Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History, vol. 55

Ora pro nobis. The Virgin as Intercessor in Medieval Art and Devotion

Cathy Oakes

  • Pages: 288 p.
  • Size:182 x 265 mm
  • Illustrations:113 b/w, 16 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2008

  • ISBN: 978-1-905375-24-0
  • Hardback
  • Available


The medieval cult of the Virgin is almost the story of the Middle Ages itself, and to gain an insight into it is an essential step towards an understanding of the period. Although this book sets out to trace the development of the Virgin’s role as intercessor from the twelfth century onwards from a devotional, liturgical and theological viewpoint, it quickly becomes apparent that her high rank as intercessor is entirely dependent on her central status in medieval thinking as Dei Genetrix – Mother of God. It is an iconographic study simply because the subject cannot be understood through textual evidence alone, and the structure of the book, which looks in turn at six types of images of intercession, is determined on this basis. Yet images are considered throughout in relation to texts, and due attention is given to important Mariological writings of the period from Anselm to John Lydgate. Whilst the subject relates to Western European culture as a whole, the book deliberately focuses on English Marian devotion as a case study, an area often overlooked by art historians, but one which yields fascinating insights into the subject.