Wienhausen, S. Elizabeth embroidery
Original Country
Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
nuns of Wienhausen
Sorting Title
Wienhausen, S. Elizabeth embroidery

This embroidery depicts the life and miracles of S. Elizabeth of Hungary, beginning with the birth of Elizabeth on the left-hand side of the embroidery.

Creation Date
circa 1480
Style Genre
late Gothic
Work Type
2.55 x 6.79 meters
Format Medium

wool and linen; woolen embroidery in the convent stitch on a linen backing

Original Location


Historical Context

Elizabeth, a Hungarian princess, became the wife of Ludwig of Thuringia. She became an important model of lay sanctity in the later Middle Ages. She was revered in particular for her care of the poor and sick. See Kloster Wienhausen: Die Bildteppiche.

Related Work

continuation of the S. Elizabeth embroidery (right-hand portion); detail of E; Wienhausen, S. Elizabeth embroidery (continuation)Wienhausen, S. Elizabeth embroidery (detail)

Descriptive Notes

The embroidery depicting the life and miracles of S. Elizabeth of Hungary reflects the emphasis on pious deeds versus contemplation (after the model of S. Francis of Assisi) in late medieval spirituality. The portions of the embroidery depicted here begin in the top row from left to right with the birth of Elizabeth, the bathing of the newborn Elizabeth and her swaddling, and her bridal trip at age four. The bottom row depicts from left to right: Elizabeth allows herself to be scourged, the miracle of the roses, in which bread that Elizabeth wished to distribute to the poor turned into roses before her disapproving family, Elizabeth forced into her husband's bed, and Elizabeth washing the feet of the poor.

Current Repository


Photo Credit
Praun Kunstverlag, Munich

Abbess Renate von Randow; Wolfgang Brandis

Image of Wienhausen, S. Elizabeth embroidery.