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The iconography of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance
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Table of contents :
Frontmatter
Introduction (page 3)
Part I. Doctrine and Liturgy (page 5)
Part II. Artistic Evidence (page 15)
Chapter 1. Triumph of the Virgin over Original Sin (page 20)
Chapter 2. Moment of Mary's Exemption: Relationship of Mary to Her Parents and Forebears; Her Predestination (page 39)
Chapter 3. The Relationship of Mary to the Godhead (page 54)
Chapter 4. Proofs of the Immaculacy of Mary (page 57)
Chapter 5. Rare or Dubious Iconographies (page 71)
Appendix: Leonardo's "Virgin of the Rocks": the Paris and the London Versions (page 73)
List of Illustrations (page 81)

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THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND EARLY RENAISSANCE

MONOGRAPHS ON ARCHAEOLOGY AND FINE ARTS SPONSORED BY

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA AND THE COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

VII THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE IMMACULATE

CONCEPTION IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND EARLY RENAISSANCE BY

MIRELLA LEVI D’ANCONA

1957

PUBLISHED BY THE COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ART BULLETIN

To Dr. Walter W. S. Cook

PREFACE ESEARCH on the subject treated in this monograph was begun at the suggestion of Dr.

R water Friedlaender of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. My study

started as an investigation of the origins of the Apocalyptic Woman as representation of the Immaculate Conception in the Baroque period. However, as my research proceeded, it began to dawn on me that neither was the Apocalyptic Woman the only image of the _ Immaculate Conception, nor was it peculiar to the Baroque. Out of curiosity, I began to collect images earlier than the Baroque period, and to search for their origins and for an explanation of why particular images were selected rather than others to depict the Immaculate Conception. This monograph is the outcome of my search. It has taken me five years to find my way along this untrodden path, and my results are only a glimpse of the subject. The field to cover is enormous, and to give an exhaustive study of the material would have required a considerably longer period than I was prepared to devote to this subject. A thorough study could be undertaken more easily if there were available catalogues of illuminated manuscripts in the main libraries of Europe, and if there existed a complete list of Immaculist centers (churches and monasteries) for each region of Europe, with an indication of the time of acceptance of the feast of the Conception and the liturgy used in each center. With the uncertainty of scholarship at the present, a thorough investigation is extremely difficult. My purpose has been to open a way to others better equipped than I. I hope that I have pointed in

the right direction. :

I wish to express my special gratitude to Dr. Walter Friedlaender, of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, who started me on this subject, and to Dr. Erwin Panofsky, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, for his untiring help, advice and encouragement. By communicating his interest in my work to a number of friends, Dr. Panofsky has been also very instrumental in the publication of this paper. Father Edward O’Connor, of Notre Dame University, has shown a keen interest in this subject and has given me advice on many theological and liturgical questions. He is chiefly responsible for correcting my interpretation of questions of theology and liturgy, but he is in no way responsible for the mistakes that I may have let slip by through my own ignorance or carelessness.

I wish to thank the staffs of the Morgan Library, the Frick Library, the British Museum, the Bodleian Library, the Bibliothéque de Arsenal, the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, the Bibliothéque Municipale of Arras, the Biblioteca Nazionale and the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence, the Vatican Library, for their unfailing patience and friendliness in giving me access to and information about the material entrusted to their care. To Professore Arrigo Levasti of the American Library in Florence, Father Anselm Strittmatter of St. Anselm’s Priory in Washington, D.C., Dr. Harry Bober of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Dr. Wolfgang Stechow of Oberlin College, I am indebted for many helpful suggestions. The English form of this paper has kindly been corrected and revised by Miss Elizabeth Bartelme of the Pantheon Press and Mr. David J. Way, editor of the Frick Catalogue, who with their untiring and intelligent assistance have given me one more token of their friendship. I also wish to thank Dr. David R. Coffin of Princeton University for getting my manuscript into printable shape.

For permission to reproduce photographs of manuscript pages and other works of art used as illustrations of this monograph, grateful acknowledgment is made to the officials of the various libraries and museums concerned.

Vill PREFACE I am very much indebted to the Bollingen Foundation for a most generous grant in aid of the publication of this monograph. My work has extended over a considerable length of time, and help has come from various

quarters. Although I wish to thank all those who have helped me, it is impossible to mention each here.

M. L. D’A. New York City December 8, 1954 Centennial of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception

Introduction 3 Part I. Doctrine and Liturgy 5 a) Doctrine 5 b) Liturgy II Part II. Artistic Evidence 15 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1. Triumph of the Virgin over Original Sin 20

a) Coronation Triumph over Satan 20 b) of the Virgin 28 c) Triumph over Death Depicted as a Skeleton 32

d) The“Virgo VirginMediatrix” of Mercy 33 e) The 34 f) Mary as the New Eve 36 35 g) The Annunciation

Chapter 2. Moment of Mary’s Exemption: Relationship of Mary . to Her Parents and Forebears; Her Predestination 39

a) St. Anne Holding the Virgin in Her Arms 39

b) Mary in the Womb of Anne 39 c) Nativity of the Virgin Al d) Mary with Anne and Joachim 42 e) Stories from the Protoevangelium of James 43

f) The Tree of Jesse 46

g) Mary Predestined or Created from the Beginning of Time 50

Chapter 3. The Relationship of Mary to the Godhead 54.

Chapter 4. Proofs of the Immaculacy of Mary 57

a) Miracles of the Virgin 57 b) Illustrations of Texts on the Immaculate Conception 61 c) Prefigurations from Scripture 65 d) Fathers and Doctors of the Church 70

Chapter 5. Rare or Dubious Iconographies 71

List of Illustrations 81 Appendix: Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks”: the Paris and the London Versions 73

THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND EARLY RENAISSANCE

INTRODUCTION nN December 8, 1854, Pope Pius 1X proclaimed in the Bull Inmeffabilis Deus the dogma

() of the Immaculate Conception. The Bull gives the following definition of the Virgin Immaculate: “In the first instance of her conception by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, (Mary) was preserved free from all stain of original sin.” It took centuries of preparation to formulate this simple definition, and, of course, changes in the

artistic representations of this subject will correspond to the different ways in which the idea was expressed. When one thinks of the Virgin Immaculate, one imagines her as she was depicted by Murillo or Guido Reni, a beautiful maiden in ecstasy, surrounded by a glory of cherubs, with a white lily to symbolize her purity. She may be accompanied by the symbols of the litanies, and

she may tread upon the serpent or stand upon the crescent moon. This image of the Virgin Immaculate was represented innumerable times by artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. And it is the very abundance of such images in these two centuries, all of the same type,

which is responsible for the belief that the iconography of the Immaculate Conception is a creation of the Baroque period.

The origins of the iconography of the Immaculate Conception have usually been placed at the end of the fifteenth century or the beginning of the sixteenth, after Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, approved a new office for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, composed for the Franciscan Order by Leonardo Nogarolo, Apostolic Protonotary, in the year 1474. The Pope, in two bulls of 1482 and 1483, also imposed silence on the two contending factions of Maculists and Immaculists—those opposed to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and those in favor of it. It was supposed that a new image was created after the feast of the Conception was established, and the Society of Jesus was credited with causing this new image to be accepted by the public, as well as with the new impulse given to the cult. These suppositions are

unfounded, for both the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and its representations in art originated in the early Middle Ages and had an uninterrupted development throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, up to the Baroque and Modern periods. The purpose of this study is to investigate the representations of the Immaculate Conception before the end of the fifteenth century and to study the relationship of this iconography to the theological discussions of the doctrine. Since images and ideas are closely interrelated, we will have first to define the Immaculate Conception, and what the term meant in the Middle Ages.

?

PART I. DOCTRINE AND LITURGY a) Doctrine

HE ever-increasing devotion to the Virgin Mary in the first centuries of Christianity : resulted in several feasts in her honor, and led ultimately to the establishment of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The feast was first instituted in the Eastern Church, and only later imported into the Latin Church. Soon theologians were busy discussing whether this devotion to Mary Immaculate was legitimate or was an excess of Mariolatry. Mary, the Mother of Christ, embodied the ideal of feminine beauty, purity and love and was considered as a complement to the work of the Lord in the salvation of mankind. The first sin had been committed with the help of a woman, and only another woman who had known no sin could be chosen by the Lord to become His Mother and give birth to the instrument of salvation, Christ. The devotion to the Virgin Immaculate is a sublimation of femininity in its two aspects of maidenly purity and motherly love. Every woman may have either of these qualities, but Mary alone of all women embodied both together, and in a superlative degree. It is this dual aspect of Mary, her maidenly purity and motherly love, which was exalted at all times by the mystic writers, and which had a particular appeal to the simple devotion of the faithful. A question soon to be formulated was: how did Mary come to be completely pure? Was her nature the same as that of other human beings, but given, by the grace of God, the power to triumph over Original

Sin to which she was heir like other human beings? Or did she receive an even greater grace by which she, and she alone, was preserved from Original Sin? Did Mary assist Christ in the work of salvation insofar as she was his mother, or did she take a more direct and active part in it? This problem divided theologians over the course of many centuries. Those who supported the theory of the Immaculate Conception held that Mary was untouched by Original Sin and that she took an active part in the salvation of mankind. Others opposed this theory on the grounds that Christ had died for all human beings, and it was inadmissible to think that Mary could have escaped that general law. In the Middle Ages the term “conception” meant both the generative act of the parents, and the moment of the union of body and soul in an individual, which union was believed to take place

some time between generation and birth. Theologians agreed that the soul of Mary had been created spotless, but they did not know exactly how to explain the immaculacy of Mary as an individual after her soul was united to her body. Was the body of Mary also conceived immaculately, and in that case was the conception of the parents of the Virgin immaculate, or was it subjected to the laws of Original Sin? The moment at which Mary was exempted from Original Sin was also the subject of long discussions, and three theories were finally evolved. 1) The theory of Purification, the belief that Mary led a sinless life, but was exempted from Original Sin only at the moment in which - she received the announcement of the birth of Christ. 2) The theory of Sanctification, expressing the opinion that Mary was sanctified in the womb of her mother Anne and was, therefore, born free from Original Sin, although she had been conceived in sin. 3) The theory of Immaculate Conception, which promulgated the belief that Mary was conceived free from sin. It is this third theory which led ultimately to the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and which is the subject of our study. Another point of discussion was the nature of Original Sin as such. In the beginning Original Sin was not defined, but was considered in its aspects of cause and consequences: its cause, the devil; its consequences, concupiscence, corruption and death. To exempt Mary from Original Sin meant to exempt her from its consequences. True, Mary did not conceive with concupiscence, but

6 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION was she untouched by it when she was conceived? Was she victorious over sin by resisting temptation or was she free from temptation? Was she at any time of her existence subject to the law of death? All these problems were touched upon at one time or another during the interminable discussions which arose in the course of several centuries. At first the problems were merely sensed, but gradually they were focused and finally various solutions were reached. A brief sketch of the

history of the doctrine will help to understand the problem. The belief in the Immaculate Conception originated in the Greek Church, and was then imported to the West. However, the time of these two events is not easy to determine. One of the earliest theories about the Immaculate Conception was the belief that Saint Anne conceived the Virgin Mary in a miraculous way. This idea, which spread in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire in the earliest times of Christianity, was finally embodied in the form of a story in the Protoevangelium of James, or Gospel of the Infancy of the Virgin and Christ. The Protoevangelium was composed in the Near East in the second century a.p. In it is given an account of Joachim and Anne who had been married for many years and were reaching old age without the blessing of a child. For this reason the couple was believed to be under the curse of the Lord, and when Joachim brought his offering into the temple on a feast day, it was refused by the high priest. Joachim, unable to bear the humiliation, retired to the mountains among his shepherds and flocks, and fasted for forty days. There an angel of the Lord visited him and told him to return to his wife because his prayers had been heard, and he would be blessed by the birth of a daughter, Mary. One version of the Protoevangelium, however, changes the tense of a verb, thus giving to the story a miraculous interpretation. In this new version the angel tells Joachim to go back to his wife Anne, because she “has conceived” a daughter whose name will be Mary.’ This story, which gives the implication of a miraculous conception on the part of Anne, was widely spread in the East. It was even incorporated into the liturgy for the feast of the Conception. To this day the feast is called “the Conception of Anne” in the Greek Church. The Protoevangelium soon spread to the West, and illustrations of the cycle of stories which preceded Mary’s birth, taken from the Protoevangelium, or simply the Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem, were to become standard representations of the Immaculate Conception.

In the early Middle Ages we do not find writings devoted exclusively to the Immaculate Conception, as we shall find for the period from the twelfth century onward. Some theologians

had the idea of the Immaculate Conception in mind, but in a nebulous way, and only made allusions to points which were later to become crucial in the discussion. The earliest allusions to the Immaculate Conception in theological writings of the West are the ideas expressed by Saint Peter Chrysologus and Saint Maxim of Turin, in the fifth century. Saint Peter Chrysologus asserted that the Virgin Mary was betrothed to God from her mother’s womb;’ and Saint Maxim of Turin said that Mary was made a worthy receptacle of the Lord by Original Grace.* Both ideas are very important to the development of the doctrine. The belief in the Original Grace of Mary is important because it was taken over again at the end of the thirteenth century by Duns Scotus and was finally incorporated into the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in

1854. The idea that Mary was betrothed to Christ from her mother’s womb was defended 1. The Apocryphal New Testament ..., Montague Rhodes 1886, Lil, p. 576: this collection to be referred to hereafter James, trans., Oxford, 1926, p. 40. Book of James or Proto- as P.L. followed by the volume number and page): “neque evangelium, Iv, 2: “An angel of the Lord came down unto auferat a Joseph Virginem sed reddat Christo, cui est in utero him saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath hearkened _ pignorata cum fieret.”

unto thy prayer, Get thee down hence, for behold, thy wife 3. Homilia v ante Natale Domini (Migne, P.L. tvit,

Anna hath conceived” (italics are mine). p. 235): “Idoneum plane Maria Christo habitaculum, non 2. Sermo CxL de Annuntiatione B, Mariae Virginis (J. P. pro habitu corporis, sed pro gratia originali.” Migne, Patrologia cursus completus [Latina] Paris, 1857-

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 7 both by the Immaculists (the name designating the supporters of the Immaculate Conception) and by those who upheld the doctrine of the Sanctification of Mary in her mother’s womb (called Maculists). This idea may have developed from beliefs which had taken root in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire, and were adopted by the Greek Church as early as the eighth century. Undoubtedly one of the most important texts which spread such ideas is the Protoevangelium of James, mentioned above. In the eighth century the idea of the Immaculate Conception had not yet been clearly formulated, and allusions to the immaculacy of Mary continued to be made without further definition. Ambrosius Autpert, Bishop of San Vincenzo of Benevento (died 778), calls Mary “Spotless, enclosed garden full of flowers,”* a definition which bears strong resemblance to that given later in the Roman Breviary for the feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), and was to be illustrated over and over again (Fig. 8 is one instance). However, Ambrosius Autpert did not explain whether the spotlessness of Mary was due to her nature or to a special exemption, nor how her spotlessness was connected with the idea that she was an enclosed garden. At the end of the eighth century Paul Winfrid, Deacon of Aquileia, calls Mary “the Tree of Jesse which is totally exempt from the knots of sin,” and this metaphor was illustrated in connection with the Virgin Immaculate as early as the twelfth century (Figs. 35 and 36). To identify Mary with the Tree of Jesse, which is the genealogical tree of Christ, and to say that she was completely exempt from sin, means that Mary was immaculate at her origin: in substance this is a rough definition of the Immaculate Conception. It would have been interesting to hear the arguments by which Paul Winfrid supported his point of view. Unfortunately we have only a definition and nothing more. A step forward in the formulation of the doctrine was made at the end of the ninth century. Paschasius Radbert, Abbot of Saint Peter of Corbie (died ca. 860), says in his De Partu Virginis that there are three kinds of sanctification: the sanctification which was granted to the Virgin Mary at the moment of the Incarnation of Christ, the sanctification she received in her mother’s womb, and her sanctification at the moment of her creation.® This formulation is very important in the history of the doctrine because it definitely makes a distinction between sanctification in the womb and Immaculate Conception. We should like to know more about the latter. Did Paschasius Radbert mean by “creation” the generation of Mary by her parents? In this case did he believe that Mary was miraculously conceived, as stated in some versions of the Protoevangelium of James, or did he believe in a purification of the body by means of the sanctified soul, as stated

later by Duns Scotus? Or did Radbert believe that the Virgin Mary existed from the beginning of time, and, therefore, also before the Fall of Man? The latter case would explain Mary’s purity as a preservation from Original Sin by a sanctification which took place before Sin itself. We are on the fringes of heresy, but even this idea was defended by theologians and occasionally depicted by artists."

The vague formulations of theologians before the twelfth century had not considered the effect of Original Sin upon a human being; they, therefore, failed to state in what sense Mary 4. Epistola ad Paulam et Eustochium de Assumptione baculum sine nodis (Livy, Nat. Hist. 1, 18, 7), for his B. M. Virginis (Migne, P.L. xxx, pp. 131-132). Canticles religious practices, and this sacredness of the rod without knots II, 11, and IV, 12, comment falsely attributed to St. Jerome. was later transferred to the Virgin Mary (for this reference

5. Migne, P.L. xcv, p. 567: “Beata haec Virgo et mater I am indebted to Dr. Panofsky). Virgae appellatione signata est, quae et perfecti operis inten- 6. Paschasius Radbert, De Partu Virginis (Migne, P.L., tionem ad superna emicuit, et vitiositatis nodis funditus carens, CXX, pp. 1371-1372). flexibilis per humilitatem effulsit”? (The Blessed Virgin and 7. This concept is illustrated in a Book of Hours illuminated

Mother has derived her name from the rod which extolled by Giulio Clovio for Cardinal Farnese (Morgan Library, to the sky the intention of the perfected word and, by lacking ms M 69, fol. 59v) and dated 1546. In this miniature the completely the knots of sin, is radiant in her bending humility). Virgin Mary kneels before God the Father Who is creating

This metaphor derives from pagan beliefs. The augur in the world. Classical times was supposed to use a rod without knots,

8 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION was preserved from it. An important step was taken by St. Anselm of Aosta, Bishop of Canterbury (1093-1109), in his De Conceptu Virginali et Originali Peccato.® He asserted that Original Sin affects human beings in the sense that through it they lose their original faculty of justice. Christ

was by right exempted from Original Sin because he was not conceived under the “lex communiter conceptorum,” but Mary, having been conceived carnally, was subjected to Original Sin, She was purified from sin by a sanctification at the moment of her birth, but became completely pure only at the moment of the annunciation of the birth of Christ. St. Anselm opposed the theory of the Immaculate Conception and vacillated between the theory of the Sanctification and that of the Purification.” However, his nephew, Anselm of Edmunsbury (died 1148), took a stand in favor of the Immaculate Conception. He distinguished between carnal conception, or beginning, and personal conception, or consummation. The second is the union of body and soul, and in the case of Mary it is celebrated by the feast of her Nativity. The first is the conception of the flesh and is celebrated by the feast of the Conception of Mary.” A similar stand was taken

by a friend of Anselm of Edmunsbury, Eadmer of Clare (died 1124?). In a treatise on the Conception of Mary,"* Eadmer, to explain how the conception of the flesh could be pure before the union of body and soul, distinguishes between active and passive conception, that is, between the generative act of the parents of Mary, which was subject to the laws of Original Sin, and the fruit of the generation, Mary, who was preserved from sin by sanctifying grace. Another writer from Clare, Osbert,”® who died in 1160, supported this theory by adding that since St.

John the Baptist had been sanctified in the womb of his mother, it is likely that the Virgin Mary, being the Mother of God, received a higher grace. She was, therefore, sanctified at her conception. This is the theory of Paschasius Radbert, improved by a clear statement as to what was meant by conception and when the conception took place. Anselm of Edmunsbury, Eadmer of Clare and Osbert of Clare are the three great champions of the Immaculate Conception in England during the twelfth century. Of the three, Anselm of Edmunsbury was the most influential both because he was a nephew of St. Anselm of Canterbury, and also because he undertook several missions for the Holy See. He gave special emphasis to the cult of the Immaculate Conception when he was Bishop of Edmunsbury (1120-1148), and upon his advice several other cities of England adopted the feast. The ideas formulated in England spread widely, and found a soil ready to accept them, especially in France. In France, however, the ideas of the great English theologians met strong opposition in the

person of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who asked how it could be that Mary, conceived by the concupiscence of her parents, should receive a body exempt from Original Sin? If the exemption of Mary from Original Sin is required to explain the purity of the Conception of Christ, one would be obligated to believe the same thing of Anne and of all the female ancestors of the Virgin; the exemptions would have no end. 8. Migne, P.L., CLVII, pp. 431-464. 11. Migne, P.L., CLIX, pp. 301-318. This treatise was at9. However, in the discussions which took place later, St. tributed to St. Anselm of Canterbury and under this paternity

Anselm was often quoted as one of the strongholds of the it was introduced into the liturgy for the feast of the Condoctrine of the Immaculate Conception. This is chiefly because ception and into the Golden Legend. It was given back to a treatise, a sermon and a legend of the Immaculate Concep- its proper author, Eadmer of Clare, on the basis of a manution which were composed in England in the twelfth century script in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which bears were attributed to him, at least since the thirteenth century. Eadmer’s name in the colophon. St. Anselm is quoted as the author of these works, for example, 12. Osbert of Clare, Sermon on the Conception of the

in a thirteenth century manuscript in the Public Library Virgin (Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vit, pt. 1, pp. at Troyes (Clairvaux Q 85): Lectiones in Conceptione B. 1009-1010. See also H. Thurston and T. Slater, Eadmeri Mariae Virginis. For an extensive discussion of the diffusion smonachi Cantuariensis Tractatus de Conceptione Sanctae of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in England see: Mariae, Freiburg-in-Breisgau, 1904, pp. 65-83).

E. Bishop, Origins of the Feast of the Conception of the 13. It is interesting to note that St. Bernard, like St.

Blessed Virgin Mary, London, 1904. Anselm, was later considered as the supporter of the theory of

10. Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vit, pt. 1, pp. the Immaculate Conception. This belief is probably based upon 1006-1010, “Immaculée Conception,” article by X. Le Bache- the fact that Bernard had an especial devotion for the Virgin

let. Mary, and he applied to her the verses of the Song of Songs

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 9 To this the Immaculists answered in various ways. One explanation was that Adam did not fall completely from the state of grace he had enjoyed in Eden. A degree of purity was preserved in him, which, accompanied by sin, was transmitted to his descendants until it reached Mary. In Mary the purity alone was transmitted, isolated from sin. This theory was defended by Guillaume de Deguileville in the first part of the fourteenth century.* Another explanation given was that the parents of Mary conceived her without concupiscence, through a special grace of God; this is the old theory which had been spread in the East by the Protoevangelium of James and introduced into the West through the Apocryphal Gospels of the Nativity of Mary. Far more important was the answer given in 1150 by Petrus Comestor in his sermon on the conception of the Virgin’® because his ideas were to lead to the final solution of the problem, as proposed later by Duns Scotus. He said that Christ received from Adam his nature, but not his sin. So the Virgin Mary received from her parents her flesh, but not their sin of concupiscence. As a martyr who is killed by his executioner is untouched by the crime which kills him, and as the feast of his martyrdom celebrates the saint and not the crime of his executioner, so does the feast of the Conception of the Virgin celebrate the creature conceived and not the concupiscence of her parents. As for the argument that the feast was not in use in the Catholic Church, Petrus Comestor answered that this was a great wrong done to the Virgin Mary. The Church celebrated the feast of the death of St. Peter, which though venerable in itself, could not be compared with the Conception of the Virgin in its importance to the salvation of mankind. It is with far greater veneration, he believed, that one should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This theory bears strong resemblance to that set forth by Eadmer of Clare in his treatise on the Con-

ception, written a few years earlier—an indication that the ideas were spreading throughout France and England. The theories of Petrus Comestor are very modern in character. Basically he emphasized the importance of the individual versus the laws of heredity, and thus he may be considered one of the early forerunners of the Renaissance, the period which laid such great stress on the importance of the individual. In the thirteenth century the discussion was taken over by the Scholastics. A distinction was made between body and soul with reference to Original Sin, and it was believed that Mary’s soul was cleansed from sin through the action of sanctifying grace. While true that her parents conceived her in sin, according to the laws of human generation, when her sanctified soul joined her body in the womb of her mother Anne, it freed the body from impurity and restored to it that state of grace which it would have had naturally but for the Fall of Man. This theory, called the “doctrine of Mary’s Sanctification,” is important because it became the strongest opposing force to the doctrine of “Mary’s Conception.” Though apparently similar to the theory of the Immaculate Conception, it 1s actually in conflict with it because it includes Mary in the law by which every human being is watwraliter subject to the consequences of Original Sin. In accepting only the Sanctification of Mary in the womb of her mother, it placed the Virgin on the same level as St. John the Baptist, who was also sanctified in the womb of his mother, and the part of Mary in the salvation of mankind was thereby practically reduced to nothing. The theory of Sanctifi-

cation found its greatest exponent in St. Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1226-1274) and was therefore strenuously defended by the Dominicans, until the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate

Conception, in 1854, made an end to all discussion. In a study of the iconography of the Imwhich praise the Sulamite: “Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et theory which in his lifetime he had strongly opposed.

macula non est in te” (Thou art all beautiful, my love, and 14. Le Pélerinage de Dame de Guillaume de Deguileville, there is no spot in thee), a quotation which became identified J. J. Stiirzinger, ed., London, 1895, p. 188.

with the Virgin Immaculate, at least since the twelfth century, 15. Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vit, pt. 1, pp. when Abelard quoted it in his treatise on the Immaculate 1015-1024; J. B. Malou, L’lmmaculée Conception de la Conception. Thus, by a strange irony, St. Bernard came to be bienheureuse Vierge Marie, considérée comme dogme de foi, considered a supporter of the theory proposed by Abelard, a Bruxelles, 1857, pp. 117ff.

10 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION maculate Conception the theory of the Sanctification cannot be neglected because there was often an interchange in the illustrations of the two doctrines.

