Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
Dreaming the Virgin Mary

Medieval Timeline

1095 Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade (till 1099)
1140-44 St. Denis Cathedral
1147 Second Crusade begins (till 1149)
1153 Death of St. Bernard of Clairvaux
1170 Murder of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral
1174 Circulation of first influential Kabbalist book, Sefer Ha-Bahir, in southern France
1179 Death of Hildegard of Bingen
1187 Capture of Jerusalem by Saladin; Third Crusade begins (till 1192)
1194 Fire destroys much of Chartres Cathedral; Gothic style rebuilding takes till 1260

1204 Sack of Constantinople during Fourth Crusade: seeds of the Great Schism
1209 Albigensian Crusade begins; massacre of Cathars in Béziers

1209 Foundation of Franciscan order
1211 Reims Cathedral
1212 Children's Crusade
1215 King John signs the Magna Carta
1216 Foundation of the Dominican order
1217 Fifth Crusade begins (till 1221)
1220 Frederick II becomes Holy Roman Emperor
1220-30 Bible moralisée appears (one of the first "picture" Bibles)
1221 Death of St. Dominic
1223 Chartres Cathedral construction largely complete
1225-35 Roman de la Rose (part I)
1226 Death of St. Francis of Assisi
1228 Sixth Crusade (till 1229)
1229 Foundation of the Inquisition
1240's Bartholomew the Englishman writes On the Properties of Things
1243-44 Massacre of Cathars at Montségur

1248 Seventh Crusade (till 1254)
1260 Jacopo de Voragine’s Golden Legend tells of the lives of the saints and the True Cross
1267 Roger Bacon, Franciscan monk and scientist, completes Opus Majus
1271 Marco Polo begins journeys to China


This extraordinary work is the right-hand part of the Melun diptych - this part showing the Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels. Although art critics enjoy pointing out the model was King Charles VII's mistress Agnes Sorel, it's the boldness and confidence of the painting that impresses me. It was completed around 1450!

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