Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Woodworms and Bookworms


Polychrome wood, in the collection of the Chateau of Langeais. Photographed by Susan from Loire Valley Time Travel. https://tourtheloire.com

This battered polychrome wooden scuplture is in the collection of the Chateau of Langeais. We think it is probably 14th century. It depicts Saint Anne. She is holding a book, and as Niall pointed out to me, the pale bit on her right must be the Virgin Mary, who she is teaching to read.

This story of Saint Anne teaching Mary to read was part of a campaign in the Middle Ages to encourage parents to teach their daughters to read. Middle class and aristocratic girls were frequently destined to run the family business on behalf of their husbands or fathers once they were grown women. While the men were away on business trips or working for the king, the women were at home making sure the family estate or shop continued to earn. Capable women were left in charge because although educated, they could not usurp the absent men.

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2 comments:

  1. Is this juat coincidental or a plan...
    https://richelieu-eminencerouge.blogspot.com/2019/01/saint-anne-teaches-young-mary-to-read.html C

    ReplyDelete