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Nuns, Images, and the Ideals of Women's Monasticism: Two Paintings from the Cistercian Convent of Flines*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Andrea G. Pearson
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania


This study explores the dynamics between visual images and expectations for feminine monasticism in northern Europe via two paintings from the Cistercian convent of Flines. It argues that abbess Jeanne de Boubais commissioned the images for clerics who had promoted reform of Flines, in order to suggest compliance with the mandates of the program and the integral place of the convent within Cistercian monasticism. In the wake of the dissolution of several convents that had resisted reform, conveying a desire to yield to the Order must have seemed crucial for the community's survival.

Copyright © Renaissance Society of America 2001

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