Duns Scotus (1266?-1308), the Franciscan who is considered the greatest defender of the Immaculate Conception, opposed the Thomist theory of Sanctification, yet based his discussion on the same line of thought. It is chiefly through him that the doctrine became identified with the Franciscans, in spite of the fact that the cult originated in the West in Benedictine monasteries before the existence of the Franciscan Order, and that the doctrine was accepted also by other monastic orders (the Carmelites adopted it at the Chapter of Toulouse in 1306, and the Carthusians in 1333). In his Scriptum Ovxontense, a work composed around 1300," Duns Scotus asserts that Mary was preserved from the Original Sin to which her body was condemned by its nature, through an equally original preservation. According to this theory, a modernization, so to speak, of the idea conceived by St. Maxim of Turin in the fifth century, the soul of Mary was sanctified before the generation of her body took place and was united with the body at the very instant of generation. Her body was thereby preserved from corruption in the generative act. This preservation of Mary from Original Sin was not a natural gift but was granted to her in consequence of the merits of Christ and because she was to become His mother, Duns Scotus was thus able to accept the doctrine of free will on the part of Adam and to account for the exemption of Mary from Original Sin by the assumption that she, too, would have been subject to it by nature had she not been preserved by a special act of Providence. The theory that Mary was preserved from Original Sin not by her nature but through the merits of Christ is the basis of all later discussions on the Immaculate Conception and is ultimately the ground upon which the Dogma was promulgated in 1854. No essential point was added to the discussion after the formulation of the doctrine by Duns Scotus. The theologians of the fourteenth century repeated with variations the theory of Duns Scotus on the Original Grace of Mary and the belief of St. Anselm that Original Sin is termination of Original Grace. Two Spanish Franciscans, Pedro Tomas (1316-1320) and Juan Vidal (1386-1390) made a distinction between Sanctifying Grace and Original Justice. Original Justice is a gift which was added to human nature and which directed it and subordinated man’s will to the will of God. Sanctifying Grace was man’s recompense for his will of doing good. The sin of Adam destroyed this happy state which conditioned human nature to God’s will; man lost his original sense of Justice and, as a consequence, also his Sanctifying Grace. Mary was saved from this loss of Grace either by a dispensation from possessing the original sense of Justice or, more probably, by possessing this sense of Justice from the moment of her conception, independently of the sin of Adam. The two Spanish theologians were thus able to reconcile the special grace

received by Mary at her conception with the fact that by nature Mary belonged among the descendants of Adam, and, therefore, was subjected to the consequences of Original Sin. The two conditions are no longer incompatible, since Grace is an act of God. The Augustinian Raymond Jourdain (1381)" greets Mary’s conception with the phrase “tota pulchra .. . et macula peccati sive mortalis, sive venialis, sive originalis non est in te,” a quotation which was paraphrased in some Renaissance works of art and attributed to St. Ambrose (see for

instance the terracotta altarpiece by the school of Giovanni della Robbia in the Church of S. Lucchese at Poggibonsi, where the figure of St. Ambrose bears the inscribed scroll “hec est virga in qua nec nodus originalis nec cortex venialis culpe fuit”’’). 16. In IV Libros Sententiarum, vol. 111, dist. 111, q. 1, 18. Raymundus Jordanus, Contemplationes idiotae de VirVivés, ed., XIV, p. 150. See also: Dictionnaire de théologie gine Maria, pt. 11, Paris, 1654, pp. 242-245.

catholique, Vil, pt. 1, pp. 1073-1078. 19. The altarpiece is reproduced in A. Marquand, Giovanni 17. A. Brafa Arrese, De Immaculata Conceptione B. V. della Robbia, Princeton, 1920. Mariae secundum theologos hispanos saeculi XIV, Rome, 1950.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 11 In the fifteenth century Jean Gerson (died 1429)” takes over the arguments of Vidal, expressing them with more clarity, simplicity and forcefulness. He adds nothing to the formulation of the doctrine, but, as did Vidal, he gives support to his theories by quoting passages from the Old Testament, the authority of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and mentioning miracles performed by Mary Immaculate. These arguments are repeated over and over again in the theological writings of the fifteenth century, from the beginning of the century, in the treatise by Johannes Roceti (1435)” until the end of the century, when Bernardino de’ Busti” mentions them in his “Mariale,” an Office and Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception which was approved by Pope Sixtus IV in 1480. This insistent repetition of proofs in favor of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception had its repercussions in art. The figures of the four Latin Fathers (Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Gregory) and the two Doctors (Anselm and Bernard) became from this time on an identifying element in an Immaculist image, these Fathers and Doctors often being shown discussing the doctrine, writing it in books, or reading from the Old Testament the passages which foreshadowed this belief. Also quotations from the Old Testament appear in Immaculist images with a frequency which had never been seen before. In the formulation of the doctrine, only one item of confusion remained: this was the identification of the Immaculate Conception of Mary with the miraculous conception of Christ, that is, the fact that Mary was conceived immaculately could be confused with the fact that Mary conceived Christ immaculately. This point was settled once and for all in the eighteenth century, when Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) made a distinction between passive conception, or the conception of Mary, and active conception, or the conception of Christ. The final step in the discussion was made a century ago, in 1854, when Pope Pius IX gave a definition of the Virgin Immaculate and proclaimed her Immaculate Conception as a dogma of faith for the Catholic Church in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus. With this event the discussions on

the Immaculate Conception were definitively ended. : b) Liturgy The iconography of the Immaculate Conception is closely related to the development of the cult of the Virgin Immaculate. Images expressing the theological ideas outlined above were first introduced to illustrate the feast of the Conception in liturgical books, or were dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception by pious believers who had received special grace from the Virgin Immaculate or felt particular devotion for her. One of the strange aspects of the cult of the Immaculate Conception is that, though its feast was celebrated in local centers, for a long time it was not officially accepted by the Catholic Church. It is only after the proclamation of the dogma in 1854 that the feast was officially introduced into the Catholic Church and universally accepted by it. Before that date, especially during the Middle Ages, the celebration of the feast of the Conception was principally a local affair, or it was connected with some monastic order (the Benedictines, the Franciscans, and, later, the Jesuits). The first mention of the feast of the Conception in the West is in a marble calendar for the

years 840-850 a.p. in Naples. There was in Rome and in Naples a colony of Greek monks who probably imported the feast from Constantinople, where it had been celebrated from the middle of the eighth century. It should be noted, however, that the feast is called the “Con-

ception of the Virgin” in the Naples Calendar, while it was called the “Conception of St. 20. J. Gerson, Opera omnia, Antwerp, 1506, 111, pp. 22, B. de’ Busti. Oficium Conceptionis Virginis Mariae,

1322fL.; Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vil, pt. 1, p. Milan, 1492.

1087. 23. Mention of the Naples calendar will be found in the

21. A. de Roskovany, Beata Virgo Maria, in suo Conceptu Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vil, pt. 1, p. 987. Immaculata, Budapest, 1873, 1, p. 260, n. 1708.

12 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Anne” in Constantinople. Shortly afterwards we have records of the feast in Ireland (Martyrology of Tallaght, ninth-tenth century”) where the cult of the Immaculate Conception was probably imported from Egypt (the liturgy follows the Coptic ritual) and the date of the feast of the Conception was fixed as May 3 instead of December 8. This detail is interesting because the date, May 3, determines the moment of the “Conception” of Mary as having taken place four months before her birth, which occurred on September 8; the feast celebrates, therefore, the union of the body and soul of Mary rather than her generation. By the eleventh century the Conception of the Virgin was celebrated in England, and from that time the day of the feast remained December 8: the feast thus celebrates the generation of

Mary. The cult seems to have been introduced into England by the Benedictine monks of Winchester, probably under the influence of the Greek monks of Naples. This can be inferred from the fact that the feast was celebrated at Naples; that manuscripts are known to have been imported into England from Naples; and that some Greek formulas of benediction are found in the liturgical books of Winchester.** Manuscripts from Winchester, Canterbury and Exeter testify to the fact that the feast of the Conception was celebrated in those centers in the first half of the eleventh century (Fig. 1). After the Norman conquest (1066) the cult suffered a temporary eclipse. The feast had been celebrated by the Saxon Church in local centers, and as it did not have the support of Rome, the Norman conquerors tried to stifle it, as they did with all that was Saxon. But the seed had fallen upon fertile soil. Not long after the feast had been abolished appeals for its reinstatement came from several centers in southern England, and the feast was re-established permanently. It was about this time that the first treatises on the Immaculate Conception were composed and that the discussions of the doctrine began in earnest. According to a legend which had great favor in the Middle Ages, an Abbot of Ramsgate or Ramsay (England) by the name of Helsinus was shipwrecked near the coast of Normandy, and in his distress he invoked the Virgin Mary. A man in pontifical robes (St. Peter) appeared to him, saying that he was sent by the Virgin Mary to save him, if he promised to celebrate the feast of the Conception of the Virgin. Helsinus promised to do so, but as he was a wise man and liturgically minded, he asked which office he should use for the feast. The answer was that the Office of the Nativity of the Virgin was to be used, but with the change of the name “Nativity” into that of “Conception” every time it occurred in the text. This legend, together with a sermon and a treatise on the Immaculate Conception, was attributed to St. Anselm throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.” Whoever its author, the legend was known in the twelfth century, and it was put to rhyme in that century by the Anglo-Norman poet Robert Wace. The legend had a tremendous vogue and was even incorporated into the liturgy for the feast of the Conception and into some versions of the Golden Legend. It credits an Englishman, Helsinus, with the establishment of the feast of the Conception but localizes the feast in France. As with all legends, it has a grain of truth. Documents seem to show that the feast of the Conception had been in existence in England long before it was imported into France, but when the cult was re-estab-

lished in England, after the Norman invasion, at the beginning of the twelfth century, the same man who was responsible for the repristination of the cult in England imported it also to France. This man was not Helsinus, as stated in the legend, but Anselm of Edmunsbury, who re-established,

directly or through his influence, the cult of the Conception in Southern England and possibly introduced it also into France, at Lyons and Rouen where he stayed on two trips he made to Rome. It is in these two cities that we find the earliest French liturgical books containing mention of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Whatever explanation may be advanced for the

24. idem. 26. Modern critics attribute this legend variously to St. op.cit., in our note 9. Clare, and to Osbert of Clare. 25. For the cult of the Conception in England see: Bishop, Anselm’s nephew, Anselm of Edmunsbury, to Eadmer of

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 13 origin of the cult of the Immaculate Conception in France, we find it there in the twelfth century, and very much alive. It took on such importance that St. Bernard was constrained to intervene personally to suppress a feast which was unsupported by the Church of Rome and of which he disapproved. This did not stop the spread of the devotion to the Virgin Immaculate, and at about the same time that the great treatises on the theme were being written in England, important writings in defense of it were produced in France. Abelard, who died in 1142, had become one of its champions and introduced the discussion of the doctrine into the Paris Schools. Both Petrus Comestor (Pierre le Mangeur, died 1178) and Petrus Cantor (Pierre le Chantre, died 1197) are known to have written sermons on the subject. The cult spread steadily into the rest of Europe. By the end of the twelfth century the feast was observed in various cities in England, France, the southern Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. The northern Netherlands recognized it in the thirteenth century, and finally even Italy accepted it. There the reluctance of Rome operated as an obstacle, but the feast gained ground nevertheless, especially through the Franciscan Order which became its strongest supporter. The doctrine came close to receiving official recognition when it was examined and proclaimed a dogma of faith by the Council of Basel, in 1438. But at this time the Council of Basel represented only

a minority of the Church and had been declared schismatic by the Pope. The actions of the Council were, therefore, dismissed, and the question was not raised again for many years. We find

only traces of its deliberations in some liturgical books, for the most part French or Flemish, which quote, in the Office for the Feast of the Conception, the definition of the Virgin Immaculate given by the Council.” Semi-official recognition was extended to the feast by Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, who in 1476 ordered a special office of the Immaculate Conception to be composed for this order (the office used before was, as we recall, that of the Nativity of the Virgin, with a few changes). In 1480 he approved a second Office and Mass of the Conception, composed

by the Milanese Franciscan monk Bernardino de’ Busti. The dates of these two offices have been taken as a starting point by scholars who have studied the iconography of the Immaculate Conception,” and to avoid duplication, it is at the end of the fifteenth century that my study will end. 27. For example, in the Breviary of Eleanor of Portugal 38-39, and 40-48; K. Kiinstle, Ikonographie der Christlichen

(Morgan Library, MS M 52, fol. 347), a Flemish manu- Kunst, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1928, pp. 646f.; E. Tormo y

script illuminated between 1495 and 1525. Monz6, La Immaculada y el arte espafiol, Madrid, 1915;

28. E. Male, L’Art réligieux de la fin du moyen age en J. B. Malou, Iconographie de llinmaculée Conception ..., France, Paris, 1925, pp. 208-221; E. Male, L’Art réligieux Brussels, 1856; M. Carmichael, Francia’s Masterpiece... , du XIIle siécle en France, Paris, 1931, pp. 233ff.; E. Male, London, 1909; M. Trens, Maria, iconografia de la Virgen L’Art réligieux aprés le Concile de Trente, Paris, 1932, pp. en eél arte espatiol, Madrid, 1947, pp. 96-190.

-

HE iconography of the Immaculate Conception deals with the visual representation of | a concept, not with a narrative scene, and this concept was stated in different ways through the course of several centuries. The constant shifting of ideas is reflected by the instability of the iconography. Artists tried to keep up with the most recent theories about the Immaculate Conception, and because they lacked a fixed doctrinal point, they sought a fixed basis elsewhere. They tended to illustrate the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception with images which had already been established with reference to another context, merely distinguishing their representations of the Immaculate Conception from other ideas by means of texts or secondary identifying elements. This process parallels the process of theologians, who supported the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception by quoting related ideas already accepted by the Church. The symbolism and imagery of the feasts of the Nativity and Assumption of the Virgin gave important contributions to the development of the Immaculist iconography. Images, such as the Tree of Jesse, the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin, the Nativity of Mary, the Virgin of Mercy, the Annunciation, the Apocalyptic Woman, and others, were at one time or another applied to the Immaculate Conception by Immaculist artists. Books dealing with the iconography of the Immaculate Conception have failed to grasp the changing quality of the iconography in the earlier period and its close connection with the discussions of the doctrine.** They usually select a few representations of the Virgin Immaculate in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, when the iconography had reached a certain stability. At that time the types most frequently depicted were the Apocalyptic Woman (Virgin with crescent moon, rays of sun, and crowned with stars), the Fathers of the Church discussing the doctrine, and the Virgin with the symbols of the litanies. Both the Apocalyptic Woman and the Virgin with the symbols of the litanies were pictures of Mary in Heaven, and

the two images might be fused together or combined with the Assumption of the Virgin to depict the Immaculate Conception. Books on iconography discuss different instances of these types, but they give no explanation for the meaning of the images they discuss, they do not explain why the artist chose that particular subject, or what he wanted to show. Only the simple types are taken into consideration, not the combinations of several ones. The existence of represeatations of the Virgin Immaculate in a period previous to the Renaissance has been neither mentioned nor assumed by art historians,” and, what is more important, there has been no 29. Only in recent years the fact that a problem existed sentations of the Virgin and Child with the infant St. John, has been sensed by art historians. E. H. Kantorowicz almost and the Annunciation with the “telephone baby.” Some inter-

reached a solution when he discussed the New Minster esting articles on the Immaculate Conception in Brittany have “Quinity” (Fig. 1) (E. H. Kantorowicz, “The Quinity of appeared in a rare publication: the Premier Congrés Marial Winchester,” ART BULLETIN, XXIX, June 1947, pp. 73-85); Breton tenu a Josselin, Paris, 1905. The articles by Lepetit, and M. Davies interprets with a rare insight some Immaculist Abgrall and Peyron on pp. 359-383, 387-401, and 449-454 images in the London National Gallery, but he refrains from of this publication deal with the Immaculate Conception in reaching the conclusions to which his discussion of the subject art. Unfortunately the articles were not written by art hisled, namely, that the iconography of the Immaculate Concep- _torians, and, therefore, the dating of the images is often not tion existed much earlier than it is usually assumed (M. Davies, even mentioned. Two articles on the iconography of the ImThe Earlier Italian Schools [National Gallery Catalogues], maculate Conception have recently appeared in Carmelus. One London, 1951). E. Tea, “L’Immacolata Concezione nell’arte,’ by J. J. M. Timmers, “L’Iconographie de ?’Immaculée Conarticle in L’Ismacolata Concezione—Storia ed esposizione del ception,” Carmelus, 1, fasc. 2, 1954, pp. 278-289 treats the Dogma, Milan, 1954, pp. 145-162, is the only art historian subject chronologically but gives no documentation for the

who, to my knowledge, deals with the iconograhy of the examples earlier than the sixteenth century, and for the later Immaculate Conception in a period previous to the sixteenth examples merely quotes Male and Kiinstle. The second article century. She mentions several representations of this iconog- is by B. Borchert, “L’Immaculée dans V’iconographie du Car-

raphy in the fifteenth century, and a few in the fourteenth. mel,’ Carmelus, 11, fasc. 1, 1955, pp. 85-131. It deals only However, she does not document her sources, and often men- with Carmelite images, and, although it mentions some very tions examples which cannot be proved to be Immaculist, or interesting earlier examples, it is mostly concerned with Carworse, which are certainly Maculist—for instance, the repre- melite symbols in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

16 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION attempt to correlate the development of this iconography with the theological discussions of the doctrine.°°

The result of this state of scholarship is that, although the theme of the Virgin Immaculate has been popularized in art by the images of Guido Reni and Murillo, and the average art lover roughly knows that this iconography deals with the Virgin Mary, few know with certainty whether it concerns the conception of Christ or that of Mary, whether the figure of St. Anne is indispensable in the representation, what other figures are necessary, and what accessories enable us to identify the theme. It is the purpose of this study to investigate how the Immaculate Conception was represented in art, when it began, and what is the relationship between the artistic representations and the ideas formulated by theologians. This investigation will clarify the understanding of the images already studied by others, and at the same time it will throw light onto a section of iconography hitherto completely neglected and unknown. Thus, the crypto-iconography of the Immaculate Conception will come out of the shadows, and become a meaningful part of art history. To study the problem adequately we must take as a condition sine qua non the discussion of images which are surely representations of the Immaculate Conception. This sureness we will reach, in the case of images painted or sculpted, by a study of their provenance. An altarpiece made for a chapel or an altar of the Immaculate Conception will certainly represent the Immaculate Conception. Documents of commission of a work of art may also help in the identification. The images which illustrate liturgical books are also identifiable with a certain amount of sureness. Liturgical books were used for the celebration of the cult and each church or monastic order had its own devotional book. One can believe in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, or not believe in it; there is no middle way. Those who believed in the doctrine were called Immaculists. Their liturgical books contain special prayers to the Virgin Immaculate, an Office or Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and usually include the feast of the Conception in the calendar at the beginning of the book. Those who opposed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception were called Maculists. They did not include the Office or Mass for the Conception in their liturgy, or, if they did so, they specified that they meant by the term “conception” the sanctification of Mary in the womb of her mother. Their prayers bear no invocation to Mary Immaculate, and they do not include the feast of the Conception in the calendar. Because of the close relationship between texts and images, the images which illustrate the Office or Mass of the Conception are

: representations of the Immaculate Conception. However, we must bear in mind that up to the end of the fifteenth century there was no special Office or Mass for the feast of the Conception

which was universally accepted by the Immaculists. Usually the liturgy for the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, with a few changes, was adapted to the feast of her Conception. Therefore, many Immaculist liturgical books, instead of having the Office or Mass of the Conception, have simply a rubric for the feast (a line written in red or gold) followed by the Office of the Nativity, or by an indication that the Office of the Conception should be read from the text of the feast

of the Nativity. Other books even omit the rubric for the feast of the Conception and merely mention the feast in the calendar. The immaculist character of these books is identifiable from the tone of the prayers to the Virgin or by the inclusion of special prayers to Mary Immaculate. 30. The literature on the doctrine of the Immaculate Con- maculatae Virginis Deiparae illustrandum, Rome, 18 543 ception is enormous, and it usually has an apologetic character. C. Passaglia, De Immaculato Deiparae semper Virginis Con-

Authors try to prove the truth of the doctrine of the Virgin ceptu. Commentarius, Rome, 1854-1855; A. Stap, L’?IomImmaculate by assembling as many authorities as possible. The maculée Conception. Etudes sur VPorigine du dogme, Paris,

representations in art of the theory is not their concern, al- 1869; M. A. Gravois, De ortu, et progressu cultus ac festi though some books quote a few instances of the theme in the Ismaculati Conceptus B. Dei Genitricis Mariae, Lucca, 17643

Baroque period. I shall select at random a few references to L. C. Lea, Histoire de l’Inquisition au Moyen Age, Paris, the subject to be added to those already quoted: A. Ballerini, 1900-1902, 111, pp. 596ff.

Sylloge monumentorum ad mysterium Conceptionis Im-

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 17 Representations of the Immaculate Conception are found usually in the Office or Mass of the Conception, on the page where the rubric of the Conception is indicated, in the calendar page for the month of December or after this page, in the Office of the Nativity when the Office of the Conception is missing, or they illustrate special prayers to Mary Immaculate. In Psalters they occasionally illustrate Psalm 109 (110). The Immaculist liturgical books are very important for our study because the illustrations are usually preserved in their original context, and we are sure of their Immaculist connotations. After having studied a considerable amount of Immaculist liturgical books, I came to the conclusion that the Immaculate Conception was depicted in various ways and that the association of text and image was of a peculiar nature. Text and image are always associated because of the identity of ideas they express, but these ideas might be expressed differently by the text and the image which illustrates it. For instance, the text may quote a Miracle of the Virgin Immaculate,

while the image which illustrates it may represent the Tree of Jesse or the Meeting at the Golden Gate.

I have divided the different types of representations into four main groups. The specific instances included in these groups are certainly representations of the Immaculate Conception,

although the types which include them are not necessarily Immaculist. Thus I may discuss Immaculist representations of the Annunciation, but this does not mean that the Annunciation is an Immaculist theme. The first group deals with the object of Mary’s exemption, Original Sin, and Mary’s triumph over it. [he second group is concerned with the moment of the exemption and therefore refers

to Mary’s relationship with her parents and forebears, or to her predestination in the mind of God. The third group deals with the relationship between Mary and the Godhead, the agent of her preservation from Original Sin. The fourth group includes the proofs given by theologians to support the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Each of these groups may be subdivided into secondary types, according to the specific elements included in the representations:

I. Object of Mary’s exemption: the Triumph of Mary over Original Sin Original Sin is usually represented by its cause and effects. As previously mentioned, the Devil is the cause of Original Sin, while its effects are concupiscence, corruption and death. According to the aspects of Original Sin considered, we may distinguish the various secondary types by their reference to the following iconographical themes: a) Triumph over Satan, the cause of Original Sin. He may be shown in animal form as a Serpent or a Dragon (Fig. 4), or as a monstrous creature (Fig. 3). In this category we will include illustrations of Genesis 3:15; Psalm 90, and also the Apocalyptic Woman, since this image illustrates a text (Apocalypse 12:1-12) in which the defeat of Satan is indicated. b) The Coronation of the Virgin. This is the culmination of the glory of Mary and symbolizes her triumph over death, one of the consequences of Original Sin® (Fig. 13).

c) The Triumph of the Virgin over Death, in which death is depicted by a skeleton (Fig. 10). d) The Virgin of Mercy (Fig. 16). Mary protects man from sin and its consequent punishment. She takes an active part in saving man from death (damnation). e) Mary Mediatrix (Fig. 18). The Virgin frees souls from Hell or Purgatory.” Like type I-d,

this representation exemplifies the role of the Virgin saving man from damnation. | 431. The Virgin triumphed over death, by which she was Chimenti (also called PEmpoli) in the Church of S. Remigio only apparently overwhelmed, and representations of her in Florence (Venturi, op.cit., 1x, pt. 7, fig. 366) ; in a painting apparent death are called “Dormitio Virginis” (the sleep of by Vasari in the Church of SS. Apostoli in Florence (Venturi,

the Virgin). op.cit., IX, pt. 6, pl. 212). The Bulla Sabbatina, supposedly 32. For instance, in a drawing by Rosso Fiorentino in the issued on March 3, 1322, specifies that the Virgin Mary frees Uffizi in Florence (A. Venturi, Storia dell’arte italiana, Milan, souls from Purgatory every Saturday if they have worn the 1932, IX, pt. 5, p. 221, fig. 126); in a painting by Jacopo scapular of the Carmelites during their lifetime (see M. Vlo-

18 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION f) Mary as the New Eve (Fig. 15). The Virgin is contrasted to Eve, who committed the Original Sin. As in the two preceding types, Mary takes active part in saving mankind.

g) The Annunciation. This scene depicts the triumph of Mary over concupiscence (Fig. 20), which is a consequence of Original Sin.

Il. The Moment of Mary’s Exemption: the Relationship of Mary to Her Parents and Forebears; Fler Predestination.

This aspect of the iconography deals in particular with the problem of the preservation of Mary from Original Sin at the moment of the union of soul and body. We recall that this union was supposed to take place at the instant of generation, at birth, or at some time between these two events. Mary may also be considered as a pure soul before her generation. These ideas are

shown by the following types: :

a) Anne, the Mother of the Virgin, Holds Mary in Her Arms. This image is a kind of parallel to the image of the Virgin holding the Child. As the Christ Child in the arms of his mother is symbolic of the Divine Incarnation, so the infant Virgin in the arms of her mother is symbolic of the Immaculate Conception. b) The Virgin is Shown in an Aureole in the Womb of Her Mother Anne (Fig. 24). This represents the same idea as the previous type: Mary had been sanctified by the Lord at the moment of her conception.

c) The Nativity of the Virgin (Figs. 26 and 27). This image represents the union of body and soul at the moment of birth and shows, therefore, the conception of the Virgin as a human being, and not merely as a soul. An Immaculist image of the Nativity of the Virgin is usually identified by a text.

d) The Virgin With Both Parents (Fig. 22). This iconography is rarer. The inclusion of Joachim makes it more difficult to grasp the idea of the Immaculate Conception—the figure of Joachim is derived from the Protoevangelium of James, as is that of Anne, and, according to the Protoevangelium, Joachim had only a secondary role in the miraculous conception of the Virgin. Rays of light or the hand of God above the Virgin, or a text, identify an image of this type. e) A Cycle of Stories from the Protoevangelium of James (Figs. 28-32). The Protoevangelium gives a story of the miraculous conception of the Virgin. The story may be illustrated by a cycle of several scenes, or by one of the crucial events: the “Meeting at the Golden Gate” or the “Announcement of the Birth of the Virgin to Anne and Joachim.” This differs from the preceding group insofar as it is a narrative scene, while the preceding image is an iconic representation. f) The Tree of Jesse (Fig. 36). This depicts the immaculacy of Mary at her origins and usually includes some of the Virgin’s ancestors. Jesse, the father of David, is almost invariably present at the root of the tree. The Immaculist Tree of Jesse refers specifically to Mary. It usually excludes from the representation the figure of Christ; it may be accompanied by Marian attributes and it may include the parents of the Virgin. berg, La Vierge, notre Médiatrice, Grenoble, 1936, p. 217; Leipzig, 1906, p. 342. Other versions of the painting are in E. Panofsky, “Imago Pietatis,” Festschrift fiir Max J. Fried- the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Collection lander zum 60. Geburtstage, Leipzig, 1927, p. 306 note 107; of the Earl of Ellesmere. Dr. Panofsky has kindly called my M. Rickert, The Reconstructed Carmelite Missal, Chicago, attention to this Rubens iconography). B. de’ Busti, o.cit.,

1952, p. 39 text and note 4). An illustration of this belief fol. 17v, invokes the Virgin with the following lines: “Ab

is found in a votive panel of the Abruzzese school, fifteenth inferno liberatos—nos postremo fac beatos—in coeli militia,

century, in the Gallery at Chieti (R. van Marle, The De- amen.” I do not know the source of the poem quoted by velopment of the Italian Schools of Painting, The Hague, xv, Busti, but this poem or something similar must have been p. 241 fig. 150). In a painting by Rubens in the Antwerp known to Giotto when he depicted the Virgin receiving the

Museum the Virgin actually wears the scapular of the Car- Blessed in Heaven at the Last Judgment (Padua, Arena melite Order, This is why the painting has been called “St. Chapel, fresco with the Last Judgment). Theresa Interceding for the Souls in Purgatory” (the painting 33. B. Kleinschmidt, Die Heilige Anna, Diisseldorf, 1930, is reproduced in A. Rosenberg, P. P. Rubens, Stuttgart and figs. 59, 69, 72, 73, 74, and 76.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 19 g) Mary Predestined from Eternity (Fig. 41). Mary existed in the mind of God in the exact way in which she was to be born and to live, she was Immaculate from the beginning of time. This image is usually accompanied by a quotation from Proverbs 8:22-23 or Ecclesiasticus 24:14. Mary may be shown as a mother or as a maiden; sometimes her age is reduced to that of an infant.

