1994), p. 57. For their reform of the Cistercian convent of San Quirce in Valladolid see Lehfeldt, ‘Discipline’, 1017–18. Anthony C. Meisel and M. L. del Mastro, trans. and eds, The Rule of Saint Benedict (New York: Doubleday, 1975), p. 102. My conceptual model of convent space relies heavily on the theoretical considerations of Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: the Nature of Religion, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1987), pp. 20–65. Milagros Riverta Garretas, ‘Religiosidad para mujeres/religiosidad para hombres: sexo y género en el modelo monástico de Fructuoso de Braga (siglo VII)’, in Las mujeres en el cristianismo medieval: imágenes teóricas y cauces de actuación religiosa, ed. Angela Muñoz Fernández (Madrid: Asociación Cultural Al-Mudayna, 1989), pp. 24–30. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976). See, especially, her comments on ‘the system at war with itself’, pp. 140–58. Quoted in Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg, ‘Strict Active Enclosure and Its Effects on Female Monastic Experience (ca. 500–1100)’, in Distant Echoes: Medieval Religious Women, vol. 1, eds John Nichols and Lillian Thomas Shank (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1984), p. 63. Schulenburg, ‘Strict Active Enclosure’, pp. 61–3; Katherine Gill, ‘Scandala: Controversies Concerning Clausura and Women’s Religious Communities in Late Medieval Italy’, in Christendom and Its Discontents: Exclusion, Persecution and Rebellion, 1000–1500, eds Scott L. Waugh and Peter D. Diehl (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 187. James A. Brundage and Elizabeth M. Makowski, ‘Enclosure of Nuns: the decretal Periculoso and its commentators’, Journal of Medieval History, 20, 1994, 153. See also Elizabeth Makowski, Canon Law and Cloistered Women: Periculoso and its Commentators, 1298–1545 (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1997). Brundage and Makowski, ‘Nuns’, 153–5. Cited in Graciela S. Daichman, Wayward Nuns in Medieval Literature (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1986), pp. 55–6. Translation mine. Roberta Gilchrist, Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Religious Women (London: Routledge, 1994), p. 165. Significantly, the ‘deepest’ space in many monasteries was the chapter house; see Gilchrist, ‘Medieval bodies’, pp. 56–7. As we have already seen, monks were defined by association with the active business of monasticism, much of which was discussed and conducted in the chapter house. This is a point made by both Makowski, Canon Law and Gill, ‘Controversies’. Lehfeldt, ‘Gender, Order and the Meaning of Monasticism’. ‘Acta visitationis nonnullorum monasteriorum’, Real Biblioteca del Escorial, Mss. V. II. 14, fol. 1r.

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19 20. 21. 22.

23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28. 29.

30.

31. 32. 33. 34.

35. 36.

37. 38. 39. 40.

147

Ibid., fol. 70. Azcona, ‘Benedictinas’, p. 108. Eliade, Sacred, p. 25. Olegario González Hernández, ‘Fray Hernando de Talavera: un aspecto nuevo de su personalidad’, Hispania Sacra, 13, 1960, 152; González Hernández includes a transcription of Talavera’s Suma y breve compilación de cómo han de vivir y conversar las religiosas de san Bernardo que viven en los monasterios de la ciudad de Avila on pp. 151–74. Though Talavera does not identify it as such, the text mirrors a religious rule in its format. It is organized into chapters and addresses themes like the observance of vows, the discipline of daily life, and the responsibilities of convent officers. Ibid., 160. Ibid. Ibid., 160–61. Ibid., 152. Dos obras didácticas y dos leyendas, ed. Hermann Knust (Madrid: Sociedad de Bibliófilos, 1978), p. 266. See also Martín de Córdoba’s Jardín de las nobles doncellas: a critical edition and study, ed. Harriet Goldberg (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1974). Cited in José García Oro, Cisneros y la reforma del clero español en tiempo de los Reyes Católicos (Madrid: CSIC, 1971), p. 113. My conceptualization of how individuals negotiate their way through a system not of their own making is influenced by Michel De Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). See ibid., pp. 35–7, where he distinguishes between strategies and tactics. According to De Certeau, strategies are the calculations or manipulation of power relationships enacted by those with will and power, whereas tactics are ‘an art of the weak’ (p. 37). ‘Acta visitationis’, fol. 9v. Ibid., fol. 7. Ibid., fol. 103. This argument was a variation on some of the concerns voiced by commentators on the papal directive Periculoso (1298) who wondered whether nuns could be held to standards more strict than the ones under which they entered a convent. See Makowski, Canon Law, pp. 51, 80–81. Schulenburg, ‘Strict Active Enclosure’, p. 77. See the similar conclusions of Schulenburg, ‘Strict Active Enclosure’, pp. 75–6 and Penelope Johnson, Equal in Monastic Profession: Religious Women in Medieval France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), p. 160. Commentators on the papal directive Periculoso (1298) had also worried about the connection between convent finances and enclosure. See Makowski, Canon Law, pp. 53, 65. Periculoso had required the careful monitoring of the size of convents to be sure that the number of nuns living there was commensurate with the finances to support them. Lehfeldt, ‘Discipline’, 1026–7. Constituciones de la Congregacion de san Benito de Valladolid (1546). Ibid. Constituciones generales para todas las monjas y religiosas sujetas a la obediencia de la orden de N.P.S. Francisco (Madrid: Imprenta Real, 1642).

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41. Ibid. 42. AHN, Clero, leg. 7847. 43. AHN, Clero, leg. 7769. This was a long-standing dispute that dated as far back as the early sixteenth century; a witness testified that the windows of La Merced did not look on to the garden of Belén; see AHN, Clero, leg. 7770. 44. AHN, Clero, Libro 17276 and leg. 7847. 45. Lehfeldt, ‘Discipline’, 1026. 46. AHN, Clero, leg. 7803. 47. AHN, Clero, leg. 7761. 48. AHN, Clero, leg. 7797. 49. AHN, Clero, leg. 7910. A justification for the choice of wood from Soria is not offered in the contract. 50. The retablo cost 3300 reales (one ducat was worth 11 reales); AHN, Clero, leg. 7802. Around the same time the convent also began work on two smaller altarpieces at a cost of 1100 ducados; AHN, Clero, leg. 7803. 51. Norberg, ‘The Counter-Reformation and Women’, p. 138. See also the example provided by Helen Hills of the ways in which the placement and meaning of the nuns’ choir in some seventeenth-century convent churches – particularly the close identification of these choirs with the Eucharist – provided a means for the nuns to elevate and emphasize their virginity; ‘Cities and Virgins: Female Aristocratic Convents in Early Modern Naples and Palermo’, Oxford Art Journal, 22 (1), 1999, 48–52. 52. For a similar argument about how convents ‘redirected’ their energies towards building campaigns see Hills, ibid., 33. 53. Typically these were financed through their private incomes. In many aristocratic convents, despite monastic admonitions to poverty, individual nuns maintained control of incomes that were independent of their convent dowries. 54. CM, p. 110. A ducat was equivalent to 375 mrs. 55. AHN, Clero, Libro 16986. 56. Jodi Bilinkoff, The Avila of Saint Teresa: Religious Reform in a SixteenthCentury City (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989), p. 113. 57. This is the suggestion of Roberta Gilchrist, Gender and Material Culture, pp. 168–9. 58. Eliade, Sacred, p. 25. 59. See the similar findings of Sandra Cavallo, Charity and Power in Early Modern Italy: Benefactors and Their Motives in Turin, 1541–1789 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 158. 60. Matias Sangrador y Vitores, Historia de Valladolid (Valladolid, 1854), 2: 317. 61. CM, pp. 79–85; Sangrador y Vitores, Historia, 2: 317–18. 62. Carlos M. N. Eire, From Madrid to Purgatory: the Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 91–105. 63. AHN, Clero, leg. 7907. 64. Ibid. 65. Eire, Purgatory, p. 98. 66. Ibid. 67. Ibid., pp. 98–9. 68. Ibid., pp. 101–3. 69. See also Magdalena Sánchez’s exploration of the Franciscan convent of Descalzas Reales in Madrid as the site of political exchange: The Empress, the

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70.

71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82.

149

Queen, and the Nun: Women and Power at the Court of Philip III of Spain (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998). There is also the documented case of Enrique III (1390–1406) using his female relatives in the convent of Santo Domingo el Real in Toledo as go-betweens to communicate to his wife his dissatisfactions with some of her decisions. In Olivia Remie Constable, ed., Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim and Jewish Sources (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997), pp. 302–6. Regla primitiva de las Religiosas Descalças de nuestra Señora del Carmen, confirmada por el Papa Inocencio Quarto en León a primero de Setiembre, año del Señor 1248; the Rule is followed by the constitutions given to the Carmelitas Recoletas of Madrid by the archbishop of Toledo in 1661. Constituciones generales (1642). ‘hablar cosas santas y religiosas’; Hernández, ‘Fray Hernando de Talavera’, 169. Constituciones de los monges de la Congregación de San Benito de Valladolid (Barcelona, 1575). Constituciones generales (1642). Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. See the case documented in AHN, Clero, leg. 7910 of Catalina de Rojas y Porras, the widow of the merchant Pasqual Cantero. See, for example, AHN, Clero, Libros 16986 and 17501. These two account books record income collected from the residents of secular apartments within the convent. See, for example, the text of Doña María de Zúñiga’s will in which she makes a bequest to the convent; AHN, Clero, leg. 7789. Constituciones generales de la Congregacion de san Benito de Valladolid (1546). Antonio Domínguez Ortiz, Las clases privilegiadas en el Antiguo Régimen (Madrid: Ediciones ISTMO, 1979), p. 329; Constituciones generales (1642).

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Spaces Shaped for Spiritual Perfection: Convent Architecture and Nuns in Early Modern Rome Marilyn Dunn* In its efforts to reform the Catholic Church, the Council of Trent (1545–63) decreed the re-establishment and enforcement of strict enclosure for female convents and the regulation of their governance.1 This decree, published in 1564, renewed Boniface VIII’s bull Periculoso promulgated in 1298 that established universal enclosure for nuns and reflected a long tradition of female enclosure dating back to patristic times and the early Middle Ages.2 Bulls of Pius V and Gregory XIII issued between 1566 and 1572 sought to clarify the ambiguities of the decree of Trent and to strengthen further the concept of enclosure.3 For the Church, enclosure was deemed necessary to protect morality and to create an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of spiritual perfection. Architecture functioned as a principal means to enforce clausura and shape spiritual behavior. Convents were places dedicated to prayer where nuns functioned as intercessors for the salvation of humankind and the spiritual needs of Christians. Since nuns’ purity and devotion rendered their prayers especially efficacious, the architecture of clausura was designed to protect moral virtue and promote spiritual development, thereby enabling nuns to fulfill their special role in the Church. While the post-Tridentine convent represents a highly regulated institution of social control and the basic configuration of its spaces was imposed upon the nuns, these women were not merely its passive inhabitants.4 In order to explore the dynamics of the relationship of the architecture of enclosure and religious women, it is necessary to look beyond the decrees and regulations instituted by the male hierarchy of the Catholic Church and examine women’s lived experience in their allotted spaces. An investigation of the ways in which nuns in seicento Rome both related to their architectural spaces in terms of use and intervened as patrons in their construction and decoration reveals how they participated in shaping the character of both enclosed and public spaces of their convents. Studying their actions demonstrates how

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Roman nuns embraced, challenged and modified the Church’s position on enclosure and female spirituality and helps us to begin to articulate a more nuanced and richer picture of the lives of post-Tridentine nuns. A sample of seventeen Roman convents which either constructed or renovated their architectural complexes in the period of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries forms the basis of my observations. This chapter considers the regulations concerning various convent spaces and their use in relation to the ways nuns interacted with and intervened in those spaces. I seek to establish the relationship between the ideal of enclosure and the reality that existed by considering both the architectural environment of the convent complex itself and its relation to the larger urban and social fabric of Rome. Through a consideration of the nuns’ patronage of art and architecture I examine how their interventions created a means of exerting agency and acquiring a voice within the circumscriptions of the system of enclosure.

Regulating convents In 1577, shortly after the Council of Trent, cardinal–archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo, articulated in his Instructiones fabricae a set of regulations regarding the architectural spaces of convents and their churches that formed the basis of post-Tridentine convent architecture.5 The regulations regarding clausura, repeated and elaborated in successive decrees throughout the seventeenth century, reflect the Church’s obsessive concern with separating nuns from secular society. In conjunction with monastic rules, pastoral guidance, devotional texts and treatises, the built environment of the convent was designed to regulate the lives of religious women. Paternalistic control of religious women was evidenced also in the regulations issued for the good governance of convents. In order to ensure their good care (buona custodia), female convents were placed under the authority of the bishop. In Rome, where the pope was bishop, their care fell under a cardinal protector; authority in the seventeenth century was divided between the cardinal vicar and other prominent cardinals. The cardinal protector of each convent appointed confessors, oversaw the election of the abbess or prioress and other convent officials, issued licenses permitting entrance to the convents to confessors, chaplains, doctors, artisans and other workers when necessary, ascertained that women aspiring to take the habit or profess were motivated by a sincere vocation, and at times acted as art patron.6 Convents were also required to have a congregation of deputies to advise the nuns in their business affairs. This congregation, which worked in conjunction with the abbess and other nuns of the community, consisted of three or more prelates, nobles, or other gentlemen who, it was hoped, possessed a certain administrative acumen.7

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Interior spaces Surrounded by high walls and simple exterior façades that conveyed monastic poverty and offered no visual invitation to the public, the sacred sphere of the convent was segregated from the secular world.8 The spiritual focal point in the convent complex was its attached church. According to the ideal plan codified by Borromeo, this church was divided by a wall at the rear of the tribune into two spaces forming the public church and the nuns’ choir or chiesa interiore. Although in Borromeo’s prescription this wall extended only to impost level, in Roman churches it reached to the ceiling. A grated window in the wall above the high altar (Fig. 8.1) permitted the nuns to hear the mass and see the elevated Eucharist but not the priest, who also could not see them. This window was covered by a grille on both the inner and outer sides, while the inner side of this aperture was also covered with wooden doors that could be opened with a key by the abbess so that the nuns could hear mass or sermons or when a novice took the habit. On the choir side of the grille, the window was also covered with a cloth that was raised at the moment of the elevation of the Host and then immediately lowered again.9 A description of the choir of the Augustinian nuns at S. Maria delle Vergini illustrates this type of arrangement. There an altar in the nuns’ choir corresponded to the high altar in the public church on the other side of the dividing wall. Below an altarpiece of the Assumption was an iron grate with shutters, through which, when it was opened, the nuns could see the high altar of the exterior church. At the side of the altar was a small grated window with a baldachin above for communion. Door panels covering communion windows were kept closed and locked except at the time of communion. Nuns confessed at another small grated window placed in the wall between the public church and the convent.10 While Borromeo’s placement of the choir behind the tribune wall was generally followed in Roman convents, nuns’ choirs were sometimes located elsewhere, often over the entrance to the public church, and there was frequently more than one choir, though always covered by obscuring grates, maintaining the strict enclosure of the nuns (Fig. 8.2). The position of the upper and lower choirs is evident in Francesco da Volterra’s design of 1591 for the reconstruction of the church of S. Silvestro in Capite, belonging to a convent of Poor Clares. Visible in the upper choir are carved wooden choir stalls and an altar abutting the façade of the nave (Fig. 8.3). The placement of lower choirs behind the tribune brought nuns closer to the Eucharist while upper choirs located near the dormitories were more accessible to nuns who frequented this space at appointed hours throughout the day and night. Professed nuns gathered in their choir to recite the Divine Office, their principal religious duty, and engage communally in mental prayer. At other times the choir served as a site for their private devotions. Post-Tridentine

