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Labours of love: gender, work and devotion in Medieval Chartres


Randles, S, Labours of love: gender, work and devotion in Medieval Chartres, Emotions: History, Culture, Society, 4, (2) pp. 374-397. ISSN 2206-7485 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2020

DOI: doi:10.1163/2208522X-02010101


The medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame of Chartres is famous for the depictions of artisans in its thirteenth-century stained-glass windows. Using gender as a lens through which to view these images makes clear that the work they depict is overwhelmingly undertaken by men. In contrast, women's work, in the form of preparing textile fibres, is depicted in a series of stone carvings on the exterior northern portal of the cathedral. Here physical labour is juxtaposed with acts of reading and prayerful contemplation. Miracle tales from Chartres emphasise connections between gendered work and devotion to the Virgin Maly. This article considers these visual and literary depictions of labour at Chartres in the contexts of historical gendering of work, medieval ideas of divine cosmic order, and the role of work as religious devotional practice within a prevailing emotional regime.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:chartres, gender, emotions, stained glass, stone carving
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Heritage, archive and museum studies
Research Field:Heritage and cultural conservation
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Randles, S (Dr Sarah Randles)
ID Code:152231
Year Published:2022 (online first 2020)
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2022-08-15
Last Modified:2022-10-07

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