III. The Relationship of Mary to the Godhead (Fig. 16). The Godhead preserved Mary from Original Sin, and may be shown as the Trinity or as one of the three persons in the Trinity, according to the Biblical text or specific idea which the image illustrates. Illustrations of Genesis 3:15 usually show Mary with the Father; in Apocalypse 12 Mary is shown with the Son; while in Isaiah 11:1-2 she is shown with the Holy Ghost. The Trinity may be shown in scenes of the Coronation of Mary.

IV. Proofs of the Immaculacy of Mary.

During the course of the discussions on the Immaculate Conception, the supporters of the doctrine often quoted from the Scripture to prove their points; or they quoted opinions of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church to lend weight to their arguments; or they enumerated miracles performed by the Virgin Immaculate to show that the doctrine was not only reasonable, but received Divine support. Some of the quotations and miracles were so often referred to, that they became closely associated with the doctrine (Figs. 11, 16, and 52). These illustrations have sometimes not been properly identified because the reason for the association was not shown by the artist, since it was obvious at his time, and the line of thought which brought about the connection has long since been forgotten.’ It is also important to keep in mind that the doctrine considers Mary as both being preserved from sin and taking part in the work of salvation. We may add, therefore, to the iconographic themes already listed other scenes which appear in the iconography of the Virgin Immaculate: a) Miracles of the Virgin Immaculate (Fig. 11). b) Illustrations of Texts on the Immaculate Conception (Fig. 40). c) Prefigurations from Scripture (Fig. 35). d) Fathers and Doctors of the Church discussing the Doctrine (Fig. 14). To these four groups we may add a fifth with rare or dubious iconographies. In this last group we may place all the images which did not find a place in the other groups. These categories have been enumerated to facilitate our study of the iconography. We must bear in mind, however, that there is no rigid division between them, and that more often than not two or more are combined in a single work of art. In this study each group will be examined separately, with its subdivisions, and for each the period of origins and its importance through the centuries will be indicated as far as possible. The latest chronological limits will be the end of the fifteenth century or the beginning of the sixteenth. This avoids duplication, as the books on iconography and monographs on the Immaculate Conception begin their discussion at that point. 34. A good instance when the original idea of the painter Gualbert, the image on the altar in the chapel is a Coronation has been completely forgotten and the iconography of the of the Virgin as Esther, and the Virgin is being touched by the painting misinterpreted occurs in a predella panel in the sceptre of the Lord. This is one of the several ways in which Vatican Gallery, No. 995 (Reproduced in G. Kaftal, Iconog- the Immaculate Conception could be depicted (see our text,

raphy of the Saints in Tuscan Painting, Florence, 1952, p. pp. 30-31) and, therefore, the scene in the predella is a 574, fig. 660). The scene represented has been called a story miracle of the Virgin Immaculate. An extensive study of the from the legend of St. John Gualbert, because a knight is Vatican panel and the Lucca altarpiece to which it originally shown in three scenes: kneeling before an altar in a chapel; belonged is given in a Master’s thesis presented by Mrs. Sibilla drawing his sword against an unarmed man; and then giving Symeonides in 1953 at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York to the same man the kiss of peace. However, instead of the University. miraculous Crucifix which caused the conversion of St. John

CHAPTER 1

THE TRIUMPH OF THE VIRGIN OVER ORIGINAL SIN a) Triumph over Satan. Although we know that the feast of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated at Naples in the ninth century and in Ireland at the end of the ninth or the beginning of the tenth, I have found no illustration of the underlying theory in these centers at so early a date. The earliest representation of the Immaculate Conception known to me is English and dates from the beginning of the eleventh century. It is a very curious pen drawing in a manuscript from the Benedictine

monastery of New Minster, Winchester (Brit. Mus., Cotton ms Titus D XXVII, fol. 75v) (Fig. 1). The drawing has been dated by Kantorowicz around 1010-1020, and it has been called by him a “Quinity” because it looks like a Trinity with the addition of the Virgin and Child.” Kantorowicz explained the drawing as the merging of two iconographies to stress the distinction between the Divine Christ and the Christ Incarnate, and at the same time the equality of the three persons of the Trinity. This explanation is not correct, although it comes near the truth. A simple representation of the Divine Incarnation of Christ did not need the inclusion of Mary in the group of the Trinity. It could be shown, as it usually was shown, with the group of the Virgin and Child. The group in the drawing cannot be defined as a “Quinity” because the nature _ of Mary is clearly differentiated from that of the Godhead by the fact that Mary has no halo and that she stands, whereas the three persons of the Trinity are seated and haloed. The drawing is a representation of the Immaculate Conception, as evidenced by the provenance of the manuscript, by the elements in its text, and by the elements in the drawing itself. The manuscript comes from New Minster, Winchester, the Benedictine center which was responsible for the introduction of the Immaculate Conception in England. The text illustrated by the drawing is a section of prayers to Christ and the Virgin Mary, and among the other lines, the Virgin is invoked with the verse from Eccl. 24:14: “Ab initio et ante saecula creata sum, et usque ad futurum saeculum non desinam” (From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be). This text had been applied to the Virgin Immaculate by Haymon of Halberstadt (Saxony) in the ninth century, and if we want a further proof that the manuscript is Immaculist, we may turn to fol. 8v where the calendar lists the feast of the Conception on December 8. In the drawing, the Virgin holding the Child and surmounted by the Holy Ghost forms a compact group which expresses the doctrine of the Divine Incarnation of Christ. This group and the prostrate figure of Arius in one corner of the drawing show that the image is in opposition to Arian theories. To this concept is added the triumph of good over evil, embodied in the defeat of Satan, who is plunging into the open mouth of hell—one of the earliest representations of hell as the mouth of the Leviathan.” Satan, besides being the personification of evil, is also the cause of Original Sin, while Judas, by his betrayal of Christ, is the indirect cause of Salvation. This is why the chained figure of Judas, holding a bent arrow (not a shepherd’s crook as stated by Kantorowicz) to show that he was defeated by his own means, is included in 35. E. H. Kantorowicz, “The Quinity of Winchester,” arT Vorstellungen vom Weltuntergang,” Warburg Vortrége 1923-

BULLETIN, XXIX, June 1947, pp. 73-85. 1924, Berlin, 1926, pp. 149-169. The author discusses the 36. Migne, P.L., cxvitl, p. 765, Homilia v in Solemnitate earliest representations of this monster in Christian iconog-

Perpetuae Virginis Mariae. raphy, among which is a relief on the Gosforth Cross. The 37. For the early iconography of the Leviathan, see: R. image, however, was not Christian in its origins.

Reitzenstein, “Die Nordischen, Persischen und Christlichen

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 21 the drawing and opposed to the chained figure of Arius. The whole composition, therefore, is a kind of triumph over evil, sin and heresy; the Virgin Mary is included in this program of salvation because she is the mother of Christ, and for this reason she is represented in direct contact with the Trinity. Her exalted quality is shown by her association with the Trinity, her inclusion in the

glory which surrounds the Trinity, and by the fact that she wears a crown. Her nature is only differentiated from that of the Godhead by the fact that she has no halo and that she stands instead of being enthroned. The time in which the scene takes place is indicated by the defeat of Satan:

Mary was immaculate before the creation of the world, from the beginning of time. She was untouched by Original Sin, and at the same time had direct part in Salvation because she was to be the mother of: Christ. It is the idea of predestination contained also in the text of the New Minster manuscript, in the quotation of Eccl. 24:14. The artist has selected the first of the three aspects of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception: the relationship of Mary to Original Sin, but he has also emphasized the importance of the Godhead, who preserved Mary from Original Sin.* In another manuscript, reproduced in the same article by Kantorowicz (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Nouv. Acq. Lat. 3055, fol. 159v), the Virgin is enthroned on the same seat as the Trinity and enveloped in a ring which encircles the two persons of the Godhead. This ring has been explained by Kantorowicz as a representation of the Holy Ghost. Thus the Virgin Mary is enthroned with the Godhead

and closely connected with it. No differentiation of nature is indicated in this fifteenth century example. This iconography, theologically condemnable as a case of excessive Mariolatry, seems to be unique. The artist who drew the New Minster “Quinity” not only lacked a tradition upon which to base his drawing but also lacked a clear definition of the Immaculate Conception. Treatises on the doctrine had not yet been written, and the nature and moment of the exemption of Mary from Original Sin had not yet been stated. However, the text illustrated by the drawing included a passage from Eccl. 24:14, and the artist illustrated it by showing Mary as mother ab aeterno. He added the triumph over the heresy of Arius because representations of the Trinity triumphing over this heresy already existed, and completed his drawing with the well-known image of the Virgin and Child to express his idea of the Immaculate Conception. In short, he gave an image of the Theotokos, Christotokos triumphing over sin and heresy: an idea familiar in the Near East

at the time of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. It is interesting to compare with the New Minster iconography an illustration of the same ideas, though from a later period, in a fresco in the Margarethen Kapelle of the Miinster at Constance,” painted around 1420 (Fig. 2). By this time the theory of the Immaculate Conception had been clearly stated, and its artistic representations were firmly established by tradition. Both in the New Minster drawing and in the fresco the Virgin takes part in salvation inasmuch as she is the Mother of Christ, and in both the defeat of the Devil is depicted. However, the time element, which was by no means clear in the New Minster drawing, is evident in the Constance fresco. 38. The same ideas about the Immaculate Conception the New Minster “Quinity,” the Virgin Mary is predestined, which are illustrated in the New Minster “Quinity” are stated and even before her conception she is connected with the more clearly a few decades later. In a Pontifical from Exeter, Trinity and overshadowed by the Holy Ghost. which dates around 1050-1073 (London, Brit. Mus., Add. 39. F. Burger, H. Schmitz, and I, Beth, Die Deutsche MaMS 2888, fol. 189v), the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Jerei, Berlin, 1918, p. 349, fig. 434. The fresco seems to be contains the following blessing: “Quique illam (Mariam) ante an illustration of Psalm 109 (110) : “Ex utero ante Luciferum conceptum presignavit nomine spiritus sancti obumbratione, genui te” (I generated you from my womb and before Lucifer vos divinam gratiam mente annuat concipere in sanctae trinitatis even existed). I am compelled to give my own translation of confessione atque ab omni malo protectos deifica confirmet this passage, because no standard English version of the Bible sanctificatione. Amen” (which can be translated roughly as _ translates the Psalm literally, and the word Lucifer, which is follows: “God, who predestined [Mary] before her concep- the key word with the Medieval commentators, never appears tion by overshadowing her in the name of the Holy Ghost, may _in the translations. A full discussion of the Psalm with its let you conceive in your soul the divine Grace of the confession Immaculist interpretation will be given later, p. 29, notes

of the Holy Trinity and with the protection of His Holy 66-67. Sanctification may He keep you from all evil. Amen”). As in

22 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION In the upper part of the fresco the Virgin is shown enthroned, holding the Child; below, the Father appears blessing, while Angels are pushing Lucifer from his throne in Heaven. The artist has chosen to show the moment in which Lucifer, having refused to worship the Lord in His three persons, and having boasted of his superiority, is changed from a resplendent being into a hideous creature and precipitated from Heaven. This event occurred before the creation of the world, yet Mary is already present, and has her throne in Heaven as the Mother of the Lord. The event, though stripped to bare essentials, is shown clearly. In a manuscript of about the same time as the Constance fresco, the Bedford Breviary illuminated between 1424 and 1435 (Paris, Bibl. Nat., ms Lat. 17294, fol. 567v), the Virgin is also enthroned

in the sky, but this time without the Child (Fig. 3). Instead she holds an open book and looks down toward God the Father who is shown pronouncing against the Devil the curse of Genesis 3:15:

“Tpsa conteret....” The Devil has the aspect, already assumed in the Constance fresco, of a monstrous creature, but the event happens at a later time in the Scriptural account. After the Fall of Man, the Lord punished those responsible: Adam who ate the apple was condemned to hard work, cold and hunger; Eve, who had persuaded Adam to sin, was to suffer the additional pain of childbirth; and the Lord decreed that Satan who was the principal cause of the Fall of Man must creep as a serpent and that his head should be crushed by the woman and her seed. In the miniature this last punishment is portrayed, and the Lord points to the Virgin as the woman who will crush the Serpent’s head, although the Devil does not have the form of the Serpent, as is more usual in this scene. Mary’s triumph over the Serpent is based on three Biblical passages which have been applied

to her: Genesis 3:15 (the passage just mentioned); Psalm 90; and Apocalypse 12:1-2. In all three passages allusion is made to the defeat of Satan in his guise of the Serpent. Because he was the cause of Original Sin, it was believed that if Mary triumphed over him, she would conse-

quently also triumph over sin. This idea is forwarded, for example, by Osbert of Clare in his Sermon on the Conception of the Virgin. We have already seen (Fig. 3) how Genesis 3:15 was illustrated in the Bedford Breviary. An earlier instance of this iconography is illustrated in the first part of the fourteenth century in a manuscript in the British Museum (Royal E IX, fol. 5). The manuscript 1s a poem, Panegyricus, dedicated to Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, and written

in Tuscany by Convenevole da Prato. It is preserved in three copies, illuminated by different artists.” The version in the British Museum, illuminated by a Florentine artist of the milieu of Pacino di Bonaguida, if not by Pacino himself, is the earliest of the three and can be dated around 1335-40." The miniature that interests us (Fig. 4) shows the Virgin Mary kneeling in front of a throne supported by seven steps, and before the lowest of these steps Satan, shown as a winged serpent, lies dead. Though the Virgin does not actually step on the head of the Serpent, as she should do according to the text of Genesis 3:15, the inscription on the steps of the throne explains that this is meant: Sub pedibus tristis jacet hostis perfidus istis Demon prostratus confusus vilificatus Et timidus pressus conlapsus pondere fessus

(under |her| feet lies sadly this perfidious enemy, the Devil, prostrate, confused, abused, and timid, tired by the pressure of [her] weight, he has collapsed). The poetry is of a rather poor 40. Besides the version in the British Museum, two more lungen des Allerhéchsten Kaiserhauses, 1896, pp. 19-24, pls. II-

illustrated versions of the Panegyricus are known: one in V. The three versions are certainly illuminated by different Florence (Bibl. Naz. Cod. II, 1, 27) reproduced by P. D’An- hands, a fact that has not been pointed out by Schlosser and ) cona, La Miniature italienne du Xe au XVIe siécle, Paris and D’Ancona, who merely indicate that a Florentine, Sienese and Brussels, 1925, p. 45, pl. 42, and the other in Vienna, Kunst- Neapolitan origin may be suggested for the miniatures of the historisches Museum, Ambras Collection, reproduced in J. von three versions. Schlosser, “Giusto’s Fresken in Padua und die Verliufer der 41. Dr. Offner, verbally, attributes this miniature to Pacino Stanza della Segnatura,” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorisches Samm- di Bonaguida or his immediate circle.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 23 quality, and no adjective or participle seems to have been sufficient to say that the Serpent, here described as the Devil, is completely defeated. The artist, however, rendered the idea with simplicity and great beauty. In the page facing the kneeling Virgin is represented Christ enthroned (fol. 4v), so that the whole composition represents the Coronation of the Virgin combined with an illustration of the Scriptural passages describing the defeat of the Serpent. This double page is in a sense a later parallel to the New Minster drawing (Fig. 1) and repeats in a different way the same ideas which had been formulated from the eleventh century.** However, we see from the simplicity of the representation that the idea depicted was clearer in the fourteenth century. Pacino di Bonaguida depicted Original Sin under the aspect of its cause, the Devil, and one of its consequences, death, over which Mary triumphed and was therefore crowned in Heaven. To this was added the figure of the Lord, Who provided the means of Mary’s preservation from Sin. In the Bedford Hours (Brit. Mus., Add. Ms 18850, fols. 283-284), dated 1423, the Office of the Immaculate Conception is illustrated by several metaphors from the Old Testament. On fol. 283, Mary is shown (Fig. 5) treading upon the Serpent and piercing it with a cross, while above her the Lord holds a scroll inscribed “une fame the casera la teste” (a woman will crush thy head: a literal rendering of the “ipsa conteret caput tuum” of Genesis 3:15 in the Vulgate). This picture, which shows the defeat of the Serpent by the Virgin with the help of Christ (symbolically represented by the Cross), is the precedent for the “Madonna della serpe” by Antonio Figino and its reversed version by Michelangelo da Caravaggio in the early seventeenth century.“ It must be noted, however, that in these two later versions Christ is shown in person, as a Child, while in the earlier examples he is represented symbolically by the cross or the instruments of the Passion. In scenes of the defeat of the Devil Christ appears as a Child only when in the arms of his mother, as we have seen in the Constance fresco. The representations by Figino and Caravaggio seem to be a merging of the two earlier traditions into a single composition. Psalm 90 was also illustrated occasionally to depict the Immaculate Conception. The connection between the two was probably made because St. Augustine says‘ that the four animals mentioned in the Psalm represent the Devil in his four aspects: the lion expressing his open 42. Vioberg, of.cit., pp. 41ff., says that the iconography of made, and that the following hymn to the Virgin Immaculate the Virgin and Child triumphing over the Serpent originated should be sung on the feast of the Conception:

in the eleventh century and became very common in the thir- Candidissima uti lilia Salve Triadis electa teenth. At the beginning the triumph over the Serpent was Salve aeterni Patris Filia. Salve Inferni Victrix Aspidis shown in scenes of the Adoration of the Magi, Annunciation, Salve Mater Redemptoris, Illius expers sola cuspidis.

and Visitation. Only exceptionally is the Virgin shown alone, Salve Sponsa Spiratoris Salve Triadis Electa, triumphing over the Serpent; the author quotes the portal of Sine macula concepta Sine macula Concepta.

Villeneuve-?Archéveque (Yonne) as an exceptional case, and = (Ballerini, of.cit., pp. 23-25; Roskovany, of.cit., 1, saec. explains it by the fact that the Virgin in this portal was part XI). of a Visitation group. Vloberg, as all other writers on iconog- 43. The painting by Figino is in the Church of S. Antonio raphy, presupposes that the iconography of the Immaculate Abate in Milan (Venturi, 1x, pt. 7, p. 522). The painting by Conception began only in the late fifteenth or the early six- Caravaggio is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome (L. Zahn,

teenth century. He fails, therefore, to connect some of his Caravaggio, Berlin, 1928, plate 33). This iconography is earlier examples with the Immaculate Conception. based upon a passage by St. Peter Damianus (died 1072). In Some books on the Immaculate Conception mention two his “Sermo x1 De Annuntiatione Beatissimae Virginis Mariae” references to early images of the Virgin with the Serpent, but (Migne, P.L., CxLtv, p. 558) he says that the work of salvathey add that the references seem to be doubtful. They will tion would not have been possible without Christ, but would be simply recorded here. The first is an image which was sup- not have been completed without Mary: “Et statim de thesauro posed to have been made at the order of St. Pulchronius, fifth divinitatis Mariae nomen evolvitur, et per ipsam, et in ipsa, Bishop of Verdun (died in 470), for a church of the Nativity et de ipsa, et cum ipsa totum hoc faciendum decernitur, ut of the Virgin he had just built. The image was to represent sicut sine illo nihil factum, ita sine illa nihil refectum sit.” A

the Virgin Mary treading upon the Serpent and was to be Bible in the Archives of the Cathedral of Toledo, Cajon 10, inscribed with the words: “Theotokos, Christotokos.” This no. 8 ascribed to the thirteenth century, but probably of the image was to show the victory of the Virgin Mary over the fourteenth, shows the Virgin Mary standing upon the Serpent heresies which had been condemned by the two Councils of and holding the symbols of the passion in her hands. The Ephesus and Chalcedon (Acta Sanctorum ...,V; Antwerp, picture is inscribed: “Maria vicit adversarium nostrum dya1658, third volume of February, p. 12). The second image is bolum” (Photo Arxit “Mas,” Barcelona, Clixé 78698).

mentioned in a “Charta donationis Ugonis de Summo” in the 44. Enarratio in Psalmum go (Migne, P.L., xxxvil, p. year 1047. Ugo de Summo from Cremona had donated to 1168). St. Augustine, however, applies these words to the the Church of his city a piece of land, upon the specific con- Church, not to the Virgin Mary. dition that a statue to the Immaculate Conception should be

24 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION cruelty, the snake standing for his hidden snares, the basilisk being the King of the serpents as the Devil is the King of demons, and the adder representing the old Serpent who caused the Fall of Man. Psalm 90 was not so much favored by the Immaculists as Apocalypse 12:1-12.” The reason is probably to be found in the fact that Psalm 90 was originally related to Christ and by extension applied to saints of both sexes*® or holy persons who had defeated the Devil.” This multiplicity of interpretations of the psalm made it less popular with the Immaculists who sought a clear and unmistakable characterization of the Virgin Immaculate. When they do occur, such

illustrations seem to be confined to the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. An English miniature of the late twelfth century (Oxford, All Souls College, ms 6, fol. 4, a Psalter, written for a nun of Amesbury Abbey, Wilts) shows the Virgin treading on two of the animals mentioned in Psalm 90. The same iconography appears in the Psalter of Robert de Lisle (Brit. Mus., Arundel Ms 83, fol. 131v).° Of the three Scriptural texts which were interpreted by the Immaculists as prefigurations of the Virgin Immaculate, Apocalypse 12:1-12 was undoubtedly the most popular. The passages which have a direct bearing upon the iconography of the Immaculate Conception are the following (from the King James version): And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars... . And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations. .. . And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. .. . And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. ... And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation.

The woman who brought forth the lord of nations was of course Mary who gave birth to Christ. She was present at the defeat of the Devil and, therefore, took part in the work of salvation. This, at least, is the interpretation given by Alcuinus in his Exegetica.*” A Flemish manuscript known as the Rothschild Canticles (fol. 63v) illustrates this passage (Fig. 6), although the miniature represents the Woman of the Apocalypse without the defeat of the Devil. That it was associated with the Immaculate Conception is evidenced by the accompanying text. This text contains quotations of several passages from Scripture, among which are Apocalypse 12:1 and the Song of Songs 8:14. We have already seen the reason for the connection of Apocalypse 12 with the Immaculate Conception. The Song of Songs was connected with the Immaculate Conception by Abelard in his treatise on the Conception. Abelard says that if we do not assume that Mary was always exempt from sin, where will be found the woman who is hailed as the bride, completely beautiful, in Song of Songs 4:7-12 and 6:8: “Quam si ab omni macula peccati non dicamus semper alienam, non video ubi reperies illam cui dicitur sponsam, tota pulchra es, amica mea... .*° After Abelard applied it to Mary, the text of Song of Songs became a standard quotation with the

Immaculists. It is not surprising, therefore, to find in the text of the Rothschild Canticles a quotation from the Song of Songs associated with another from Apocalypse 12 to exalt the Virgin Immaculate. The connection between text and illustration is not made necessarily because of

direct relationship, but because both contained the same idea. We shall notice this particular relationship of text and illustration more than once. 45. This passage was applied to the Virgin Mary by Al- 90 (see E. Panofsky, Die Deutsche Plastik des elften bis cuinus in his “Exegetica Commentarius in Apocalipsim Lib. dreizehnten Jahrhunderts, Munich, 1924, pl. 85).

Vv, cap. x1” (Migne, P.L., c, p. 1152). 48. It is reproduced in E. Millar, English Illuminated 46. On the base of a stone statue of the Virgin in the Treas- Manuscripts of the XIV-XV Century, pl. 101. Dr. Panofsky ury of Saint-Gervais d’Avranches, of the end of the fourteenth has called to my attention another instance: the Virgin in the century, are added small male and female saints who triumphed Cathedral of Magdeburg, reproduced in H. Giesau, Der Dom

over the serpent (mentioned in Vloberg, 0f.cit., p. 56). zu Magdeburg, Burg, 1924, p. 65. 47. In the tomb slab of Archbishop Siegfried ITI von Epp- 49. Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vil, pt. 1, pp.

stein (ca. 1250) in the Cathedral of Mainz, the Archbishop is 1015-1024. shown stepping on the symbolic animals mentioned in Psalm

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 25 This Flemish miniature” is of particular interest in our study because it is the first instance of an iconography which was to become very popular in later periods and in the end was to supersede all other representations of the Immaculate Conception (Fig. 52). Male, who studied the diffusion of this image in the sixteenth century, thought that it had its origins in that century or that it derived from half-length representations of the Virgin and Child in glory, which he said were first found in the middle of the fifteenth century.” Aside from the fact that neither assertion is correct, he did not explain the meaning of this iconography. The Rothschild miniature (Fig. 6) shows the Virgin in prayer, alone, clad with the sun and standing upon the moon. An overwhelming importance is given to the sun, which almost hides the figure of the Virgin. The artist meant to emphasize that the Virgin had received her singular privilege of immaculacy from Christ, the Sun of Wisdom (St. Fulbert of Chartres, we recall, had applied to the Immaculate Conception the Scriptural passage “In gremio matris fulget sapientia Patris”), hence the importance given to the sun. Another iconography must have influenced our artist: the “Blacherniotissa,” that is, the image of the Virgin with the Christ Child on her breast or in her womb.” The head of the sun is placed very prominently in a circle in the middle of the body of the Virgin, and rays spread out

from the circle. In later representations only the rays of the sun were retained, and the Sun was , placed behind the Virgin, not in front of her (Fig. 7). The starred background, finally, was later reduced to the twelve stars mentioned in the text of Apocalypse 12 as crowning the Woman (whereas in our miniature the number twelve is retained only in the twelve points of her crown). The Apocalyptic Woman, when identified with the Virgin Immaculate, is usually standing upon the moon or near it, and without the Child. We have seen this image in the thirteenth century (Fig. 6), and we shall see it again in the fourteenth, in several versions of the “Ci nous dit.”” The miniature reproduced in our Fig. 7 is in a manuscript of the “Ci nous dit” that passed from the Collection Colbert de Beaulieu to the Bibliothéque Royale of Brussels (ms II 78 31).°* In the fifteenth and later centuries this image of the Virgin alone continued to be represented, or it retained the figure of the Christ Child which originally pertained to this iconography. The Virgin may be shown either seated, as she appears in an English Book of Hours of the early fifteenth century (Brit. Mus., Royal 2 A VIII, fol. 44v) (Fig. 8)—the “garden type” as she has been called by Dr. Meiss**—or standing, as in a German woodcut of the end of the fifteenth century (Fig. 9, 50. The Rothschild Canticles have been described in arare LETIN, VII, 1924-25, pl. civ, fig. 37). See also for this monograph by M. R. James, Description of an Illuminated iconography: G. Luquet, Représentations par transparence de Manuscript of the XIII Century in the Possesston of Bernard la grossesse dans Part chrétien, Paris, 1924; Kleinschmidt, Quaritch [London], 1904. According to the author this Op.cit., pp. 208-210, plates 134-135; H. Rosenau, “A Study manuscript is a unique specimen of the Flemish art of the in the Iconography of the Incarnation,” Burlington Magazine, end of the thirteenth century and is exceptional both for its vol. Lxxxv, July 1944, pp. 176-179 (she calls this image the content and its illustrations. The manuscript consists of a “Platytera” type); M. V. Ronan, S. Anne, Her Cult and Her series of full-page drawings illustrating lives of saints, without Shrines, London and Edinburgh, 1927, p. 11.

text; of full-page pictures in gold and color; and of a text 53. The manuscripts are called “Ci nous dit” because the with small illustrations concerning the Song of Songs, the text begins invariably with these three words. The iconography

Glories of the Virgin, and the Mystery of the Trinity. In of the standing Virgin without the Child is not limited, of addition, there are grotesques and a short apocryphal text, course, to the manuscripts of the “Ci nous dit.” A German profusely illustrated, on the origins of monstrous races existing manuscript of 1380 in the British Museum (Add. Ms 15690,

in this world. - fol. 37v) illustrates the prayers for the seven joys of Mary

51. “Les artistes du treizigme siécle n’eurent pas Didee de with this very image. représenter comme ceux de la fin du moyen Age, la Vierge 54. We may quote one instance in a Dutch Book of Hours avant qu’elle soit née... . C’est un peu aprés 1500 qu’on vit of about 1470 (The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms 133 apparaitre, dans les vitraux, les tapisseries ou les livres F 6, fol. 74, reproduced in A, E, Byvanck and G. J. Hooge-

d’Heures, la jeune fille aux longs cheveux. .. .” (Male, L’art du werff, La Miniature hollandaise dans les manuscrits des 14, 15€,

XIII siécle, p. 238). “. . . De sorte qu’on ne peut douter que et 16eé stécles, The Hague, 1923, 11, p. 136, fig. B. 1). Another la Vierge au croissant mait été la premiére représentation sym- instance will be found in an Italian painting by Defendente bolique de ’Immaculée Conception” (Mile, L’art de la fin Ferrari in the collection Alfieri di Sostegno. The latter is also du moyen age, p. 211). Male dates these first exainples of the interesting because it shows in the shutters four episodes of the Virgin with the crescent in the middle of the fifteenth century. life of the Virgin, among which is the death of Joseph, a We shall see that examples of this iconography occur already subject seldom depicted before the Baroque period.

in the end of the fourteenth century. 55. M. Meiss, “The Madonna of Humility,” ArT BULLETIN, sz. An example of the Blacherniotissa in the eighth century XVII, 1936, p. 448; and by the same author, Painting in appears on a wall of S. Maria Antiqua in Rome (aRT BUL- Florence and Siena after the Black Death, Princeton, 1951, p.