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spirituality placed an emphasis on personal devotion and mental prayer. St Teresa of Avila, a figure much emulated by seventeenth-century nuns, fostered the idea that nuns maintained an apostolate of prayer. Not merely contemplative, prayer was viewed as an active and powerful weapon in the struggle against heresy.11 The Divine Office was regarded not only as a means of personal spiritual edification but as a public prayer made in the name of the whole Church. Metaphorically nuns’ choirs were compared to paradise and the nuns to companions of angels whose celestial choir was echoed in their singing.12 But to efficaciously penetrate heaven their prayers needed to come from the heart. Not all nuns in Roman convents were faithful in their prayerful duties, however, as decrees from apostolic visits attest. In 1626 the Poor Clares at S. Silvestro were reminded to observe silence until offices were completely finished, and a visitation of 1679 criticized the Benedictine nuns at S. Cecilia in Trastevere for failing to rise in time for morning hours. A report of 1710 advised the abbess of S. Bernardino ai Monti to admonish, first gently, then more adamantly, those nuns who made a habit of missing prayers and were tepid in spirit, preferring the diversions of worldly news to devotions.13 But other convents were more regular in their observance and contained nuns noted for their devotion and service in the choir. One such nun at the Dominican convent of S. Maria dell’Umiltà, Maria Maddalena Maccarani, in the three years before her death, habitually spent all morning in the choir and returned in the afternoon to meditate in front of the Host and an image of St Dominic.14 As the space in which nuns enacted their principal communal duty of reciting the Divine Office as well as a place of meditation, the choir often became the focus of convent patronage. After completing the expansion of their convent complex and the reconstruction of their church at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the first project to which the Augustinian nuns at S. Lucia in Selci turned their attention was the decoration of their large upper choir located over the entrance to their church and connected by a corridor to their dormitory. While a grate above the high altar allowed the nuns to hear mass from the sacristy behind the tribune wall, it was in the upper choir that the nuns gathered to recite the Divine Office and the Rosary, for which they were joined by the converse (lay nuns) and the educande (resident female students). Reflective of the hierarchical social structure of the convent, the professed nuns occupied an upper tier of walnut choir stalls while the lower tier was reserved for novices and educande.15 This choir contained the organ, which the nuns played, choral books of plainchant, antiphones and psalms, and several large communal breviaries as well as smaller individual ones. It was richly decorated with liturgical furnishings, including an altar with an image of the Virgin of the Rosary, whose devotion was recited by the assembled nuns.16

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The nuns initiated the decoration of their choir between 1614 and 1615 by commissioning Florentine artist Baccio Ciarpi to execute paintings of the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Conversion of St Augustine, and St Lucy Receiving the Sacrament, flanked by figures of Sts Ambrose, Monica, Clare of Montefalco, and Charles Borromeo painted in illusionistic niches.17 Scenes and figures referring to the Incarnation, Passion, and saints associated with the order and church therefore adorned the nuns’ principal communal space. The theme of virginal purity, which rendered more effective the prayers they offered in the choir, is addressed in the figures of St Lucy, a model of female virginity, and Sts Ambrose and Augustine, who championed virginity in their well-known writings.18 In this space dedicated to their prayerful duties, the nuns found models of the power and rewards of prayer in Sts Monica and Clare of Montefalco.19 The prominence of female subjects representing virginity and prayer in several of the pictures refers to the nuns’ own mission in the church and specifically in the choir where they appear.20 While the choir formed the principal locus of nuns’ communal spirituality, the architecture and decoration of other spaces in the convent were designed to keep nuns’ thoughts focused on spiritual concerns throughout all their daily activities. As a nun traversed the spaces of the convent in the corridors, on the stairs, in the refectory, and in numerous small chapels dispersed throughout the complex, she constantly encountered images intended to keep her focused on spiritual concerns.21 Nuns assumed an active role, too, in decorating these parts of their convents. At the Augustinian convent of S. Maria delle Vergini, Prioress Florida Paracciani during her first term in office (May 1692–May 1695) commissioned paintings for the main staircase and corridors. King David, ancestor of Mary and Christ, was depicted on the staircase, while Sts Paul the Hermit, Anthony Abbot and William of Aquitaine, saints claimed as part of the Augustinian heritage, were represented in the corridors. In several small chapels (cappellette) on the upper floor of the convent were paintings of the Virgin; Jesuit Blesseds Luigi Gonzaga and Stanislaus Kostka (both canonized in 1726); and Carmelite mystics, Sts Teresa of Avila and Maddalena de’Pazzi, as well as other small devotional paintings.22 These saints, whose contemplative lives had brought them great spiritual rewards, functioned as models for the nuns’ own spiritual quests. Within the cloister, imagery reminded nuns of the heritage of their order, but also embraced a broader spectrum of themes and saints from various orders to stimulate contemplation. These images of personal devotional use by the nuns functioned differently from the decorations of their churches, which made a public statement about the identity of the convent by celebrating saints connected to the church and its order. As evidenced by the cappellette in S. Maria delle Vergini, there were many sacred sites interspersed in the fabric of a convent which offered nuns places

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for devotional reflection. Some of these were assigned the same spiritual privileges as holy sites outside the cloister walls. Forever enclosed within their convents, nuns could not make pilgrimages to the basilicas of Rome or climb the Lateran’s Scala Santa to gain indulgences like their fellow Christians in the world. Instead, altars in convents or scale sante constructed in imitation of the venerated stairs at the Lateran substituted for visits to the pilgrimage churches of Rome.23 An edict of 10 October 1675 granted a plenary indulgence equivalent to visiting the four main basilicas to nuns who visited for three consecutive days four designated altars in their respective convents.24 Addressing a nun’s inability to leave her convent to visit particular holy images, Francesco Beretta, in his instructions to a young novice, reminded her that she had no need to venture out, as the devout images in her own convent could bring the same spiritual consolation.25 Nuns were often the patrons of these spiritually privileged spaces, as in the case of Prioress Florida Paracciani, who was responsible for a scala santa painted with scenes of the mysteries of the Passion at S. Maria delle Vergini (1693–94). Benedictine nun Leonora Orsini also endowed and decorated a scala santa at her convent of S. Ambrogio della Massima, while Maria Serafina della SS. Trinità, prioress of the Discalced Carmelite convent of S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case, spent 2,000 scudi in 1717 to construct an exquisite scala santa embellished with stuccoes, which ascended from the rear of the nuns’ choir.26 Their patronage provided opportunities for spiritual solace and salvation for the community of nuns by creating a microcosm of holy sites inside the cloister.27

Nuns’ cells and private devotional spaces Within the communal context of the convent, a nun’s cell formed a more private devotional space. Dormitories, located on the upper floors of Roman convents, were composed of individual cells that fostered the meditative practices favored by the post-Tridentine Church. A nun’s cell was the site of her most intense and personal spiritual development. Agostino Valerio, in his advice to nuns, reminded them that their cell was the room of Christ; it was here that their celestial spouse descended when invited by prayer and called by meditation.28 To protect a nun’s privacy and shield her from worldly distractions, cell windows were not to face on to a public street, but were to be placed high in the wall to prevent a view to the outside. All windows, including those facing toward the inner spaces of the convent, were barred.29 Dormitory spaces were segregated according to the status of the women in the convent, with professed nuns, converse, novices and educande assigned to separate quarters. The separation of novices and educande from professed

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nuns was intended to protect the nuns from distractions and the young women from undue influence, particularly from their relatives in the convent, who could induce them to make profession or recruit them as part of their power base.30 Concern for the moral probity of nuns determined the regulations about individual cells. Not only were women believed to be easily tempted into sexual folly, but the mere suggestion of loss of honor damaged the reputation of an entire convent and thus its efficacy as a spiritual intercessor.31 Special attention was given to nuns’ sleeping arrangements. If a cell was shared because of overcrowding, it should accommodate three beds, and if there was space for only two beds, the cell should be shared by sisters or cousins. The report of an apostolic visit made in 1626 to SS. Domenico e Sisto forbad the convent to accept any new novices if all the available rooms were occupied, unless the novice was willing to assume the expense of building a new cell, a not uncommon practice.32 Some aristocratic and well-connected nuns, however, were granted the privilege of utilizing a suite of rooms. At the Dominican convent of SS. Domenico e Sisto, Sister Maria Angelica Aldobrandini occupied three rooms through the special intervention of her relative Pope Clement VIII, while at S. Caterina a Magnanapoli, Dominican nuns Cammilla Peretti and Lucida Sforza da Caravaggio, grandnieces of Pope Sixtus V, were also granted large suites.33 However, the fundamental concern in determining the architectural division of space was the desire to prevent the formation of social cliques and individual affectionate attachments. The tradition of placing women from the same family in a particular convent increased the potential for these abuses.34 Cliques composed of kinship groups or other social alliances were highly disruptive to communal life and harmony in the convent, creating jealousy and power struggles.35 Perhaps an even more common problem was the formation of close friendships among particular nuns, which distracted them from the pursuit of perfection and the purity of spiritual love. Benedetto Biscia, in his manual for nuns (1683), referred to particular friendships as the greatest threat to religious perfection and cited St Teresa of Avila’s warnings on the subject to support his assertion. These authors were addressing concerns about excessive emotional attachments between individual nuns which jeopardized the spiritual unity of the community.36 Thus the configuration of dormitories into individual cells and the separation of dormitory spaces according to the rank of the inhabitants were designed to promote the acquisition of spiritual perfection and limit the social problems common to enclosed female communities. Typically, individual cells were modest in size and contained simple furnishings such as a bed with a straw mattress, a prie-Dieu, a small table, one or more chairs, spiritual books, a crucifix and devotional images.37 Some

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nuns’ cells were furnished with more luxurious items, as at the Franciscan convent of S. Bernardino ai Monti, where the cell of Sister Anna Maria Favoretti contained a walnut altar and an ebony writing desk with ivory inlay, as well as several pictures, including one she had painted herself.38 On the other hand, the cells of the reformed Clarisse at SS. Concezione were exceptionally austere in character, with rough, unplastered walls intended to inspire devotion and reflect poverty. Well aware of architecture’s ability to create an image, Francesca Farnese had sent her agent to research the appearance of other reformed convents as models when planning her new convent in Rome.39 Catholic reform promoted a new spirituality that emphasized personal devotion. Numerous treatises published in the period instructed nuns in the techniques of such devotional practice.40 One of their principal activities, devotional reading helped to prepare nuns for prayer and to inspire them with virtuous examples on which to model their behavior, but nuns’ spirituality was stimulated not only by written texts but also by visual images, which played an integral role in the process of meditation and prayer.41 Even the highly ascetic Francesca Farnese found images extremely helpful devotional aids in bringing her soul closer to God. While writing the constitutions for her convent of reformed Clarisse in Farnese, she drew inspiration from a miraculous image of the Virgin placed on a small altar in her cell. For her devotional needs, she commissioned a picture of St Anthony of Padua from renowned painter Pietro da Cortona, but specified that it be painted in chiaroscuro to express poverty and religious simplicity.42 Inventories of cells in the convents of the Augustinians at S. Maria delle Vergini and S. Lucia in Selci and the Discalced Carmelites at S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case record unspecified devotional images.43 While some of these may have been paintings, many were prints or ‘saints on paper’. The cell of Dominican nun Angela Ottini at S. Maria dell’Umiltà was so filled with images, mostly prints, that almost no wall space remained. According to the convent necrology, she constantly focused her prayers on these images, imploring the blessings of the holy figures represented.44 Another nun in the same convent, Leocadia Galli, also filled her cell with ‘saints on paper’, among which was a large Madonna lactans with the souls in Purgatory below.45 Within the convent fabric nuns created other cell-like spaces where they could retreat for solitary contemplation, reflective of the post-Tridentine emphasis on meditative practice. These hermitage chapels or romitori were popular with cloistered women of various religious orders. At S. Teresa, for instance, the Discalced Carmelites used for the Spiritual Exercises a romitorio located off their upper choir.46 Andrea Nicoletti’s biography of Francesca Farnese, founder of four convents of reformed Clarisse, provides an

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instructive description regarding the use of romitori.47 He relates how her Clarisse practised a solitary life of meditation in emulation of desert hermits, and each nun constructed in her cell a small romitorio covered with branches in which she enclosed herself for contemplation. Other nuns and converse assigned to duties in the kitchen or at the ruota (turnstile) in the cloister also built romitori to which they could retreat while in these rooms. In fashioning personal devotional spaces in their cells and creating romitori, nuns created their own rich spiritual life that imitated an anchorite model within the communal structure of the convent.

Exterior spaces Cloistered women took delight in spaces that brought them relief from the rigors and confinement of clausura. Courtyards, towers and gardens offered a sense of openness and a breath of fresh air, considered necessary for good health. The amenities of large gardens were praised by contemporary sources,48 and an eighteenth-century ground plan of S. Silvestro in Capite (see Fig. 8.4), showing its ample courtyard and garden, both with fountains, illustrates what a significant portion of the convent complex these important open spaces occupied. Flowers, fruit and vegetables were cultivated in an extensive garden at S. Lucia in Selci, where nuns traversed cedar-lined pathways scented by trellises of jasmine.49 Such gardens provided places of pleasurable recreation, but were also sites for meditation and prayer, offering many metaphors for nuns to contemplate – the garden of Paradise, the enclosed garden of the Virgin (hortus conclusus), or the garden of Eden.50 Their fountains were not only physically refreshing but could also stimulate reflection on the Virgin (fons hortorum) or the paradisal Fountain of Life. Francesca Farnese and her Clarisse loved to stroll in their convent garden while reciting the Rosary and other prayers.51 Scattered throughout many convent gardens were hermitage chapels like those of the Discalced Carmelites at S. Egidio in Trastevere and S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case, where they were built in imitation of the practice of St Teresa of Avila, the order’s founder. These small devotional spaces were also favored by some other orders such as the Poor Clares, whose garden at S. Silvestro in Capite contained two chapels located in a corner of the surrounding portico, and the Augustinians at S. Lucia in Selci, where Sister Maria Pulcheria Incoronati erected a garden chapel adorned with an image of the Virgin.52 The Clarisse at S. Maria delle Grazie in Farnese built hermitage huts of sticks and straw, later of stone, in their garden where they made contemplative retreats lasting several days, an activity that they particularly treasured. Like nuns’ cells and the romitori constructed inside the convent,

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these garden chapels provided places of solitary spiritual retreat. In visiting the garden romitori, the nuns imitated the life of Christian hermits so that through their meditations they might be filled with the Holy Spirit.53 Towers, loggias on upper floors, and belvederes were also popular with nuns. At S. Ambrogio della Massima, which had two courtyards but no true garden, a spacious loggia constructed over the upper choir and surmounted by a smaller belvedere provided fresh air for the Benedictine nuns who often suffered from illness in the cramped spaces of their convent. However, the nuns’ seclusion had to be protected here too. Parts of the loggia and belvedere were enclosed with grates, and wooden shutters and high parapets prevented the nuns from viewing the streets below.54 At S. Caterina a Magnanapoli the tower, constructed in the late sixteenth century around the Torre delle Milizie, a massive late medieval baronial tower, was a favorite spot for its nuns. Stairs were built in the tower so that the nuns could climb to the top and enjoy the panoramic view, described as ‘the most spacious and beautiful that one could desire’.55 Their enjoyment of this tower and its view was so great that when city officials planned to demolish the upper portion of the tower following a damaging earthquake in 1703, the nuns adamantly opposed them.56

Parlors, family ties and patronage In the conventual spaces discussed above, we have seen how the architecture of enclosure was designed to separate and distance the nun from the secular world, to focus her thoughts on spiritual perfection. The site of nuns’ most direct contact with the secular world was the parlor. Located near the entrance to the convent, the parlor, like the church, consisted of an inner and outer space (Figs 8.4 and 8.5). Nuns could converse with approved visitors in the presence of chaperones from behind a double-grated window.57 This space was the bane of church officials and represented the weak link in the chain of spiritual defense established by clausura. Over-frequentation of the parlor was one of the most common abuses of cloistered life in Rome.58 Contact with the secular world was a distraction highly detrimental to spiritual progress. According to Oblate father Carlo Andrea Basso, a nun who enjoyed conversing in the parlor returned to the world and its mundane passions; and the Oratorian Benedetto Biscia declared the parlor a place where hell could assault the nun and destroy every virtue.59 Antonio Seneca warned nuns about the dangers of seeking information about the happenings in the world and declared that half an hour of chatting at the parlor grates could undermine weeks or even months of spiritual reflection.60 Churchmen also cautioned nuns against discussing the internal affairs of the convent with the public, fascinated by what went on inside the shrouded

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spaces of the cloister, as negative gossip could seriously undermine the integrity of a convent and its ability to perform its Christian mission.61 The greatest obstacle to spiritual progress was a nun’s continued emotional attachment to her relatives. Despite the restrictions of clausura and the barrage of literature that discouraged familial contact,62 nuns were generally unwilling to sever their family ties. Parlor visits by relatives reaffirmed nuns’ own lineage and social position and helped to link their convents to the social fabric of the city, enabling them to participate in networks of influence that could substantially benefit their communities.63 Families were drawn into the circle of the convent in which their female relatives resided. The convent church sometimes became the locus of their patronage, as in the case of Roman noblewoman Camilla Maccarani. Due to the entreaties of her daughter Maria Maddalena, a Dominican nun at the convent of S. Maria dell’Umiltà, she donated a precious image of the Madonna and later left money for the rich embellishment of the high altar chapel.64 Many families were also genuinely concerned for the welfare of their cloistered relatives.65 Filippo Colonna, grand constable of Naples, was so appalled at the ruinous conditions of the Discalced Carmelite convent of S. Egidio in Trastevere, where his head-strong daughter Vittoria was determined to enter, that he contributed to the construction of a new convent and church for the community, motivated by both fatherly affection and a desire to maintain the social prestige of his family.66 Thus family patronage was mutually beneficial to the prestige of both families and convents. While the Church saw contact with family and the secular world as detrimental, nuns recognized its advantages and resisted attempts to curtail it. The parlor, then, marked the site of a permeability in the cloister wall that failed to completely segregate the spiritual and lay worlds. In fact the laity could penetrate even beyond the parlor into convents, since noblewomen possessed an institutionalized privilege to enter convents for spiritual retreats, often accompanied by huge retinues. Significantly, this practice elicited resistance from nuns, who protested to Clement X in 1675 to put a stop to these disturbances.67 When contact with the secular world posed a nuisance, nuns urged a more stringent enforcement of enclosure; but when it brought comfort to their lives and benefits to their convents, they resisted strict observance of clausura. In these ways nuns exerted some measure of control over their space and the system of enclosure that it reflected.

