Wienhausen, Nuns' choir
Original Country
Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
Sorting Title
Wienhausen, Nuns' choir

Scenes from the Old and New Testament provide the interior decoration for the nuns' choir at Wienhausen. The ceiling portrays images of the life and Passion of Christ, while scenes from the old testament and lives of the saints decorate the walls. This image shows the paintings looking towards the great window in the west.

Creation Date
Style Genre
Work Type
Original Location


Historical Context

The nuns' choir at Wienhausen was constructed circa 1330 and painted circa 1335. It is one of the few early Gothic painted interiors to survive. Artistically, it shares similarities with the late Romanesque paintings in the cathedral of Braunschweig, and it is likely that the artisans came from a workshop in Braunschweig. It may equally have been influenced by artistic trends emerging from England. Kloster Wienhausen: Die Wandmalereien im Nonnenchor. In 1488 the paintings were restored by three nuns under the direction of the Abbess Susanna Potstock, although this reference may refer to paintings in the chapel dedicated to All Saints and not the choir. Restoration of the paintings was also undertaken in the nineteenth century.

Descriptive Notes

The paintings in the nuns' choir comprise 5 different cycles. Images of work done during the twelve months of the year appear on the wall dividing the nuns' choir from the parish church. On the south wall are images of the martyrdom of the twelve apostles; on the north wall appear the martyrdom of female saints. Above these images are scenes taken from the Old Testament, and on the ceiling scenes from the life and Passion of Christ are depicted. Like the scenes from the Old Testament depicted in the convent's Wienhausen, Mirror of Mankind's Salvation embroidery, these Old Testament scenes prefigure the story of Christ. Stylized depictions of grape vines, symbolic of the wine at Mass and Christ's blood, fill in the spaces between the different scenes. No space in the nuns' choir was left undecorated, leading researchers to describe it as a "colorful skin." See Kloster Wienhausen: Die Wandmalereien im Nonnenchor.

Current Repository


Photo Credit
Praun Kunstverlag, Munich

Abbess Renate von Randow; Wolfgang Brandis

Image of Wienhausen, Nuns' choir.