26 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION the latter example has been dated around 1460 but is surely later than 1477, because it mentions the indulgence promised in 1477 by Pope Sixtus IV to whomever would celebrate the feast of the

Virgin Immaculate); and again in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a manuscript from the Netherlands datable around 1430-35 (Duke of Arenberg collection, now on the market).*" Up to this point we have largely limited ourselves to miniatures, because their subject is identifiable by the text they illustrate. This, however, does not mean that the Immaculate Conception was represented exclusively in manuscripts. We have already seen examples of paintings and

sculpture in which the Virgin Immaculate was represented. An extensive survey of the field, with due regard to the provenance of the individual pieces and their inscriptions, would yield a great number of further instances, and, by comparing some types demonstrably referring to the Virgin Immaculate with images as yet unidentified, we shall be able to decide in many cases whether the same is true of the unidentified images. Let us take, for example, the case of the Apocalyptic Woman. We know that in the Renaissance this image could stand for the Queen of Heaven, the Virgin of Humility, the Virgin of the Rosary, and also the Immaculate Conception. How can we recognize the latter? In an “Immaculate Con-

ception” the Virgin is usually standing upon the moon, or near it, and without the Child. We have seen this image in the thirteenth century (Fig. 6) and in the late fourteenth (Fig. 7). Where the Woman of the Apocalypse does carry the Child, we must examine other elements in the representation. A painting by Giovanni del Biondo (Fig. 10) in the Vatican Gallery shows the Woman of the Apocalypse standing with the crescent under her feet and holding the Child. This image has been mentioned by Dr. Meiss as an example of the Apocalyptic Woman outside the iconography of the Virgin of Humility.** When we consider the other elements in the picture, we shall see that it is in reality an Immaculate Conception. Below the Virgin, a skeleton eaten by worms is represented, probably the corpse of Adam, indicating that the Virgin triumphed over corruption and death. Above the standing Virgin is a winged woman who holds fiery brands against

the mouth of a man, both figures shown in half-length. This group is an illustration of Isaiah 6:6-7, in which the Prophet is said to be purified from sin by the application on his mouth of live coals from the altar of burnt offerings. The only discrepancy between the image and the Biblical passage is that in the Bible the figure who purifies Isaiah from sin is a seraph, whereas in the painting by Giovanni del Biondo it is a woman, haloed and winged. She is, once more, the Virgin Mary, who, according to Apocalypse 12—the same passage which is illustrated by the principal figure—was given wings to escape from the Dragon: “And to the Woman were , given two wings of a great eagle.” In the top spandrels we have the Annunciation, while a number of saints are placed on either side of the standing Virgin. Among these saints, the only “modern” ones are St. Francis and St. Clare, two saints of the Franciscan order. The iconography of the whole painting is thus a representation of the Immaculate Conception in its complete form: the Virgin was conceived immaculate, and conceived Christ immaculately. The immaculacy of the Virgin 1s shown by her triumph over sin and death, while the Annunciation and the Christ Child in the arms of the Virgin refer to the reason for Mary’s immaculacy and at the same time they 140. Another instance of the Immaculate Conception depicted Gaston Miller Collection in Brussels) .

as the Virgin in a garden is in a painting at Brussels by a 56. P. Heitz, Einblattdriicke des fiinfzehnten Jahrhunderts, Flemish artist who copied the Master of Flémalle. The Virgin Strassburg, 1906, v, pl. 5. Several other woodcuts of a sits in an enclosed meadow (the enclosed garden) and holds similar type, all dating in the last quarter of the fifteenth the Child. A scythe-like crescent is shown at her feet, and the century, are also reproduced in the same collection: Heitz lily, symbol of her purity, is placed on the low wall which xxvil, pl. 10; and Lvim, pl. 13 others are listed in W. L. encloses the meadow. A rose-hedge, another attribute of Mary Schreiber, Manuel de Pamateur de la gravure sur bois, 1, Nos. Immaculate, grows on top of the low wall. The Child holds an 1046, 1047, 1050-1054, 1057, 1083-1101, 1106-1113, etc.

apple, a reminder of the fatal apple which caused the Fall 57. Reproduced in K. de Witt, ‘Das Horarium der Katerina of Man (the painting is reproduced in the catalogue of The von Kleve,” Jahrbuch der Preussische Kunstsammlungen, Worcester-Philadelphia Exhibition of Flemish Painting, Lvit, 1937, fig. 1. Worcester and Philadelphia, 1939, pl. 5, and said to be in the 58. It is reproduced in M. Meiss, of.cit., fig. 52.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 27 represent the Incarnation. The Virgin not only triumphs over death, but also purifies mankind from sin, as shown by the figure of Isaiah. She appears, therefore, in her dual aspect of saved and saviour.” The presence of Franciscan saints in the painting seems to prove that it was commissioned by that Order—one more instance of a Franciscan image.

There are cases in which it is extremely difficult to tell whether or not an image is an Immaculate Conception. Sometimes an artist identifies the Virgin Immaculate with another image of the Virgin, and in this case the artist’s intention is indicated only by correlative elements. I believe this to be true of a miniature in a Psalter and Hours for the use of Metz (Morgan Library Ms 88, fol. 151) where the Virgin is seated and holds the Christ Child.” The miniature follows the iconography of the Virgin of Humility, but there is an especial emphasis upon the sun behind the Virgin—a feature we have noticed in the Flemish miniature of the Virgin Immaculate in the thirteenth century (Fig. 6)—-and the calendar in the manuscript shows the feast of the Conception. Otherwise, the iconography of the miniature is that of the Virgin of Humility. A similar situation obtains in a Venetian painting of the late fourteenth century in the National

Gallery in London (No. 4250) (Fig. 11) attributed by Coletti to Jacobello di Bonomo.” Its central panel shows the Virgin as the Apocalyptic Woman, seated and holding the standing Child on her lap; the image is inscribed “Maria, mater humilitatis.” At the sides, however, are depicted eight scenes related to the Immaculate Conception: at the left are shown four scenes from the

life of Mary, taken from The Protoevangelium of James; at the right, each in two scenes, are two miracles of the Immaculate Conception taken from the sermon on the Conception of the Virgin attributed to St. Anselm of Canterbury. Thus, by showing scenes which were connected with the doctrine, the Venetian artist wished to show without any possible doubt that his central image was meant to depict the Virgin Immaculate, to which he gives the aspect of the Virgin of Humility, the aspect underlined also by the inscription.” The half-length image of the Virgin on the crescent moon is almost invariably accompanied by the Child. This iconography seems to have originated later than the standing Woman of the Apocalypse and is probably a further abbreviation of the theme.® I have been unable to establish definitely when this image first appeared, but the earliest examples known to me belong to the end of the fourteenth century or the beginning of the fifteenth. In most cases the image illustrates a prayer to the Virgin Immaculate, “Virginis intacte cum veneris ante figuram, Pretereundo cave ne careatur Ave” (When you pass an image of the Virgin Immaculate, be careful not to forget to say an Ave). We shall select at random a few instances of this type: two manuscripts in the British

Museum (Sloane 2683, fol. 53v, Fig. 12; and Harleian 2835, fol. 24.5, the latter an instance of an Immaculate Conception depicted for the Benedictine order); one in Saint-Dié (Bibliothéque Municipale, ms 58, fol. 293); and one in Paris (Bibliothéque Nationale Lat. 17294, fol. 570v) called the Bedford Breviary and dated 1424-1435. Outside of manuscripts, the theme is depicted in Pisanello’s painting in the National Gallery in London, where the Imacolata is shown half59. The connection between the two ideas of the Concep- 61. L’Arte, March 1931, p. 131, figs. 1 and 2. tion of Christ and the Conception of the Virgin had been 62. A full description of this panel is found in M. Davies, made even earlier and was quite common by the end of the National Gallery Catalogues: The Earlier Malian Schools, fourteenth century. The merging of the two ideas in a single London, 1951, pp. 423-425.

iconography will persist well into the seventeenth century. 63. This image is discussed in F. Lyna, “Un livre de The definition of active Conception, or the Conception of prierés inconnu de Philippe le Hardi .. . ,” Mélanges Hulin Christ as distinct from passive Conception, or the Conception of de Loo, Brussels and Paris, 1931, pp. 249ff. In the iconog-

Mary, was given by Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758), and raphy of the “Ara Coeli,” the Tiburtine Sibyl shows to it is consequently after this definition that the two iconog- Augustus an image of the Virgin and Child. This image may

raphies were definitely separated. be a Virgin enthroned or half-figure. I am unable to state 60. It is reproduced in Meiss, op.c#t., fig. 147. The manu- whether the half-length “Ara Coeli” influenced the abbrevia-

script has been dated by the Morgan Library around 1290- tion of the image of the Apocalyptic Woman, whether the 1310, but it certainly dates in the last quarter of the fourteenth contrary is true, or whether both images were abbreviated incentury, as it recalls the style of Jean Pucelle. It is probably by dependently. a provincial follower of this master.

28 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION length in the sky, accompanied by St. Anthony, the desert Father who triumphed over the temptations of the flesh, and St. George, who defeated the Dragon. To show that he himself belonged to mankind under the curse of Original Sin, as did the saints who triumphed over sin, Pisanello inscribed his name with small snakes.

b) The Coronation of the Virgin The Coronation of the Virgin is a theme which reflects a shifting of view in the discussions of the Immaculate Conception. Before the twelfth century, the discussions had revolved around the problem of the origin of the Virgin Mary—of her purity from her creation, which tended to be

placed at the beginning of time itself. To support this idea, writers had often quoted, as we have said, the verse from Eccl. 24:14, “Ab initio, et ante saecula creata sum, et usque ad futurum saeculum non desinam” (From the beginning and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be). But this verse also contained the idea that the existence of the Virgin Mary, in addition to having no beginning in time, had no end in time; this second idea also came to be discussed in the twelfth century. It was buttressed by the theory that the Virgin alone of all human beings was exempted from the general law of death to which mankind is subject as a consequence of Original Sin. The triumph of the Virgin over death was an accepted theory, developed in the first centuries of the Christian era, and was spread by the Gospels of Pseudo-Melito; it was celebrated by the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15. In art, this triumph was represented by one or more of the events which took place between the death of the Virgin and her Coronation in Heaven, and this iconography was well established in the thirteenth century. [he Coronation of the Virgin, the culmination of the Glories of Mary, was an especially popular theme.” Eadmer of Clare referred to this idea in developing his theory. He recognized that if Mary were exempt from death she was also exempt from Original Sin, which is the direct cause of death, so that, as stated in his treatise on the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin must have been exempted from death from the moment of her Conception. Once the connection between the two ideas was made, the iconography of the Virgin’s death and Coronation was borrowed bodily by the Immaculists to illustrate the Immaculate Conception. A miniature in the British Museum (Add. ms 2114, fol. tov) from a Flemish Psalter of the thirteenth century (Fig. 13) shows the death and Coronation of the Virgin with Saints Francis and Clare on either side, and the symbols of the Evangelists at the four corners. The miniature is accompanied by Psalm 109 (110) according to the Vulgate version of the Bible: 1. Dixit Dominus Domino meo: sede a dextris meis: Donec ponam inimicos tuos, scabellum pedum tuorum.

2. Virgam Virtutis tuae emittet Dominus ex Sion: dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum.

3. Tecum principium in die virtutis tuae in splendoribus sanctorum: ex utero ante luciferum genui te. 64. A reflection of these ideas is found in the Fragmenta See also: G. Zarnecki, “The Coronation of the Virgin on a Mariana by Adamus Perseniae Abbas in 1205 (Migne, P.L., capital from Reading Abbey,” Journal of the Warburg and CCxI, p. 745): “Quam sublimis est, quam altissimi Filius in Courtauld Institutes, x111, 1950, pp. 1-12. Dr. Panofsky has dignissimam sibi matrem ab aeterno providit?”» (How exalted also called to my attention a doctoral dissertation by P. Wilis the woman who was chosen from eternity by the Son of the helm, Die Marienkrénung am Westportal der Kathedrale von

Lord as his own most worthy mother? ). Senlis, Hamburg, 1941, but I have been unable to examine 65. For a discussion of this subject, see: M. Lawrence, this work.

“Maria Regina,” ART BULLETIN, VII, 1924-1925, pp. 150-161.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 29 These three verses of the Psalm were applied to the Virgin Mary. The first verse was applied specifically to the Coronation of the Virgin, in which scene the Virgin Mary sits on the throne of the Lord, to his right. The second verse was applied to the Virgin Mary by a play on the two similar Latin words Virgo (virgin) and Virga (rod). As for the third, the commentators played upon the double meaning of the Latin word Luciferum (which means “the morning star” and “Lucifer”). Honorius Augustodunensis™ states that the verse may be interpreted in three ways: (1) Lucifer is the devil, the first creature, who was created before the sky and earth. Therefore Christ, who was generated before Lucifer, was in existence before the creation of the world. (2) Lucifer is the star which promises the coming day. Since day is time, Christ was generated before the creation of time. (3) Lucifer is the morning star in particular, and Christ was generated before dawn by his mother, on Christmas Eve. Although there is no direct relationship between the text of Psalm 109 and the miniature of the Flemish Psalter which illustrates it, the two were associated because both contained the idea of the Immaculate Conception. In the Psalm the Virgin is said to have existed before the creation of time (consequently she was exempted from Original Sin which was committed after the creation of time). It is because of this interpretation in an Immaculist sense that Psalm 109 (110) was later incorporated in the Office of the Immaculate Conception. In the miniature the Virgin triumphed over death, therefore also over its cause, Original

Sin. The Flemish miniature of the Coronation of the Virgin (Fig. 13) is of particular interest, because it is one of the first instances in which the Franciscan order appears associated with the Immaculate Conception in art. (We recall that the feast had been officially accepted by the Franciscans at the Council of the Order at Pisa in 1263. The miniature was made not long after this event.) Another feature of interest in the miniature is the inclusion of the symbols of the Evangelists. They were associated with the Virgin Immaculate more than once.” In a Diurnal for Franciscan use in the Morgan Library (ms M 221, fol. 227), made in the year 1455 for Isabelle of Bourbon, wife of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, the scene of the Coronation illustrates a passage from the Song of Songs: “Dum esset rex in accubitu suo nardus mea dedit odorem suavitatis” and the verse from Eccl. 24:14: “Ab initio . . 2” which we have 66. Magni Gerhohi Seculo XH Praepositi Reicherspergensis by Immaculist symbols: Gideon’s fleece, the burning bush, and

... Commentarius aureus in psalmos et cantica fertalia, Augs- Aaron’s rod. It seems to me probable that the portals of burg, 1788, p. 1842. The commentary on Psalm 109, verse Chartres and Laon did represent the Immaculate Conception, 3, was provided by Honorius Augustodunensis, who lived in especially since there are other Immaculist representations in

the same century as Gerhohus and added comments for the Chartres: the stained glass image of “Notre Dame la belle Psalms and passages which had been omitted by Gerhohus. Verriére,” and the “Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the 67. Peter of Celles, Bishop of Cambrai in the twelfth cen- Golden Gate of Jerusalem” on the west portal, However, it is tury, wrote about the Immaculate Conception to Monk Nicho- dangerous to make generalizations upon the basis of two in-

las of St. Alban (Migne, P.L., Ccll, pp. 618-622, Letter stances, especially since the Coronation of the Virgin is a

CLXx!). Together with other arguments, he says that the theme used by Maculists as well as Immaculists. Virgin Mary knew no sin, not because she was not tempted, 68. Male, Art réligieux, XIII siécle, Pp. 36-37, says that but because she defeated sin. And he applies to the Virgin Mary the symbols of the Evangelists may stand for Christ. In that a passage from 11 Tim., 11: “Non coronabitur, nisi qui legi- case the man of St. Matthew symbolizes the Incarnation; the time certaverit” (only he, who has legitimately fought will be bull of St. Luke is the passion; the lion of St. Mark is the

crowned) and also Apoc. 3:21: “Qui vicerit, dabo ei sedem Resurrection ; the eagle of St. John is the Ascension. This mecum in throno meo” (He who overcomes, I will permit him interpretation, which had been given by Hrabanus Maurus, is to sit with me upon my throne). On the basis of these quota- represented in art, according to Male, already in Ottonian tions, Peter of Celles concludes that the fact that the Virgin manuscripts. It may be that the artists who associated the Mary is seated beside her son Jesus upon the throne of Grace, symbols of the four Evangelists with the Virgin Immaculate bespeaks of the victories she obtained (over sin): “Virgo did so to show that the Immaculate Conception was necessary nostra sedens iuxta sedentem in throno gratiae filium suum for and subordinated to the four main episodes in the life of Jesum, loquitur omnes victorias, quas obtinuit....” J. J. M. Christ which embody the idea of Salvation: Incarnation, PasTimmers, of.cit., suggests that the theme of the Coronation sion, Resurrection and Ascension. If this is the case, it may of the Virgin may have been a representation of the Im- be a possible explanation for a curious relief from the school maculate Conception in the thirteenth century, inasmuch as it of Nicola Pisano, in which the head of the Virgin Mary is illustrates a passage from the Canticles: “Veni, sponsa mea, placed on a flower and surrounded by the Tetramorph (recoronaberis . . . tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non produced in G. Swarzenski, Nicolé Pisano, Frankfurt, 1926, est in te,” a passage which was quoted by the Immaculists pl. 126. The relief comes from the altar of the Duomo in in the fifteenth century. As a supporting element to his sug- Siena). This relief has been called to my attention by Dr. gestion, Timmers mentions the sculptured portals of Chartres Panofsky. and Laon, where the Coronation of the Virgin is accompanied

30 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION already found so often in connection with the Immaculate Conception. The miniature illustrates both themes of the text. The Coronation scene, shown by the figure of the Virgin kneeling before the Lord, while an angel is crowning her, symbolizes the triumph of Mary over death and at the same time places this event outside the bondage of time. Another instance of the Coronation type is found in a Bolognese manuscript of the fourteenth century in the Bodleian Library in Oxford (ms Can. Lit. 151). Christ seems to be touching the Virgin on her back instead of crowning her, but the iconography is that of the Coronation, and the text is Psalm 109, which usually accompanies the representations of the Coronation when it 1s applied to the Immaculate Conception. The association of the Coronation of the Virgin with the Immaculate Conception is particularly frequent in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It was less popular in the first part of the

fifteenth century but returned to favor at its end. Then, however, the Coronation was often combined with an analogous subject, also associated with the Immaculate Conception, Esther before Ahasuerus. The latter iconography is based upon the Book of Esther in the Vulgate. Ahasuerus, advised by his minister Haman, decreed the extermination of the Jews in his kingdom. Little did he know that his Queen, Esther, was a Jew. To save her people, Esther resolved to plead for them before the King, even though there was a law which forbade, under penalty of death, entering his presence without being summoned. Defying the law, Esther approached the King uninvited and

was seized by guards who were preparing to punish her, when Ahasuerus touched her with his sceptre, saying: “Non enim pro te, sed pro omnibus haec lex constituta est” (This law was made for all human beings but not for you). These words, which saved Esther from death, and the act of Ahasuerus, who touched Esther’s head with his sceptre, were applied to the Virgin Immaculate. Mary alone, like Esther, had been exempted from a law which condemned all other human beings; and as Esther had pleaded for her people with her royal husband, so it is the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Heaven, who intercedes with her Celestial Bridegroom for all mankind. In the Biblia Pauwperum, composed in the late twelfth century or at the beginning of the thirteenth,” each scene from the New Testament is paralleled by two scenes from the Old Testament. The Coronation of the Virgin has for its two counterparts the Coronation of Bathsheba by Solomon and that of Esther by Ahasuerus. It is probable that the scene of the Coronation of the Virgin was identified with the scene of Esther appearing before Ahasuerus because the two scenes were associated in the Biblia Pauperum, and also because both scenes contained the same ideas.” The truth is that the scene of the Coronation of the Virgin and that of Esther before Ahasuerus were merged into one by the Immaculists to represent the Immaculate Conception, and this iconography appears frequently from the end of the fifteenth century (Fig. 14). The Ghirlandaiesque master who depicted this scene” explained

it by a scroll quoting the words of Ahasuerus, “Non enim pro te... ,” and also showed the details peculiar to the Immaculate Conception in the fifteenth century: two of the Latin Church Fathers (Ambrose and Augustine), the Cedar of Lebanon, the Palm Tree, the Enclosed Garden, and so forth. 69. Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis ..., Michael Hetzen- PP. Perdrizet, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Texte critique, aver, ed., Oeniponte, 1906, p. 449. Book of Esther, Chap. V, traduction inédite de Jean Mielot [1448], Mulhouse, 1907-

12-16, 1909, 2 vols.).

70. Male, L’art @ la fin du moyen age, pp. 232-233 and 71. Male, L’art @ la fin du moyen age, p. 243, fig. 128, dis-

240-241; also: the Biblia Pauperum, P. Heitz, ed., Strassburg, cusses and reproduces a tapestry in the Cathedral of Sens which

1903. The Speculum Humanae Salvationis, a text written has a Coronation of the Virgin in the center, the Coronation around 1324 which enjoyed an even greater popularity than of Bathsheba and that of Esther at the sides. The tapestry the Bzblia Pauperum, also accompanies New Testament scenes belongs to the fifteenth century.

with scenes from the Old Testament. The Assumption of the 72. This painting has been discussed extensively by Mrs. Virgin (Chap. 36) is shown with the scene of David bringing Sibilla Symeonides in a Master’s Thesis presented to the In-

the Ark of the Covenant to his house, the Woman of the _ stitute of Fine Arts, 1953 and will be published by her in a Apocalypse, and Solomon crowning his mother (J. Lutz and forthcoming article in Marsyas.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 31 In a curious painting by Girolamo di Bernardino da Udine (died 1512) in the Museum of Udine, the artist was even more specific. He depicted God the Father holding a sceptre (a borrowing

from the scene of Esther before Ahasuerus) and crowning the kneeling Mary, while the Holy Ghost and Christ Incarnate in the shape of an infant (the “telephone baby” as it has been called humorously by David Robb”) are descending upon the Virgin.” In this scene, as in the preceding one, there can be no doubt that the Immaculate Conception is intended; but Girolamo di Bernardino

da Udine wanted to portray the Immaculate Conception of both the Virgin and Christ in one scene. The merging of these two ideas of the perpetual virginity of Mary (or the miraculous conception of Christ) and that of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin is not new, and this confusion was to persist well into the seventeenth century. It was dispelled only when Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) distinguished between “active Conception,” viz., the conception of Christ, and “passive Conception,” viz., the conception of Mary.

A type which derives from the iconography of the Coronation of the Virgin shows angels crowning the Virgin who holds the Child, or the Virgin crowned without the presence of the angels. In the Coronation of the Virgin, Mary may be shown crowned by the Lord, or she may kneel before Him, while an angel crowns her. (This occurs, for instance, in the miniature of Morgan 221 which we have just discussed.) Usually the Child is absent from the scene because Christ appears as the Bridegroom. In the painting by Girolamo di Bernardino da Udine, however, the Virgin is crowned by the Father, and Christ is present as the Child. From this idea to that of the Virgin holding the Child in her arms, while she is crowned, is a short step. In a woodcut of the beginning of the sixteenth century’ the Virgin holds the Christ Child during her Coronation. The line, “celorum flos omni carens spina” (flower of Heaven without thorns), identifies her as the Virgin Immaculate; the thorn is a symbol of sin, and to indicate that Mary is without thorns is the equivalent of saying that she is untouched by sin—that she is immaculate.” The Coronation of the Virgin, which seems to be such a typical illustration of the Immaculate Conception, was occasionally borrowed by the Maculists to depict a Sanctification of Mary in the

womb of her mother. In discussing the doctrine of the Sanctification I have stated that there are cases of interchange of images between the proponents of this theory and that of the Immaculate Conception. A Spanish Breviary for Dominican use, presented by Francisco de Roias to Elizabeth, Queen of Spain and Sicily, and illuminated by a Flemish artist at the end of the fifteenth century (Brit. Mus. Add. ms 18851), is a typical example of such exchange of images. The manuscript has for December 8 the feast of the Sanctification of the Virgin, and in the calendar the Dominican saints (Thomas Aquinas, Dominic, Peter Martyr and Catherine of Siena) are marked in gold letters, while St. Francis is only inscribed in red. We are sure, therefore, that this manuscript is for Dominican use. Had we not been forewarned by these details in the text,

73. D. Robb, Iconography of the Annunciation with the ee er

Telephone Baby. Transcription of a lecture given at the Nos spinetum, nos peccati

Princeton Journal Club, 1935. _ Spina sumus cr uentati,

74. Van Marle, Italian Schools of Painting, XVII, p. 475; Sed tu spinae nescia. fig. 284. The painting was formerly in the Church of S. (Analecta hymnica Medii Aevi, C. Blume and G. M. Dreves, Francesco dell’Ospedale, In this instance, as in many others eds., LIV, Leipzig, 1915, p. 383.) The line “celorum flos omni we have already seen, the commission of the painting came carens spina” inscribed on the woodcut recalls the poem by

from Franciscan circles. Adam of St. Victor. Another instance of the Virgin Immacu-

75. Heitz, op.cit., xx, pl. 10. late, crowned and holding the Child, is shown in a wing of a 76. Thorns were usually interpreted as sin. A lovely legend diptych by Rogier van der Weyden in the Kunsthistorisches

tells: that the rose was beautiful and fragrant in the Garden Museum in Vienna (it is reproduced in E. Panofsky, Early of Eden and had no thorns. However, after the Fall of Man, Netherlandish Painting. Its Origins and Character, 11, CamAdam took it to the earth, and the rose grew thorns in re- bridge, Mass., 1953, pl. 171, fig. 307). The group of the membrance of his sin. The Virgin Immaculate is called “a Virgin and Child is surmounted by the blessing figure of the rose without thorns” in a poem by Adam of St. Victor (died Lord who is sending the Holy Ghost. The statuettes of Adam

1177): with the Angel expelling him from Eden and Eve caught at Salve, Verbi sacra parens, the moment of the Fall are shown on each side of the arch

Flos de spina, spina carens within which Mary is standing. To the idea of the Coronation

Flos, spineti gloria; of the Virgin, therefore, is added also her opposition to Eve.