Convents and the urban fabric While convent architecture was designed, in principle at least, to enable a nun to follow the rules of monastic life, devote herself to spiritual perfection, and

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protect her from the distractions and dangers of the secular world, numerous factors impeded this ideal in the reality of Rome’s urban environment. Convents were sometimes squeezed into the urban fabric without adequate room for growth and in competition with neighbors for property and subject to a lack of privacy. When spaces were poorly planned, as in the case of older convents like S. Ambrogio della Massima which had expanded by gradually aggregating neighboring property, the result was a haphazard fabric ill suited to the needs of communal life and detrimental to the health of the nuns.68 Founded in the fourth century, S. Ambrogio was located in the heart of Rome, tightly surrounded by other palaces and houses. Not only were the spaces of the convent inadequate, but some parts of the interior could be seen from many taller neighboring buildings.69 The central location and prestige of this venerable convent appealed to the prominent noble families whose daughters populated the community,70 but the constricted urban setting posed problems for expansion.71 Proximity to neighbors threatened the seclusion of enclosure that church authorities were concerned to protect and that nuns themselves sometimes adamantly demanded. Windows from nearby houses and palaces which overlooked the cloister, garden, or cells were a frequent source of conflict between convents and their neighbors. Nuns engaged determinedly in struggles to protect the privacy of their cloistered spaces. In 1666 when the Buzi family purchased property to enlarge their palace adjacent to the Dominican convent of S. Caterina a Magnanapoli on the Quirinal Hill, the nuns vehemently protested, fearing that windows in the palace would overlook their parlor courtyard. Pope Alexander VII, persuaded by the new palace’s contribution to his goal of the beautification of Rome, ruled in the family’s favor, but stipulated that the design of that part of the palace facing the convent must be approved by the apostolic visitor to protect the nuns’ privacy.72 But the nuns were not appeased. When the Buzi masons commenced construction, the feisty nuns angrily pelted them with stones.73 They re-petitioned the pope, claiming that the proximity of the new construction subjected impressionable young women in the convent to damaging worldly exposure. Only by shuttering convent windows, depriving the nuns of precious light and air, could the inhabitants be protected from endangering sights and sounds.74 Their emphasis of this point not only suggests the nuns’ own desire for privacy, but demonstrates an astuteness in appealing to male authorities’ concern with maintaining absolute enclosure to protect women’s morals. Though the careful phrasing of their petition was calculated to gain them favor, this strategy was not entirely successful, for construction continued, and, in spite of restrictions regarding windows, twenty years later the nuns were still complaining about noise from the palace.75

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Although the community at S. Caterina may have lost its battle with the Buzi family, in other instances nuns were successful in dealing with their neighbors and ecclesiastical hierarchy, as in the case of the Discalced Carmelites at S. Teresa on the via Pia near the Quattro Fontane. The very constricted space of their cloister and noise from surrounding neighbors was a great affliction for these religious women dedicated to ‘retirement, silence, and prayer’.76 Apostolic visitors confirmed these conditions, noting that the cells were noisy and the cloister so small, it was as if the nuns were living in a well. To alleviate these problems, the nuns sought to purchase the neighboring garden of a Mattei family palace. After the uncooperative Mattei refused to sell the garden unless the nuns bought the palace too, for a price far beyond the convent’s means, the nuns adopted a double-pronged strategy. While they prayed fervently for their objective, their prioress, Maria Maddalena dell’Incarnazione, began to pull every string she could, contacting various influential churchmen to gain their support and persuade them to use their influence on the convent’s behalf.77 In this, she was not at all unusual. Prioresses and abbesses were often capable administrators, adept at pushing forward projects to benefit their convents. Although compelled to rely on male agents to handle negotiations outside the convent walls, Maria Maddalena dell’Incarnazione provided direction. The respect she commanded from these men is evident in the way high-ranking ecclesiastics unfailingly responded to her requests for interviews and were persuaded to support the convent’s cause. Ultimately the nuns decided to sell papal bonds (luoghi di monti) to purchase both the garden and the palace, in the face of strong opposition from their male superiors eager to protect these sheltered religious women from financial mistakes. The nuns were careful to provide a religious justification for their desire to purchase the property: it was necessary, not for their comfort and pleasure, but to free them from the noise and lack of privacy that impeded their spiritual mission.78 After numerous setbacks and much determined effort, the nuns purchased the palace with its garden and enlarged their cloister. This episode illustrates how nuns both negotiated with and challenged male authorities to achieve their goals. Their success demonstrates that even within the constrictions imposed upon them by clausura and male supervision, nuns could push their own agendas.

Patronage and public presence Nuns did not limit their interventions to the spaces which they inhabited inside the convent, but also lavished attention on their public church, which they were forbidden to enter.79 Here, in this public space, their patronage was

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visibly displayed to the laity. Although nuns were not physically present in the space of their church, it functioned to present the public face of the convent. Like their male counterparts, female religious utilized the decoration of their church to construct the identity of their community and celebrate its place within the Church. Themes in their decorations usually related to the church’s titular saint, saints of their order, and tenets of post-Tridentine spirituality. Within this context, images of female saints, the Virgin, virtues and nuns were often emphasized, establishing the female identity of these communities and the role of women in the Church.80 This female spirituality is exemplified in the Augustinian church of S. Lucia in Selci, where images of St Augustine recalled the church’s order, while depictions of St Lucy, St Monica and the Virgin celebrated the nuns’ own status as holy virgins and intercessors for Christendom.81 The saints and models of female piety in convent churches were presented not as an inspiration to the nuns, who were not their audience, but as models to the public of the piety of the women enclosed behind the convent’s walls. While nuns’ churches attracted the patronage of their cardinal protector and the women’s families, the nuns themselves, either functioning as a corporate body or acting individually, were the primary patrons. Like secular women patrons, nuns born into the same privileged social classes exercised an ecclesiastical patronage appropriate to their status, but from within the convent.82 Private allowances (vitalizi or livelli) supplied by nuns’ families for their special needs enabled individual nuns to act as eager and generous patrons.83 In contrast to their patronage inside the convent, where architecture and decorations were generally modest in character, their embellishment of the public space of their church was more lavish and engaged in the politics of display. Empowered by family wealth, prestige and connections, Benedictine nuns at S. Ambrogio della Massima between 1606 and c. 1660 built and embellished their public church with works of art by some of the most outstanding artists in Rome, endowing it with an elegant character in contrast to the cramped quarters of their convent.84 Beatrice de Torres, in collaboration with her brother Cardinal Ludovico de Torres, archbishop of Monreale, was patron, as well as building supervisor of the church constructed to the designs of Carlo Maderno and Orazio Torriani.85 De Torres family patronage was commemorated in the frieze at the base of the dome in which a bishop’s miter and stars alternate with the family stemma of towers. Together with various De Torres women in the convent, nuns from other illustrious families, like the Fabij and Colonna, focused their patronage on the church’s chapels dedicated to titular St Ambrose (Fig. 8.6); St Stephen, titular of an earlier church of the convent; the Pietà; and the Virgin.86 Within these chapels, decorated by artists Ciro Ferri, Pietro da Cortona, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Giovanni Francesco

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Romanelli and Giuseppe Cesari d’Arpino, the nun–patrons prominently displayed family stemme (Fig. 8.7).87 In their church, the noble nuns expressed their devout and corporate identity by linking themselves with the long history of their venerable convent through saints and images associated with their community. But by displaying coats of arms they asserted a familial identity as they publicly proclaimed their lineage. Although Borromeo in his Instructiones fabricae declared that nothing in the church should indicate worldly magnificence or include heraldic devices that gave the appearance of works of the nobility, this advice was certainly ignored by the nuns of Rome.88 Through patronage they subtly contested the boundaries of their circumscribed existence and asserted a presence beyond the confines of the cloister. Their patronage gave the invisible nuns a public voice. The art patronage of Roman nuns represented an important vehicle for exercising agency and inserting their convents into the life of the city.89 As patrons, nuns asserted pride in their communities, contributed to the spiritual decorum of their churches, publicly expressed devotion, commemorated their families, and won honor in their communities.

Conclusion Within the gendered spaces of the architecture of enclosure, designed to regulate conduct and foster spiritual perfection, nuns negotiated ways which advanced their own communal, spiritual, worldly and familial identities. They constructed an ambience that fostered their spirituality in communal spaces like their choirs or in private devotional spaces where they retreated. Their interventions reflect an intensity of religious spirit which sometimes exceeded expectations. Themes in the decorations which they commissioned aimed to stimulate devotion or to affirm their unique and special role as holy virgin intercessors. Although they were restricted to this role by the patriarchal Church, their celebration of it conferred validation and proclaimed identity. Nuns subscribed to a significant degree to the ideals of gender and spirituality expressed by male churchmen, but they were not passive, even if ultimately controlled by Church authority. They adapted the ideal of enclosure to fit with the reality of their lived experience within the urban and social fabric of Rome. When the model of female monasticism imposed by the Church was viewed by nuns not to be in their best interests, they opposed it. In battles that focused around the seclusion of the convent, both those which sought to protect privacy or those aimed at maintaining contact with the secular world, nuns’ actions reflect a desire to assert some control over their spaces and lives. Enclosure was never quite as complete as ecclesiastical authorities desired

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because the majority of nuns recognized the advantages derived from contact with their families, who supplied them with the financial means and the connections which enabled them to be patrons and exert agency. As patrons of art and architecture, nuns actively participated in their own shaping of spirituality in the spaces they inhabited and in creating a public presence in their churches, achieving a voice not only within the cloister walls but beyond.

Notes * 1. 2.

3. 4.

5.

Research for this essay was made possible by Loyola University, Chicago through a Research Support Grant (1997) and a Faculty Research Leave (spring 1999). I am indebted to Helen Hills for her many helpful comments. Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, trans. and ed. H. J. Schroeder (St Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1941), pp. 218–29. Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg, ‘Strict Active Enclosure and its Effects on the Female Monastic Experience (ca. 500–1100)’, in John A. Nichols and Lillian Thomas Shank, eds, Distant Echoes: Medieval Religious Women, Cistercian Studies Series 71 (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1984), I: 51–86. Raymond Creytens, ‘La riforma dei monasteri femminili dopo i Decreti Tridentini’, Il Concilio di Trento e la riforma tridentina (Rome: Herder, 1965), I: 45–84. The concept of a reciprocal relationship between social structure and human agency is expressed in Anthony Giddens’s theory of structuration (Central Problems in Social Theory: Action, Structure and Contradiction in Social Analysis, London: Macmillan, 1979). This concept of interdependence informs Roberta Gilchrist’s study of the relationship of material culture and the social construction of gender in later medieval English nunneries. Religious women are shown to have been constructed by social structure and their actions may have reinforced this structure, but they also possessed the ability to sometimes oppose or transform it (Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Religious Women, London and New York: Routledge, 1994). Also see Aafke Komter, ‘Gender, Power, and Feminist Theory’ and Joan Wolffensperger, ‘Engendered Structure: Giddens and the Conceptualization of Gender’, in Kathy Davis, Monique Leijenaar and Jantine Oldersma, eds, The Gender of Power (London: SAGE Publications, 1991), pp. 42–62 and pp. 87–108 for their discussions of the relationship between structural determinism and personal agency. Evelyn Carole Voelker, ‘Charles Borromeo’s Instructiones fabricae et supellectilis ecclesiasticae, 1577. A Translation with Commentary and Analysis’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Syracuse University, 1977. The impact of Borromeo’s prescriptions for churches in northern Italy is discussed by Liliana Grassi, ‘Iconologia delle chiese monastiche femminili dall’alto medievo ai secoli XVI–XVII’, Arte lombarda, 9 (1), 1964, 131–50. Gabriella Zarri notes that in Bologna 16 of 27 churches in the apostolic visitation of 1633–37 conformed to Borromeo’s plan. The exceptions were convent churches that also performed parochial functions or belonged to older, venerated city institutions (‘Recinti sacri. Sito e forma dei monasteri femminili a Bologna tra ’500 e ’600’, in

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Lucretta Scaraffia and Sofia Boesch Gajano, eds, Luoghi sacri e spazi della santità (Turin: Rosenberg and Sellier, 1990), p. 386. 6. Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, p. 223; Giovanni Battista De Luca, Il religioso pratico dell’uno e dell’altro sesso (Rome: Stamperia della Reverenda Camera Apostolica, 1679), p. 228; Luigi Fiorani, ‘Monache e monasteri romani nell’età del quietismo’, Ricerche per la storia religiosa di Roma, 1, 1977, 71–2; and Stefano Andretta, ‘Religious Life in Baroque Rome’, in Peter van Kessel and Elisja Schulte, eds, Rome/Amsterdam: Two Growing Cities in Seventeenth Century Europe (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1997), pp. 171–2. 7. ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, ‘Prattica del governo delle monache’ (treatise by Antonio Seneca, 1604), fols 140–41; ASV, Archivum Arcis 6493, fol. 37. Deputies were charged with approving expenses over 4 scudi while regular expenses were paid by the convent’s fattore who provided a list of these for the abbess to record (ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 3, ‘Decreti generali 1627’, fol. 626). While male employees dealt with a convent’s legal and financial affairs in the public world, the nuns were responsible for maintaining their own administrative records, and payment orders were frequently issued in the abbess’s name. 8. Borromeo’s associate, Antonio Seneca, deacon of Milan, in a manual written for Roman nuns in 1604, argued that their churches should not be embellished in such a way as to attract the public (ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fols 128–9). Helen Hills has noted the contrast between austere exteriors and lavish interiors in female convent churches in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Palermo, observing that this served as a metaphor for the hidden wealth (aristocratic virgins) which the convents housed (‘Iconography and Ideology: Aristocracy, Immaculacy, and Virginity in Seventeenth Century Palermo’, Oxford Art Journal, 17 (2), 1994, 28, note 14). 9. Voelker, ‘Borromeo’s Instructiones’, pp. 389–90, 401, note 1, p. 404, note 3. Also see ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 112, ‘Acta Sacrae Visitationis Apostolicae S.D.N. Urbani VIII. Pars seconda (1624–30)’, fol. 278v; ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 114, fasc. 5, ‘Inventario di tutti li beni, mobili, stabili, frutti, rendite … del venerabil[e] monast.ro di S.ta Lucia in Selce, fatto il 16 Ap[ri]le MCCXXVII’; ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze in S. Teresa, Busta 4366, Inventory of 1727; ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Clarisse, SS. Concezione ai Monti, Busta 4965/1, ‘Transunto autentico delle nostre sante constitutioni 1638’, Caps III, XII; and ‘Ordinationi, avvisi e dichiarationi, per la perfetta Osservanza, Regola, e Costitutioni dell’Ordine de’Predicatori del Monasterio di S. Maria Maddalena in Monte Cavallo di Roma nel MDLXXXII adi 15 marzo’, Cap. 8, published in Alberto Zucchi, Roma Domenicana (Florence: Memorie Domenicane, 1938), 1: 212. 10. ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 113, fasc. 9, Inventory of 1726. 11. Jodi Bilinkoff, The Avila of Saint Teresa: Religious Reform in a SixteenthCentury City (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989), p. 107. The Catholic reformer and mystic St Teresa of Avila (1515–82) was regarded in the seventeenth century as the ideal model of a true and perfect nun (Carlo Andrea Basso, La monaca perfetta, Venice: Pezzana, 1674, p. 8). 12. Basso, La monaca perfetta, p. 103 and Agostino Valerio, Ricordi di Monsignor Agost[ino] Valerio, vesc[ovo] di Verona lasciati alle monache nella sua

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13. 14. 15.

