Hedwig Codex


In 1203, Duke Henry I of Silesia (d. 1238), from the Piast dynasty, and his wife, Hedwig of Andechs (d. 1243), founded the Cistercian convent of Trebnitz (Trzebnica). Hedwig would retire there as a widow. For centuries thereafter, all the convent’s abbesses were princesses of the Piast dynasty. This manuscript reproduces the dossier in support of Hedwig’s canonization, which occurred in 1267. Depicting episodes from her life and tracing her family history, its drawings provide emblematic images of aristocratic piety and of female piety in particular. At left is the family of Hedwig’s father, Berthold IV of Andechs, and, below, the union of Hedwig and Henry I, who, following the birth of their children, had a chaste marriage. The first scene on the facing page depicts Hedwig praying while her husband sleeps. The scene below depicts the couple with their children.

"Hedwig Codex," in Latin
Written by Nicolaus of Prussia for Duke Ludwig I of Liegnitz and Brieg
Poland (Silesia), 1353
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, MSMS Ludwig XI 7, fols. 10v–11r
Purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983