32 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION we might have easily taken the scene on fol. 301 for an Immaculate Conception. The miniature shows a Coronation of the Virgin, and the text includes, among other lines, the passage from Eccl. 24:14, which, by now, we know so well: “Ab initio. .. .” Both miniature and text, therefore, are borrowed from the Immaculist repertory. However, the office in which the miniature 1s included is that of the Sanctification of the Virgin, and in it is stated that Mary was preserved from Original Sin from the beginning of time only in her soul, while her body was later purified by Sanctification in the womb of her mother, before Mary’s birth. This Dominican Breviary is the reflection of a tendency which had spread in the late fifteenth century as a reaction to the Franciscan preaching of the Immaculate Conception. In 1480 Pope Sixtus IV had approved the feast of the Immaculate Conception, although he refrained from giving a definition of the doctrine involved in this belief. Vincenzo Bandelli, vicar of the Dominicans

in Lombardy, took this opportunity to state that by the term Conception the Pope meant the Sanctification in the Womb. The Pope replied to this explanation with two bulls in 1482 and 1483, menacing excommunication to whomsoever would accept Bandelli’s explanation of the Conception as Sanctification. Because the Dominican Breviary, discussed above, contains the ideas preached by Bandelli, and because such theories were condemned by the Church in 1482, we must date the Breviary before 1482.

c) Triumph over Death Depicted as a Skeleton The Coronation of the Virgin implies that Mary triumphed over death. To depict Mary’s defeat of death, and by inference her Immaculate Conception, death may be shown as a skeleton. In the painting by Giovanni del Biondo in the Vatican (Fig. 10) we find a skeleton at the feet of the Virgin Mary. There is a similar representation in a miniature from a Recueil de Chants Royaux, Puy de Rouen (Paris, Bibl. Nat. Ms Fr. 1537, fol. 50)" of the early sixteenth century. Here the Virgin is shown standing in a glory, triumphing over death which is depicted by a golden skeleton, and over the Devil, shown by a green serpent, while personifications of the seven virtues surround her. In the year 1486 the church of the Carmelites in Rouen established classes in rhetoric. The members, called Palinods, set the task to glorify the Virgin Mary with poems. Yearly competitions were established, called Puy des Palinodes, and the best poems, called Chants Royaux, received as a prize a Marianic symbol in gold, silver and jewelry. The Chants Royaux were collected in manuscripts and often illustrated with representations of the Immaculate Conception. The manuscript mentioned above is one of these illustrated collections. The triumph of the Virgin over death is identified with her triumph over the Serpent who was the cause of death both in the Vatican painting and in the Paris miniature. In the painting by Giovanni del Biondo (Fig. 10) the association is made by showing Mary as the Apocalyptic Woman, holding the Child, with the skeleton at her feet. In a later painting by Mathieu Prieur, dated 1618,"° the Virgin is enthroned and holds the Child, while a skeleton is chained to her throne. A scroll with “Ipsa conteret caput tuum,” the passage from Genesis 3:15 which alludes to the triumph of Mary over the Serpent, is shown above the Virgin, and it is surmounted by the figure of the Lord blessing the scene. While the Rouen and Mathieu Prieur examples exceed the chronological boundaries we have set for our paper, two other instances find their natural place here. One is a painting of the late fourteenth century, and the other is a miniature of the late fifteenth. The first passed from the convent of Wormeln near Warburg to the Deutsches Museum in Berlin. It is a crowded composition, as are many German paintings of this period.” The center of the composition is given to the Virgin depicted as the Apocalyptic Woman. She is standing in a sort of niche at the sides of which are shown twelve lions, six on each side; they are symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel 77. Reproduced in Vloberg, of.cit., p. 96. 79. A. Stange, Deutsche Malere: der Gothik, Berlin, 1936,

78. Reproduced in Vloberg, of.czt., p. 98. 11, plate 163.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 33 and appear in the Bible in the description of the throne of Solomon. The Virgin is shown between

the scene of the Annunciation and the Nativity of Christ. The rest of the space is filled by prophets and sibyls, each holding a scroll. Below the standing Virgin is a corpse enveloped in a shroud and visible from an open tomb. The dead body is placed under the Apocalyptic Woman in a position similar to that in the painting by Giovanni del Biondo which was painted at about the same time. A variation of this idea is shown in a manuscript in Jena produced in 1477 for the marriage of

the Emperor Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy (Fig. 15).° In the miniature Mary appears as the New Eve, stepping upon the Serpent who advised Eve to eat the apple, while Eve is shown being tempted. The tree from which Eve plucks the apple is covered with skulls, to show that the Tree became the Tree of Death after the Fall of Man, while the vine tree near the Virgin Mary is symbolic of the Passion of Christ, and therefore spells salvation. The miniature includes several ideas which are connected with the Immaculate Conception.

d) The Virgin of Mercy The study of the iconography of the Immaculate Conception is made particularly difficult at times by the fact that the _Immaculists borrowed firmly established images in order to portray the doctrine. One of these images is the Virgin of Mercy. Human nature is weak and apt to succumb to temptations of all kinds. It was consoling, therefore, to know that in Heaven there is a Mother ready to forgive, no matter how serious the crime committed. Frightened sinners were ashamed to ask mercy from the Judge, but they found comfort in the knowledge that they could seek refuge under the ample folds of the Virgin’s mantle. Thus arose one of the most popular images of the Virgin, the Virgin of Mercy. Under her protecting mantle were represented single individuals or crowds, and the crowds were divided according to their social status, their sex, or perhaps into brotherhoods of a certain kind. This image was borrowed occasionally by the Immaculists, and to specify it they combined the image with other established types or accompanied it with a text relative to the Immaculate Conception. Thus a Flemish Psalter of the thirteenth century (Brit. Mus. Harl. ms 2930, fol. 174v) shows Mary with a supplicant at her feet, and the image is identifiable as an Immaculate Conception by the prayer which accompanies it: “Ave quam ante seculum—sibi in habitaculum—providit dei filius” (Hail Mary, whom Christ provided as a fit dwelling before the beginning of time). We may recall that the definition of the Virgin Immaculate given by St. Maxim of Turin®* was somewhat similar. In a Carmelite Missal in the British Museum (Add. ms 29704, fol. 193v), an English work of the end of the fourteenth century, the Virgin of Mercy is identified with the Apocalyptic Woman and combined with the Trinity (Fig. 16). We shall discuss later the curious iconography of this miniature. For the moment it will be enough to point out that this is an example of the phenomenon stated above: the Immaculists borrowed the Virgin of Mercy, but to identify it as an Immaculate Conception added to it features typical of the Virgin Immaculate (the Apocalyptic symbols, inscribed scrolls, and the Godhead). In an English Psalter of the fourteenth century (Brit. Mus. Harl. ms 2356, fol. 7) the Virgin Immaculate is depicted as the “Madonna della Peste” (Fig. 17), she covers with her mantle a group of monks, while Christ is menacing a walled city with three spears He is holding in His hand. This miniature, which faces the calendar page with the month of December—the feast of the Conception is recorded in it—is an early instance of a type which was to gain great favor at the end of the fifteenth century and to increase in popularity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—the 80. Reproduced and discussed in H. Bergner, Handbuch 1905, p. 548, fig. 465. der Kirchlichen Kunstaltertiimer in Deutschland, Leipzig, 81. See note 3.

34 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION time of the great plagues.” In a “Madonna della Peste” painted by Bartolomeo Caporali in 1482 for the Church of S. Francesco at Montone a similar image is shown.” The Virgin occupies the center of the composition, and a multitude of worshippers crowds under her mantle. Above, the Lord throws arrows which break against the mantle of the Virgin. St. Sebastian, the Saint usually invoked against the plague, is present, as well as a Franciscan saint and three of the Latin Fathers of the Church. The idea that the plague spread by means of poisoned arrows derives from Classical

thought. The description of the plague in the Iliad, where Phoebus directs his arrows against the Greek camp, and men and beasts alike succumb to the wrath of the angry god, is one of the best known passages in the poem, learnt by heart by all schoolchildren in Europe. St. Sebastian became the patron saint of the plague-stricken because he survived his martyrdom by arrows— he died Jater, when he was beaten to death and thrown into a sewer. The connection between the Virgin Immaculate and the plague was made because Mary Immaculate triumphed over corruption and death and, therefore, also over the plague. Her triumph was not merely a personal affair, for she helped men to be saved as well. Thus arose the popular theme of the “Madonna della Peste.” To identify this image as the Immaculate Conception, Caporali has added Franciscan saints, the usual supporters of the doctrine, and the Latin Fathers, who by the fifteenth century had become a usual means of identifying this iconography. Caporali painted several other versions of the theme. A relief by Bartolomeo di Giovanni Bon, made around 1441-1445 for the Scuola Grande della Misericordia in Venice and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London,™ combines the Virgin of Mercy with the Tree of Jesse—a type which we will discuss later. The Virgin, with her outspread mantle, forms the trunk of a fig tree, and from her body issue branches with leaves

and figs, each branch terminating in the half-figure of a king or prophet. A brotherhood (the Compagnia della Misericordia which commissioned the sculpture) is placed under the Virgin’s mantle. The Virgin is depicted as the “Blacherniotissa,” that is, with the image of the Christ Child over her breast. The combination of Mary with the Tree of Jesse sets forth the idea that Mary was immaculate from her origins, while the presence of the Incarnate Child indicates the reason for Mary’s exemption from sin. These details are given to identify the Virgin Immaculate here represented as the Virgin of Mercy. The identification of the Tree of Jesse with a fig tree is an interesting detail. According to the Apocalypse of Moses, or Book of Adam and Eve, a Jewish

compilation dating between the first and the fourth century a.p., the fig tree was the Tree of Knowledge from which our forebears ate the forbidden fruit. Mary is here placed in the Tree of Knowledge, to show that she transformed this tree into the Tree of Life, an idea shown also by another artist of the thirteenth century.” e) The “Virgo Mediatrix” As in the case of the “Virgin of Mercy,” the “Virgo Mediatrix” is not an image essentially connected with the Immaculate Conception. Each monastic order claimed the priority for this image, and the idea was as popular with the Franciscans as it was with the Dominicans, who 82. The three lances held by the Lord are the weapons Dominicans to have appeared to St. Dominic. In the Domindestined to punish three capital sins: Pride, Avarice, Lust. The ican vision, the Virgin stops the arrows of the Lord saying image of the Lord holding three spears is described in a vision that she has two devoted servants, who, with their followers,

by Thierry d’Apolda (4cta Sanctorum, August 1, p. 576): will free the world from sin. These two servants are St. “Stabat Christus in aetere aspectu terribilis, et contra mundum Francis and St. Dominic. I am unable to state to which monasin maligno positum lances tres vibrabat: unam, qua superbo- tic order belongs the miniature in the English Psalter.

rum cervices erectas transfigeret; alteram, qua cupidorum 83. Reproduced in Vloberg, op.cit., p. 124. viscera effunderet; tertiam, qua concupiscentiis carnis deditos 84. ibid., p. 110. perforaret.” In the miniature the Lord menaces the inhabitants 85. For a discussion of this thirteenth century image, as of the city, who are under the lordship of the devil; while well as for a reference to the Apocalypse of Moses, see pp. 49other people are safely crowded under the mantle of the 50 and notes 121-123. Virgin. The vision of the Lord with three arrows was said by

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 35 opposed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Yet the idea is based on a text which equates the role of Mary as a mediator with the fact that she did not die, an idea supported by the Immaculists. This text, called the Apocalypse of Mary, though apocryphal, enjoyed great popularity

and is the basis for the iconography of the “Virgo Mediatrix.” The image originated in the East and appears in Italy as early as the eleventh century. In the Duomo of Torcello (end of the eleventh century), Mary is shown both as a supplicant near the etimasia in the Last Judgment, and again standing near the gate of Heaven (the latter is an illustration of Psalm 118:2: “This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter”). I am unable to discover whether this verse was interpreted in an Immaculist sense in the Torcello mosaic, but the idea that the Virgin Immaculate saves man and is, therefore, the Gate of Heaven became very popular with the Immaculists. The Porta Coeli was included among the attributes of the Virgin Immaculate in the so-called “Virgin of the Litanies,” and often in the fifteenth century it figured in the text or among the illustrations in the Office or Mass for the Immaculate Conception.** The idea of Mary Mediatrix as the Immaculate Conception was certainly established by the thirteenth century. An instance of this iconography is found in a French Psalter of the thirteenth century in the British Museum (Add. ms 17868), in which the Virgin holds on her knees the Child with the globe and shows Him her breast. Hell is represented below (Fig. 18). This miniature is shown opposite another with the Last Judgment. The image of Mary showing her breast in her role of intercessor for mankind was to become very popular through the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, a text written by a Dominican around 1324, and, therefore, identified with Dominican circles.** The Immaculists, however, preserved the idea of the Virgin interceding for individual souls and saving them from Hell or Purgatory. In these instances Mary directly fights the devil, or she appears near the scales at the Psychostasis. Instances of this iconography, which was to become so popular in the sixteenth century,” appear already in the fourteenth. On an ivory crozier of the end of the fourteenth century, in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, Mary, holding the Child, steps on a winged serpent who is trying to throw a soul into Hell. The soul stands at the open mouth of Hell, shown as the mouth of the Leviathan, and joins his hands in supplication to the Virgin Mary. The image known as the “Vergine del Soccorso” is a variation of the “Virgo Mediatrix.” The origin of this image is probably a miracle of the Virgin, and, therefore, we shall discuss this image in the chapter on the miracles of the Virgin.

f) Mary as the New Eve The idea that Mary was the antithesis of Eve was formulated quite early. It appears, for instance,

in the Sermons of St. Augustine (Migne, P.L., xu). Representations in art of this idea are frequent, though they do not always stand for the Immaculate Conception. Mary may be shown treading upon the Serpent, while some allusion to Genesis 3 is made (Fig. 5). Or the Virgin is shown triumphant while Eve reclines at her feet. Or the Virgin Immaculate is accompanied by 86. In a painting by an anonymous Flemish artist (who Netherlandish Painting, note 146°.

copied Jan van Eyck’s Madonna at the Fountain) in the 87. In the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Chapter 39, Metropolitan Museum in New York, Marquand Collection Mary shows her breast while Christ shows his wounds, interNo. 89.15.24, the Virgin holds the Child and stands in a ceding before God the Father Who is judging humanity. niche. The niche is inscribed “Domus dei est et porta cel1” and 88. Reproduced in Vloberg, of.cit#., p. 50. “Gpsa_ est quam preparavit Dominus filio Domini mei” (the 89. This representation is probably based upon a passage house of the Lord and Gate of Heaven, and also, She is the by St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, who says that, as mankind has one prepared by the Lord for the Son of my Lord). The been submitted to the law of death by a virgin, so it was saved painting has been discussed and reproduced in H. B. Wehle by another Virgin; the equilibrium is therefore re-established and M. Salinger, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Cata- and the fault of a virgin is balanced by the humility of anlogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings, New other Virgin. In art, this idea is depicted, for instance, in a York, 1947, pp. 20-23. The second inscription, not properly painting attributed to Paolo di Giovanni Fei in the Chigitranscribed in that book, has been corrected by E. Panofsky, Saracini Collection in Siena (Van Marle, Italian Schools of

36 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION an allusion to the Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden.” Usually the scenes are identifiable as representations of the Immaculate Conception by a certain symbol or text. In a manuscript

in Jena (already mentioned), executed for the wedding of the Emperor Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in 1477, the opposition of Mary and Eve is portrayed in actuality (Fig. 15). Eve stands near a tree heavy with skulls, signifying that by tasting of the fruit of that tree she caused the perdition of mankind, while the Serpent rises on its tail tempting her to eat the fruit. At the left of the same miniature, the Serpent is shown again, this time head downwards, being crushed under the feet of the Virgin Mary who is holding the Child. A vine tree, symbolic of the Passion of Christ, grows nearby.” The scene is inscribed “Eva saeva, Mater mitis” (Eve is cruel, the Mother is tender). The presence of the Christ Child and of the vine tree provide a reason and a cause for the Immaculate Conception, but attention is actually focused upon the Virgin Mary who triumphs over the Serpent and upon Eve who succumbs to temptation. The miniature stresses the importance of the Virgin Mary in the work of salvation. This idea of Mary opposed to Eve, the cause of perdition, found favor in the sixteenth century, and attention was focused more strongly upon the Virgin Mary by the elimination of the Christ Child from the scene. Vasari, for instance, repeated this iconography several times.*? The idea of the opposition of Mary to Eve is alluded to ina miniature in the Morgan Library (ms M 75, fol. 389v), a Breviary for Franciscan use of the middle of the fourteenth century (Fig. 19). The text above the miniature explains that, although the feast of the Conception of the Virgin is not regularly celebrated according to Roman use, this is the place where the office of the feast should be inserted into the Roman Breviary. The miniature depicts the scene usually called “The Doubting Joseph.” Joseph, returning from a journey, found the Virgin Mary was expecting a child. Full of grief, he exclaims: Is not the story of Adam repeated in me? For as at the hour of his giving thanks the serpent came and found Eve alone and deceived her, so hath it befallen me also.®*

Thereupon an Angel of the Lord reassures Joseph telling him that the Virgin Mary has conceived of the Holy Ghost, and is therefore above suspicion. The miniaturist most certainly selected this scene because it renders the idea of Mary as the antithesis of Eve. The selection of this episode as a typus of the Immaculate Conception, however, is not a happy one, and it seems to have remained an isolated case.

g) The Annunciation The scene of the Annunciation is the first scene in the life of Christ, since it stands for his Divine

Incarnation. The Virgin Mary is directly involved in this scene as the Mother of Christ, whom she conceived without sin and in a miraculous manner. Although the doctrine of the Immaculate Painting, 11, fig. 340). In another instance, a marble group depicted by the announcement of her birth to Joachim, has a at Angers, Church of Saint-Land, the Virgin holds a lily and vine tree as its Old Testament counterpart. The vine tree is the Child, while Eve is shown under her feet eating the fatal labeled “Rex Astiages vidit de filia oriri vitem”; here too, apple (Vloberg, of.cit., p. 58). Another picture of this type therefore, the idea of the conception of Mary is associated with is in the Cleveland Museum, where it is attributed to a Sienese the Passion of Christ, symbolized by the vine tree.

or Umbrian artist. g2. In the Church of SS. Apostoli and in the Uffizi in go. As in the Immaculate Conception by Luca Signorelli in Florence; in the Church of §. Francesco in Arezzo and in Cortona, Chiesa del Gest (L. Dussler, Signorelli, Des Meisters the Museum of Lucca (Venturi, 1x, 6, figs. 169-171).

Gemalde, Stuttgart, 1927, p. 146). Its predella was probably 93. Book of James, p. 44, Chapter x11, 1. For other inthe scene of Esther before Ahasuerus now in the Nationa] stances of the Doubting Joseph in German painting, see: A. Gallery in London (ibid., p. 179c). (The connection between Stange, Deutsche Malerei der Gotik, Berlin, 1, pl. 1133 11, pl. the Virgin Immaculate and the scene of Esther before Ahasue- 196; and Iv, pl. rr1. In the second instance Christ appears in rus has already been explained.) The panel by Roger van der the womb of Mary in a glory. In the same book, u, pl. 232, Weyden mentioned in note 76 also depicts the Fall of Man the scene is enacted in the stable at Bethlehem (these German

and the Expulsion from Eden. instances have been called to my attention by Dr. Panofsky. gt. In a Biblia Pauperum in the Archives of the Cathedral I am unable to state, however, whether they are instances of of Toledo (Cajon to, no. 8) the Conception of the Virgin, the Immaculate Conception).

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 37 Conception refers to the Conception of the Virgin, it could be confused with the idea that Christ was conceived immaculately. One of the consequences of Original Sin is concupiscence, and it was believed that Mary, who had conceived Christ without concupiscence, should therefore be immune from Original Sin. The confusion of the two ideas of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and the miraculous conception of Christ was forwarded by the Dominicans from the thirteenth century. St. Thomas Aquinas proposed the theory of the Sanctification of Mary in the womb of her mother in opposition to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Dominicans, following his lead, became the strongest supporters of the theory of Sanctification, but in order to avoid the charge of disrespect towards the Virgin Mary for whom, on the contrary, they had an especial devotion, they proclaimed their veneration for the Immaculate Conception, using this term to

refer to the perpetual virginity of Mary. Some went as far as to celebrate the feast of the Sanctification of Mary on December 8, the day of her Conception (for example, the Breviary for Dominican use in the British Museum, Add. Ms 18851, discussed above). The Dominicans wrote

several treatises on the perpetual virginity of Mary, a theory that had been accepted by the Church since the fifth century and which no one doubted. One of the best known of these is the Defensorium Inviolatum Beatae Mariae Virginis, written by Franciscus de Resza at the end of the fourteenth century. The borrowing of the scene of the Annunciation by the Immaculists to illustrate the doctrine is a case of assimilation of which we have already seen some instances. However, while in the preceding cases images established by the Immaculists had been borrowed by the Maculists, in this case the contrary is true. The Annunciation could in no case illustrate the idea of the Immaculate Conception by itself, and, therefore, it was invariably combined by the Immaculists with other elements which identified Mary as the Virgin Immaculate. One of the earliest instances of this type is a manuscript in the British Museum (Lansd. ms 381, fol. 7v), probably illuminated in France or Flanders in the twelfth century. The Annunciation is associated with the two figures of Moses with the burning bush, and Gideon with the fleece; the flowered wand topped by the Dove which is inserted between Gabriel and the Virgin Mary is suggestive of the Tree of Jesse (Fig. 20). This strange illustration is at the back of a calendar page where the month of December includes the feast of the Conception. The connection of these two episodes from the Old Testament with the Immaculate Conception will be explained later. It is enough here to mention that they were quoted by the Immaculists as prefigurations of the Virgin Immaculate, and included in hymns to her by the twelfth century poet Adam of St. Victor. In a Missal of Fécamp, Rouen, Bibl. Mun. ms 295 (A 398), fol. 243, datable in the second half of the thirteenth century, the Annunciation illustrates the Mass of the Conception, but no identifying element is added to the miniature, beyond the text itself, to show that it depicts the Immaculate Conception. The Conception of Mary and that of Christ are linked in the same scene in a way very similar to Lansdowne ms 381 in a painting by Piero di Cosimo in the Uffizi in Florence. In this painting the Virgin Immaculate stands on a podium on which is carved the scene of the Annunciation. Two hills are seen behind the Virgin, and on them is shown the Nativity of Christ and the Flight into Egypt. Apparently here also the Immaculate Conception is merged with the idea of the immaculacy of the Incarnation of Christ. In another painting of the sixteenth century (Robinson Fisher Gall., London, March 24, 1927, no. 190) the scene of the Annunciation is combined with the symbols of the litanies, and six prophets and patriarchs are shown in the foreground, discussing the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. 94. G. Dreves, Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi, XxX, p. 95.