16. 17.

18. 19. 20.

21.

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visitatione fatta l’anno del Santis. Giubileo MDLXXV (Venice: Bolognino Zaltieri, 1575), pp. 26, 37. ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 112, fol. 241v; ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 12, fols 7r–v; and ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 104, fasc. 12, Visitation of 1710. AGOP XII. 8000, Mon[astero] ab Humilitate, ‘Libro delle memorie delle nostre monache defonte di questo monastero di S. M. del Hum[il]ta’. ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 28, ‘Stato temporale delle chiese di Roma. Tomo primo (1640–70)’, ‘Relatione dello stato temporale del mon.rio di S. Lucia in Selce data alla Sacra Visita all’ 8 di Giugno 1662’, fol. 337; ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Sacra Visita Apostolica, no. 114, fasc. 5, ‘Inventario … 1727’; Matizia Maroni Lumbroso, ‘Il monastero agostoniano di S. Lucia in Selci’, in Roma al microscopio (Rome: Collana della Fondazione Marco Besso, 1968), pp. 215, 219–20. As Roberta Gilchrist (Gender and Material Culture, p. 152) discusses in the case of English medieval nunneries, monastic space was hierarchically structured according to seniority in the convent, social class, the distinction between secular and religious, male and female liturgical roles, and the communal and individual. ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 114, fasc. 5, ‘Inventario … 1727’ and Lumbroso, ‘Il monastero’, pp. 219–20. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Agostiniane in S. Lucia in Selci, Busta 3702, fasc. 3; Lumbroso, ‘Il monastero’, p. 220; Howard Hibbard, Carlo Maderno and Roman Architecture, 1580–1630 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1971), p. 137; Guide rionali di Roma: Rione I–Monti, ed. Liliana Barroero (Rome: Fratelli Palombi, 1979), 2: 76. Their views on virginity were promoted through the publication of De Virginitate Opuscula Sanctorum Doctorum Ambrosii, Hieronymi, et Augustini (Rome, 1562), a compilation of the writings on virginity by Church Fathers. St Monica’s tears and prayers won the conversion of her son, Augustine, while the intense prayers of St Clare of Montefalco, a late medieval Augustinian nun, were rewarded by the appearance of the instruments of the Passion in her heart. Christina McOmber notes a similar emphasis on women in the murals of the choir of SS. Domenico e Sisto (1605–06). Their themes of the Adoration, Way to Calvary, Resurrection and Last Judgment were keyed to moments from the four liturgical seasons celebrated by the nuns, who were the murals’ patrons (‘Recovering Female Agency: Roman Patronage and the Dominican Convent of SS. Domenico e Sisto’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Iowa, 1997, pp. 127–48). Nuns were also sometimes involved as producers of the devotional images that filled their choirs, such as the murals painted by Sister Maria Eufrasia della Croce in the coro d’inverno at S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case. See Franca Trinchieri Camiz, ‘“Virgo-non sterilis … ”: Nuns as Artists in Seventeenth Century Rome’, in Géraldine A. Johnson and Sara Matthews Grieco, eds, Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 142–9. As Zarri, ‘Recinti sacri’ (p. 387) points out, the sacred images throughout the convent demonstrate how convents were places dedicated to prayer. For the important role that images played in nuns’ spirituality see Jeffrey F. Hamburger, ‘The Visual and Visionary: The Image in Late Medieval Monastic Devotions’, Viator, 20, 1989, 161–82; Jeffrey F. Hamburger, ‘Art, Enclosure and the Cura Monialium: Prolegomena in the Guise of a Postscript’, Gesta, 31 (2), 1992, 108–34; Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval

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22. 23.

24. 25. 26.

27. 28. 29. 30.

31.

32.

33. 34.

169

Convent (Berkeley: University of California, 1997); and Chiara Frugoni, ‘Female Mystics, Visions, and Iconography’, in Daniel Bornstein and Roberto Rusconi, eds, trans. Margery J. Schneider, Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 130–64. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Agostiniane, S. Maria delle Vergini, Busta 3762, fol. 234 and ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 113, fasc. 9. McOmber, ‘Recovering Female Agency’ (p. 82) describes how various chapels in the cloister at SS. Domenico e Sisto represented the pilgrimage churches of Rome. Garden chapels at S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case were painted with images of the seven pilgrimage churches (Camiz, ‘“Virgo-non sterilis … ”’, p. 149). A copy of this edict is found in ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze, S. Teresa, Busta 4367. Lettura d’istruzione ad una monaca novizia (Padua: G. Comino, 1724), pp. 81–2. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Agostiniane, S. Maria delle Vergini, Busta 3762, fol. 234 and ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 113, fasc. 9; ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 36, fol. 16v; and Matizia Maroni Lumbroso, ‘La Scala Santa nella chiesa di S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case’, in Roma al microscopio, pp. 14–15. These holy stairs were granted numerous papal indulgences. Maria Serafina della SS. Trinità made the scala santa at S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case ‘per consolazione comune di questo nostro monastero … ’ (Lumbroso, ‘La Scala Santa’, p. 14). Valerio, Ricordi, p. 26. Voelker, ‘Borromeo’s Instructiones’, pp. 424–6 and ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fols 118v–119v. The presence of an aunt or elder sister could exert a subtle, if not overt, influence on young women who often entered convents as children to be educated. Carla Russo, I monasteri femminili di clausura a Napoli nel secolo XVII (Naples: Università di Napoli Istituto di Storia Medioevale e Moderna, 1970), pp. 49, 59–60. Craig Monson, Disembodied Voices: Music and Culture in an Early Modern Italian Convent (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), p. 152. On lesbianism and the Italian convent see Judith C. Brown, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986). ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 112, fol. 211v. Some nuns at S. Ambrogio della Massima and S. Lucia in Selci also paid for the construction of their cells (Archivio di S. Ambrogio, ‘Instrumenta’, fols 165–69 and ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Agostiniane, S. Lucia in Selci, Busta 3703, fasc. 2). For a discussion of a similar practice in the Brescian convent of S. Giulia see Silvia Evangelisiti, ‘L’Uso e la trasmissione delle celle nel monastero di Santa Giulia di Brescia (1597–1688)’, Quaderni storici, 30 (88), 1995, 85–110. ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 112, fol. 211 and Zucchi, Roma Domenicana, 1: 232–3. Basso, La monaca perfetta (p. 319) warned that an aunt’s affection for her niece in a convent could pose a very distracting influence. Restrictions were placed on the number of family members permitted in a convent in an effort to control family cliques and affectionate attachments. In his treatise on the

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35.

36.

37.

38. 39.

40. 41. 42.

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government of Roman convents, Seneca declared that in communities of fewer than forty nuns, no more than two sisters from the same family or four relatives of the second degree should be admitted (ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fol. 6). De Luca, Il religioso pratico (p. 235) advised that a third sister could be admitted with special permission and a double dowry but without a voice in convent affairs. For the destructive effect of cliques see Monson, Disembodied Voices, pp. 110–17, 131–51. Monica Chojnacka also notes the concerns about social cliques addressed in the charter of the Casa delle Zitelle (founded 1559) in Venice. She points out that the concern about female closeness may have had more to do with the problem of the formation of cliques than with suspicions of sexual activity (‘Women, Charity, and Community in Early Modern Venice: The Casa delle Zitelle’, Renaissance Quarterly, 51 (1), 1998, 80–81). Complaints of some Roman nuns at S. Maria delle Vergini in 1686 suggest that Prioress Felice Giustiniani retained her power through the support of a faction of nuns over whom she held influence (Archivio Storico del Vicariato di Roma, ‘Monache. Memorie di regole e di vita nei loro monasteri e conventi’, Tomo 17, fols 478–9). Based on gender stereotypes, women were regarded as more prone to extremes of emotion. Even when particular friendships did not transgress into sexual relationships, they were considered detrimental since they not only led to favoritism and petty jealousies, but distracted a nun from her love of her community and God (Benedetto Biscia, Insegnamenti spirituali per la monaca, Jesi: Stamperia Episcopale, 1683, pp. 177, 180 and St Theresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, trans. A. Alexander, Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Bookshop, 1946, pp. 21–5). Also see Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg, Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society ca. 500–1100 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 348–54 on particular friendships. Voelker, ‘Borromeo’s Instructiones’, p. 425 and ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fol. 120. See inventories contained in ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 113, fasc. 9 and no. 114, fasc. 5; ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze, S. Teresa, Busta 4366 (1727 inventory); and AGOP XII. 8000, Mon. Ab Humilitate, ‘Libro delle memorie’. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Terziarie Francescane, S. Bernardino ai Monti, Busta 4870, fasc. 2, no. 87 and Ottorino Montenovesi, ‘La Chiesa e il Monastero di San Bernardino in Roma’, Archivi d’Italia, serie 2, 9, 1942, 82. According to Francesca Farnese’s biographer, the convent of SS. Concezione ai Monti reflected her ideas more than her other foundations in which she had not been involved in the construction. She was actively involved in the design of the Roman convent (Andrea Nicoletti, Vita della venerabile madre suor Francesca Farnese detta di Gesù Maria dell’Ordine di Santa Chiara, Rome: Giacomo Dragonelli, 1660, p. 312). See Mario Rosa, ‘The Nun’, in Rosario Villari, ed., Baroque Personae, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995), pp. 233–7. See Hamburger, ‘Visual and Visionary’, 161–82 and ‘Art, Enclosure’, 117–26 and Frugoni, ‘Female Mystics’, pp. 130–64. Nicoletti’s observation that Farnese desired the image to be ‘fatta di chiaroscuro, acciochè con la divotione del Santo risplendesse anco la povertà, e semplicità religiosa; e perciò tenne sempre il detto quadro in molta veneratione’ stresses

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43. 44.

45. 46.

47.

48. 49.

50.

51. 52.

53.

54. 55.

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how images functioned even in more austere orders like the reformed Clarisse (Vita, p. 418). The role of both written texts and visual images in nuns’ devotional lives is evident in Francesca Farnese’s reference to spiritual books, including those of St Teresa and St Charles Borromeo, as well as to the image of the Virgin as guides in writing her constitutions (approved 1638) (Nicoletti, Vita, pp. 151–2). ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 113, fasc. 9 and no. 114, fasc. 5 and Camiz, ‘“Virgo-non sterilis … ”’ p. 279, note 28. ‘la sua cella era così piena d’imagini che puoco muro vi restava. La mag.r parte eran di carta per non offender la povertà, a q.ti essa di continono si raccomandava chiedono ora ad una ora ad un altro la Ben[edizio]ne e con battersi il petto faceva atti di contutione … ’ (AGOP XII. 8000, Mon. ab Humilitate, ‘Libro delle memorie’). AGOP XII. 8000, Mon. ab Humilitate, ‘Libro delle memorie’. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze, S. Teresa, Busta 4366. Mary-Ann Winkelmes discusses the small spaces off the nuns’ choir in the Benedictine convent of S. Maurizio in Milan, frescoed with landscape scenes in the 1520s by Bernardino Luini, that provided hermitage-like spaces for private meditations (‘Taking Part: Benedictine Nuns as Patrons of Art and Architecture’, in Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy, pp. 103–9). Nicoletti’s account specifically pertains to Francesca Farnese’s convent in Farnese, but it is likely that romitori also existed at her Roman foundation of SS. Concezione, which Nicoletti described as full of little chapels and places of prayer (Vita, pp. 176–7, 318). Roma moderna (Rome: Bernabò e Lazzarini, 1741), p. 83. The 1727 inventory of S. Lucia in Selci notes that the nuns employed a gardener. Like other male workmen who entered the cloister for necessary work, his presence was strictly controlled. ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 114, fasc. 5; Ottorino Montenovesi, ‘Le chiese e monasteri romani. Santa Lucia in Selci’, Archivi d’Italia, 10, 1943, 94; and Lumbroso, ‘Il monastero’, p. 221. Zarri, ‘Recinti sacri’ (p. 387) has pointed out that certain sections of the gardens of Bolognese convents were designated for particular ascetic exercises. As with all aspects of the convent, the garden was subject to the prescriptions of church officials concerned with protecting the integrity of the convent at this vulnerable open spot within the walled complex (Voelker, ‘Borromeo’s Instructiones’, pp. 430–31 and ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fols 122v–25v). Nicoletti, Vita, pp. 123, 178–80. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze, S. Egidio, Busta 4284; Camiz, ‘“Virgo-non sterilis … ”’, p. 149; ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 114, fasc. 5; and ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Agostiniane, S. Lucia in Selci, Busta 3706, fasc. 2, payment of 7 October 1665. In describing the nuns’ visits to the garden chapels at S. Maria delle Grazie, Nicoletti explained, ‘si facevano per la venuta dello Spirito Santo’. Initially associated with the feast of Pentecost, these spiritual retreats were so popular with the nuns that they were extended to other times throughout the year (Nicoletti, Vita, pp. 176–80). ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 6, ‘Acta Sacrae Visitationis Apostolicae S.D.N. Alexandri Divina Providentia PP. VII. Seconda Pars [1662–1667]’, fol. 286. ‘la più spaziosa e bella, che si possa desiderare’ (AGOP XII. 9200/6b, ‘Relazione

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56. 57. 58.

59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

64.

