(11) The Story in the Pictures (pages 142 through 183)

66. page 142 Right – The Conversion of St. Paul (?) Rays of light pour over a kneeling man who is at the same time receiving a glowing sphere from a standing figure.

The conversion of St. Paul has two episodes. The first occurs on the road to Damascus and involves a sheaf of light blinding Saul, a cruel persecutor of Christians, and causing him to fall off his horse. The second happens in Damascus, where the shaken Saul is taken by his companions, and where a Christian priest, Ananias, commanded by Jesus in a vision, comes to give him back the light of his eyes. Eventually baptizes the former persecutor, thus creating the most formidable weapon of the Christian faith, the efficient and relentless apostle Paul.

Saul falls from his horse, blinded by the light, Book of Hours, fol.116r. , c.1490-1500, from Koninlijke Bibliotheek

Saul falls from his horse, blinded by the light, Book of Hours, fol.116r. , c.1490-1500, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Obviously, the CR drawing has the sheaf of rays but lacks the horse. The healing episode famously involves the imposition of hands and not handing over something. So, I don’t know. This was my best guess.

Ananias anoints Paul, Syrian icon, 14th century, from Antiochian Orthodox

Ananias anoints Paul, Syrian icon, 14th century, from Antiochian Orthodox

67. page 145 Right – snake

68. page 148 Left – As the deer pants for streams of water,so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42 W or 41 E (Eastern, Western Christianity) – A Crucifixion between a man and a stag.

ews making sacrifice to God, table XII, in Die Miniaturen des Serbischen Psalters, by Josef Strzygowski, on Internet Archive

David praying and the stag at the spring,
in Die Miniaturen des Serbischen Psalters, by Josef Strzygowski, on Internet Archive

I was considering the legend of St. Hubertus, who, while chasing a stag, saw a crucifix between his antlers and, subsequently, dedicated his life to the church. His vision was more like this:

Bottle of Jagermeister (empty)

Bottle of Jagermeister (empty)

69. page 153 Right – Jesus crucified between the two thieves.

You can’t say which of them is the good one, they both look so joyous. The bad thief’s name was Gestas. The good thief’s name was Dismas. Or Dysmas. Or Dimas, or maybe Dumachus, or Titus or Rakh. Or Jobab. See the List of names for the biblical nameless.

Jesus crucified with the two malefactors, Speculum Humanae Salvationis,fol. 27v, c. 1400-1500, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Jesus crucified with the two malefactors, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 27v, c. 1400-1500, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

70. page 155 Right – spreading the Christian faith?

71. page 159 Right – more spreading ?

72. page 163 Left – Jesus, Peter or Paul with a child. I know, it looks like blessing Aladdin on the flying carpet.

73. page 167 Left – The guardian angel. I spilled everything I know on the subject in the previous batch (see Angel at the bedpost).

74. page 170 Left – Man/saint goes with his rattler to church.

75. page 176 Right – Jesus and the Samaritan woman. A very elaborate drawing, it even has two little medallions in the top corners with little portraits in them. It looks like it happens on a theatre scene, beyond the arched curtain with the embellished border.

Jesus, tired after a long journey, sits outside the walls of a Samaritan city, when a woman comes to draw water from Jacob’s well. Jesus asks for a drink of water which leads to a conversation and the woman (with the very big chin) is convinced that she is talking to Christ who promises: “the water that I shall give him  will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14)

Jesus with the Samaritan woman, The Gospels in Arabic, fol. 219a, 1684,   from The Digital Walters

Jesus with the Samaritan woman, The Gospels in Arabic, fol. 219a, 1684, from The Digital Walters

76. page 178 Right – Maybe the people of Sychar, the Samaritan city, coming to Jesus?

77. page 183 Right – An evangelist. I’d say, John.

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