38 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION In a painting in the Benson Collection in London Giovanni di Paolo associates the scene of the Annunciation with that of Adam and Eve expelled from Eden. The Annunciation 1s here opposed to the Fall of Man; Redemption opposed to Sin.” A painting by Timoteo Viti in the Brera Museum may be an instance of the fusion of the

Annunciation type with that of the “Madonna della Peste” (Fig. 21). The Virgin stands in prayer between St. John the Baptist and St. Sebastian, while above her appears the Angel of the Annunciation who points to the Christ Child. The Child, an instance of the “telephone baby,”

stands over the Dove, bears the Cross and is backed by the disc of the sun. The painting is a combination of several other images: the Virgin recalls the Virgin Immaculate in the painting by Piero di Cosimo; the Child recalls the painting of the Coronation of the Virgin by Girolamo

| di Bernardino da Udine; while St. Sebastian is present in the “Madonna della Peste” by Caporali. The Angel Gabriel is added to these various elements in a most startling fashion; descending from Heaven, he materializes among clouds and points both to the Virgin and to the Child. 95. Reproduced in J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle, 4 at Madrid, reproduced in F. Schottmiiller, Fra Angelico da History of Painting in Italy, v, T. Borenius, ed., London, Féesole, Stuttgart and Berlin, 1911, pl. 66. 1914, p. 176; see also the painting by Fra Angelico in the Prado

CHAPTER 2 ) MOMENT OF MARY’S EXEMPTION:

AND FOREBEARS; HER PREDESTINATION a) St. Anne Holding the Virgin in her Arms

s the image of the Virgin holding the Child is symbolic of the Divine Incarnation of Christ, so the image of St. Anne holding the Virgin Mary is symbolic of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The image probably was imported from the East. The Greek Church, we recall, celebrated on December 9 the feast of the “Conception of Anne,” and it is out of the increased devotion for St. Anne that the image of Anne holding the infant Virgin was established. In the West, the image appeared first with the addition of Joachim as early as the eleventh century (Fig. 22). This image of Mary in the arms of Anne was especially favored in Italy during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. To the original two-figured group, the figure of the Christ Child was added, and this three-figured group gained great popularity in the fifteenth century—for example the Masolino-Masaccio Sant’Anna Metterza in the Uffizi, and the Saint Anne by Leonardo in the Louvre. To list all the images of St. Anne with Mary would be long and tedious.** We shall only mention here two examples of the thirteenth century. One is an embroidered scapular in the Museo Civico at Arezzo, which shows Pope Gregory X kneeling in front of St. Anne who is seated

on a cushioned bench and nurses the Virgin Mary. The other is a panel painting by Ranieri di Ugolino (also called the St. Martin Master) in the Museo Civico at Pisa. This second image depicts St. Anne seated on a wide throne holding the child Mary. A later restorer mistook this representation and added a cruciform halo to St. Anne!” b) Mary in the Womb of Anne As has been mentioned before, the iconography developed in connection with the Immaculate Conception was apt to blend with that developed in connection with the theory of the Sanctification in the Womb (e.g. the Coronation of the Virgin in the British Museum, Add. ms 18851 discussed on pp. 31-32). This interchange again takes place when the Virgin is shown in the womb of her mother. It is not easy to establish a date for the initial instance of this representation of an Immaculate Conception, but it seems almost certain that it originated as an illustration of the theory of the Sanctification in the Womb. Subsequently it was borrowed by the Immaculists, and at the end of 96. The representation of the Virgin Mary with St. Anne, p. 286: “On peut dire avec certitude que toutes ces metertiae with or without the Child, is very frequent. For a discussion of honoraient toujours la Conception Immaculée de Marie, this iconography, see Kleinschmidt, o.c#¢., pp. 217ff., and also quoique de nos jours on en ait 4 peine conscience.” This lack the examples cited in our note 33. See also B. Kleinschmidt, of awareness of the real meaning of images is true for most of “Anna selbdritt in der spanischen Kunst; eine ikonograph- the images of the Immaculate Conception mentioned in our ische Studie,” Spanische Forschungen der Gorras-Gesellschaft, monograph. As for the three-figured group of St. Anne with I, 1928, pp. 149-165. J. J. Lepetit, “L’Immaculée Conception Mary and the Christ Child, although the theme is Immaculist,

dans la peinture,” Premier Congres Marial Breton tenu da it appears sometimes in Maculist centers. The image in the Josselin, Paris, 1905, p. 371, mentions an image of St. Anne Princeton Museum, for instance, has a Dominican nun as a

nursing Mary and adored by David and Joachim in the donor. church of St. Stephen in Beauvais, which he says dates from the 97. The scapular in Arezzo is reproduced in A. Maiuri, beginning of the fifteenth century. The image is accompanied Dedalo, IV, 1923-24, p. 627, and the panel by Ranieri di by quotations from the Canticles, Ecclesiasticus and Psalm 10: Ugolino in Pisa is illustrated in E, B. Garrison, Italian Ro15, to identify it as an Immaculate Conception. This iconog- sanesque Panel Painting, Florence, 1949, p. 83, no. 196. raphy is also discussed by Timmers, 0.c#t., who states on

40 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth, it was frequently displayed in French, Flemish and Spanish Books of Hours. The image derives from a combination of the “Blacherniotissa”—Christ in the womb of His mother”’—and the figure of St. Anne holding the infant Mary in her lap, mentioned above; it originated with the chief supporters of the theory of sanctification, that is, in Dominican circles. In fact, by showing Mary in the womb of her mother (Fig. 23) the theory of Sanctification was thought to be most adequately illustrated. However, this representation, invented in a Maculist spirit, was quickly expropriated by the Immaculists. An Office of the Mass for the Immaculate Conception, illuminated for King Henry VII of England (1457-1509) (Brit. Mus. Royal ms 2 A XIX, fol. 1) is illustrated by this image (Fig. 24). There is, however, a subtle distinction between its use by the Immaculists and that by the Maculists. The Immaculists showed the Virgin in the womb of her mother, surrounded by a glory. By this they meant to convey

the idea that Mary had already been sanctified at conception. The supporters of the theory of sanctification, on the other hand, showed the sanctification in process. The Flemish artist who illustrated the “Life of Our Lady” (London, Brit. Mus. Add. ms 29434, fol. 9v) in the fourteenth century’ must have been quite proud of the way he portrayed this idea (Fig. 23). He shows the Dove descending upon the infant Virgin (depicted at prayer in the womb of her mother) while St. Anne reclines on a bed astonished by the miracle. Joachim, seated near the bed, is more composed as he interrupts his prayers to witness the sanctification. The Lord blesses the family from an open window (an allusion to the fenestra coeli?), while two bystanders, midwives, complete the scene.” Maculist and Immaculist artists seem to have vied with each other, each using the same image and changing it to accord with the particular theory he upheld. The image of the Virgin in the womb of Anne was not entirely satisfactory from the Immaculist point of view since the Immaculists

were attempting to prove that Mary was untouched by sin from her conception. If they placed Mary in the womb of Anne, the image could be mistaken for a Sanctification in the Womb. To avoid this misinterpretation, certain artists showed Anne in ecstasy, contemplating the image of Mary which had been sanctified by the Lord before entering Anne’s body. This image is actually out of our province, as it occurs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. To mention a painting by Pordenone in the National Museum in Naples*® and another by Cesi in the Church of S. Maria della Pieta in Bologna’ is sufficient to indicate this iconography. A variation of the image of Anne with Mary in her womb is shown in Fig. 25. Here the Immaculate Conception is identified not only by Mary in the womb of her mother holding the Christ Child—thereby prefiguring the miracle of the Incarnation while Mary is in the womb of Anne—but also by the symbols of the litanies scattered around the figure of Anne. This image 98. This date is given in the catalogue of the British Mu- tenu ad Josselin, Paris, 1905, pp. 387-401, discusses several seum, although the miniature seems to belong already in the images of the Immaculate Conception in Brittany, among fifteenth century in its style rather than to the fourteenth. which is an image of St. Anne with Mary in her womb on a The iconography of Mary in the womb of Anne illustrates stained glass window in the parish church of Noyal-Pontivy, Psalm 22:10 (King James version), “I was cast upon thee diocese of Vannes, which he dates 1420. An inscription, “tota from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.” pulchra es, Maria, et macula non est in te,” leaves no doubt 99. One of the earliest instances that I have been able to as to the subject of the image. If the date is correct, this is trace of the image of Anne with Mary in her womb when _ the earliest image of this type that I know as a representation interpreted as an Immaculate Conception is in a manuscript of of the Immaculate Conception. Other instances of this iconog-

the second half of the fifteenth century (Paris, Bibl. Nat., raphy will be found in Kleinschmidt, of.cit., pp. 208ff. and Nouv. Acq. Lat. 1140, fol. 1). The miniature illustrates the in Male, L’Art @ la fin du moyen age, pp. 208ff. Three infeast of the Conception of the Virgin, so there is no doubt as stances from the early sixteenth century are found in the to its interpretation in an Immaculist sense. In a painting in Morgan Library: M 451, fol. 69v, Office of the Virgin written the Historischen Museum at Frankfurt, which was formerly and illuminated in Bruges, Flanders, by Antonius van Damme, in the Church of the Carmelites, Anne is standing on an altar in 15313; M 399, fol. 351v, Hours of the Virgin written and

with Mary in her womb, Above her is the inscription “tota illuminated at or near Bruges, ca. 1520; and M 390, fol. pulchra es,” which identifies the image as an Immaculate Con- 162v, Hours for use of Rome, Flemish sixteenth century. ception (reproduced in Kleinschmidt, Heilige Anna, fig. 135, 100. Venturi, 0f.c##., IX, pt. 3, fig. 483.

p. 208). J. M. Abgrall, “L’Iconographie de lImmaculée 101. ébid., IX, pt. 6, fig. 428. Conception en Bretagne,” Premier Congrés Marial Breton

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 4] goes beyond the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, as it transfers to St. Anne the purity of Mary—an instance of the excess of devotion condemned by St. Bernard in the twelfth century. This excess of devotion is often found in images of the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. In a French woodcut of the later fifteenth century, for instance, the label at the bottom of the picture reads: “Salve sanctissima Anna matris dei preelecta genetrix,” thus transferring to St. Anne the idea of the Predestination of Mary.’ This excessive devotion to St. Anne is based on a work published by Trithemtus in 1494, the De Laudtbus sanctissimae matris Annae Tractatus. In Chapter V of this work, Trithemius says that God selected St. Anne as the mother of Mary before the creation of the world, and in Chapter VII he adds that St. Anne conceived Mary without the stain of Original Sin. The Council of Trent was to put an end to this misplaced devotion.

c) Nativity of the Virgin A legend that enjoyed especial favor during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance credits the English abbot Helsinus with the institution of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (see p. 12). The legend attributes to the Virgin Mary the responsibility for choosing the Office of the Nativity of the Virgin for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, an office which was used until the end of the fifteenth century, when a special one was composed for the feast of the Conception. Given the double purpose of the Office of the Nativity, it is not strange to find it could be illustrated with scenes related to both events. In a Breviary of Saint-Vaast d’Arras (Arras, Bibl. Mun. ms 991 [330], fol. 140v) of the beginning of the thirteenth century, the feast of the Conception is illustrated by the Nativity of the Virgin; and the same is true of a Missal, also in Arras, illuminated in the fourteenth century (Fig. 26). In a miniature cut from a French Psalter of the thirteenth century (Brit. Mus. Add. ms 28784 B, fol. 8), the Nativity of the Virgin is combined with the Tree of Jesse (Fig. 27) to show that the Sanctification of Mary—which in our manuscript is represented by the Tree of Jesse—coincided with her birth. The confusion between the representation of the Immaculate Conception and Nativity of the Virgin may be explained not only by the fact that the two feasts shared the same liturgy, but also that the moment in which the body and soul of Mary were united had not yet been established. Some thought this union took place at the moment of conception (the theory proposed by Duns Scotus), and others that it happened at her birth (the theory proposed by Anselm of Edmunsbury). This fluctuation of theories may be responsible for the exchange of images in the two feasts,*°? and for the combination of the two ideas in our Fig. 27. An interesting combination of scenes from the Nativity and the Conception of the Virgin appears in a French Missal of the end of the fifteenth century. It is the Missal of Saint-Victor de Paris (Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. ms 14818, fol. 23v) where the feast of the Conception is illustrated by the Meeting at the Golden Gate and the Nativity of the Virgin. In the first scene, underlining the miraculous quality of the event, Anne has a halo while Joachim does not. The artist apparently wished to reconcile different ideas and to depict the Conception of Mary by the two most important events which contributed to her formation as an individual: her generation and her birth. 102. This woodcut is reproduced in Etnblattdriicke ..., By applying to the Virgin Mary the text of Psalm 109, the

LxIX, pl. 19. Flemish artist accepted the idea of the predestination of Mary 103. In a thirteenth century Flemish Psalter and Hours of since before the creation of the world: “Ex utero ante Lucithe Virgin (Morgan Library, M 440, fol. 143) called the ferum genui te’—an idea which we explained on pp. 28-29, “Grosbois Psalter,” the Tree of Jesse illustrates the Office of and at the same time identified the Nativity of the Virgin with the Nativity of the Virgin, and the text of the Office starts the idea that this event was the beginning of the spiritual rewith Psalm rog (110). The association between the miniature birth of the world. The artist must have been acquainted with and Psalm 109 was made because the Psalm contains the word the treatise by Eadmer of Clare, because the ideas he exvirga which was considered a paraphrase of the word wirgo: presses are a direct derivation from the treatise. This knowl-

Virgam virtutis tuae emittet edge of the work by Eadmer is not astonishing, since the Dominus ex Syon: dominare treatise was already inserted in the liturgy for the feast of in medio inimicorum tuorum. the Conception in the thirteenth century (see our note 9).

42 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION d) Mary with Anne and Joachim We have seen that the Protoevangelium of James was associated with the Immaculate Conception from early times, and that the Greek Church referred to the Immaculate Conception as the Conception of Anne. In the West, the earliest cycle of illustrations from the Protoevangelium is a series of reliefs on the columns of St. Mark in Venice.*** However, these cannot be considered

a product of Western art, as they were imported, probably from Illyria. They date in the fifth century. The infiltration of the Protoevangelium into the West and the ideas it contained were responsible for the creation of a miniature in an English Hymnal] of the eleventh century (Brit. Mus. Caligula ms A XIV, fol. 26v). The text is a hymn to the perpetual virginity of Mary. The accompanying illustration (Fig. 22) shows Joachim seated in the company of Anne who holds the infant Mary in her arms, while the hand of God appears to bless the family. An inscription runs around the miniature explaining that the girl child in the arms of Anne is the mother and salvation of the Church, that her father has promised her to the Lord and dedicated her to the service of the Temple. Here, then, the aspect of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception chosen by the artist is the relationship of Mary to her parents, and what the miniature as such may leave in doubt concerning the concept of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is clearly stated in the inscription. The words “salvation of the Church” applied to Mary make it perfectly clear that the Immaculate Conception is meant; for only where Mary is considered exempt from Original Sin can she be considered as “salvation” of mankind. In this case, as in the case of the New Minster “Quinity” (Fig. 1), the transformation of the concept into a visual image is somewhat confused. There was no established iconography of the Immaculate Conception, and the artists were wrestling with problems which were new to them.

A painting of the fourteenth century by Pietro di Puccio (also ascribed to Bartolomeo di Fruosino) now in the Gallery in Parma (Alinari 44518) gropes with the same problem. The painter did not have the advantage of the miniaturist who combined text and illustration; on the other hand since he was working much later, when the definition of the Immaculate Conception had been clarified, he was expected clearly to represent the doctrine in a manner understandable to the untutored worshipper. Thus he places the Virgin Mary enthroned in the center of the triptych, holding the Child and nursing Him. At her left are depicted Joachim with Anne who holds the Virgin Mary, while at the other side are SS. Benedict and Michael. Above the central panel is a trefoil with the half-figure of the Lord, and on the two shutters is depicted, also halflength, the scene of the Annunciation in two trefoils. The Benedictine Order was the first to have accepted the cult of the Immaculate Conception, and we recall that Benedictine monks introduced the feast in the West, at Naples and Winchester. It is to honor the first defenders of the dogma that the figure of the founder of the Benedictine Order, St. Benedict, has been included in the

painting—the only figure here present that has no direct bearing on the doctrine. It is not unreasonable that the altarpiece was commissioned for a Benedictine church or by someone affliated with the Benedictine Order. St. Michael with the Serpent at his feet portrays the defeat of the Devil, which is the central idea of the Immaculate Conception, while the parents of the Virgin stand for the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The representation is completed by the scene of the Annunciation showing that Mary was also immaculate during the Incarnation of Christ. The secondary figures are mere accessories. Taken individually they would have no meaning, but together they convey the idea of the Immaculate Conception in its complete form. Girolamo Mocetto, in a painting datable around 1490, in the Lanz Collection in Amsterdam,’

shows only the Virgin and her parents. The Virgin stands on a podium, beneath rays of light. 104. Kleinschmidt, of.cit., fig. 8, p. 31. logue of the Exhibition of Early Venetian Pictures, London, 105. It is reproduced in Burlington Fine Arts Club, Cata- 1912, no. 38, pl. 32.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 43 Joachim and Anne stand on either side, in front of a parapet. The image is reduced to its bare essentials, yet the idea is clarified by the radiation of light from Heaven. This painting 1s a variation of what we have seen in the eleventh century miniature reproduced in Fig. 22. There the hand of God appears blessing the Virgin, just as in the painting by Mocetto the rays of light indicate the sanctity of Mary. Mary, however, is no longer an infant in the arms of her mother. Here she is adult, ready to become the mother of Christ. Her attitude may be compared with that of the Virgin Immaculate in the painting by Piero di Cosimo in the Uffizi."" The image of Mary with Anne and Joachim, which enjoyed a certain vogue in the first years of the Middle Ages, gradually lost favor with artists and was superseded by more popular themes. It occurs only occasionally among provincial artists of the Renaissance. Another curious representation of Mary with Joachim and Anne places Mary at the converging point of two branches which start from the bodies of her parents. This iconography, probably based on the Revelations by St. Bridget of Sweden, derives from images of the Tree of Jesse. A mention of a few examples, with the text in the Revelations upon which the image is probably

based, will be found in our note 119. e) Stories from the Protoevangelium of James In the fifteenth century the artist was no longer in doubt about the manner in which to depict the Immaculate Conception. The idea he was supposed to portray had been clarified, and visual images had been established by a long tradition. Rather were artists of the fifteenth century encumbered by the abundance of the images already established, so that the need to reduce the number of iconographic types was felt more acutely as the time went by. To clarify the situation artists resorted to two devices: either they combined a number of images into one representation, or they eliminated the images which were unclear or had been traditionally associated with other feasts. Quotations from the Bible were commonly used, and the Fathers of the Church appeared frequently to support by rational authority the mystic concept of the Virgin Immaculate. This new trend towards rationalization resulted in a multiplication of illustrations in the liturgy of the feast of the Conception. Formerly, only one illustration preceded the text of prayers inserted in the liturgy of the feast. Now examples were extended to the initials and the page borders. A page from the Breviary of Salisbury (Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. ms 17290, fol. 386v), datable about 14241435, gives in a single illustration the episodes from the Protoevangelium which describe the

story of the Conception of the Virgin (Fig. 28). The chain of events begins with Joachim’s offering in the center of the page. At the right his offering is refused, and he is sent away from the Temple. Above that scene, he 1s shown kneeling in prayer on the mountain among his flocks, while an Angel brings him the news of his future paternity. At the left of the scene of Joachim’s offering in the Temple is shown the Announcement to Anne, and below it the Meeting at the Golden Gate. The Conception of the Virgin, which ends the sequence, is represented in the most startling way by her symbol: the Well of Living Waters. In addition to these scenes, the margins are filled with medallions showing figures discussing the doctrine. The Protoevangelium had been composed in the East, and the earliest illustrations of this text are found in the West in places which had relations with Byzantium. Later, the cycle from the Protoevangelium was most popular in regions where contact with the East was kept alive. In Italy, we find these scenes in Pisa and Venice, two cities which were in touch with Constantinople. A panel painting of the late thirteenth century at Pisa illustrates a number of scenes from the Protoevangelium at the sides of the image of the Virgin and Child enthroned. This painting, now in the Museo Civico at Pisa, was painted by Ranieri di Ugolino—also called the St. Martin 106. Venturi, of.cit., VII, pt. 1, fig. 412.

44 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Master because the painting here under discussion shows St. Martin on horseback at the bottom.*”” This artist must have specialized in the representation of the Immaculate Conception, because two of his five known paintings portray this subject (see p. 39). The painting is interesting also from a chronological standpoint. The Franciscans at Pisa had approved the feast of the Immaculate Conception for their order in 1263, and this image followed shortly after, about 1280-90. A Venetian panel of the late fourteenth century in the National Gallery in London (Fig. 11) also shows a Madonna and Child with scenes from the Protoevangelium but adds as well two miracles of the Virgin Immaculate. The combination of different types of the Virgin Immaculate seems to have become a rule by the end of the fifteenth century. Thus, in a Book of Prayers in Dutch (Brit. Mus. Add. ms 15525), the cycle from the Protoevangelium is combined with Old Testament scenes, the Tree of Jesse and the Woman of the Apocalypse, the whole forming a kind of cycle of the Fall and Redemption. The events which precede the birth of the Virgin are depicted as follows: the Creation of Eve, the Temptation, the Expulsion from Eden, the Annunciation to Joachim and to Anne, the Meeting at the Golden Gate, Anne with the Virgin Mary in her womb seated between two kings, David and Solomon, the Virgin’s ancestors, and finally the Virgin standing on a crescent ensconced in the Tree of Jesse (fol. 15v). There follows the birth of the Virgin and the salient episodes in the life of the Virgin and of Christ. The blame for Original Sin is thrown upon Eve, with whom begins the series of illustrations, and the expulsion from Eden is followed immediately by the beginning of the story of the Virgin. In no other sequence that I have studied is the role of Mary exalted

| in such a way.

In a manuscript page in the Cathedral of Toledo (No. 147, photo Rodriguez) the Apocalyptic Woman is combined with the Meeting of Anne and Joachim and also with the Tree of Jesse. The miniature presents the triumph of the Virgin Mary over Original Sin shown by the Apocalyptic Woman, and the time of her sanctification, before generation, is indicated by the association of her parents with the Tree of Jesse. Asa rule, fifteenth century art showed the Virgin with the Child when personifying the Woman

of the Apocalypse, but without the Child when she was associated with scenes from the Protoevangelium. An apparent exception to the rule is the tondo by Filippo Lippi in the Pitti Palace in Florence."* There the Virgin is shown in the foreground with the Child in her arms, while in the background appears her Nativity and the Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate. The reason for this apparent exception is that the tondo is based upon the iconography we have discussed above. Both the Pisan*’ and the Venetian panels (Fig. 11) depict a central image of the Virgin with small lateral scenes from the Protoevangelium. Filippo Lippi transformed this tripartite composition into a unified scene by arranging the central theme and the secondary episodes within the same picture space, placing the latter in the rear. A similar device was used later by Bartolomeo Cesi in the Vision of Anne in the Church of S. Maria della Pieta in Bologna,” where the scene of the announcement to Joachim and the Meeting at the Golden Gate are seen in the background through an open door. The cycle of stories from the Protoevangelium was an adequate illustration of the Immaculate Conception and was self-explanatory. When the artist abbreviated this cycle by selecting the salient episodes (the Announcement to Anne and Joachim or the Meeting at the Golden Gate) he needed to use a sign to indicate that an Immaculate Conception was intended. In manuscripts, the accompanying texts usually identified the scene. An artist, however, who wished to make the illustration self-explanatory added identifying details. 107. The panel is reproduced in Catalogo della Mostra 1949, fig. 67 and p. 162. This tondo was to be completed by

Giottesca, Florence, 1943, fig. 24a. the artist on December 8, 1452, that is, for the feast of the 108. Reproduced in M. Pittaluga, Filippo Lippi, Florence, Immaculate Conception.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 45 In a Breviary of Bourgueil from the second half of the fourteenth century (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 1043, fol. 442v) the episode selected is the Meeting at the Golden Gate (Fig. 29). To emphasize the fact that the miracle of the Conception of the Virgin Mary has already taken place, Anne is given a halo, while Joachim has none. This detail will appear time and again in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.’** In a Roman Breviary of the second half of the fifteenth century (Paris, Bibl. de l’Arsenal, ms

ror [125 T.L.], fol. §579v) Anne and Joachim are both without halos but golden rays appear above the head of Anne asa sign of Divine intervention. Sometimes the Meeting at the Golden Gate is combined with other scenes. Thus, in a Missal of Saint-Victor de Paris of the end of the fifteenth century (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 14818, fol. 23v) the Meeting at the Golden Gate is combined with the Nativity of the Virgin, and in a Franciscan

Breviary of the beginning of the fifteenth century (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 760, fol. 327v) the Meeting at the Golden Gate (Fig. 30) is accompanied by the scene of the Virgin and St. Peter appearing to Helsinus (the Office of the Conception in this manuscript includes the legend of Helsinus). Sometimes the miraculous intervention of the Lord in the Meeting at the Golden Gate is shown by the figure of an Angel who presses together the two heads of Anne and Joachim or blesses them. This is shown, for example, in a painting by Bartolomeo Vivarini in S. Maria Formosa at Venice, datable in the early 1470’s."" A new version of the Meeting at the Golden Gate in the late fifteenth century is given in a painting by Girolamo di Matteo da Gualdo (Fig. 31); while Anne and Joachim embrace, the Virgin, crowned and enveloped in a flaming glory, descends from Heaven at the command of the Lord Who is shown at the apex of the composition. The Virgin is shown as a young maiden, a representation which was to become the almost invariable custom of the Baroque period. It is because of this stress upon the maidenly purity of the Virgin that in the Baroque period and later the Virgin was shown as a young girl.*”* A combination of the two roles of Mary as Mother and Maiden, as we find in the Benois Madonna by Leonardo in Leningrad, or in Michelangelo’s Pieta in St. Peter’s in Rome is rare in the iconography of the Immaculate Conception. It is found only in representations of the group of St. Anne, Mary and Christ (Anna Selbdritt as it is called in German, and Sant’Anna Metterza in Italian). The theme of the Meeting at the Golden Gate continued to be represented in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, at times alone, at times combined with other episodes alluding to the Immaculate Conception. Thus, in the painting by Girolamo di Matteo da Gualdo, we have seen this scene combined. with the image of the Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse (Fig. 31). In a miniature, perhaps a little later, in a Book of Hours for the use of Macon, in the Collection Siraudin, fol. 17v (Fig. 32), the Meeting is combined with the scene of the Fall of Man, the figure of Adam and Eve appearing on either side of the Golden Gate. Adam is depicted choking on a morsel of the apple (in obvious allusion to the legend of the origin of “Adam’s apple”) and covering himself with a fig leaf. Eve imitates his gesture almost unconsciously, while she still holds the fatal fruit. As in earlier representations of the Meeting, Anne wears a halo while Joachim does not, to show that the Conception of the Virgin was Immaculate and that Mary was therefore untouched by Original Sin. After the Meeting at the Golden Gate, the most popular scene from the Protoevangelium was 109. Here are some instances in which only Anne is haloed Missal of St. Victor de Paris (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 14818,

in the Meeting at the Golden Gate: a fourteenth century fol. 23v); a Missal of Poitiers (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 873, manuscript in the Morgan Library (M 769, fol. 265); the fol. 253). Breviaire de Paris, illuminated before 1380 (Paris, Bibl. Nat., 110. It is reproduced in L. Testi, La storia della pittura Lat. 1052, fol. 294v); a Diurnal for Franciscan use (Morgan veneziana, 11, Bergamo, 1915, p. 462. M 221, fol. 158v) made for Isabelle of Bourbon in 1455; a

46 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION the Announcement to Anne and Joachim. The scene of the Announcement of Mary’s birth could

be combined with the Meeting at the Golden Gate, as it appears in a small Book of Hours illuminated by Giovannino dei Grassi in the Collection Visconti di Modrone in Milan and dated 1403." In this miniature the city of Jerusalem is shown both from the outside and the inside. In the city, in a cross-section of a building, Anne is shown in prayer, receiving the Announcement of Mary’s birth from an Angel. Later she appears again, meeting Joachim before the Golden Gate of Jerusalem. In a fourteenth century Breviary in the Bibliothéque Municipale de Chaumont (ms 30, fol. 181) is shown the Announcement to both Joachim and Anne. A variation of the same theme appears in a Missal from Arras (Bibl. Munic., ms 297, fol. 5ov), of the second half of the fourteenth century (Fig. 33). It is highly unusual to see Joachim and Anne seated together before the event of the Announcement of the Birth of Mary, while an angel brings the happy news. According to the Protoevangelium, Anne received the Announcement in the garden of her house, while Joachim received it while on the mountain, amidst his flocks. When reduced to its minimum, the scene of the Announcement comprises only two figures, that of the angel and that of one of the parents of the Virgin. In the Breviary of Amédée VIII of

Savoy, illuminated between 1428 and 1447 (Chambéry, Bibl. Munic., ms 4, fol. 416v) the miniature shows the announcement to Joachim; while in a Breviary of Saint-Maur de Verdun of the beginning of the fourteenth century (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 1029, fol. 241) the Announce-

ment to Anne is depicted (Fig. 34). This miniature illustrates the text of the Sermon on the Conception by Eadmer of Clare which contains the legend of Helsinus. As in many earlier instances, there is no immediate relationship between the text and the illustration, but the two were associated because they both express the idea of the Immaculate Conception.

Giotto painted the Announcement to Anne in the Arena Chapel in Padua, but he placed the scene in the house of Anne and transformed the episode into a kind of genre scene by introducing

the figure of the maid-servant who interrupts her spinning to eavesdrop. The presence of the Lord in the scene is rendered by a half-figure of Christ blessing shown in relief on the pediment under which Anne kneels, Giotto unites the episodic with the symbolic by adding a beautiful still-life in the room of Anne.

f) The Tree of Jesse The connection between the Tree of Jesse and the Immaculacy of the Virgin Mary had been foreshadowed, as early as the eighth century, by Paul Winfrid, deacon of Aquileia, when he called Mary the “Tree of Jesse exempt from the knots of sin.”*° The representation of the Tree of Jesse illustrates a Biblical passage (Isaiah 11:1-2), and this text was quoted in the Treatise on the Immaculate Conception by Eadmer of Clare, which we have mentioned in the doctrinal discussion (p. 8).'* The Treatise distinguishes between active and passive conception, between the generative act of the parents of Mary, which was subject to the concupiscence of the flesh, one of the effects of Original Sin, and the formation of Mary as an individual created free from Original Sin. Eadmer quotes the passage from Isaiah 11:1-2 to prove that Mary received sanctifying grace at her Conception, because the Holy Ghost descended upon her. Mary would not have triumphed over the law of death had it not been for the Tree of Jesse, her genealogical tree, in which she was sanctified and which was the beginning of rebirth for the world, that is, abrogation of the law of spiritual death, damnation.