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della fondatione, origini, e progressi del Ven.e Monast.o di S.ta Caterina di Siena … fatta dal P. R.mo fr. Vincenzo M.a Fontana’). Francesco Valesio, Diario di Roma, G. Scano, ed. (Milan: Longanesi, 1977–79), 2: 543–4. Voelker, ‘Borromeo’s Instructiones’, pp. 414–16; ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fols 100–101 and ASV, Archivum Arcis 6493, fol. 37v. For instance, in 1688 nuns at S. Silvestro in Capite were cited as spending too much time in the parlor to the neglect of divine offices and communal meals, while in 1710 decrees of a visitation to S. Maria delle Vergini similarly reminded the nuns to abstain from visiting in the parlor except with family members and to not neglect their sacred duties (Archivio Vicariato di Roma, Segretaria del Vicariato, Tomo 18, fol. 711 and ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 113, fasc. 8). Also see Fiorani, ‘Monache e monasteri’, 77. There were, however, some stricter convents in which nuns eschewed frequenting the parlor. The constitutions of the Clarisse of Francesca Farnese advised limiting visits with family members to only four per year, while the austere Turchine at SS. Annunziata took a fourth vow to observe a stricter enclosure that permitted only three visits a year with relatives of the first degree (ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Clarisse, SS. Concezione ai Monti, Busta 4965/1, ‘Transunto autentico delle nostre sante constitutioni 1638’, Cap. X and Ignazio Barbagallo, Beati i poveri di spirito. La ven. Camilla Orsini ved. Borghese in religione suor Maria Vittoria monaca Turchina, Frosinone: Editrice Frusinate, 1976, p. 167). Basso, La monaca perfetta, pp. 355–6 and Biscia, Insegnamenti spirituali, p. 221. ASV, Archivum Arcis 6492, fols 113r–v. Basso, La monaca perfetta, pp. 361–2 and Beretta, Lettura d’istruzione, p. 52. For instance, see Basso, La monaca perfetta, pp. 344, 346–7, 352–3 and St Theresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, pp. 55–6. Russo, I monasteri femminili, pp. 69–70; Monson, Disembodied Voices, pp. 11, 114, 139–40, 183–5, 188; and Robert Kendrick, Celestial Sirens: Nuns and Their Music in Early Modern Milan (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), p. 415. These authors note the advantages of networks of family alliances for convents. Fiorani, ‘Monache e monasteri’ (p. 70), however, points out the negative effects of aristocratic interference in convents. AGOP XII. 8000, Mon. ab Humilitate, ‘Libro delle memorie’, fols 8r–v; Domenico Bertucci, Istoria della vita ed azioni di Francesca Baglioni Orsini fondatrice del monastero di S. Maria dell’Umiltà di Roma (Rome: Generoso Salamoni, 1753), pp. 213–16; and Aldo Cicinelli, S. Maria dell’Umiltà e la Cappella del Collegio Americano del Nord (Rome: Marinetti, 1970), pp. 34, 39–40, 71–6. Although convents have often been characterized as dumping grounds for undowered daughters, many families did not forget these women and continued to provide them with support. The post-Tridentine Church tried to ensure the sincerity of vocations. See Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, pp. 226–9. In his treatise on nuns, Basso condemned the practice of giving one daughter a rich dowry and forcing the others into a convent, likening it to burying someone alive to get their inheritance. He recognized that nuns who regretted their profession were like ‘angry dogs on a chain’ (Basso, La monaca perfetta, pp. 40, 52). However, Hills points out the continued importance of forced monacation as a strategy used by the feudal aristocracy of Naples and Palermo

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66. 67.

68.

69. 70. 71.

72.

73. 74.

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intent on maintaining economic and social privileges (Helen Hills, ‘Cities and Virgins: Female Aristocratic Convents in Early Modern Naples and Palermo’, Oxford Art Journal, 22 (1), 1999, 44–6). On forced vocations see Pio Paschini, I monasteri femminili in Italia nel Cinquecento (Padua: Editrice Antenore, 1960); Fiorani, ‘Monache e monasteri’, 73–7; Enrico Cattaneo, ‘Le monacazioni forzate fra cinque e seicento’, in Umberto Colombo, ed., Vita e processo di suor Virginia Maria de Leyva monaca di Monza (Milan: Garzanti, 1985), pp. 145–95; Francesca Medioli, L’‘Inferno monacale’ di Arcangela Tarbotti (Turin: Rosenberg & Sellier, 1990), pp. 111–35. Biagio della Purificazione, Vita della venerabile madre suor Chiara Maria della Passione carmelitana scalza fondatrice del monastero di Regina Coeli (Rome: Gioseppe Vannacci, 1681), pp. 28–48, 158–9. Although Clement X revoked permission for these visits, power and prestige could always exert exceptions, and the problem continued (Regesti di bandi, editti, notificazioni e provvedimenti diversi relativi alla città di Roma ed allo stato pontificio, Rome: Società Tipografica Castaldi, 1920–58, 7: 1075; ASV, Fondo Carpegna, no. 77, fols 128–29v; Fiorani, ‘Monache e monasteri’, 70–71). The report of the 1664 apostolic visitation described the convent as ‘più tosto un aggregato di casette, le quali si come insieme hanno poco proportione tra di loro, cosi rendono grandem.te incommoda, oscura, e mal sana tutta l’habitatione’. The apostolic visitors reported that the community did not observe a communal life because of its poverty, but noted that each nun received an ample allowance from her family (ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 6, fols 285r–v). In 1664 the community consisted of twenty-nine professed nuns, two novices and fourteen converse. A financial evaluation of Roman convents that dates from the middle of the seventeenth century ranks S. Ambrogio as neither wealthy nor poor but ‘commodo’ (comfortable) (BAV, Chigi G III 70, Visita Apostolica, fol. 352). ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 6, fols 285v–86. While grates and shutters shielded some views, certain cells and a corridor to a courtyard were visible from the torricella of a nearby house. S. Ambrogio was considered by many to be the most ancient and noble retreat of sacred virgins in Rome (A. Martinetti, Notizie dell’origine e dell’antichità del ven. Monastero di S. Ambrogio detto della Massima, Rome: Pallade, 1755, p. 1). At other convents which either were able to acquire neighboring property or were located in less densely populated areas of Rome, nuns frequently contributed to the expansion and improvement of their facilities. Adequate space and good design to foster spiritual decorum were important considerations in founding new convents. ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 6, fols 360v–75v and ASV, Fondo Miscellanea VII, no. 36, fols 240–56. For Alexander VII’s objectives for the beautification of Rome see Richard Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, 1655–1667 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985) and Dorothy Metzger Habel, who has called attention to Alexander VII’s strategies of working with private builders to achieve these goals in another area of Rome (‘Alexander VII and the Private Builder: Two Case Studies on the Development of via del Corso in Rome’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 49, 1990, 293–309). Ermete Rossi, ‘Roma ignorata’, Roma, 21, 1943, 193. ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 6, fols 375r–v.

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75. ASV, Sacra Congregazione della Visita Apostolica, no. 12, fol. 162. 76. ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze, S. Teresa, Busta 4366, ‘Relazione di quello accadde nell’ingrandimento della Clausura del Nostro Monastero dedicato alla Nostra Madre Teresa’. The following account of the nuns’ efforts to resolve this problem is derived from this memoir. 77. Initially Cardinal Nicolò Ludovisi, deacon of the Sacred College of Cardinals and the convent’s benefactor, agreed to help, but his efforts were unsuccessful. Later, when Prioress Maria Maddalena dell’Incarnazione took up the cause again, she contacted Monsignor Cesarini, whose brother the duke was planning to buy the Mattei palace, and Cardinal Sforza Pallavicini, who lived in the palace. Although Pallavicini could not openly oppose the interests of the Cesarini to whom he was related, he recommended that the nuns appeal to Monsignor Prospero Fagnani, secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Council, who enjoyed great influence with Alexander VII. 78. ‘non si muovevano à quella deliberazione per proprio commodo, e delizia, ma solo per rimuover gl’inconvenienti che da quella si gran soggezzione puotevano originarsi’ (ASR, Congregazioni religiose femminili, Carmelitane Scalze, S. Teresa, Busta 4366, ‘Relazione … ’). 79. See Russo, I monasteri femminili, pp. 56–7; Marilyn Dunn, ‘Nuns as Art Patrons: The Decoration of S. Marta al Collegio Romano’, Art Bulletin, 70 (3), 1988, 451–77; Marilyn Dunn, ‘Convents: After the Council of Trent (1545–63)’, in Delia Gaze, ed., Dictionary of Women Artists (London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997), 1: 24–8; Sherrill Cohen, The Evolution of Women’s Asylums Since 1500: from Refuges for Ex-Prostitutes to Shelters for Battered Women (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 96–8; and Hills, ‘Cities and Virgins’, 37–8. 80. On the imagery of convent churches in other Italian cities see Hills, ‘Iconography and Ideology’, 16–31; Hills, ‘Cities and Virgins’; and Monson, Disembodied Voices, pp. 32, 103. 81. For a discussion of the patronage and iconography of S. Lucia in Selci see Marilyn Dunn, ‘Piety and Agency: Patronage at the Convent of S. Lucia in Selci’, Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art, 1, 2000, 29–59. 82. On secular women as patrons in the early modern period see Carolyn Valone, ‘Roman Matrons as Patrons: Various Views of the Cloister Wall’, in Craig A. Monson, ed., The Crannied Wall: Women, Religion, and the Arts in Early Modern Europe (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1992), pp. 49–72; Carolyn Valone, ‘Piety and Patronage: Women and the Early Jesuits’, in E. Ann Matter and John Coakley, eds, Creative Women in Medieval and Early Modern Italy (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), pp. 157–84; Carolyn Valone, ‘Women on the Quirinal Hill: Patronage in Early Modern Rome’, Art Bulletin, 76, 1994, 129–46; Carolyn Valone, ‘Mothers and Sons: Two Paintings for San Bonaventura in Early Modern Rome’, Renaissance Quarterly, 53, 2000, 108–32; Elisja Schulte van Kessel, ‘Gender and Spirit, Pietas et Contemptus Mundi. Matron–patrons in Early Modern Rome’, in E. Schulte van Kessel, ed., Women and Men in Spiritual Culture (The Hague: Netherlands Government Publishing Office, 1986), pp. 47–68; Marilyn Dunn, ‘Spiritual Philanthropists: Women as Convent Patrons in Seicento Rome’, in Cynthia Lawrence, ed., Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), pp. 154–88; and Catherine King, Renaissance Women

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83.

84.

85. 86.

87.

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Patrons: Wives and Widows in Italy, 1300–1550 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998). De Luca, Il religioso pratico (p. 168) notes how typical the practice of providing livelli was. These allowances, technically supervised by a nun’s superior, were in addition to the dowry paid to support the maintenance of the community. Dowries were invested in productive capital such as papal bonds (luoghi di monti), long-term loans (censi), and real estate. In seventeenth-century Rome dowries averaged between 700 and 1000 scudi for professed nuns and about 300 scudi for converse. See Thomas M. Kealy, Dowry of Women Religious: A Historical Synopsis and Commentary (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1941) and Fiorani, ‘Monache e monasteri’, 82. For S. Ambrogio della Massima see Giovanni Battista Mola, Breve racconto delle miglior opere d’architettura, scultura et pittura fatte in Roma et alcuni fuor di Roma (Rome, 1663), pp. 89–90; Hibbard, Carlo Maderno, p. 138; Giulia Gurisatti and Domenico Picchi, ‘S. Ambrogio della Massima’, Quaderni dell’Istituto di storia dell’architettura, 27 (169–74), 1982, 52–3; and Archivio di S. Ambrogio di Roma, ‘La Chiesa di S. Ambrogio’, typescript by Padre Mayeul de Dreuille, O.S.B., whom I wish to thank for his gracious assistance to me at the archives. Her activity in this capacity is mentioned in a contract of 23 November 1633 with mason Simone Brogio (ASR, 30 Notari Capitolini, off. 31, S. Spada, vol. 37 (Sept.–Dec. 1633). For the decoration and patronage of these chapels see BAV, Vat. lat. 11884, fols 102r–v; ASV, Fondo Miscellanea, Arm. VII, no. 36, fols 14v–15v; Archivio di S. Ambrogio di Roma, photocopy of Inventory of 1726–27, fol. 2; Archivio di S. Ambrogio di Roma, ‘Instrumenta’, fols 222–24; Cesare D’Onofrio, Roma nel Seicento (Florence: Vallecchi, 1969), p. 14; Mola, Breve racconto, pp. 89–90; Filippo Titi, Studio di pittura, scoltura et architettura nelle chiese di Roma (Rome: Mancini, 1674), pp. 98–9; Giuliano Briganti, Pietro da Cortona e della pittura barocca (Florence: Sansoni, 1962), pp. 262–3; Carla Benocci, ‘Massima, che era costei? S. Ambrogio della Massima: Analisi e storia dell’antica dominazione della Chiesa’, Alma Roma, 19 (5–6), 1978, 38–9; and Martinetti, Notizie, pp. 16–29. The church was substantially altered in the nineteenth century after the Benedictine nuns were expelled by Napoleon in 1809. Most of the paintings were removed and lost. Nuns from the De Torres family were patrons of the high altar dedicated to St Ambrose and decorated with a painting by Ferri. The Chapel of St Stephen with its painting by Cortona was under the patronage of nuns of the Fabij family. Prudentia Colonna was patron of Bernini’s altar in the Chapel of the Pietà for which Romanelli painted the altarpiece of the Deposition for another nun, Maria Giacinthia Maurelli. The subject repeated that of a fifteenth-century fresco in the convent commissioned by nuns. The Chapel of the Blessed Virgin in which d’Arpino added decorations around an ancient, venerated image of the Madonna was under the patronage of Pulcheria Ceci and Gismonda Verili. The display of this image established ties between the convent and the lay society, serving as spiritual gift and public relations tool. Another nun, Chiara Francesca Aquilani, added to the church’s embellishment through her patronage of a new choir designed by Carlo Rainaldi. Its richly ornamented wooden cantoria projected into the church above the left transept. All of these decorations bore the nuns’ stemme except for the Chapel of the Virgin where patronage was commemorated by an inscription.

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88. Voelker, ‘Borromeo’s Instructiones’, pp. 450, 452, note 1. Family coats of arms displayed by nun patrons can also be seen in other convent churches such as SS. Domenico e Sisto, S. Maria dell’Umiltà and S. Lucia in Selci. 89. Monson, Disembodied Voices (pp. 10–11, 121, 139–40) has demonstrated how, through their musical performances, Bolognese nuns gained agency. In the form of ‘disembodied voices’ they maintained an enduring connection to the social fabric. Kendrick, Celestial Sirens (pp. 415, 420) notes how Milanese nuns also used their music to re-project their status into the ritual life of the city.

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CHAPTER NINE

Women in the Charterhouse: the Liminality of Cloistered Spaces at the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon1 Sherry C. M. Lindquist In 1385, Duke Philip the Bold and Duchess Margaret of Flanders, the founding couple of the powerful Valois house of Burgundy, established a new Carthusian Charterhouse, the Chartreuse de Champmol, as their dynastic mausoleum (Fig. 9.1).2 ‘Two arrow shots’ from the city gates of Dijon, the Chartreuse was liminal to the city, both literally and figuratively.3 As the city gates symbolically demarcated city from country, the Charterhouse walls demarcated monks from laity, sacred from secular, and, in a monastic order particularly insistent on forbidding contact with women, male from female. At Champmol, architecture successfully projected the illusion of an exclusive male preserve even while permitting women limited access. Architecturally negotiated interaction between monks and women officially ended only in 1506 when Pope Julius II barred women from entering the Charterhouse because what was ‘conceded for the good of the feminine sex can be scandalous for those dwelling there’.4 Carthusian architecture defined a space of masculine privilege where monks practiced an élite kind of contemplative piety thought to be beyond the spiritual capabilities of women.5 As this piety resembled the affective piety embraced by the female devout of the time, it may have been particularly important to the Carthusians to set themselves apart from their lay imitators.6 Charterhouses, such as the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon, were the spaces where Carthusians staged their special status – architecture, the mechanism that literally structured their liminality. Calling monasticism ‘institutionalized liminality’, Victor Turner argues that monastic status resembles the phase in social dramas which anthropologists identify as ‘liminal’.7 Liminality is the key transitional stage of the process in which a member of a society changes status by undergoing rites of separation, threshold (liminality) and aggregation.8 The liminal phase is characterized by isolation and by the suspension and/or reversal of social norms. In fact, the Carthusian Order is distinguished by its exceptional

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emphasis on solitude, on withdrawal from the world to a greater degree than other monastic orders.9 Since the Charterhouse is the physical destination of the Carthusians’ liminal journey, it draws symbolic value from both the liminal aspects of the rituals involved in becoming a monk, and the supposed liminal status of monks to the secular world. But as we shall see at Champmol, architecture was not merely symbolic of the monks’ liminal status, but also instrumental in establishing and maintaining Carthusian claims to this status. Furthermore, Carthusian architecture allowed a space for other individuals and social groups, lay and religious, male and female, to experience degrees of Carthusian-like liminality. Caroline Walker Bynum’s argument, that Victor Turner’s model of social drama describes the experiences of medieval men better than those of medieval women, is useful in understanding the relationship between gender, architecture and power at the Chartreuse de Champmol.10 Bynum argues that holy women did not appear to experience the pattern of rupture, liminality and reintegration because they were outside dominant power structures. Women’s dramas could not be complete in Turner’s terms: having never been integrated, they could not be reintegrated. We can conclude that meanings and functions of religious architecture reflected this asymmetry. Since women could not ban men from their convents without forgoing the sacraments administered by male priests, nunneries were spaces of potential sexual corruption, especially as medieval writings commonly represented women as weaker and more lascivious than men.11 Other chapters in this present volume document the architectural strategies employed to guard against possible transgressions, some of which have analogues in male foundations. Nonetheless, men were thought more resistant to temptation, and male cloisters were theoretically not accessible to women, and so could stand as ideological citadels representing the isolation and purity of the monks in a way nunneries could not do for nuns. The élite Carthusian Order makes such a claim architecturally through its Charterhouses.12 The Carthusian Rule requires Charterhouses to be located in inaccessible places, in addition to discouraging hospitality, and prescribing a conservative liturgy – all measures explicitly intended to minimize contact with the laity.13 While the founding documents make certain concessions with regard to poverty, hospitality and accepting gifts from benefactors, they make no such concessions about Carthusian contact with women.14 The Rule asserts that women are especially polluting, absolutely forbidding their entry into Charterhouses since ‘it is not possible for a man to touch the pitch without being caught in it’.15 Thus the Order’s symbolic architecture of seclusion asserts more urgently the Carthusian claim to be sequestered from contamination by the female sex than by the world in general. As I argue that architecture at Champmol operates to create and regulate

