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Founder figures in the Naumburg Cathedral, Countess Berchta

Naumburg Masterbetween 1245 and 1250

State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt
Magdeburg, Germany

She has an open book in her hands and reads. Remarkable is the representation as an active reading woman. This is to show the pious deepening into the Holy Scriptures. For their private devotions, noble women ordered books with valuable equipment in the scriptoria, the writing rooms of the monasteries. Mostly they were psalteries, which, as the name says, contained the psalms of the Bible and were richly illustrated. Just as aristocratic men used arms as their mark of status, aristocratic women were often depicted with a book. But the book here is not only a sign of status, because Countess Berchta even seems to turn back to read a previous passage in the text again.

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