The Tree of Jesse is the genealogical tree of Christ and was already established as an iconographic type in the beginning of the twelfth century. From the first, however, this iconography 111, P. Toesca, La Pittura e la miniatura nella Lombardia, Milan, 1912, p. 317, fig. 243.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 47 was also used by the Immaculists to depict the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculist Tree of Jesse differs from the Maculist in that it refers specifically to Mary, while the Maculist refers to Christ. Artists who wanted to depict the Immaculist belief chose the Tree of Jesse because in it Mary was sanctified: Mary was sanctified in her genealogical tree, therefore, before her conception. To show their intention, Immaculist artists excluded from the Tree the figure of Christ or represented the Tree in conjunction with Marian symbols. The parents of the Virgin were

sometimes included in the Immaculist Tree; they are not present in the Maculist Tree. The Marian symbolism, when alone, alludes to the purity of Mary but does not necessarily imply that Mary was immaculate from her conception. When the Tree of Jesse is added to this symbolism, a time element is included, and the image shows that not only Mary was immaculate but that she received this privilege from the moment of her conception. A French manuscript of the early twelfth century (Legendary of Citeaux, Dijon, Bibliothéque Municipale, Ms 641, fol. 40v) shows Jesse standing in the lower section of the picture (Fig. 35)— in later representations he is almost invariably represented reclining—and holding with both hands

two branches of the tree that encircle him. Two other branches form a frame for the Virgin enthroned surmounted by the Dove. The Tree of Jesse specifically refers to Mary, as shown by the presence of four prefigurations of the Immaculate Conception at the four corners of the miniature: Daniel in the lion’s den, the three young men in the furnace, Moses and the burning bush, and Gideon with his fleece. These scenes were connected with the Virgin Mary in the Speculum Ecclesiae by Honorius of Autun in the twelfth century.”’ Their parallelism to the immaculacy of Mary is explained as follows: Daniel was exposed to the lions, but was untouched by them; in like manner Mary was untouched by sin to which her nature exposed her; the three young men were protected from fire in the furnace, as the Lord protected the Virgin Mary from Original Sin; the Lord appeared in a bush to Moses, and lo! the bush was aflame, but not consumed—so equally the Virgin received the Lord and was aflame with Divine Love, but she was not consumed by the fire of concupiscence which destroyed Adam and Eve; the fleece of Gideon received dew from Heaven, but the ground around it was dry, and Mary received the grace of the Holy Ghost from Heaven, while the rest of the world was parched by sin. These examples from the Old Testament were not necessarily intended to symbolize the Immaculate Conception, even though Adam of St. Victor’ interprets them in an Immaculist sense. There are many instances in which they only convey the idea of Mary’s perpetual virginity, and it is with the latter intention that the burning bush is placed under the feet of Mary in the scene of the Visitation in the North portal of Chartres.** Taken by themselves, the Old Testament examples and the Tree of Jesse would probably have been ambiguous, but when in conjunction, they were to be interpreted in an Immaculist sense. The Legendary of Citeaux supplemented the examples of the Immaculate Conception with the Tree of Jesse to indicate that Mary was immaculate from the outset. T’he other elements of the miniature only give the idea of the immaculacy

of Mary; the time element is not included. In the eleventh century this point might have been omitted altogether, but the artist was working during the period when the time at which Mary was made immaculate was being discussed (remember the theories of the great English Immaculists of the twelfth century), and he could not leave any ambiguity about this point. This is why his representation centers on the Tree of Jesse. 112, Migne, P.L., CLXXI, pp. 904ff. Other writers had siécle, p. 9, fig. 6. For the iconography of the burning bush . also connected them before, and Honortus recapitulated what in relationship with the Virgin Immaculate, see: E. Harris,

was known at his time in a sort of dictionary form. “Mary in the Burning Bush,” Journal of the Warburg Insti-

113. Hymn on the Immaculate Conception by Adam of tute, 1, 1937-38, pp. 281-286; and also: A. Watson, “Mary in

St. Victor (Analecta hymnica medti aevi ..., LIV, p. 417, the Burning Bush, Nicolas Froment’s triptych at Aix-en-

no. 276). Provence,” Journal of the Warburg Institute, 1, 1938-39, 114. This sculpture is reproduced in Male, L’Art du XIIIe pp. 69-70.

48 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION A Bohemian manuscript of the end of the eleventh century (Prague, University Library, VySehrad ms XIV A 13, fols. 4 and 4v)** might possibly be connected with the Immaculate Con-

ception. The miniature gathers on one page four scenes relative to the immaculacy of Mary: Moses and the burning bush, Aaron and his rod, the closed gate of Ezekiel, and the Tree of Jesse. Two of these examples we have already seen in the Legendary of Citeaux, which is slightly later than the Bohemian manuscript. The other two scenes are applied to the Virgin Mary for the following reasons: Aaron’s rod was chosen by the Lord, and it bore fruit; the same was true of the Virgin Mary.”° The second example illustrates a passage from Ezekiel 44:2: “Then said the Lord unto me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; therefore it shall be shut.’"’ These scenes are related to the virginity of Mary, but they do not indicate necessarily that the miniature is an Immaculate Conception rather than a representation of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Their association with the Tree of Jesse, however, introduces

a time element and points to the idea that Mary was immaculate at her origin, that is, to her Immaculate Conception. By the thirteenth century, the Tree of Jesse, only sporadically appropriated by the Immaculists

of the twelfth, became a standard feature in representations of the Immaculate Conception. At this time the iconography of the Tree of Jesse was firmly established as an illustration of the genealogy of Christ. The Immaculists invested the symbol with a new meaning by giving the central position to Mary and by omitting the figure of Christ or combining the Tree of Jesse with the scene of the Nativity of Mary. In a Benedictine Missal in the Morgan Library (M 710, Missal of the Benedictines of Weingarten, fol. 112) the idea is suggested by depicting Mary as an orans (Fig. 36) surmounted by the seven doves symbolic of the seven gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the passage of Isaiah on the Tree of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-2). This passage was interpreted as referring to the Holy Ghost (the Latin word Spiritus means both spirit and Holy Ghost) in its sevenfold manifestations, and for this reason the Virgin is surrounded in the miniature by seven doves.’** The accompanying text is the Mass of the Nativity of the Virgin, originally used in place of a special Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception; we have seen that the legend of Helsinus credited the Virgin Mary herself for the introduction of the Office and Mass of the Nativity of the Virgin into the liturgy of the Immaculate Conception. A miniature cut from a French Psalter of the thirteenth century which we have already mentioned in discussing the Nativity of the Virgin (Brit. Mus., Add. ms 28784 B, fol. 8) shows the Tree of Jesse together with Mary’s Nativity. In the branches of the tree the Virgin is depicted alone and in prayer, but the face of the Christ Child appears above her head (Fig. 27). This interchange of images between the Nativity and Conception of the Virgin, which we have already discussed, will also appear later. In the Rothschild Canticles, a thirteenth century Flemish manuscript,” a prayer for the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin is illustrated by the Tree of Jesse. The image is very similar to that 115. It is reproduced in A. Watson, Early Iconography of eighth century, says in his Homilia Prima in Assumptione

the Tree of Jesse, London, 1934, plate 1. Beatae Mariae Virginis (Migne, P.L., xcv, p. 1567) “Prov. 116. St. Peter Damianus, “Sermo x1 de Annuntiatione Bea- 1x, 1 ‘Sapientia aedificavit domum, excidit columnas septem’ tissimae Virginis Mariae” (Migne, P.L., CxLiv, p. 558) com- Septem namque virginalis haec domus columnis suffulta est,

pares Aaron’s rod with the Tree of Redemption, and it may quia veneranda haec Mater Domini septem sancti Spiritus be that our artist had also this concept in mind when he in- donis ... ditata fuit.” St. Norbert (died 1134), the founder

cluded Aaron’s rod in the miniature. of the Premonstratensian Order, is said to have hailed Mary 117. The verse was inscribed around the so-called “Ma- with the following invocation: “Ave Virgo, quae Spiritu donna of Dom Rupert,” a relief in the Museum of Liége, Sancto praeservante de tanto primi parentis peccato trium-

datable ca. 1170 (it is reproduced in E. Panofsky, Die phasti innoxia” (Hail Mary, who preserved by the Holy Deutsche Plastik des elften bis dreizehnten Jahrhunderts, Ghost was able to triumph untouched over the immense sin of

Munich, 1924, plate 50). the first parent) (Roskovany, of.cit., 1, p. 47, twelfth cent., 118. Paul Winfrid, Deacon of Aquileia at the end of the In Officio de B.V.).

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 49 of Morgan ms 710; the Virgin stands alone in the Tree above the reclining figure of Jesse and is surmounted by the Holy Ghost—here, however, shown by a single dove. From the figure of the Virgin start twelve branches each terminating in a human head, a reference to the twelve tribes of Israel. An apple is shown in each branch, to show that the ancestors of the Virgin, as the twelve tribes of Israel and the rest of mankind, were subject to Original Sin, from which the Virgin alone of all human beings had been exempted. The Tree of Jesse met with great popular favor, and we find it in various forms in manuscripts, painting and sculpture (the Virgin by Bartolomeo Bon discussed under the “Virgin of Mercy” combines with that image the Tree of Jesse). In the fifteenth and later centuries the figures of Joachim and Anne were occasionally included in the Tree of Jesse, and sometimes they alone were retained, to the exclusion of the other forebears of the Virgin.””® An instance of the inclusion of Joachim and Anne in the Tree of Jesse is shown in a painting from Central Italy of the late fifteenth century (Fig. 37). This painting, by Matteo da Gualdo, shows the Virgin standing in the middle of the Tree of Jesse, the last branches of which contain the half figures of Joachim and Anne. God the Father sends down the Dove of the Holy Ghost, and on the ground are lilies, which are often attributes of the Virgin Immaculate, while Jesse is covered by a thorny branch of roses to symbolize that he is still tied by sin.*”°

The Rothschild Canticles, besides the Tree of Jesse and the Apocalyptic Woman, contain another figure which is related to the Immaculate Conception. The miniature (fol. 57) also illustrates the Glories of the Virgin (Fig. 38). The text is Eccl. 24:17-19: “Quasi cedrus exaltata sum in Libano. . . . Quasi oliva speciosa in campis et quasi platanus exaltata sum” (I am exalted like the cedar of Lebanon .. . like the olive tree in the fields and the plane tree). The miniature shows the Virgin Mary in a tree, an iconography which recalls the Tree of Jesse (cf. with Fig. 33); but here Jesse is absent, the tree is treated naturalistically, the ancestors of the Virgin are omitted, and the Virgin herself is placed in it like a dryad. This image reminds us of illustrations of a passage in the Pélerinage de Pame by Guillaume de Deguileville.* The Pélerinage was composed around 1330, a few years later than Dante’s Divine Comedy, and, as in Dante’s poem, the soul of the author wanders through the three realms of the netherworld. Near the end of its wanderings, the soul of Guillaume de Deguileville reaches a garden which contains two trees, one green, the other dry. Beneath them little children are playing with an apple. In the branches of the green tree sits Virginity. She is approached by Justice, who asks her to sacrifice the fruit of the green tree, the apple with which the children are playing, to revive the dry tree. There follows a discussion concerning the necessity of the sacrifice and a reluctance to accept it because of its cost. Finally

Justice says that the T'rinity has decreed the sacrifice of the fruit, which is then nailed to the dry tree. The passage is an allusion to the Incarnation of Christ, symbolized by the fruit of the green tree, and his Passion, symbolized by the nailing of the fruit to the dry tree. In some manuscripts 119. In one example, Anne is at the root of the tree (Mle, and Anne.... Right meetly are godly wedlocks likened unto L’Art de la fin du moyen Gge, p. 217). In another instance, fair trees, the root whereof is such a union of two hearts a miniature in a Flemish Breviary in Vienna, Staatsbibliothek, that they are wedded together for the sole motive that from N. 1984 (Kiinstle, of.czt., p. 649), two branches issue from thence honour and glory might accrue to God” (Revelations the bodies of Anne and Joachim and they unite in a blossom and Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden... , translated by Dom

upon which is placed the Virgin Mary (for this curious Ernest Graf, O.S.B., New York, 1928). iconography see Kleinschmidt, op.cit., figs. 139, 140 and 144). 120. For a further discussion of the meaning of thorns see Timmers, 0f.cit.. mentions this theme in a representation in note 76. the Cathedral of Erfurt, dated 1513. The image is inscribed 121. Le Pélerinage de Padme de Guillaume de Deguileville, “Sancta immaculata Conceptio sit nostra sempiterna salus et J. J. Stiirzinger, ed., London, 1895, p- 194. protectio” (the Holy Immaculate Conception be our constant Entre les branches du pommier

salvation and protection). This is probably an illustration of Et les feuilles qu’ai dit premier the Revelations by St. Bridget, Blessing for the First Lesson Une dame reposte estoit

of Wednesday: “God . . . while he beheld all the righteous re

and honest wedlocks that were to exist . . . foresaw none Suer des anges appellee that . . . would be like unto the wedlock between Joachim Et Virginite nommee.

50 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION of the Pélerinage this passage is illustrated by a dry tree in which the Crucified Christ appears. It is from this idea of Christ, the fruit of salvation who must be nailed to the dry tree to revive it

(the same tree from which Adam and Eve had taken the fruit of perdition), that the curious illustration of a French Book of Hours of the fifteenth century originates (London, Brit. Mus. Sloane Ms 2471, fol. 102v) (Fig. 39). In the passage from the Pélerinage that we have quoted,” Virginity, who sits in a tree, is the Virgin Mary who produced the fruit of salvation. Thus, the thirteenth century Flemish miniature (Fig. 38) illustrates the very idea elaborated in the Pélerinage and one would be tempted to derive the miniature from this poem were it not for the fact that the miniature preceded the poem by some forty years. The text upon which both were based is probably derived from the Apocalypse of Moses or Book of Adam and Eve, a Jewish compilation which dates between the first and the fourth century a.p."”* About two centuries later than the Rothschild Canticles, the image of the Virgin in a tree appears

again in a painting by Petrus Christus, but this time Mary is shown in a dry tree (Fig. 40). This idea is based upon another passage of the Pélerinage, where it is said that the dry tree could be revived by grafting upon it a new branch. This new branch was Mary, who was chosen by the Lord from the root of Jesse and grafted upon St. Anne.’ In the case of Petrus Christus, there is a particular reason for his choice of the dry tree. He was a member of the Confrérie de Parbre sec (Brotherhood of the Dry Tree) which had a special devotion to the Immaculate Conception.

g) Mary Predestined or Created from the Beginning of Time } The devotion to Mary Immaculate is an act of faith, and as a rule preceded the rationalizations of the doctrine. The Lauds of the Virgin were sung before theologians tried to explain the various epithets by which Mary was invoked. So it is with three Scriptural passages which, when applied to the Virgin Mary, contain the idea of her predestination from eternity. The three passages are: Eccl. 24:14; Proverbs 8:22-23; and Psalm 109 (110):3. They read as follows: 122, M. R. Bennett, The Legend of the Green Tree and ... thou shouldst keep thyself from all evil, as one about to the Dry, London, 1929. The connection between the green die. When again Resurrection hath come to pass, I will raise tree and Mary seems to have been made quite early. Chrysip- thee up and then there shall be given to thee the Tree of pus, a priest of Jerusalem who died in the year 479, calls Life.” In this text, datable between the first and the fourth Mary: “The tree of Jesse which is always green” (Migne, century a.D., Adam’s fall is not irrevocable, and by a subseP.L., Lu, p. 576, Sermo cxL de Annuntiatione D. Mariae quent pure life he will be able to redeem himself and he will Virginis). In the Apocalypse of Moses, or Book of Adam obtain after his death the Oil of Mercy and everlasting life, and Eve (R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha as a reward for keeping from sin, at the Last Judgment. of the Old Testament in English, 11, Pseudepigrapha, Oxford, Guillaume de Deguileville transforms this Jewish idea of 1913, The Books of Adam and Eve, p. 146), Eve tells her redemption into the Christian idea of Fall and Redemption. children how she was persuaded by the devil to eat the fruit The Fall of Adam is irrevocable and can be redeemed only

of the Tree of Knowledge and how she had to swear that by the sacrifice of Christ, the Fruit of Mercy. In his poem

she would also make Adam eat the forbidden fruit. As soon it is no longer Eve, but Justice, who pleads for the Fruit of

as Eve ate the fruit, however, she was aware of the sin she Mercy, and this Fruit will redeem all mankind, not only had made, and she found out that she had lost her original Adam and Eve. sense of justice: “And in that very hour my eyes were opened, 123. Pélerinage ..., p. 188: and forthwith I knew that I was bare of the righteousness Jusques a tant que entement with which I had been clothed. . . . And I began to seek, in Fist Dex faire sus i pommier my nakedness . . . for leaves to hide my shame, but I found D’un greffe que il avoit chier none, for as soon as I had eaten, the leaves showered down Qui fu pris sus la racine from all the trees . . . except the fig-tree only. But I took De Jesse qu’il trouva fine.

leaves from it and made for myself a girdle and it was from a the very same plant of which I had eaten.” As we can see C’est en Sainte Anne ou lentement from this Jewish Medieval text, the idea of the green and dry Fu fait tres convenablement tree is already known, and the Tree of Knowledge is identi- De Marie qui greffe en fu.

fied with the fig tree. The devil picked a fruit from this tree From the grafting of the branch, the dry tree of Jesse becomes and breathed lust into it, the beginning of all sins, This is the green tree of the Virgin Mary, which produced the mystic why the fig became symbolic of lust. In another passage from apple, Christ. A manuscript in Paris (Bibl. Nat., Cod. Fr. the Apocalypse of Moses (x11, 1-5) Seth and Eve plead with 1557), which illustrates this passage with the scene of 2 man

the Lord for the Oil of Mercy from the Tree of Life, to grafting a shoot to a tree, is reproduced and discussed in revive Adam, who is about to die. But the Lord answers them W. Wells, “A Simile in Christine de Pisan for Christ’s Conthat it is not yet time, and that they will get the Oil of Mercy ception,” Journal of the Warburg Institute, 11, pp. 68-69,

at the time of Resurrection: “Thou shalt not take of it now plate 13b.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 51 Prov. 8:22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made anything from the beginning.

23 I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. Eccl. 24:14 From the beginning, and before the world was I created, and unto the world to come [I shall not cease to be.

Psalm 109 (110):3 From my womb, and before Lucifer, I generated thee.*”

The passages from Eccl. 24, and Psalm 109 have already been discussed in the chapters on the triumph over the Devil and on the Coronation of the Virgin. Proverbs 8:22-23 was part of the Office of the Nativity of the Virgin in the twelfth century, when Godefridus, Abbot of Admont in Styria, asks himself why this text, which refers to Divine Wisdom, is used in reference to the Virgin Mary as well. His answer is that Mary was foreseen from eternity and that she existed in the mind of God as an idea, in the exact way in which she was to appear as a living being in this world after her birth.*”? The idea of the predestination of Mary was one of the earliest ideas forwarded in the West by Immaculist writers to explain Mary’s exemption from Original Sin. The idea of an Original Grace, counteracting the curse brought on mankind by the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, is already forwarded in the fifth century by St. Maxim of Turin.’ And the passages from Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiasticus quoted above found their way into the liturgy of the feast of the Immaculate Conception from early times. Proverbs 8:22, for instance, appears in the Mass of the Conception in a Missal of Fécamp of the thirteenth century (Rouen, Bibliothéque

Municipale, ms 295, fol. 243), a detail worth noting, since the same passage is included in the present liturgy for the feast of the Conception. The idea of Mary foreseen from eternity is difficult to grasp and even more difficult to represent in art. For some reason, the idea of predestination was sometimes confused with that of pre-existence, probably because the scriptural passages quoted to support the idea say “I was,” and not “I was to be,” created or set up. In a French mystery play about a miracle of the Virgin’”* the two ideas of predestination and pre-existence are presented one after the other and merged. The author of the Miracle explains the passage from Eccl. 24:14 as an allusion to the predestination of Mary, but then he adds: La premiere de toutes choses fu sapience cree en dignitee, par laquelle Marie preceda, c’est a dire fu avant

les siecles (The first of all things was Wisdom, created as dignity, by which Mary preceded, that is, she was before the beginning of time).

How was this idea of predestination of Mary represented in art? I have already stated that Mary is a sublimation of femininity in its two aspects of motherly love and maidenly purity. These are the two qualities which Mary embodied when she was foreseen in God’s mind. Therefore she

was represented in art under the aspects of a Mother or a Maiden. The Middle Ages selected the aspect of Mother, as more becoming to the dignity of Mary; although by nature a human being, the fact that she was the Mother of God set her apart from the rest of humanity. The Middle Ages showed Mary with the Christ Child to emphasize her difference from and exalted position in relationship with the rest of mankind. However, a gradual humanization of the Divinity occurs in the mystic writers of the thirteenth century, and this humanization reached its 124. I am compelled to give my own translation of this Wace in his poem on the Conception of the Virgin: verse, because none of the English translations corresponds Coment ele fu annuciee verbatim to the Latin, upon which the Medieval commentaries Et conceiie e criée, are based. The word Lucifer, a key word in the comments, is Confaitement ele fu nee

invariably absent from the English translations, E al temple a .iii. anz portee.

125. “Certe quae mundo necdum nata erat, in prescientia (W. R. Ashford, The Conception Nostre Dame of Wace, et ordinatione Dei talis erat; talem eam Deus omnipotens Chicago, 1933, verses 1093-1096.) praevidebat, qualis nascitura postmodum et victura in mundo 126. G. Paris and V. Robert, Miracles de Notre Dame par erat” (Migne, P.L., CLXXIV, p. 1016). Compare this explana- personnages, Iv, Paris, 1879, pp. 179-181. tion with the one given, also in the twelfth century, by Robert

52 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION peak in the Renaissance. This phenomenon of humanization affects also the devotion to Mary. It is no longer her quality of dignity which appeals to public devotion but her deep humanity. She is a human being like all the rest of us, and for this reason it is easier to reach her, to appeal to her in case of need, to explain to her our human weaknesses. Sometimes this humanity ts carried so far that representations of Mary lose their spiritual quality altogether, to become realistic representations. It has been rightly claimed that Raphael’s “Madonna della Seggiola” has the healthy aspect of a good-looking peasant woman. The Renaissance interest in man, his characteristics and surroundings, brings another consequence in addition to this new trend of realism, namely a nostalgic interest in the gracefulness and innocence of childhood. Whoever has visited Florence has been struck by the appealing quality of the “Innocents” by Luca della Robbia in the facade of Brunelleschi’s Foundling Hospital. This is, to my knowledge, the first public and large scale display of a tendency which was to receive so much favor in the Renaissance—one has only to keep in mind Donatello’s puzti. In literature this same tendency produced the lovely Neniae (lullabies) by Pontano, where Classical poetry, Latin language and Renaissance humanity find their happiest expression. In sacred art, this tendency created the group of the Holy Family with the infant St. John, and it modified the figure of the Christ Child from an ugly reduction of a grown-up man into a charming and lively infant, with all the characteristics of childhood, often engrossed in play. This same trend caused the introduction of a new theme in the iconography of the Virgin Immaculate: the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes or naked. The idea of eternal predestination of Mary was represented in the Middle Ages by the group of the Virgin and Child. With this group the idea is depicted, for instance, in the New Minster “Quinity”—an illustration of Eccl. 24:14 (Fig. 1)—and in the Constance fresco (Fig. 2)—an illustration of Psalm 109:3. In the Renaissance, the Predestination of Mary is invariably represented by showing Mary as a maiden, her age varying from infancy to early womanhood, and she no longer carries the Christ Child. Artists emphasize her purity, no longer her motherhood. And what could better represent the idea of purity than the innocence of childhood? In a manuscript in the Cathedral Museum at Pienza (Antiphonary A, fol. 90), datable between 1462 and 1464, Mary is depicted much in the same way as were the “Innocents” by Luca della -Robbia. She is tightly wrapped in swaddling clothes, with only her bare arms and shoulders emerging from them (Fig. 41). She is differentiated from the Christ Child by her plain halo, her long hair and the headdress of a little girl. She carries a scroll inscribed with the beginning

of Proverbs 8:23: “Ab aeterno ordina(ta) sum” (I was set up from eternity). The similarity between this figure and the “Innocents” by della Robbia is not surprising in a miniature by a Florentine artist who must certainly have been well acquainted with these terracotta figures, which were so prominently in view in Florence.*” 127. It will not be out of place to give some information for the church of SS. Annunziata in Florence. Documents of on this manuscript, which is unpublished and practically un- commission, with date and name of artist, exist in the State known. When Pope Pius II (after whom Pienza, a small town Archives of Florence. My reconstruction of this artist will near Siena, was named) founded the Cathedral of Pienza, he appear in a forthcoming book, La miniatura fiorentina del ordered a series of manuscripts for the liturgical use of the rimascimento. Cathedral. These manuscripts were executed in two years, Father Edward O’Connor, of Notre Dame University, has between 1462, the consecration of the Cathedral, and 1464, the called my attention to another example of Mary predestined.

death of the Pope. Several artists decorated the manuscripts, It is a miniature in a French Book of Hours of the late chief among which were the two Sienese painters Sano di fifteenth century in the Art Institute in Chicago (ms 17388

Pietro and Pellegrino di Mariano. To these two artists were in Seymour de Ricci’s Census). Mary is shown as a maiden, attributed all the manuscripts now in the Cathedral Museum without the Child in a medallion in Heaven below the threeof Pienza. This attribution is untenable for Antiphonary A, in headed Trinity. The world is shown below, where Adam and which is depicted the “Immacolata” we have discussed. The Eve are about to taste the forbidden fruit. An inscribed scroll forms and colors of the miniatures in Antiphonary A, as well in the border identifies the scene: “Et sic in Syon firmata as the decoration of the initial letters, are certainly Florentine, sum” (Such I was set up in Zion). It is a passage from Ecnot Sienese and are characteristic of Antonio di Niccolo di clesiasticus 24:15 which follows the one usually quoted to Lorenzo, an artist who illuminated in 1475 two choir books identify the scene of Predestination: “Ab aeterno ordinata sum”

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 53 The image of the Virgin Immaculate as a naked infant derives from a different artistic tradition than that of Mary in swaddling clothes. It was the custom to depict the offering of the soul (“ad te levavi animam meam?’) as the proffering of a small naked human being. This image appears

very frequently in Psalter illustrations and in liturgical books from the thirteenth century onwards.”* This image was responsible for the creation of two other representations: the elevation of the Host as a naked infant, sometimes with a cruciform halo (a visual demonstration of the doctrine of the transubstantiation of the host into the flesh of Christ);*° and the image of Mary predestined as a naked infant. Duns Scotus asserted that the Virgin Mary was conceived immacu-

lately because her pure soul joined her body in the act of generation and purified it. The direct cause of the immaculacy of Mary is her pure soul. Because the soul was depicted as a naked infant, artists showed Mary as a soul by using the customary way of depicting a soul. This is why we often see Mary as a naked infant wearing a halo and blessed by the Lord, or being contemplated by St. Anne before her conception, or being discussed by the theologians of the Church. To this iconographic type belong the images by Pordenone and Cesi we mentioned in our notes 100 and 101, and also a painting by Menzocchi which we shall discuss in the chapter on

Prefigurations from Scripture. .

