Obelisk Art History
The Artists

Hildegard von Bingen
Scientist, feminist, musician, saint

Hildegard von Bingen, The Artists
Portrait of Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen saw many visions during her life—sights, sounds, tastes and smells she believed were messages from God. She called these visions “the shades of the living light” and kept these divine messages to herself, understandably, until age 42, when God sent her a more pointed message, “Write down what you see and hear.” In Scivias, her first volume of mystic theology, von Bingen describes her reluctance to share her gift:

“But I, though I saw and heard these things, refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words, not with stubbornness but in the exercise of humility, until, laid low by the scourge of God, I fell upon a bed of sickness; then, compelled at last by many illnesses, and by the witness of a certain noble maiden of good conduct [the nun Richardis von Stade] and of that man whom I had secretly sought and found, as mentioned above, I set my hand to the writing. While I was doing it, I sensed, as I mentioned before, the deep profundity of scriptural exposition; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close – though just barely – in ten years. (...) And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, ‘Cry out therefore, and write thus!”

Reed Enger, "Hildegard von Bingen, Scientist, feminist, musician, saint," in Obelisk Art History, Published January 26, 2016; last modified September 19, 2022, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/hildegard-von-bingen/.

Hildegard von Bingen was a German Female Artist born on September 16, 1098. von Bingen contributed to the Medieval movement and died on September 17, 1179.

She is Divine Wisdom... She is awesome in terror as the Thunderer's lightening, and gentle in goodness as the sunshine.

Writings on the Holy Spirit 1100

From tasting evil, the blood of the sons of Adam was turned into the poison of semen, out of which the sons of man are begotten.

On Illness 1150

Scivias 2.1: The Redeemer, Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias 2.1: The Redeemer 1150

Scivias I.6: Humanity and Life, Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias I.6: Humanity and Life 1150

Scivias I.6: The Choirs of Angels, Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias I.6: The Choirs of Angels 1150

When a woman is making love with a man, a sense of heat in her brain, which brings with it sensual delight, communicates the taste of that delight.

The First Written Description of the Female Orgasm 1150

Scivias, Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias 1152

Scivias I.3: God, Cosmos, and Humanity, Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias I.3: God, Cosmos, and Humanity 1165

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 1: Theophany of Divine Love, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 1: Theophany of Divine Love 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 3: Macrocosm of Winds, Microcosm of Humors, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 3: Macrocosm of Winds, Microcosm of Humors 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 4: Cosmos, Body, and Soul, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 4: Cosmos, Body, and Soul 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 2, Vision 1: The Parts of the Earth: Living, Dying, and Purgatory, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 2, Vision 1: The Parts of the Earth: Living, Dying, and Purgatory 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 1: The City of God and the Mirror of the Angels, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 1: The City of God and the Mirror of the Angels 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 2: The City of God in Salvation History, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 2: The City of God in Salvation History 1230

The Fountain of God’s Work, Hildegard von Bingen

The Fountain of God’s Work 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 4: Wisdom and the Ancient Counsel before the City of God, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 4: Wisdom and the Ancient Counsel before the City of God 1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 5: Divine Love upon the Wheel, Hildegard von Bingen

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 5: Divine Love upon the Wheel 1230

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Hildegard of Bingen’s Unknown Language, Recommended Reading

Hildegard of Bingen's visions from God were so vivid she invented a new language to describe them. This translation is a must for all lovers of the esoteric...

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