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Uta of Naumburg
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Royalty
    (circa 1000-circa October 23, 1046)
    Born in Ballenstedt, Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
    Member of the House of Ascania
    Margravine of Meissen from 1038 to 1046
    Wife of Eckard II, Margrave (military governor) of Meissen
    Resided in the castle of Naumburg on the Saale River
    Also known as Uta von Ballenstedt, Uta von Naumburg, or Uta of Ballenstedt
    Believed to have been the sister of Saxon count, Esico of Ballenstedt
    Among the famed 12 patrons of the famous Naumburg Cathedral, completed by the anonymous Naumburg Master in the 13th Century
    Honored by the Naumburg Master, along with her husband and the other founders, with life-like statues on the Cathedral's exterior
    People tend to believe that her statue depicts a queen, when she wasn't even close to one.
    The details of her personal life, or even the exact year of her death, are murky.
    One thing's for certain, though: she bore no children, resulting in the 'extinction of the Ekkeharding dynasty.'
    Her effigy was dubbed by historians 'a shrine to Communist womanhood' during the Cold War (it had previously been known as 'a shrine to German womanhood' in the 1930s and 40s).
    Her famous statue was completed over a century after her death, so its anyone's guess how true to form it is (a young woman named 'Gretchen,' was the physical model for it; no known likeness of Uta exists).
    At the time, it would have been deemed inappropriate for secular figures to be depicted on the wing of a cathedral, over saints, biblical characters, or religious leaders.
    Her likeness has been featured outside one of Germany's most famous cathedrals for over half a millennium, but she's primarily known to Americans as the main inspiration for the design of the Wicked Queen in Disney's Snow White.
    She was featured on a 1957 Berlin commemorative postage stamp.
    She was widely believed to have been the most beautiful woman in all of Medieval Germany.
    Her father arranged her marriage to Eckard as a political maneuver.
    But by all accounts it was apparently a functional and happy union of equals, as far as arranged marriages go.
    Upon her death, her husband donated large parts of her dowry to the convent of St. Cyriakus, Gernrode, where her sister was an abbess, and the remainder to the church (which financed the Naumburg Cathedral).
    Her statue depicts her as modest in spite of her wealth/stature (covering her face with her gown collar, delicately gathering a fold of her gown drapery, etc.)
    Umberto Eco mentions her in his book 'On Beauty,' writing: 'If you asked me if I could eat and spend an evening with one woman in the history of art, Uta von Naumburg would be there first, above all others.'
    Her statue remains the most popular of the depicted nobles, all of which were artistic breaks away from the traditional, one-dimensional statues characteristic of chapels, at the time.
    In 1935, when the Disney brothers visited Germany, they stopped at the historic Naumburg Cathedral where Walt allegedly drew artistic inspiration from Uta for 'the Wicked Queen' (specifically her cape, crown, and fair but aloof features).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 232 Votes: 88.36% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 34 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 12 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 7 Votes: 42.86% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 18 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
 
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