Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Richard A. Leson

Committee Members

Tanya J. Tiffany


Jeanne of Flanders, Laon, Man of Sorrows, Medieval, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Widows


This thesis provides a new argument concerning the patronage of the little-known chapel of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Laon Cathedral. I examine unpublished documentary evidence that identifies the noblewoman responsible for the financing and construction of the chapel in the early fourteenth century. Circumstantial evidence indicates Jeanne of Flanders, a noble widow, also ordered the carving of relief sculpture of the Crucifixion and St. Elizabeth of Hungary along the chapel’s north wall. In this thesis, I argue that Jeanne’s actions fit the prescribed behavior for wealthy medieval widows, in that she expresses newfound authority and power in the wake of her husband’s death, through the patronage of the chapel space. Jeanne’s specific selection of the narrative of St. Elizabeth of Hungary for the chapel at Laon also paralleled her own interests as fourteenth century Flemish woman and pious widow.