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different levels of liminality for different social classes and genders, it is helpful to identify three distinct liminalities following Turner and Bynum. The first is formal or ritualized liminality, described by Turner in his earlier work, where he asserts that the liminal contains ‘anti-structural’ potential for social groups.16 However, he emphasizes that such potential is effectively controlled in tribal rituals. Rituals that mark a change in status from boy to man, or heir-designate to chief, produce social dramas that reinstate privileged members of society with an equal or, more often, elevated social status. In contrast, the most important female rite is one that is connected to marriage in which ‘women lose and men gain’.17 Turner minimizes this inconsistency by stressing the political value of marriage as an ‘integrative mechanism’ rather than as an obstacle to the completion of women’s social dramas. Carolyn Walker Bynum further investigates the implications of gender for liminality (and vice versa). In applying Turner’s theories to her work, she concludes that liminal moments seem more important in the lives of male saints than female saints. She suggests that ‘liminality itself – as fully elaborated by Turner – may be less a universal moment of meaning needed by human beings as they move through social dramas than an escape for those who bear the burdens and reap the benefits of a high place in the social structure’.18 Bynum’s suggestion that liminality might serve as a release for the powerful does not so much correct and replace Turner’s theory of ritualized liminality as offer a second model of liminality to consider and test situationally. In his later work, Turner himself broadens the scope of his earlier model of liminality by exploring its anti-structural potential. He offers what we might see as a third kind of liminality, not easily controlled in formal rituals, but which creates opportunities for communitas, where communitarian values are reinforced, social barriers are temporarily diminished, and there emerges an opportunity for critique and innovation.19 Turner sometimes distinguishes this informal liminality from the more ritualized kind by identifying it as ‘quasiliminal’, or ‘liminoid’, especially with regard to phenomena like pilgrimage, theater and play.20 Informal liminality is more threatening to the status quo than both the more circumscribed kind Turner first described, and the release limited to the privileged suggested by Bynum. Informal liminality, especially through mystical experience, was more available to medieval women than the official ritualized kind. Since this type was more dangerous for those invested in maintaining social hierarchy and patriarchy, medieval church authorities attempted to prevent or at least regulate it. Monasticism gains strength from operating between the ritualized and informal types of liminality. Monks embraced devotional practices meant to lead to direct contact with God. Indeed, the Carthusians became particularly admired for a rarified, supraliturgical type of contemplative piety that

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theoretically contained the potential for critique and innovation characteristic of informal liminality.21 Monastic influence is bolstered by such forms of devotion, and lay imitation of monks increases the influence of monks in the world. But too much unmediated lay access to the divine would deplete monastic power, as would serious disaffection between monastic orders and the church hierarchy. Early in the history of the Carthusian Order, architecture was recognized as playing a vital role in constructing a specific lay–Carthusian relationship: it externalized and displayed the contemplative activities for which the Carthusians came to be most admired, even while it posed ideological problems for the monks. What distinguished Carthusian architecture was that Charterhouses provided individual cells, small houses actually, for each monk, in contrast to the communal living arrangements of cenobitic orders.22 William of St-Thierry, an early commentator on the order, noted the importance of the individual cell to Carthusian identity. In his letter to the Carthusians (c. 1144–48), he exalted the cell: ‘it leads him to the fullness of perfection and makes him worthy to hold converse with God. But one who does not belong to it or is brought in under false pretenses it quickly disclaims and casts out.’23 The cell isolated the monks, it established or institutionalized their liminality, and also proclaimed it to the outside world.24 The idiosyncratic Carthusian architectural plan, however, made Charterhouses more costly to found and maintain than other foundations.25 Furthermore, if the monks were not to leave their cells, someone had to provide for them. The Carthusian Rule authorized no fewer than four subordinate categories of professed and servants to care for their temporal needs.26 To accommodate this lay community, Champmol, like other Carthusian foundations, required communal buildings in addition to the monks’ cells. Although endorsing the importance of the cell, William of St-Thierry also acknowledged the contradictions inherent in Carthusian design, chastising them for what he considered an inappropriate emphasis on fine architecture: For so it comes about that with money that does not belong to us the building of costly and, insofar as very shame allows, imposing cells is undertaken. We abandon that holy rusticity which, as Solomon says, was created by the Most High and we create for ourselves dwelling-places which display a sort of religious respectability.27

The Carthusians addressed the contradiction posed by their cells by reading from a homily which criticized excessive architecture on the feast day of their founder, Saint Bruno.28 As they continued to build monasteries in their distinctive and expensive design, the Order became increasingly reliant on the support of both male and female lay patrons, and inevitably more intertwined with the life of lay communities.29

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Architecture at Champmol both reflected and negotiated these contradictions. The cells of the monks were well-equipped two-storey houses with private gardens (Fig. 9.2). To allow the monks self-sufficiency in accordance with the Rule, each cell was furnished with an array of bedding, writing materials, books, tools and kitchen utensils.30 They were also equipped with clear and stained-glass windows, devotional paintings, lamps and feather pillows.31 Unusually sophisticated plumbing and special windows through which lay brothers passed supplies further asserted that the cells were enclosed sanctuaries.32 Although the luxurious art and architectural programs at Champmol are traditionally attributed to the agency and taste of Philip the Bold, the accounts show that the monks at Champmol were actively involved in making decisions concerning the construction of their Charterhouse.33 Along with master craftsmen, the prior had broad authority to certify expenses, and the monks could readily consult with the architect, since they shared living quarters at the start of the project.34 Architecture at Champmol markedly segregated the monks. The communal buildings at Champmol were scrupulously divided: choir screens partitioned the lay brothers’ choir from the monks’ choir in the church; in the refectory a wooden wall divided the monks’ tables from the other tables.35 Architectural safeguards were put in place to protect the monks not only from their own lay brethren, but also from the administrators, merchants, artisans, tenants and laborers involved in the day-to-day workings of their sizable institution. Gates, doors and cupboards were locked and every window was barred.36 Locks were physical manifestations of the monks’ determination to protect their solitude (and their treasures, carts, granaries, wine cellars and orchards).37 Parlors provided a designated area in which the monks could ‘speak to friends and strangers’.38 These parlors at once indicated that while the monks did not strictly maintain silence and solitude, they nevertheless preserved their cells as uncorrupt oases for the contemplative life. Such measures were for the benefit of an audience comprising not only the servants who supported the monks’ daily needs, but many from outside the monastic community: the ‘visitors’ sent to report on the state of observance, other visiting ecclesiastical dignitaries, and the devout lay public who sought, through the Carthusians, a kind of religiosity not ordinarily available to them. In fact, the Carthusians at Champmol took steps to seek out and influence their lay public: they conducted processions to the gates of nearby Talant and Dijon; they maintained a fortress-like building in the center of Dijon which increased their visibility in town; and they competed with the nearest parish church in providing care for the sick, oblations, and Masses to townspeople.39 The parlors mentioned above, as well as a guesthouse, a choir fitted with a number of seats disproportionate to the size of the monastic community, and

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even a surprising number of hitching posts for accommodating large mounted parties, indicate how this broader constituency was accommodated structurally.40 Champmol also attracted pilgrims who particularly came to see the ‘Great Cross’ of the large cloister, a monumental public advertisement of affective Carthusian devotion strategically situated in the heart of the architectural complex. Sculpted by Claus Sluter and his workshop, the ‘Great Cross’ was originally a spectacular devotional image and working well that featured sixteen life-size figures; only the famous pedestal, the Well of Moses, and some miscellaneous fragments survive (Fig. 9.3).41 Papal bulls issued in 1418, 1432 and 1445 granted indulgences to pilgrims who visited it on Saturdays and Good Fridays.42 Directed ‘to the Christian faithful’ and ‘all penitents’, the language of the bulls did not exclude women.43 Sluter’s emotional rendering of Calvary echoed Jean de Beaumetz’s treatment of the same subject in the panel paintings hanging in each Carthusian cell.44 The monument thus encouraged the laity to participate in Carthusian-style devotion in the cloister. Indeed, the Calvary faced away from the monks’ cells and towards a corridor leading outside of the cloister.45 The plan of the Charterhouse reveals a route from the gatehouse to this corridor which permitted access to the cloister while avoiding other monastic buildings and spaces, and covered galleries around the large cloister shielded the cells of the monks from curious eyes (Fig. 9.2). The Carthusians also used architecture as a strategy for regulating their interactions with the lay community when they hosted the charismatic Dominican preacher and future saint Vincent of Ferrer in 1417, an extraordinary event certain to draw crowds of both sexes.46 The duchess of Burgundy and her female attendants had to be accommodated, and loges were built on the wall for them (sur le mur).47 This wall both afforded a convenient base on which to build and allowed the women a better view. But the women may have been installed on the wall because the Carthusian Statutes officially banned them from coming within the walls of Charterhouses. By letting women reach as far as, but no further than, the walls, the Carthusians skillfully satisfied the demands of the women while protecting their image by following their Rule to the letter. This event reveals the Carthusians’ willingness to accommodate their powerful female patron, the duchess of Burgundy. Margaret of Flanders was second in aristocratic rank only to the queen of France; her wealth and territories were responsible for the meteoric rise of Burgundy, and she wielded political power scarcely less than Philip. Although her patronage role is frequently neglected, she signed the foundation charter, laid the first stone of the church ‘with her own hands’, and presided over the consecration ceremony.48 She also dined in Dijon ‘aux chartreux’,49 and her close

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relationship with Champmol was sealed by the monks’ gift to her of a special prayer book, allegedly made from avourtons, the skins of aborted animals – a rare material thought to make the highest-quality parchment.50 Indeed, at Champmol Margaret of Flanders enjoyed a degree of liminality in Bynum’s sense of a temporary respite from the burdens of power. Accordingly, sculpture was integrated into the architectural program at Champmol to emphasize Margaret’s role as a lay participant in Carthusian devotion. In the portal sculpture of the church by Claus Sluter, Margaret’s portrait is positioned to the less favorable left side of the Virgin and Child, but she is otherwise shown, like Philip, as very pious, firmly identified by heraldic insignia, and presented by her patron saint (Fig. 9.4). These portraits diverge from previous conventions in which patrons are depicted in niches, sometimes offering a model of the church. Instead Margaret is part of a dynamic narrative, drawing patrons and monks together by showing the couple not merely as donors but as donor–participants, unusually individualized and dynamic, praying with attention that is nearly comparable to that of the monks depicted in their own devotional panels. The distance between the donors and the Carthusians is not collapsed, however, for, unlike the monks in their panels, the ducal couple require saintly intercessors to present them to the holy figures on the trumeau. A lavish two-storey ducal oratory further asserted Margaret’s pious participation in the spiritual life of the Charterhouse alongside Philip’s; there the couple had private altars and a privileged view of the Carthusian liturgy through windows that opened on to the nave of the church.51 The ducal oratory was personalized with Burgundian symbols, chivalric themes and even daisies, or marguerites – a pun on Margaret’s name.52 Indeed, Margaret was even involved in the particulars of constructing this chapel, sending a favored carpenter to oversee its construction.53 Although the oratory provided Margaret with a space for retreat within the Charterhouse, structures minimized the impression that she might have had free access to it. Significantly, the ducal oratory was the only side chapel which could be entered directly from outside. A post-medieval reference to this door as the ‘door of the duchesses’ indicates its use.54 The monastery’s plan afforded a direct path to the ducal oratory from the gatehouse; Margaret could enter without walking through the church or entering any other monastic building (Fig. 9.2). In contrast, Philip’s accommodation and representation reflected not only his greater access, but the possibility of his becoming a Carthusian monk at the end of his life. Upon Philip’s death, the Prior General of the Carthusian Order claimed that this was indeed Philip’s wish, and authorized him to be buried in a Carthusian habit.55 Unlike Margaret, Philip had a special chamber in addition to the oratory designated for his use.56 He was also represented to

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a greater degree than the duchess in the nave of the church, by the painted portrait of Philip there and by his grand tomb effigy, begun even before he signed the foundation charter (Fig. 9.5).57 In fact, dying can be understood as a liminal state.58 After death, Philip was reintegrated into the community of Christians, both living and dead, with an elevation in his spiritual status to Carthusian monk. However, he was not required to relinquish his aristocratic status, as Carthusians normally did in their initiation rites. Philip’s tomb preserved and underscored his status as prince and knight: it represented him in royal robes and armor; depicted his stately funeral procession; and supplied an epitaph carefully recording his aristocratic birth and titles.59 His regal effigy contrasted with his body, simply wrapped in a Carthusian habit in the crypt below. The Charterhouse permanently enshrined the duke as both prince and monk, providing him in perpetuity with the kind of privileged liminal space suggested by Bynum. Margaret of Flanders was permitted an estimable degree of informal liminality at Champmol as a concession to her patronage and high status, but as a woman, she could not officially be admitted at Champmol, and her social drama there was bound to remain incomplete. Although the monks used architecture strategically to delimit women’s participation in the life of the Charterhouse, anxiety about their presence remained. This is manifested particularly in the Saints and Martyrs Altarpiece, by Jacques de Baerze, once located in the chapterhouse, the space dedicated to discussion of monastic business (Fig. 9.6).60 The right-hand panel of the altarpiece pictorializes the link between Carthusian identity and the Order’s distinctive architecture, and in particular how its architecture was to isolate the monks from the temptations represented by women (Fig. 9.7). The panel depicts the temptation of St Anthony, whose struggles with the pleasures and difficulties of retreat from the world make him an apt candidate for Carthusian identification.61 Anthony’s life, characterized by various battles against demons, lacks much overt struggle against sexual desire. The most popular version of his life, the Golden Legend, devotes a mere sentence to the saint’s triumph over ‘the spirit of fornication by the virtue of faith’.62 Yet our panel depicts a demon tempting Anthony with a young horned woman, sumptuously dressed and with an elaborate coiffure, who proffers a golden vessel while another demon looks on. The lascivious theme is confirmed by the undulating tree branches curving suggestively between the devils’ legs. Phallic references are conspicuous even to the non-Freudian: one devil sprouts an erection-like stump between his thighs, while the other holds a testicular money sack. But Anthony ignores the temptations, and gestures forcefully, as if making one of the moral pronouncements found in his legend. The temptress confronts not Anthony, but the viewers, at whom she gazes directly. The viewers, the Carthusian monks in the chapterhouse, could escape

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the challenge of her gaze by identifying with the virtuous saint. Carthusian identification with Anthony is confirmed by the neat two-storey cottage, well-maintained fence, and lush orchard where Anthony is placed instead of his usual ramshackle hut in the wilderness. Clearly Anthony is in the Charterhouse, in front of one of the Carthusians’ characteristic house-like cells. The distinctive architecture of the Order makes this scene both congratulatory and admonitory. Suggesting that they succeeded in like struggles, the scene also warned them not to deviate from the example set by the saint. In this regard, the altarpiece functioned as a demonstration of Carthusian self-regulation and vigilance, like the architectural devices that proclaimed their segregation and seclusion. Architecture at the Chartreuse de Champmol made legible the spaces that articulated a variety of liminal experiences: the architecture of the church staged the liminality built into the formal rituals of the liturgy; the cells enabled a less ritualized liminality in which monks sought direct converse with the divine; ducal spaces permitted Philip the Bold and Margaret of Flanders a release from the burdens of secular power, though differentiating between them on the basis of gender; the cloister, with its spectacular devotional image designed for the laity, enabled both laymen and women a limited opportunity for informal liminality through participation in a kind of religiosity outside of everyday life. Bynum’s argument that élites, ‘who in a special sense are the structures’, have a particular need for liminality (and the resources to procure it), allows for richer social analysis, especially when analyzing the structures of patriarchy. Furthermore, when we consider not only textual evidence, such as Bynum marshaled, but also material evidence, such as the architecture defining and regulating liminal spaces, we can go further in our analysis to identify and interpret institutional and personal liminalities. At Champmol the gates, locks, covered galleries, partitions, parlors, service windows and even the indoor plumbing displayed the Carthusians’ claim to shut out the world and create the contemplative sanctuary described in their Rule. However, such a display would be largely superfluous if the world were not there to see it. The Carthusians at Champmol both acknowledged and regulated their social integration through their architecture. Special corridors, portals, gates, guesthouses and parlors, extra choir stalls, and all hitching posts reveal the extent of Carthusian integration with the world even while denying that the Charterhouse was a space for social interaction. The Chartreuse de Champmol was designed to contain the potential for anti-structure inherent in these interactions, especially between monks and women. At the same time the Charterhouse projected a distinctive identity that depends upon the exclusion of women and which the Carthusians have maintained over the centuries.

