(7) The Story in the Pictures (pages 49 thorugh 67)

23. page 49 Left – Christ Bearing the Cross 


There are just a few elements to look for – the crown of thorns and the way Christ holds the cross. A robe with folds would be also nice. And an adult Jesus would be preferable.

Historiated initial with Christ-child carrying the cross, Book of Hours, fol. 70r, c. 1475-1485, from Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Historiated initial with Christ-child carrying the cross, Book of Hours, fol. 70r, c. 1475-1485, from Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Too crowded

Christ Carrying the Cross, c. 1491, Benvenuto di Giovanni, from National Gallery of Art USA

Christ Carrying the Cross, c. 1491, Benvenuto di Giovanni, from National Gallery of Art USA

This fits well.

Christ carrying the Cross, c. 1500-5, attributed to Lo Spagna - from The National Gallery UK

Christ carrying the Cross, c. 1500-5, attributed to Lo Spagna – from The National Gallery UK

24. page 51 Left – Jesus Crucified –  The ribs and a really large belly button are shown. The shape of the cross bar is unusual and appears in the next drawing too.

Time has come to discuss the problem of the nails. How many nails have been used to crucify Jesus? As so many other details, this has been also matter of debate (see Holy Nails). The question is whether they were three or four. Until the thirteenth century in both Western and Eastern Christianity, four nails were accepted, one in each limb. In the thirteenth century, Western artists started to represent Jesus with his feet one over the other, fixed with one nail, while in Eastern art he is still shown, in most cases, with the feet pierced separately.

The Crucifixion, Gerard David, c. 1495 - 1500, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Crucifixion, Gerard David, c. 1495 – 1500, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

How many nails are in our drawing? Between this drawing and the one from page 26 Left, I’d say four.

The number of nails might seem trivial but I suppose it was important in the relic business. How many nails can you pass as the original ones? Apparently, over thirty. This many are venerated at the moment.

25. page 52 Left – The Entombment (?) – Two men on the sides of a tomb, near a deserted cross,  holding something like funnels in their hands. I suppose they are Joseph of Arimatheea and Nicodemus, the two secret disciples of Christ in high places. Joseph claimed the body of Jesus from Pilate, Nicodemus brought myrrh and aloe and together they buried Jesus in the tomb donated by Joseph.

I could not find anything remotely similar. The absence of the grieving women, not to mention the body,  makes it unique.

The Entombment, c. 1415, Robert Campin- from Wikipaintings

The Entombment, c. 1415, Robert Campin- from Wikipaintings

26.  Page 55 Right – The Resurrection – Three in one. A radiant angel floats over the tomb marked with several signs. Christ rises, holding the linen sheet he was wrapped in, the angel kneels holding some luminous round object. In a garden Christ appears to a myrrh bearer as a gardener.

Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen as a Gardener, 1507, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, from Web Gallery of Art

Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen as a Gardener, 1507, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, from Web Gallery of Art

The signs on the tomb show the original owner, Joseph of Arimatheea:

The Ressurection, Prayer Book, fol. 100v., c. 1500, Masters of the Dark Eyes, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

The Ressurection, Prayer Book, fol. 100v., c. 1500, Masters of the Dark Eyes, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

27. Page 57 Right – Christ Triumphant
And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a carnelian stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in appearance like unto an emerald.
And round about the throne were four and twenty thrones: and upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white clothing; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightning and thunderings and voices…Revelations 4:2-5

Sure enough, Christ is resplendent and the picture is so loud you could almost hear the thunderings and the voices. But… The elders are seven and they do not wear crowns. They hold up the orbs of might though.

As these elders hold their crowns.

St. John and the Twenty-four Elders in Heaven, 1497-98, Albrecht Dürer, from Imagiva

St. John and the Twenty-four Elders in Heaven, 1497-98, Albrecht Dürer, from Imagiva

Christ and theTwenty-four Elders, Saint Sever Apocalypse, c. 1050-1070, from Counterlight's Peculiars

Christ and theTwenty-four Elders, Saint Sever Apocalypse, c. 1050-1070, from Counterlight’s Peculiars

 28. Page 58 Right – Harrowing of Hell – Christ with the crossed staff in his hand, in front of an empty hellmouth (which has a surprisingly elegant line). A very popular representation in Northern Europe.

Harrowing of Hell, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 34v., c. 1400-1500, from Koninkijke Bibliotheek Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Harrowing of Hell, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 34v., c. 1400-1500, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

29. Page 59 Left – Ressurection – Christ rising from the tomb with the crossed  staff in one hand and the other hand in the sign of benediction. The tomb is guarded by three armed soldiers.

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, in A Medieval Mirror, by Adrian Wilson and Joyce Lancaster Wilson, UC Press E-Books Collection 1982-2004

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, in A Medieval Mirror,
by Adrian Wilson and Joyce Lancaster Wilson,
UC Press E-Books Collection 1982-2004

30. page 60 Right – Supper at Emmaus (?) – After the Resurrection, two disciples meet Christ on the road to Emmaus and fail to recognize him. In Emmaus, during the supper they share, the two pilgrims understand who their companion is.

Supper at Emmaus, Book of Hours, fol. 94r, c. 1490, The Masters of the Dark Eyes, from Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Supper at Emmaus, Book of Hours, fol. 94r, c. 1490, The Masters of the Dark Eyes, from Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

And now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Jesus has wings!

He is an angel. I can understand the logic. By dieing on the cross, the human part was shed and the resurrected Jesus is all divine substance. He returns to an angelic state, especially for those who believe that the archangel Michael is a precursor to the Christ. Yet, the image of Christ as angel is very rare and rather uncomfortable for the Western Christian.

In Eastern Christianity there are several representations of Christ with wings:

Before his incarnation in human body – Christ, the Good Silence:

Jesus as Angel of the Great Council

Jesus as the Old of Days

I did not find anything similar in the Western iconography. But maybe Google has failed me.

31. Page 64 Right – Doubting Thomas. Thomas is reaching out to touch the wound of Jesus before being convinced.

Incredulity of Thomas, c.1474 - Jetsmark church - from the Mills-Kronborg collection of Danish Church Wall Paintings, (M-K 13-019)

Incredulity of Thomas, c.1474 – Jetsmark church – from the
Mills-Kronborg collection of Danish Church Wall Paintings, (M-K 13-019)

32. Page 65 Left – Jeremiah Lamenting over Jerusalem – or maybe Jesus crying over Jerusalem. See the signs (birdies) over the city, the same as in 25 Right and 29 Right, signs which most likely identify “Jerusalem”.

Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 98r. - from Kongelige Bibliotek Denmark

Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 98r. – from Kongelige Bibliotek Denmark

33. Page 67 Right – either The Fruitless Fig-tree or the Parable of the Mustard Seed, and the end of the batch.

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Gospels, Ms. W. 592, fol. 58a, from The Digital Walters

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Gospels, Ms. W. 592, fol. 58a, from The Digital Walters

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Codex Rohonc, Rohonczi. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (7) The Story in the Pictures (pages 49 thorugh 67)

  1. Carla Zell says:

    Would it be possible to obtain a high res photo of the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree icon, for use in an icon calendar?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s