Agrippin Sibyl

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Sibilla Agrippina , Abraham Janssens (approx. 1575–1632), Düsseldorf, museum kunst palast
Sibilla Agrippina with prophets , stained glass window in the cathedral of Auch , France (1503)

Agrippinian Sibyl , Latin Sibylla Agrippina is the name of a Sibyl that was added together with the European Sibyl in the Middle Ages to the ten Sibyls listed by Laktanz in Late Antiquity . This resulted in a number of women equal to that of the minor prophets of the Book of the Twelve Prophets of the Old Testament , who were then regarded as pagan heralds of an expectation of God.


Despite its indirect origin from the sibyl tradition of antiquity, the Agrippinian sibyl has no further reference to classical mythology and cannot be found in any way in antiquity.

Motif of art

Although sibyls are a common motif in Gothic and Renaissance art , the Agrippinian sibyl was not depicted before around 1500. Now and then one finds them afterwards in some groups of such women, e.g. B. in the following locations:

  • Tours , France, as an illumination in a manuscript with prophecy of the twelve Sibyls from 1490
  • Also , France, in the cathedral in one of the stained glass windows with sibyls and prophets made by Arnaud de Moes between 1503 and 1513
  • Passau , Germany, in the Sankt Stephan cathedral as a spandex in the ceiling paintings of the cycle with several sibyls from 1682 created by Carpoforo Tencalla
  • Agrippina by Abraham Janssens (approx. 1575–1632) from Holland , today Düsseldorf, museum kunst palast

It is more likely to be found in the copperplate engravings with consequences of sibyls of the Renaissance. B. The Agrippinische Sibylle in the series by Claude Vignon from 1593 or the Sibylla Agrippina in the series published around 1615 by Crispin de Passe the Elder .

The Agrippin Sibyl was sometimes interpreted and represented as a woman of the African continent from the beginning of the Baroque - and as the only one among the Sibyls . From an art-historical point of view, this was seen as an unusual recognition of the knowledge, vision and attractiveness of women from this region.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Des Lucius Caelius Firmianus Lactantius writings. Translated from Latin by Aloys Hartl. (Library of the Church Fathers, 1st row, Volume 36) Munich 1919. Chapter 5
  2. cf. z. BH Schedel (Ed.): Weltchronik, 1493, sheet XXXVI at Wikisource
  3. Sibyllae et prophetae de Christo Salvatore vaticinantes, Tours 1490 - 1500, Bavarian State Library Cod.icon. 414
  4. J. Droste-Hennings; T. Droste: DuMont Art Guide France The Southwest. The landscapes between the Massif Central, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees (DuMont Art Travel Guide), DuMont Reiseverlag 2007, pp. 284–285.
  5. ^ Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett
  6. ^ London, The British Museum, from the Horace Walpole Collection
  7. s. a. E. Schreuder: Black people in the art of the Low Countries , catalog for the exhibition from July to October 2008 in Amsterdam (Nationale Stichting De Nieuwe Kerk). Waanders 2008, English edition.