(8) The Story in the Pictures (pages 69 through 91)

34. page 69 Left – Probably Jesus holding a lily and a disciple holding a small cross. This is the most I can tell about it.

35. page 69 Right – another shared meal with Jesus sitting at the table with somebody who does not have a halo or nimbus, just a cap. A cross is floating between them, probably talking business.

36. page 71 Left – Going places 

37. page 72 Left – The Great Commission – Jesus with several apostles at a table with a wine pitcher

The first thought was, The Last Supper. Obviously, I looked for a similar …pitcher.

Last Supper, Book of Hours, fol. 23r., c. 1450-1460 -  from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Last Supper, Book of Hours, fol. 23r., c. 1450-1460 – from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

But the orant Christ, showing up two crosses, and the “rattlers” in the apostles hands did not match very well with the somber tone of the Last Supper depictions.

The story seems to fit best a combination of Luke 24:36-49 and Mark 16:14-18. After the two disciples return from Emmaus, where they met the resurrected Jesus, they gather with the apostles in a room, behind closed doors, trembling for their lives, sharing the latest news and a supper of fish, when Jesus, suddenly, appears amid them saying Peace to you. He shows them his wounds and to prove he is not a ghost, he asks for food. In Mark he says:“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Duccio di Buoninsegna, Appearence While the Apostles are at Table, 1308-11, from WebGalleryofArt

Duccio di Buoninsegna,
Appearence While the Apostles are at Table, 1308-11, from WebGalleryofArt

38. page 76 Right – Ascension. Does anyone disagree?

It is called “The Disappearing Feet” Ascension, though “The Disappearing Robe” is more accurate in this case, and is, again, typical for Northern Europe.

Speculum Humanae Salvationis, page 74v. - from Kongelige Bibliotek Denmark

Speculum Humanae Salvationis, page 74v. – from Kongelige Bibliotek Denmark

Bible moralisée, fol. 219r., Bruges; c. 1455-1460 - from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Bible moralisée, fol. 219r., Bruges; c. 1455-1460 – from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

39. page 79 Left – Hell

A Medieval Mirror, Adrian Wilson & Joyce Lancaster Wilson, page. 54, from UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004

A Medieval Mirror, Adrian Wilson & Joyce Lancaster Wilson, page. 54, from UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004

40. page 79 Right – Last Judgment – This was a tough one. I suspected that the central character is Jesus (the signs above him are not the usual ones, they appear in two more circumstances though: The Flogging and the Massacre of the Innocents), but I could not understand why he has an arrow across his head and his feet stuck into a barrel.

After several lucky clicks, I found out that the arrow is in fact the lily of mercy on the left and the sword of vengeance on the right, while the barrel is the orb, as in the Dürer engraving. But unlike in Dürer, in the bottom register, instead of the Hellmouth and the Paradise, there are two hungry beasts, awaiting for the souls of the sinners. Maybe the lily between them is a suggestion of Paradise.

Small Passion, Albrecht Dürer, c. 1510 - from Wikipedia

Small Passion, Albrecht Dürer, c. 1510 – from Wikipedia

And it is not the only difference. Who are the guys on the sides (with “rattlers” in their hands)? At the center of this episode is always (as far as I saw) the Deesis, the triad consisting of Jesus as the judge, Mary, mother of Jesus and John the Baptist, as interceders on behalf of mankind. But not in our drawing. These guys are most definitely men, with long pointy beards,  and one of them has a crown. The one on the right is is identified by a sign I have seen before:

page 5 Left  - Sacrifice of Isaac

page 5 Left – Sacrifice of Isaac

He could be either Abraham or Isaac, neither of whom was ever a king. And on the right? The answer could be in this elaborate Russian icon:

Last Judgment, Russian icon, 18th century - from Wikipedia

Last Judgment, Russian icon, 18th century – from Wikipedia

As customary, Jesus is flanked by the Blessed Virgin and John the Baptist, and a host of apostles and saints. But in the second register, right underneath them, holding the tables of the law, there is Moses, followed by the Jews, the Catholics, the Turks and other people who do not deserve salvation (makes me feel uneasy, and I don’t even go into why is Moses there). Opposite to them are the righteous patriarchs and kings of Israel (needless to say, they were Jews too).

detail

detail

My guess is that in the CR drawing the usual companions of Christ were cut out and two characters from the second register were promoted one level up, but in a mirrored position. Therefore, the figure standing on the right is Abraham (or Isaac) – the first from the row of patriarchs, inadvertently crowned as one of the kings,  and the one on the left is Moses. This conjecture is supported by the inscription that identifies the alleged Moses, inscription present also in the drawing with the alleged tables of the law:

page 14 Right - Moses and the tables of the law

page 14 Right – Moses and the tables of the law

41. page 80 Right – I have two possible explanations: Moses receiving the offerings for the tabernacle: (gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate)…

Moses collects the valuable offerings for the Tabernacle, History Bible, fol. 73 r, c. 1430, from Koninkljike Bibliothek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Moses collects the valuable offerings for the Tabernacle, History Bible, fol. 73 r, c. 1430, from Koninkljike Bibliothek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

or a usurer, as an image used to illustrate Psalm 14?

74df7-80b-camatar

The Usurer,
in Die Miniaturen des Serbischen Psalters, by Josef Strzygowski, on Internet Archive

42. page 83 Left – The Ptolemaic Universe represented as gears set in motion by angels. The Universe, according to Ptolemy, has the Earth at its center, surrounded by the moon, the sun and five planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. (I’m really proud of this one).

Creator as Majestas Domini, Liber Floridus, fol. 76r, 1460, from Koninlijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated

Creator as Majestas Domini, Liber Floridus, fol. 76r, 1460, from Koninlijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Ptolemaic system, from DCSymbols

Ptolemaic system, from DCSymbols

The little guys in the Empireum, the house of God, are angels too.

43. page 84 Left –  John the Apostle, on the Island of Patmos, under the moon and with the “rattler” – the only roundel.

John in Patmos, Book of Hours, from artbible

John in Patmos, Book of Hours, from artbible

44. page 84 Right – The parable of the lamp under the bushel (?)

Biblia ectypa, Christoph Weigel, 1695, from Pitts Theology Library

Biblia ectypa, Christoph Weigel, 1695, from Pitts Theology Library

45. page 88 Right – Somebody dictates something to somebody

Either Saint Peter dictates the Gospel to Saint Mark:

St. Peter dictating the Gospel to St. Mark, ivory, 5-7th century, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

St. Peter dictating the Gospel to St. Mark, ivory, 5-7th century, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Or Saint John, the Apostle, dictates the Revelation to Prochoros:

ohn the Apostle dictating to Prochorus, Mokvi Gospels, 1300, from Wikipedia

John the Apostle dictating to Prochorus, Mokvi Gospels, 1300, from Wikipedia

Or Saint Paul dictates a letter:

St. Paul dictates a letter, Historiated initial, Bible, fol. 378r.c. 1250-1300, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

St. Paul dictates a letter, Historiated initial, Bible, fol. 378r.c. 1250-1300, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

46. page 89 Right – Jesus  or an apostle, with the crossed rod, blesses a cleric (with a mitre) and a guy with a funny hat.

47. page 91 Right – Jesus or an apostle blesses a king who holds a lamp.

End of the fifth batch.

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3 Responses to (8) The Story in the Pictures (pages 69 through 91)

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