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Epilogue There are marvelous resonances between the medieval history of the Chartreuse de Champmol and an incident at the Charterhouse of Aula Dei in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1996.63 In honor of the artist’s 250th birthday, the Spanish government sponsored the restoration and exhibition of seven murals by Francisco Goya in the church at Aula Dei. The audience for this exhibition desired cultural and spiritual experiences beyond the everyday, an opportunity for informal liminality, not through representations of the holy, like the Great Cross at Champmol, but through Great Art, the Goya murals.64 In deference to Carthusian restrictions against contact with women, the exhibition was open only to men, creating a liminal space that was also gendered and hierarchic. But Spanish women felt entitled to see the frescoes whose restoration had been subsidized with their taxes. Hundreds of women protested in front of a sign reading, ‘Guided tours for men only’. The press and protesters insisted on a less limited liminality: one critic wrote, ‘in front of art, men, women and children are all equal’.65 With similar naiveté, one of the protesters is quoted as saying, ‘culture knows no gender’.66 Cultural minister Esperanza Aguirre suggested several compromises, including constructing a special corridor and instituting designated viewing times, modes of separation reminiscent of those used in the Middle Ages. However, the Carthusians categorically rejected these solutions and the regional government, embarrassed by the protests, closed the exhibition. The category of ‘great art’, which has so often reinforced patriarchal structures, provided the catalyst for calling attention to social inequities in the gendered spaces of Aula Dei. After two years of talks, the Carthusians agreed to construct a passageway granting women access to the Goya murals. At least one press account reports that the prior’s change of position was due to fear of potential financial losses rather than concern for social justice.67 Perhaps the Carthusians sought supplementary tourist revenues, or feared alienating the female market for their burgeoning computer catalog business.68 Today at Aula Dei, as at Champmol in the Middle Ages, the Charterhouse is imbricated with a far more diverse community of lay women and men than one might at first suspect. The architectural solution of accommodating women at Aula Dei leaves unaltered the patriarchal assumptions underlying the controversy. The modern Carthusians continue to benefit from female patronage even while reifying an aspect of their medieval rule which casts women as Eve – as a trap or temptation to be avoided. It may be, as Carol Neel has written in another context, ‘that modern women’s present is more medieval than we think’, and ‘that the future, too, may be the Middle Ages’.69

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Notes 1.

2.

3. 4. 5.

6.

This paper draws and expands on aspects of my unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, ‘Patronage, Piety, and Politics in the Art and Architectural Programs at the Chartreuse de Champmol in Dijon’ (Northwestern University, 1995). I am grateful to my dissertation director, Sandra Hindman, and to Larry Silver and Robert Lerner for their invaluable guidance and support. I would also like to acknowledge influential exchanges about Carthusians and liminality with Richard Kieckhefer, Jeffrey Hamburger and the research consortium at Saint Louis University. I especially thank Helen Hills, whose attentive and perceptive comments have greatly improved this paper. I presented an earlier version at the College Art Association Conference in Toronto, 1998. Key research trips were supported by the École des Chartes Exchange Fellowship from the Newberry Library’s Center for Renaissance Studies and by Mellon Faculty Development Grants at Saint Louis University. Unless otherwise noted, translations are my own. The most comprehensive study of the Chartreuse de Champmol remains Cyprien Monget, La Chartreuse de Dijon d’après les documents des archives de Bourgogne, 3 vols (Montreuil-sur-Mer: Imprimerie Notre-Dame-des-Prés, 1898–1905), henceforth Monget. However, Renate Prochno’s Dei Thartause von Champnol. Grablege der burgumolischem Herzög (1364–1477), (Munich: Akademie Verlag, 2002) has recently been published – too late to be incorporated into this chapter. See also Pierre Quarré, La Chartreuse de Champmol (Dijon, 1960); Christian de Mérindol, ‘Art, spiritualité, et politique, Philippe le Hardi et la Chartreuse de Champmol, nouvel aperçu’, in Les Chartreux et l’art, eds Alain Girard and Daniel le Blévec (Paris: Cerf, 1989), pp. 93–115; and Lindquist, ‘Patronage, Piety, and Politics’. Champmol is also treated in several monographs on sculptor Claus Sluter, including: A. J. Kleinclausz, Claus Sluter et le sculpture bourguignonne au XVe siècle (Paris: Librairie de l’Art Ancien et Moderne, 1905); Georg Troescher, Claus Sluter und die burgundische Plastik um die Wend des XIV Jahrhunderts (Freiburg im Breisgau: Urban Verlag, 1932); Aenne Liebreich, Claus Sluter (Bruxelles: Dietrich, 1936); Henri David, Claus Sluter (Paris: Tisné, 1951); Kathleen Morand, Claus Sluter: Artist at the Court of Burgundy (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991). Guillaume Paradin, Annales de Bourgogne (Lyon: Antoine Gryphius, 1566), p. 396. Dijon, Archives Départmentales de la Côte-D’Or, H46, Liasse 774. On this bull see also Monget, II, 204–5, and Morand, Claus Sluter, p. 109. Unless otherwise noted, archival references are to this depository. On Carthusian spirituality, see Roger Lovatt, ‘The Library of John Blacman and Contemporary Carthusian Spirituality’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 43 (2), April 1992, esp. 213–21; Michael Sargent, ‘The Transmission by the English Carthusians of some Late Medieval Spiritual Writings’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 27 (3), 1976, 225–40; Dennis Martin, ed., Carthusian Spirituality: The Writings of Hugh of Balma and Guigo de Ponte (New York: Paulist Press, 1997); and James Hogg, Petrus Blomevea and Werner Beutler, eds, The Mystical Tradition and the Carthusians, 14 vols (Salzburg, Austria: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Salzburg, 1995–97). The extensive scholarship on female piety in the Middle Ages is indebted to the foundational oeuvre of Caroline Walker Bynum. For the Carthusian influence on

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7.

8. 9.

10.

11. 12.

13.

14.

15. 16.

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lay piety, see especially Hilary M. Carey, ‘Devout Literate Laypeople and the Pursuit of the Mixed Life in Later Medieval England’, Journal of Religious History, 14 (4), December 1987, 361–81. Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-structure (Chicago: Aldine, 1969), p. 107. See also his ‘Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites of Passage’, in Proceedings of the American Ethnological Society for 1964 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964), pp. 4–20; Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974); and From Ritual to Theatre: the Seriousness of Human Play (New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1982). Arnold van Gennep first proposed this model in his Rites of Passage (1908; reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960). Guigo I, the author of the Carthusian Rule, or Consuetudines, urges isolation and solitude in 4: 27; 7: 2; 9: 1; 14: 5; 16: 2; 31: 2; 42: 1–2; 42: 4; 45: 1; 46: 2; 55: 1; 56: 1; 61: 3; 72: 2; 80: 1–12. The best edition of the Consuetudines is the Coutumes de Chartreuse, ed. Dom Maurice Laporte, Sources Chrétiennes 313 (Paris: Cerf, 1984), henceforth Consuetudines. See also Bernard Bligny, ‘L’Erémetisme et les Chartreux’, in L’eremitismo in Occidente nei secoli XI e XII (Milan: Società editrice Vita e pensiero, 1965), pp. 248ff.; and Gordon Mursell, Theology of the Carthusian Life in the Writings of St. Bruno and Guigo I, Analecta Cartusiana 27 (1988), esp. pp. 59–62. Caroline Walker Bynum, ‘Women’s Stories, Women’s Symbols: A Critique of Victor Turner’s Theory of Liminality’, in Anthropology and the Study of Religion, eds Robert L. Moore and Frank Reynolds (Chicago: Center for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1984), pp. 105–25. See, for example, Howard Bloch, Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). On Carthusian architecture see Augustin Devaux, L’architecture dans l’ordre des Chartreux, Analecta Cartusiana 146 (Sélignac: La Grande Chartreuse, 1998); Jean-Pierre Aniel, Les Maisons de Chartreux: des Origines à la Chartreuse de Pavie (Genève: Droz, 1983); and Marijan Zadnikar, ‘Die frühe Baukunst der Kartäuser’, in Die Kartäuser: Der Orden der schweigenden Mönche, eds Marijan Zadnikar and Adam Wienand (Köln: Wienand, 1983), pp. 51–137. Consuetudines, 10: 1; 19: 1; 20: 1. The literature on Carthusian liturgy is quite large; in addition to the Consuetudines, see the still useful general accounts by Archdale King, Liturgies of the Religious Orders (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1955), pp. 1–61; and Amand Degand, ‘Chartreux (Liturgie des)’, in Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, eds Fernand Cabrol and Henri Leclerq, vol. 3, part I (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1907), cols 1045–71. Many more specialized studies appear in the series Analecta Cartusiana. Religious guests were to be fed, but not their horses, Consuetudines, 19: 1. Though Guigo warned that Masses for lay benefactors led to inappropriate gifts, he forbade neither the Masses nor the gifts, Consuetudines, 41: 1. Guigo also permitted each monk a long list of personal items so that he need not leave the cell, which he considered ‘illicit’, Consuetudines, 28: 1–6. The entire passage reads, ‘Nec posse hominem aut ignem in sinu abscondere, ut vestimenta illius non ardeant, aut ambulare super prunas plantis ilesis, aut picem tangere, nec inquinari’, Consuetudines, 21: 2. According to Turner, the tribal liminal ‘is put into the service of normativeness

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17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

23. 24. 25.

26.

27. 28. 29.

30. 31.

189

almost as soon as it appears’, From Ritual to Theatre, pp. 44–5. See also Turner’s Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967), esp. p. 265, and Bobby C. Alexander, Victor Turner Revisited: Ritual as Social Change (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1991), pp. 45–66. Victor Turner, The Drums of Affliction: A Study of Religious Processes Among the Ndembu of Zambia (Oxford and London: Clarendon Press; International African Institute), p. 265. Bynum, ‘Women’s Stories’, p. 109. Victor Turner and Edith L. B. Turner, Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), p. 3. Turner uses ‘liminoid’ especially to describe liminal-like phenomena in industrialized societies, Image and Pilgrimage, pp. 1–39. See note 5. Jeffrey Hamburger notes small houses for nuns in his Visual and Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany (New York: Zone Books, 1998), p. 64. However, these appear to have been exceptional rather than identifying structures. The Golden Epistle: A Letter to the Brethren at Mont Dieu, trans. Theodore Berkeley (Spencer, MA: Cistercian Publications, 1971), p. 21. On the cloister as a metaphor in monastic thought, see Christiania Whitehead, ‘Making a Cloister of the Soul in Medieval Religious Treatises’, Medium Aevum, 67 (1), 1998, 1–29. One twelfth-century statute even required that new Charterhouses only be founded if there were an endowment large enough to guarantee their maintenance, Statuta Ordinis Cartusiensis Ad Praescripta Codicis Juris Canonici Conformata (Parkminster, 1926), XXI, n. 3, p. 15, cited in Devaux, L’architecture, p. 30. On conversi, redditi, donati and mercenarii, see the usefully indexed Statuta ordinis cartusiensis a domno Guigone priore cartusiae edita (Basel: John Amorbach, 1510), in facsimile in James Hogg, The Evolution of the Carthusian Statutes from the Consuetudines Guigonis to the Tertia Compilatio, Analecta Cartusiana, 99: 1–3 (Salzburg: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikonistik Universität Salzburg 1989). William of St-Thierry, Golden Epistle, p. 59. For St-Thierry’s use of the first person even though he was not a Carthusian, see Berkeley, Golden Epistle, p. 59, n. 9. Homiliae in Matthaeum 69, in Victor Mortet and Paul Deschamps, Recueil de textes relatifs à l’histoire de l’architecture: XIIe–XIIIe siècles (Paris, 1911), p. 265. See Giles Constable, ‘Monastic Possession of Churches and “Spiritualia” in the Age of Reform’, in Il Monachesimo e la Riforma Ecclesiastica (1049–1122) (Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 1971), pp. 304–35, esp. p. 330; James Hogg, ‘Everyday Life in the Charterhouse in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries’, in Klösterliche Sachkultur des Spätmittelalters (Vienna, 1980), pp. 113–46; Vincent Gillespie, ‘Cura Pastoralis in Deserto’, in De Cella in Seculum: Religious and Secular Life and Devotion in Late Medieval England, ed. Michael Sargent (Cambridge: Brewer, 1989). For the furnishing of the cells at Champmol see B11671, fol. 272v; B11673, fol. 12ff. Cf. the list of approved furnishings in the Consuetudines, 28: 1–6. For the windows, B11671, fols 111, 144r & v; stained glass, B11671, fol. 232;

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32.

33.

34.

35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

40. 41.

42. 43. 44.

45.

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lamps and feather pillows (oreillers de plume), B11671, fol. 310; paintings, B11671, fols 175v, 189, 296v, 307, and B11672, fols 24, 147. On plumbing in Charterhouses, see Aniel, Maisons de Chartreux, p. 34; and Devaux, L’architecture, pp. 105–6; for plumbing at Champmol, see Monget, I, pp. 58 and 274, and Morand, Claus Sluter, pp. 94–5. On the windows, see B11672, fol. 110v. Emphasis on Philip’s agency is found, for example, in Aniel, Maisons de Chartreux, p. 65; Mérindol, ‘Art, spiritualité, et politique’, pp. 93–115; Patrick de Winter, ‘Art from the Duchy of Burgundy’, The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 74, 1987, esp. 409–23. Before artists were paid, work had to be certified by the prior, a designated master craftsman, or a ducal administrator as stipulated in B11670, fols 11r & v. For a more detailed catalogue of Carthusian agency, see Lindquist, ‘Patronage, Piety, and Politics’, pp. 158–71. On shared living quarters see B11670, fol. 295v. The choir screens on later plans of the church are consistent with late medieval practice (e.g. Fig. 9.2). On the refectory wall, see B11672, fol. 110. Payments for locks and bars appear annually in the accounts under the category ‘serrures’, that is, B11670, fols 208–11. One account notes a lock to keep workers out, B11673, fol. 101. On the lay brothers’ parlor, B11672, fols 110–12; on the monks’ parlor, B11672, fol. 51; B11673, fols 44, 58v–59, 160. On the processions, see H46, Liasse 776, and Monget, II, p. 38. On the townhouse see Augustin Collot, ‘La Maison et le coin Miroir à Dijon’, Mémoires de la Commission des Antiquités du Départment de la Côte-d’Or, 20, 1933–35, 386–95; and Monget, II, pp. 19–20, 39–46, 48. For the document recording a serious dispute between the Carthusians and nearby St-Philibert over parochial rights, see H46, Liasse 776. A hôtellerie is mentioned in B11673, fol. 8. The monks’ choir had seventy-two seats, B11671, fol. 189v; the lay brothers’ choir had twenty-five, B11671, fol. 189r. Twenty-one hitching posts are mentioned in B11673, fol. 198v. See the literature on Sluter in note 2. The fragments include the bust and legs of Christ and crossed arms of one of the Marys now in Dijon, Museé Archéologique. Some fragments have disappeared since being described in C. B. J. Févret de Saint-Mémin, ‘Rapport sur les restes des monuments de l’ancienne Chartreuse de Dijon’, Mémoires de la Commission des Antiquités du Départment de la Côte-d’Or, 2, 1842–46, 15–24 and 68–70ff. H46, Liasse 774. Julius II’s bull revoking permission for women to enter the Chartreuse de Champmol confirms their earlier sanctioned entry, see note 4. Two Calvary scenes in Cleveland and the Louvre are securely identified with paintings by Jean de Beaumetz for cells at Champmol, Charles Sterling, ‘Oeuvres retrouvées de Jean de Beaumetz peintre de Philippe le Hardi’, Bulletin des Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts, 4, 1959, 57–82. See Pierre Quarré, ‘L’Implantation du calvaire du “Puits de Moïse” à la Chartreuse de Champmol’, Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences, arts, belleslettres de Dijon, 29, 1974–75, 161–6; Mérindol, ‘Art, spiritualité, et politique’, pp. 113–15; G. Kreytenberg, ‘Zur Komposition des Skulptuenzklus am sogenannten Mosesbrunnen von Claus Sluter’, Panthéon, 43, 1985, 14–20, 94. This view replaces earlier scholarship suggesting a different orientation, Liebreich, Claus Sluter, p. 89; and Troescher, Claus Sluter, p. 89.

