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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Elizabeth of Schonau

b. 1126, Germany; d. 1164, Schönau, Germany

Sent to a Benedictine monastery in Schönau, Germany, to be educated, Elizabeth took vows in 1147 and ten years later became abbess. She began to have prophetic visions in 1152, consisting of visits from saints or scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. These she recorded in the Libri visionem, a three-volume work written with the help of her brother Egbert, a monk. A practitioner of extreme asceticism, which no doubt contributed to her visionary experiences, Elizabeth was befriended and encouraged by Hildegarde of Bingen.