Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

St Dorothea

Today is the feast day of St Dorothea of Caesarea.

There is an  article with a section on her veneration and cult together with illustrations at Dorothea of Caesarea

John Dillon posted as follows on the Medieval religion discussion group:

Though her legend is reasonably well known (it was widely popular in the later Middle Ages), the historical Dorothea of Caesarea in Cappadocia is a cipher.  Her earliest mention occurs under today's date in the late sixth- or early seventh-century (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology, where of course no details are provided and where even her association with Caesarea in Cappadocia is found only in the martyrology's later Recension B.  The details first appear in St. Aldhelm's late seventh- or very early eighth-century prose De virginitate and are in essence a retelling of the legend of the earlier attested Dorothea of Alexandria in Egypt (not celebrated liturgically as a saint), about whom one first hears in Rufinus' early fifth-century additions to Eusebius' Historia ecclesiastica.  On the other hand, Dorothea of Caesarea in Cappadocia's entry in the (ps.-)HM seems to have furnished the legend with its secondary martyr Theophilus Scholasticus, as he's present there in the names immediately following hers (Epternach version: dorotae teofili scolastici) but absent from Rufinus' account of Dorothea of Alexandria.  The apples and the roses (later and more generically, flowers) that become Dorothea's characteristic attribute make their first appearance in the ninth-century martyrology of St. Rabanus Maurus and the six-year-old boy whom brings them to Theophilus makes his first appearance in the also ninth-century martyrology of St. Ado of Vienne. The basket containing these gifts is an even later development. The basket containing the dog Toto belongs to another Dorothy altogether. 

Some medieval images of Dorothea of Caesarea in Cappadocia:

a) Dorothea as depicted in the early twelfth-century mosaics of Grado's four female saints in the cupola di San Leonardo of the basilica cattedrale di San Marco in Venice:

b) Dorothea as depicted (at right; on the wing at left, St. Mary Magdalene) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti on a wing of an earlier fourteenth-century triptych (c. 1325) in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena:

c) Dorothea as depicted in the late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century frescoes of the rupestrian chiesa / cripta di Santa Croce ai Lagnoni in Andria (BT) in Apulia:

d) Dorothea's hand holding a basket as portrayed on a fifteenth-century arm reliquary in the treasury of the Catedral Primada Santa María in Toledo:

e) Dorothea as portrayed in an early fifteenth-century limewood statue with traces of polychrome (c. 1410-1420) in the Magyar Nemzeti Galéria in Budapest:

f) Dorothea as depicted (at upper left in the central panel) by the Elder Master of the Holy Kinship in an early fifteenth-century triptych of the BVM and female saints (c. 1410-1420) in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin:

Detail view:

g) Dorothea as portrayed by Francesco di Valdambrino in an earlier fifteenth-century polychromed wood statue (1420s) in the Szépmûvészeti Múzeum in Budapest:

h) Dorothea as depicted in a full-page miniature by the Master of Zweder van Culemborg in an earlier fifteenth-century book of hours for the Use of Utrecht (c. 1430-1435; Amsterdam, KB, ms. 79 K 2, fol. 130v):

i) Dorothea as portrayed in a silver and silver gilt statuette in an earlier fifteenth-century silver monstrance (c. 1430-1440), set with precious stones, in the Historisches Museum Basel:

j) Dorothea as depicted in the earlier fifteenth-century prayer book of Bishop Leonhard von Laymingen of Passau (c. 1440; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, ms. W.163, fol. 170r):

k) Dorothea at left (at right, St. Catherine of Alexandria) as depicted by the Master of the Darmstadt Passion in an earlier fifteenth-century panel painting (c. 1440) in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon (in a late medieval interpretation reflected here the boy who serves as Dorothy's messenger is the young Jesus):

l) Dorothea as depicted in the earlier fifteenth-century Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c. 1440; New York, The Morgan Library and Museum, Morgan MS M.917, p. 302):

m) Dorothea as depicted (second from right) in a set of mid-fifteenth-century glass window lancets (c. 1440-1446; from the former Carmelite church in Boppard am Rhein) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York [for much higher resolution click on the image]:
Detail view (Dorothea):

Saint Dorothea with a basket of roses

The Metropolitan Museum's page on these lancets:

n) Dorothea as depicted in a mid-fifteenth-century glass window of upper Rhine origin in the Musée national du Moyen Age (Musée de Cluny) in Paris:

o) Dorothea as depicted in a later fifteenth-century fresco in the now deconsecrated church of San Pietro at Carpignano Sesia (NO) in Piedmont:

p) Dorothea as depicted in a later fifteenth-century fresco (1470s) on the apsidal arch of the chiesa di San Giacomo in Ortisei / Urtijëi / St. Ulrich (BZ) in the South Tirol's Val Gardena:

q) Dorothea as depicted in a late fifteenth-century tapestry of the BVM and female saints from the former Carmelite church in Boppard am Rhein, now in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow:
The tapestry as a whole:

r) Dorothea as depicted (at right) on a shutter (closed position) of a late fifteenth-century private devotional shrine of Swabian origin (c. 1490) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:

The object as a whole [for much higher resolution click on the image]:

s) Dorothea as depicted in a fifteenth- or sixteenth-century book of hours for the Use of Sarum (Riom, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 76, fol. 37v):

t) Dorothea as portrayed in a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century originally polychromed limewood statue from Arlesheim (Kanton Basel) now in the Historisches Museum Basel:

Hl. Dorothea

u) Dorothea as portrayed by Andrea della Robbia in a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century terra cotta statue in the Bode Museum in Berlin:

v) Dorothea as depicted (second from right) on the earlier sixteenth-century chancel screen in the church of St. Mary, North Tuddenham in Norfolk:

Detail view (Dorothea):

w) Dorothea as depicted (at right; at left, St. Peter) by the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece in a fragment of that work (c. 1505-1510; central panel in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich) in the National Gallery in London:

Fixed size image

Detail view (Dorothea):

x) Dorothea as depicted in an early sixteenth-century wall painting (c. 1510) in Nibe kirke, Nibe (Aalborg Kommune) in Nordjylland:

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