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46. On this event see B4471, fols 58r, 59v, 62v, 742r, cited by Monget, II, p. 52. 47. In 1417 the duchess was Margaret of Flanders’s daughter-in-law and successor, Margaret of Bavaria. On conventions for dividing men and women at such events see Adrian Randolph, ‘Regarding Women in Sacred Space’, in Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy, eds Géraldine Johnson and Sara Matthews Grieco (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 19–27. 48. On the first stone, see B1461, fol. 109; on the ceremony, see B11671, fols 237 and 249v. 49. Ernst Petit, Itinéraires de Philippe le Hardi et de Jean Sans Peur: ducs de Bourgogne (1363–1419), d’après les comptes de dépenses de leur hôtel (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1888), p. 205. 50. H46, Comptes Générales des Chartreux, fol. 7v. 51. For the altars, see B11672, fols 150r & v. For the view of the main altar, see B11671, fol. 272; B11673, fol. 345, and Dijon, Bib. Mun. Fonds Baudot, MS 2081, fols 223ff. 52. On Burgundian saints and emblems see Mérindol, ‘Art, spiritualité, et politique’, pp. 105–7; on the decorative program of the oratory see Lindquist, ‘Patronage, Piety, and Politics’, pp. 59–79. 53. B11671, fol. 307. 54. Dijon, Bib. Mun., Fonds Baudot, MS 2081, f. 230. 55. B11668 n.f., Monget, I, p. 369. On the burial habit see B1538, fol. 240v. 56. ‘Une chambre que lon espere estre pour mondit seigneur’, B11672, fol. 9. 57. On the portrait, see Jeffrey Chipps Smith, ‘The Chartreuse de Champmol in 1486: the Earliest Visitor’s Account’, Gazette des Beaux Arts, 106, 1–6. On the tomb see note 2. Margaret was buried near her father at the church of St-Pierre, Lille. 58. For a discussion of the liminality of burial rites see Paul Binski, Medieval Death: Ritual and Representation (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 29–30. 59. The extant effigy is heavily restored. Philip’s armor, epitaph and other details are evident from a drawing by J. P. Gilquin made in 1736, Paris, Bib. Nat., MS Nouv. acq. fr. 5916; and a revolutionary description by Louis-Benigne Baudot in Dijon, Bib. Mun. Fonds Baudot, MS 2081, fols. 9ff. 60. The prior himself was involved in the production of this altarpiece, at one point even delaying payment to the artist, B11672, fols 31v–32. See Micheline Comblen-Sonkes, Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (Brussels: Centre national de recherches ‘Primitifs flamands’, 1986), pp. 70–145. 61. The saint’s feast was celebrated in the chapterhouse – a rare distinction in the Carthusian calendar. Jacques Hourlier, ‘Le Calendrier Cartusien’, Études Gregoriennes, 2, 1957, 154. 62. Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, trans. William Granger Ryan, 2 vols (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), I: 93. 63. For what follows I have consulted ‘Monks Guard Goya in Fight by Feminists’, Times Newspapers Limited, 22 June 1996; ‘Spain: An Old Spanish Master for Men Only’, Reuter Textline Guardian, 26 June 1996; Sinikka Tarvainen, ‘Spanish Monastery Wants to Show Masterpiece to “Men Only”’, Deutsche Press-Agentur, 27 June 1996; ‘Minister Vows to End Ban on Women Viewing Goya Murals’, Agence France Presse, 10 October 1996; and ‘“Men Only” Art Exhibition Closed in Spain’, Deutsche Press-Agentur, 24 October 1996. I thank

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Index Académie Royale d’Architecture 84–5 Alberti, Leon Battista 14, 63, 66–8, 71, 74, 84 De Re Aedificatoria 64, 66, 67 Della famiglia 67–8 Alexander VII 162 Anguier, François 51 Anguier, Michel 51 Anne of Austria 14, 47–56 Anne, St. 54 Anthony, St. 184–5 Aquinas, Thomas, St 15 Arc et Senan, salt works 87 architectural patronage, and gender see gender, and architectural patronage architecture and gender see gender and architecture and power 8–9 see also gender and architecture Augier, Michel, sculptor 50 Augustine, St. 15–16 Averlino, Antonio see Filarete Avila, Santo Tomás monastery 36 Baerze, Jacques de 184–5, figs 9.6–7 Barcelona Las Puellas 135 Santa Clara 135, 136 Basso, Carlo Andrea 160 Beaumetz, Jean de 182 Belanger, François Joseph 88, 89 Benedictines, and Benedictine Rule 54, 132–3 Bentham, Jeremy 64 Biscia, Benedetto 160 Blondel, Jacques-François 91 Boccaccio, Theseida 32, fig. 1.8 Boffrand, Germain 88 Boghem, Lodewijk van see van Boghem, Lodewijk

Boil, Catalina 136–7 Boniface VIII, Pope 116, 133–4, 151 Borde, Jean Benjamin de la 90 Borromeo, Carlo, cardinal-archbishop 152, 153, 165 Bourdieu, P. 6, 9, 12 Bretagne, Anne de 35 Brongniart, Alexandre-Théodore 88, 89, fig. 4.2 Brou monastery, France 36, 34–5, fig. 1.10 Brough Castle 107–9, figs 5.5–6 Brougham Castle 103–7, figs 5.2–4 Brussels, Coudenberg palace 27, 38 Buonsignori, Stefano figs 6.2–3 Buyster, Phillipe de 51 Buzi family 162, 163 Callot, Jacques 83 Carthusians 177–8, 180–81, 184–5 cells in religious houses 156–9, 181 see also convents Certaldo, Paolo da 115 Cesariano, Cesare 63, 73–4 Champnol, Charterhouse see Dijon, Champnol Charterhouse Charles V, King 27, 32, 39 Chartreuse de Champnol see Dijon, Champnol Charterhouse chastity Hernando de Talavera on 135 see also convents, and enclosure Ciarpi, Baccio 155 claustration see enclosure Clement X, Pope 161 Clifford, Anne, Lady 15, 99–112, fig. 5.1 Clifford, Robert 104, 110 Clifford, Roger 107 Colonna, Filippo 161

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Comédie Française, Paris 85 Compton, Alethea, Lady 111 convents architecture and architectural patronage 17, 138–40 see also convents, and enclosure and the city 162–3 and enclosure 17, 116, 120–23, 131–40, 142–3, 144, 151–66 exterior spaces 159–60 functions 115–16 gardens 159–60 nuns’ cells 156–9 and parlours 141–3, 160, figs 8.4–5 and secular society 144–5, 153 ‘coral cabinet’ of Margaret of Austria 30–31 Cotte, Robert de, architect 86 Coudenberg palace, Brussels see Brussels, Coudenberg Palace Council of Trent see Trent, Council of ‘Court of Savoy’ see Mechelen, ‘Court of Savoy’ Creation, and St Augustine 15–16 d’Argenton, Madame 88 de Beatis, Antonio 37 de la Borde, Jean Benjamin see Borde, Jean Benjamin de la De l’Isle, Marie 86 de Montesino, Ambrosio 134 De Wailly, Charles 85 Debias–Aubry, François 88 Debourge, Antoine-Joseph 85 del Massaio, Pietro fig. 6.1 Delaborde, Jean-Joseph 88 della Bella, Stefano 83 d’Epinay, Louise-Florence 83, 92 Dervieux, Anne-Victoire 89 Desmares, Charlotte 88 d’Este, Isabella 33 Dijon, Champnol Charterhouse 17, 179–85, figs 9.1–7 domestic sphere see gender, and domestic sphere Du Barry, Madame 87 Duchess of Burgundy 182 Durand, Jean-Louis 87

enclosure, and convents see convents, and enclosure Epinay, Louise-Florence see d’Epinay, Louise-Florence femininities see gender, and femininities Ferdinand, King of Spain 134 Filarete (Antonio Averlino) 14, 63, 64, 69–71, 73 Flandes, Juan de 29 Florence, Le Murate convent, 17, 115–25, figs 6.1–5 Fontaine, P-F-L 85 Foucault, Michel 6, 10, 16, 55, 64 Frondes 51, 84 Fructuoso of Braga 133 Gabriel, Jacques V 86 Gadamer, Hans-Georg 47, 55 Galiani, Ferdinand, Abbé 83 gardens 31–3, 38, 159–60, figs 1.8–9 gender and architectural history 4 and architectural patronage 10–12, 87–92, 99–112, 154–5, 164–5 and architecture 3–4, 5–6, 84–5, 84–6 and domestic sphere 7 and enclosure differences 132–3, 136 see also convents, and enclosure and femininities 3–6, 7, 11–12, 131–4, 136, 138–40, 152–66 and liminality 179 and masculinities 4, 6, 7, 11–12, 179–85 and space 16, 17, 132 and spatial organization 3–4, 5–6 and temptation 178 genius 11 Geoffrin, Marie-Thérèse 86 Gerona, convent of San Daniel 135 Goya, Francisco 186 Grafton, Anthony 66 Grand Prix de Rome 85 Guimard, Marie-Madeleine house 89–91, figs 4.3–4 habitus 9–10, 12 Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire 101

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Herbert, Philip 100 heterotopia Michel Foucault on 55 Val-de-Grâce as 54–6 Hogguer, Antoine 88 hortus conclusus, concept 32–3 hospitals 64–75 Houghton Conquest 101 Isabel, Queen of Spain 134 jardins anglais style 88 Juan of Castille 36 Keldermans, Anthonis 26 Keldermans, Anthonis II 26 Keldermans, Rombout II 27, 35 Lauwerijn, Hieronymus 26, 28 Le Duc, Gabriel 50 Le Muet, Pierre 50 Le Murate, Florence see Florence, Le Murate convent Lecomte, Félix 90 Ledoux, Claude-Nicolas 87–91, figs 4.3–4 Lefebvre, Henri 8, 12 Lemaire, Jean de Belge 30, 31, 35 Lemercier, Jacques 50 lex insita 9 liminality 177, 179–80 Louis XIII, King 48 Louis XIV, King 49, 51, 54, 84 Maccarani, Camilla 161 Mansart, François 47, 50, 54 Mansart, Jules Hardouin 86 Margaret of Austria, Archduchess 30–38, fig. 1.1 see also Mechelen, ‘Court of Savoy’ Margaret of Flanders 177, 182–3, fig. 9.4 Margaret of York, Dowager-Duchess 25, 28 Marian symbolism 32 see also convents; gardens Mary of Hungary 27 masculinities see gender, and masculinities Maximilian I 39

211

Mechelen ‘Court of Austria’ 26 see also Margaret of Austria ‘Court of Savoy’ 26–7, 37–9, figs 1.2–6 Kaizerstraat 28 St Julian’s Hospital 26 St Nicholas-de-Tolentin church 34 St Peter’s church 25, 26, 27, 34, fig. 1.7 Voochstraat 28 Medici, Alessandro de’ 116, 121 Medici family, and Le Murate convent, Florence 123–4 Medici, Lorenzo de’ 120 Meit, Conrat 36, 38, fig. 1.1 Mignard, Pierre 52 Milan, Ospedale Maggiore 64–73, figs. 3.1–7 monasteries Brou 34–5, 36 enclosure 135 see also convents, and enclosure Santo Tomás, Avila 36 see also convents; gender, and masculinities Montesino, Ambrosio de see de Montesino, Ambrosio Montesson, Marquise de 89 Moore, Henrietta, on spatial organization 6 Moreau-Desproux, Pierre-Louis 85 Mostaert, Jan, Philibert of Savoy fig. 1.11 nuns see convents oecus 73, 74 oratories 29 Orley, Bernard van see van Orley, Bernard Palatine de Bavière, Anne 88 panopticon 64 Paris Chaussée d’Antin 89 Comédie Française 85 Louvre palace 83 Mlle Dervieux’s house 89, fig. 4.2

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Mlle Guimard’s house 89–91, figs 4.3–4 Val-de-Grâce church fig. 2.1 parlours see convents, and parlours Pendragon Castle 110–11, fig. 5.7 Percier, Charles 85 Perrault, Claude 83 Perréal, J. 35 Peyre, Antoine-François 85 Peyre, Marie-Joseph 85 Philibert of Savoy 36, 37, fig. 1.11 Philip the Bold 177, 183–4, fig. 9.5 Phillip III 48 Quincy, Quatremère de 87 Richelieu, Cardinal 48 Ripa, Cesare 51 Rohan, Henri 91 Rome S. Ambrogio della Massima 164, figs 8.5–7 S. Bernardino ai Monti 153, fig. 8.1 S. Giacomo degli Incurabili 73 S. Lucia in Selci 153, 159, fig. 8.2 S. Silvestro in Capite 153, 159, figs 8.3–4 romitorio 116–17 Rondinelli, Scolastica 119 Sackville, Isabella 111 Sackville, Richard 100 saints see under individual saints’ names Sangallo, Antonio da, architect, San Giacomo degli Incurabili 73 Sedgwick, George 103 Seneca, Antonio 160 sexuality see gender Sforza, Bianca Maria, Duchess 68, 71 Sforza, Francesco, Duke 68 Siena, Santa Maria della Scala hospital 65, 66 Skipton Castle 103, 110 Sluter, Claus 182, 183 figs 9.3–5 Solari, Guiniforte 72 spatial organization and architecture 6 see also gender, and architecture

and convents, see convents and gender 3–4, 5–6 see also gender, and architecture Henrietta Moore on 6 and social relations 5 Talavera, Hernando de 135 Theresa, St, of Avila 154 Tordesillas 34 Trent, Council of 16, 17, 116, 122, 123, 131, 134–5, 151 see also convents, and enclosure Turner, Victor 177, 178, 179 Val-de-Grâce 47–56, figs 2.1–7 Valladolid Nuestra Señora de Belén 138 Nuestra Señora de Concepción 141 S. Benito 132 S. Catalina 134, 138 S. Clara 134 S. Isabel 134, 139 S. María de las Huelgas 134, 139, 140 S. Quirce 134 S. Trinidad 142 van Boghem, Lodewijk 36 van Orley, Bernard 38 Veny d’Arbouze, Marguerite de 48 Verijk, Dirk 29, fig 1.7 Verve, Claus de, Champnol Charterhouse, Philip the Bold’s tome fig 9.5 Vigée-Lebrun, Elisabeth 83 Vincent of Ferrer 182 Vincent, Gabriel 103, 107 Vipont, Idonea de 110 Virgin Mary 53–4, 55, 56 Vitruvius 63, 73 Vives, Juan Luis 32, 37 Voochstraat, Mechelen 28 war, and architecture 83–4 women see gender Zaragoza, Aula Dei Charterhouse 186