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Picturing the Passion: Devotional Strategies in the Passional of the Abbess Kunigunde

Picturing the Passion
Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 5:40 pm – 8:00 pm

The Department of Medieval Studies is pleased to present our penultimate public lecture of the year. On Wednesday 23 Nov, Lenka Panušková from the Czech Academy of Sciences will be speaking on Devotional Strategies in the Passional of Abbess Kunigunde.


The Passional of the Abbess Kunigunde is an early-fourteenth-century Bohemian manuscript, with strong connections between the texts and the illuminations. It comprises of various texts on the Passion of Christ and the history of salvation and was compiled by a Dominican friar, Kolda of Koldice.
The codex includes two full-page depictions of arma Christi. The first shows a shield dominated by Christ´s cross that bears all five wounds of the Saviour and is decorated by the Crown of Thorns. In contrast to the symbolical nature of the opening illumination, the second image presents the bodily suffering of Christ in a powerful way. Here, almost all the weapons are covered in blood. This paper will discuss both images, focusing on the latter and its traces of veneration. These include touching and kissing the parchment. The second folio, depicting arma Christi, provides an essential example of devotional strategies employed by a female audience.


Lenka Panušková is a researcher at the Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. She works with medieval illuminated manuscripts in which she focuses on the function of the decoration, its iconography, and reception by a reader. Currently, she is preparing a collective monograph with the title “Reflecting Jerusalem in Medieval Czech Lands”.


The lecture will be hybrid, held in person on the CEU campus in Vienna, and online here: Non-CEU members who wish to attend in person should register by emailing