(I was set up from eternity). Father O’Connor believes that Sacramentaires et les Missels Manuscrits des Bibliothéques Pub-

the French artist chose this passage, instead of the more cus- Jligues de France, Volume of Plates, Paris, 1924, plates 48, tomary one, because it is the z#zcipit of the second lesson in 52, 63, and 76.

the Little Hours of the Virgin. 129. The iconography of the Transubstantiation, in which

128. Such an illustration appears, for instance, in a minia- the Christ Child is shown with a Cruciform halo, is discussed ture in the Wildenstein Collection, by the Master of the Vitae in K. Kiinstle, Ikonographie der Christlichen Kunst, 1, FreiImperatorum; in another manuscript in the Morgan Library, burg im Breisgau, 1928, p. 193. Occasionally the Christ Child

M 498, the Revelations of St. Bridget, by a Neapolitan artist may appear in the chalice on the altar, as in a woodcut of the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century; and in reproduced in Einblattdriicke ..., x1X, pl. 29. several other miniatures reproduced by V. Leroquais, Les

CHAPTER 3

THE RELATIONSHIP OF MARY TO THE GODHEAD HE Godhead is the means by which the Virgin Mary was preserved from Original Sin, and

) is therefore included in the iconography of the Immaculate Conception. However, the Godhead by itself was not a sufficient means of identification; the artist had to indicate in some way that what he intended to depict was Mary’s stainlessness. Some scriptural passages, when

applied to the iconography, required the presence of the Godhead. Thus, in Genesis 3:15 it 1s the Father who decrees punishment, while in Isaiah’s passage on the Tree of Jesse the Dove of the Holy Ghost is almost invariably present. To show that Mary was predestined from the beginning of time, the artist of the New Minster “Quinity” (Fig. 1) associates Mary with the Trinity. The New Minster “Quinity” was too complicated to find favor with the public. Since simplicity and emotion are the prerequisites of a devotional image, a complicated iconography could hardly be understood by the mass of worshippers and did not attract devotion. In the twelfth century the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was spreading rapidly by means of the great treatises written in England and France. The need for a popular image was acute, and the New Minster “Quinity” was unsatisfactory for the purpose. The “Quinity,” however, included the group of the Virgin and Child, which had already been consecrated in art by tradition. The problem was to use this group and at the same time to associate with it some detail which would identify the image as the Immaculate Conception. This was solved in various ways. An English miniature from a twelfth century Psalter (Brit. Mus., Lansd. ms 383, fol. 165v) looks at first sight like an ordinary representation of the Virgin and Child (Fig. 42). The only

unusual features are that the Virgin holds a lily in her right hand and that the Child has the aspect of Wisdom. The Virgin is crowned with a regal crown, and opens her hands with the wide gesture of an orans. The intention of the artist could not be understood were it not for the text that accompanies the miniature (a prayer to the Virgin in which Mary is hailed as the “Salvation of

the damned” and the “Perennis Virgo who saved mankind through the mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ”) and by the further fact that the calendar lists the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The miniature itself is not inscribed; it was apparently felt that it was self-explanatory, and probably it was self-explanatory in the twelfth century. The lily in the hand of the Virgin conveys the idea of her purity, and the fact that the Christ Child is shown both in His capacity of Child and of Saviour alludes to the complete cycle of Incarnation and Passion, the reason for the preservation of Mary from Original Sin. The artist, or rather his theological adviser, was probably

familiar with the doctrine of St. Fulbert of Chartres, who died in 1028. This Saint calls the Virgin Mary a lly among thorns, preserved from all impurity of the flesh and spirit because she was to be the receptacle of Divine Wisdom.**® And to support his theory Fulbert quoted Sap. 1:4: Quoniam in malevolam animam non introibit sapientia nec habitabit in corpore subdito peccatis (“For Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins,” translation according to the Douay version).

Whether or not our artist was directly influenced by St. Fulbert or by other writers who disseminated similar ideas in England, he uses the lily to show the purity of Mary, and shows 130. “Sermo 1 de Nativitate Beatissimae Virginis” (Migne, P.L., CxLi, p. 322).

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 55 Christ as Divine Wisdom, holding a book. The figures of the Virgin and Child are taken over from the New Minster “Quinity,” but the other elements which appear in that miniature are discarded. In this sense the miniature of the Lansdowne Ms 383 marks a progression towards simplification and clarification.

An iconography analogous to that of the miniature in Lansdowne 383 appears in a French manuscript of the early twelfth century; but here the representation is more complex (Legendary of Citeaux, Dijon, Bibl. Munic., ms 641, fol. 4ov). In this case the miniature (Fig. 35) directly illustrates the text of the Sermon by Fulbert of Chartres which has been quoted in connection with the preceding miniature (Fig. 42). The text below the miniature in the Legendary begins with: “Beata ergo Domini Mater et perpetua Virgo Maria, priusquam nasceretur oraculis enunciata est, et designata miraculis.”** In the miniature, the idea that Mary is immaculate because she is the Mother of God is shown in the central part by the seated figure of the Virgin nursing the Child, while a dove rests over her head (for the explanation of the other elements in the miniature see p. 47). An ordinary group of the Madonna and Child was usually supplemented in the thirteenth century by the Dove of the Holy Ghost, some special symbol, or an inscription, in order to evoke the idea of the Immaculate Conception. Thus, the stained glass window in Chartres, “NotreDame la belle Verriére,” is identifiable as an Immaculate Conception by the Dove of the Holy Ghost which hovers above the Virgin.’ In a panel painting from central Italy,** the image is identifiable as an Immaculate Conception both by a symbol and by an inscription. The Virgin holds a mirror-like object, the spotless mirror, attribute of the Virgin Immaculate;** and the panel is inscribed at the bottom: “In gremio matris fulget sapientia patris.” To understand why the inscription was applied to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, as well as to the immaculate Incarnation of Christ, it will be enough to keep in mind the arguments of St. Fulbert of Chartres, when he comments on Sap. 1:4: “Quoniam in malevolam animam non introibit sapientia nec habitabit in corpore subdito peccatis” (see translation on p. 54). Since Divine Wisdom became incarnate in the body of Mary and dwelt in it for nine months, Mary must necessarily have been

untouched by sin.’ The central Italian panel illustrates the doctrine with both the inscription and . the symbol of the spotless mirror. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the addition of a symbol, the Dove of the Holy Ghost, or the Tree of Jesse, was sufficient to identify the group of the Virgin and Child as an Immaculate Conception. In later years, however, the Immaculists were challenged by the similar theories of the Sanctification and Purification; and the arguments set forth by the Dominicans against the theory of the Immaculate Conception and in favor of that of Sanctification made the Immaculists more cautious. Only occasionally were the old means of identification used—more often some

further detail is added to clarify the idea. Thus Signorelli, in a painting in the Pinacoteca of Arezzo, puts a lily in the hand of the enthroned Madonna, as had the artist of Lansdowne ms 383, but he added other means of identification as well. He placed near the Christ Child a chalice, symbolic of the Passion of Christ, and showed David in a prominent position below the Virgin, nor did he fail to represent St. Jerome, the Latin Father who in fifteenth century imagery was a representative of the Immaculate Conception. The Child is included in the iconography of the Immaculate Conception because He was the 131. tbid., p. 320: “Mary, the Blessed Mother of God and transcribed it, with Dr. Offner’s kind permission.

perpetual Virgin was prefigured by prophecies before her 134. This attribute was referred to the Virgin Mary by

birth and designated by miracles.” Isidorus Thessalonicus in his sermon on the Presentation of 132. Mile, L’Art du XIlle siécle, p. 235, fig. 116. the Virgin (Roskovany, 1, p. 80): “speculum Dei speciem

133. Garrison, op.cit.. p. 79, n. 76. The reproduction is ad vivum referens, splendor divinitus emicans” (Mirror of very poor, and the inscription on the bottom of the picture God, who gives his image from life and shines with divine has not been transcribed by Garrison. It is clearly visible on splendor). a photograph in the files of Dr. Offner, from which I have

56 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION means of Mary’s preservation from Original Sin. However, He also stood for the Divine Incarnation, and His presence in a representation of the Immaculate Conception could thus be understood. Some artists, of course, intended to depict both conceptions, and this is the reason for the persistence of the inclusion of the Child in the iconography of the Immaculate Conception.

One of the most frequent representations of the Virgin Immaculate with the Child is in the guise of the Apocalyptic Woman. The Apocalyptic Woman seems to have been identified with the Virgin Mary at least from the eleventh century, but the earliest instances I have been able to identify without a shadow of doubt as representative of the Immaculate Conception date in the fourteenth century (see discussion on Apocalyptic Woman, pp. 26-28). In origin the Apocalyptic Virgin was a narrative scene and depicted the defeat of the Devil. However, the Immaculists eliminated the struggle of Michael with Lucifer in order to concentrate the attention upon the Virgin Mary. Thus, the narrative scene based upon a Scriptural passage was transformed into a symbolic image. Tintoretto and other painters occasionally used the complete form of the scene, but the Apocalyptic Woman, alone or with the Child, was by far the more popular subject with the Immaculists. In the original composition the Virgin Mary is shown standing, but the theme was soon modified into the seated Virgin and also into the half-length figure. These types have already been discussed. The relationship of the Virgin with the Godhead was not confined to the instances mentioned above, although they are more frequently depicted than others. We recall that Mary was supposed by some Immaculists to have generated Christ 2b aeterno, and this idea, too, was represented in art. An instance of this iconography appears in a miniature in the Bedford Breviary (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. ms 17294, fol. 109), dated 1424-1435; three figures are shown standing in a meadow: the Christ Child, Who is learning to read, stands between the Virgin Mary and King David. David points to the Child and holds a scroll inscribed “Ante Luciferum genitus.” A star—probably the morning star—shines above the king. The scene is an obvious allusion to Psalm 109 (110):3: “Ex utero ante luciferum genui te” (I generated you from my womb before the existence of Lucifer)*** which Psalm was usually included in the liturgy of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Usually Psalm 109 is illustrated by the Coronation of the Virgin, when it is interpreted in an Immaculist sense. In the Bedford Breviary it is used to identify the scene. The text is so often used in connection with the Immaculate Conception that it serves to identify a theme as Immaculist, but the illustration of the text itself given by the artist of the Bedford Breviary resulted in no clear image, and thus occurs only sporadically. In a Book of Hours in the Morgan Library (ms M 69, fol. 59v) illuminated by Giulio Clovio for Cardinal Farnese in 1546, the Virgin is shown kneeling near God the Father who is creating the world. The miniature is a direct illustration of Proverbs 8:23: “I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.” 135. This is my own translation, as I have already stated. Immaculist sense, see pp. 28-29 and notes 66-67.

For a discussion of this Psalm and its interpretation in an

CHAPTER 4

PROOFS OF THE IMMACULACY OF MARY a) Miracles of the Virgin HE increasing devotion to Mary in the Middle Ages resulted in two forms of literature in her honor, the Miracles and the Lauds. The Lauds were the work of poets writing for literate society. The Miracles of the Virgin, like those of the saints, arose out of popular devotion to particular cult images and at first were transmitted orally. A miracle told of a particular image might thus be appropriated for another at some distance, or a miracle ascribed to some saint might also be ascribed to another, or two miracles combined to make a new one. Among the miracles of the Virgin, for example, the same story is told of a Hungarian Knight and of a gentleman from Aquileia in Italy. The first series of Miracles of the Virgin was set down in writing by the Benedictine monk William of Malmesbury, and thereafter miracles were incorporated in sermons, poems, treatises, and were included in the Medieval encyclopaedias. Miracles became something of a fad in the Middle Ages, and the miraculous stories were so numerous and popular as to remind us of the comics of our own day—with the difference that in that age of belief it was an exercise in piety to believe even the most doubtful and extravagant legends, while our modern “miracles” require suspension of belief. The monastic orders vied with each other in claiming the most wonderful and the greatest number of miracles, and the cult of the Virgin Immaculate shared in this tendency. Immaculists invoked these miracles of the Virgin to show that their doctrine, besides being reasonable and logical, was supported by divine intercession. The miracles appropriate to the Immaculate Conception fall into two categories: the Virgin may save people from natural dangers (storms, shipwrecks, diseases); or she may save

them from spiritual dangers (sin, damnation). The latter, deriving from the role of Mary as mediator, were the most frequently invoked by the Immaculists. The triumph of the Virgin over Satan was due to the virtue of her Son, but the authors of miracle legends often confused her role as mediator between man and the Saviour, and she was given prerogatives which properly belong only to Christ. The theological distinctions between the roles of Christ and Mary were thus obscured in the ignorant popular mind until, with the excesses of Mariolatry, Christ becomes the stern Judge who suffers for the sins of man but has to punish him, while Mary becomes the embodiment of Mercy, the advocate before Christ of lost and desperate causes. The most sinful could hope to be saved provided they were devotees of the Virgin. The triumph of Mary over Original Sin and its cause, the Devil, was brought up to date, so to speak, in the miracle legends, and Mary became the continuing warrior against Satan for souls of her devotees, even descending into hell to rescue them. The fight between Mary and the Devil became a matter of personal prestige, with the Devil devising all the tricks of which his cunning is capable, while the Virgin defeats the ruses of the Devil for snatching souls and always comes off victorious in the end. In art, the Virgin Mary is often represented wielding arms against the Devil: a scourge, a whip, a sword, her sceptre, or even a sturdy club. These realistic details were always given for a moral end, the conclusion of the story being invariably that the devotee, whose soul had been saved by the Virgin Immaculate, thereafter celebrated the feast of her Conception or sang hymns in praise of the Virgin Immaculate. The first such miracles known to us are contained in a Sermon on the Conception of the Virgin of the early twelfth century. This Sermon was attributed to St. Anselm, and we have mentioned it on several occasions. It includes three legends of miracles performed by the Virgin Immaculate. The first is the legend of Helsinus of which we have already spoken: this was the most popular

58 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION of the three and was also included in the Treatise on the Conception by Eadmer of Clare and in the poem of Robert Wace on the Conception, both twelfth century works. This legend enjoyed tremendous popularity in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and was soon included in the Office of the Immaculate Conception in liturgical books. The other two legends of miracles contained in the Sermon attributed to St. Anselm, if less well known than the legend of Helsinus, were, however, also chosen occasionally by artists to depict an Immaculate Conception. The second miracle is the story of a monk who was a devoted worshipper of the Virgin Mary, but too weak to resist the temptations of the flesh. Having committed adultery, he was crossing a river on his way home at the hour of Vespers, devoutly chanting the lauds of the Virgin, when the Devil caused his boat to founder, and his soul was carried to hell. But after three days of torments, the Virgin came, surrounded by Angels, to tell the demons that they must release the soul of the monk, because at the moment of his death he had been praising her and was therefore saved from sin. The soul of the monk was restored to his body, and he, repentant, promised the Virgin not only that he would never sin again, but that he would also celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception as long as he lived. A third legend is mentioned in the Sermon. The story is that of the knight, a brother of the King of Hungary, who always praised the Virgin by applying to her the words of the Sulamite. On the moment this knight was to be married, he suddenly remembered that it was his usual time for his devotions to the Virgin. He, therefore, dismissed the priests, the bride and the guests, until he remained alone in the chapel. He began his customary lauds of the Virgin, but when

he reached the passage from the Canticles: “Behold, thou art fair, my love ... ,” the Virgin appeared to him and inquired indignantly the reason for his marriage; if he really thought the Virgin so beautiful, he should not prefer a terrestrial beauty to her. The knight was sorely tried.

It was his wedding day; must he leave his bride? His faith, however, was stronger than his earthly love, and he persuaded his bride to enter a convent, while he himself became a monk and lived a holy life, ever celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception." A Venetian panel in the National Gallery in London (Fig. 11) includes the first two miracles mentioned in the sermon on the Immaculate Conception—the legend of Helsinus and that of the monk who came back from hell—each in two scenes. The two top scenes on the right side of the panel represent the legend of Helsinus. On the right, Helsinus is shown in a boat, menaced by shipwreck, and promising St. Peter to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On the left, Helsinus preaches the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception after having been saved. Beneath these two scenes is seen the second miracle. On the right, we have the shipwreck, with the soul of the monk being carried away by devils. On the left, the devils are defeated, and angels, under the supervision of the Virgin Mary, restore the soul of the monk to his body. It is interesting to note that the artist selected from the three miracles of the Immaculate Conception only the episodes of the shipwreck and the consequent praises to the Virgin Immaculate. Living in a seaport like Venice, he may have been used to marine scenes; but it is also possible that the panel was ordered as a votive image after a shipwreck (the Virgin Immaculate among her many prerogatives had also that of saving people from shipwreck; in this quality she is invoked in France as ‘“‘NotreDame du Secours’’). The legend of Helsinus and the sermon in which it was contained had been incorporated in the liturgy of the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the thirteenth century, and it is as part of the liturgy of this feast that the legend of Helsinus appears in the text, if not in the illustrations, 136. A Breviary of the beginning of the fifteenth century (a reference to this manuscript is found in Chanoine Peyron, in the Episcopal Museum at Quimper has an Office of the “L’Immaculée Conception en Quimper et Léon,” Premier Conception in nine Lessons. It is illustrated by scenes of the Congrés Marial Breton tenu &@ Josselin, Paris, 1905, pp. 449three miracles contained in the Sermon attributed to St. Anselm 454).

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 59 of the Breviary of St. Maur of Verdun. On the other hand, the Protoevangelium of James was also incorporated in the liturgy of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and it constituted the Lesson for that feast. Thus the legend of Helsinus and the events from the Protoevangelium became associated to express the idea of the Immaculate Conception. This association already appears in literature in the twelfth century. We have seen an instance of this association in the Venetian painting in the National Gallery in London (mentioned above), where they are depicted on either side of the principal figure (Fig. 11). The connection is even closer in a miniature from a Franciscan Breviary of the beginning of the fifteenth century (Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 760, fol. 327v), where the same initial encloses the Meeting at the Golden Gate and the apparition of the Virgin and St. Peter to Helsinus menaced by shipwreck (Fig. 30). Another miracle of the Virgin which enjoyed great popularity and was frequently depicted in Central Italy, especially in Umbria and the Marches in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, is the so-called “Vergine del Soccorso” (Fig. 43). The specific text upon which the Italian image is based is uncertain, but probably it is connected with one of the miracles of the Virgin told in various versions in French, Italian and German literature. It is the story of the child given to the Devil, otherwise called “Robert le Diable.” A knight, who had vowed chastity to the Virgin, broke his vows upon one Easter day. His wife warned him that he was committing sin, but the knight would not listen. The exasperated woman then exclaimed: “If I conceive a child, may the Devil take him.” The Devil, who is always ready to collect a soul, claimed his due when the infant was born. However, the mother persuaded the Devil to wait a little, and the Devil, sure that he would get the child in the end, agreed to do so. From that day the mother lived in agony. She saw her child grow up handsome and strong, but she knew that he would end in Hell. She wore mourning, never smiled, wept constantly, and tried to pray for her child, but to no avail. People who saw her thought, this woman is in great pain indeed. Finally, unable to stand the situation any longer, the woman confided the matter to her confessor. The priest referred it to the bishop, and so it went, until the case reached the ears of the Pope. The Pope decreed that the child should go as a pilgrim to Jerusalem, with a bag of salt around his neck to show that he had not received Baptism, and ask a saintly hermit who lived there to pray the Virgin Mary to help him out of the situation. The child did as he was told, and on the eve of Easter, when the Devil was supposed to get him, the child knelt in front of the altar, while the hermit celebrated Mass for saving his soul. The Virgin Mary had pity on the child, and when the Devil came to claim him, she engaged in a fierce struggle with the Devil, who was finally defeated, while the child, saved from damnation, became a devotee of the Virgin Mary.’ In representations of the “Vergine del Soccorso” two details are unexplained by the legend: the fact that the Virgin holds

a club and the fact that the child is shown near his mother, instead of being near the altar in Jerusalem. Some images of the “Vergine del Soccorso” even place a cradle near the child, to show that he was still an infant. The detail of the presence of the mother and the cradle must be a local variation of the legend, because it does not appear in the French and German versions. The fact that the Virgin holds a club has been explained by S. Reinach as a misinterpretation of the epithet clavigera (keybearer) which is sometimes given to the Virgin Mary. According to this author the word clavis (key) must have been mistaken for clava (club). This explanation would have been plausible if the Virgin were shown sometimes wielding a key, but this is not the case. 137. The image of the “Vergine del Soccorso” and its Soccorso” and the Immaculate Conception has not been pointed origins are discussed by E. Levi, “I miracoli della Vergine out by these authors. However, a definite connection is found nel?arte del Medio Evo,” Bollettino d’arte, 1918, pp. 1-32. in the documents. In the Memoriale G of the Monastery of See also Vloberg, of.cif., pp. 70-77 and plates on pp. 68, 69 S&S. Spirito in Florence, dated 1598 (State Archives, no. 37, and 73; Van Marle, Italian Schools of Painting, x1v, p. 485, p. 9) it is said that a solemn Mass of the Immaculate Concepfig. 3153 p. 53, fig. 31; XV, p. 193, fig. 120 and p. 195, fig. tion must be sung every Sunday before the altar of the Blessed 121. The connection between the image of the “Vergine del ‘“Vergine del Soccorso.”

60 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION The Virgin carries a key, not to defeat the Devil, but to open the Gate of Heaven.*** Perdrizet explains the club with a play on the two words Virgo (Virgin) and virga (rod) and quotes a passage from St. Bonaventure in which Mary is said to be the golden rod, the iron rod which defeats the

demons.’ This explanation must certainly be at the root of the interpretation of the legend of the Child given to the Devil, but cannot be applied specifically to the “Vergine del Soccorso.” In this image the Virgin sometimes holds a club, not a rod; this club is made of wood, not metal; and it is knotted, while the text of St. Bonaventure calls Mary the rod without knots. It is possible,

however, that the Italian image is a misinterpretation of another image, rather than the direct illustration of a text. In French representations of the Miracle, the Virgin does hold a club, and this club is thin and has no knots (Fig. 44). In another representation of the Miracle, the Virgin holds her sceptre.’*” Evidently the detail of the club does not pertain to the legend of the Child given to the Devil, but is an attribute of Mary. This supposition 1s supported by the fact that the club is shown in other miracles of the Virgin—in the collection of miracles by Gauthier de Coincy,

in an illustrated manuscript of the early fourteenth century, the Virgin descends to hell to free a nun and holds a club to fight the Devil. Another source for miracles of the Virgin which provided inspiration for representations of the Immaculate Conception is the Office and Mass for the feast of the Conception (Mariale) composed by Bernardino de’ Busti in the late fifteenth century and approved by Pope Sixtus IV in 1480. In the sermons for this office, Busti mentions several miracles, one of which, the miracle of the Franciscan who withstood the test by fire to prove the immaculacy of Mary, was depicted by a Ghirlandaiesque master as a predella to his Coronation of the Virgin in Lucca (we have discussed

the main panel on p. 30).*? The miracles mentioned in Busti’s Mariale appeared after the iconography of the Virgin Immaculate had already been established and thus did not enjoy so great a popularity as the previous miracles. Another miracle that was very popular in the Middle Ages is the legend of Theophilus. This

seems to have been written in the fifth century in the Near East; by the twelfth or thirteenth century it had become one of the most popular miracles in the West. Poems and miracle plays were written about it, and in due time the miracle made its appearance in art. Theophilus was a monk foolish enough to sign a contract with the Devil by which he wagered his soul against some earthly compensation. The contract was drawn in legal form, written by the monk himself on a sheet of the finest parchment, the same parchment he had often used to write books of devotion to the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the celestial hosts. The contract was signed by Theophilus with

his own blood. This Medieval counterpart of Doctor Faust, however, did not carry out his bargain. He soon repented of his sin and prayed day after day to the Virgin Mary to pity him and come to his rescue. He prayed so long and so well, with such real contrition, that the Virgin finally hearkened to him. She went down into Hell to wrest the parchment from the Devil and brought it back to the now repentant and pious Theophilus. Illustrations of this miracle usually show the moment in which Theophilus signs his soul away or the scene in which the Virgin Mary brings back to him his contract. The miracle of Theophilus (“Le Miracle du Vicaire Théophile,” as it was termed in France) 138. For a discussion of this iconography see Vloberg, are very frequent in the Middle Ages.

op.cit., pp. 182-189. 141. Reproduced in H. Focillon, Le peintre des Miracles 139. P. Perdrizet, La Vierge de Miséricorde, Etude d’un Notre Dame, Paris, 1950, plate xiv.

théme iconographique, Paris, 1908, pp. 214-219. 142. This predella is now in the Vatican Gallery, with 140. For instance, in a sculpture by Besullier (1660) re- another part of the same altarpiece (we have mentioned it produced in Vloberg, of.cit., p. 68. In the same book, Vloberg in our note 34). The reconstruction of the altarpiece has

reproduces (p. 65) two instances in which the Virgin defeats been proposed by Mrs. Sibilla Symeonides in a Master’s Thesis the Devil with a cross and with a scourge. The Virgin defeats submitted to the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, the Devil with a scourge also in a painting by Pietro Dominici in 1953. It is going to be published in a forthcoming article

(1592-1631) in the Eremitani at Padua. Representations of in Marsyas. the Virgin fighting the Devil with some sort of a weapon

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 61 was borrowed at times by the Immaculists to depict the Immaculate Conception. As the Virgin triumphed over Satan and saved a soul from Hell by direct intervention, it fell into the typus of the Virgo Mediatrix. This is why the miracle of Theophilus is depicted in a Flemish Psalter of

the thirteenth century (Brit. Mus., Harl. ms 2930, fol. 174v) to illustrate a prayer to Mary Immaculate, where Mary is called “impolluta omni sorde” and “Ave virgo pulchra tota,” and again “Ave quam ante seculum—sibi in habitaculum—providit dei filius.” Another miracle of the Virgin Immaculate is illustrated in an English Lectionary (Brit. Mus., Harl. ms 7026, fol. 14.) of the early fifteenth century (Fig. 45). Here the Virgin is shown restoring the severed foot of a man. The source for this miracle is a collection of miracles of the Virgin of Soissons, written in the twelfth century by Hugues Farsit.** A man was affected with a cancer of the foot. His disease was so painful that he thought he would go mad, but never for 2 moment,

even in the midst of his greatest suffering, did he forget his devotions to the Virgin. There was in Soissons a miracle-performing image of the Virgin, and the man decided to go there as a pilgrim and implore the Virgin’s help. Supported on his stick, and suffering agonies, he finally reached the shrine. His foot, however, had become much worse from the exertion and, being terribly swollen, sent off such an odor that no one could stand the presence of the man. He had to be sent away from the church. The man went back home, but there too the odor was so strong that not even his family could stand it. He decided, therefore, that he would sleep outside, and, in a moment of despair, he cut his foot off. It was night, and the man decided that if he went to the shrine of Soissons when no one was there, probably he could approach the venerated image and obtain from the Virgin some relief from his pain. So he went back. It was nighttime when he reached Soissons, and no one was in the church. He approached the altar and prayed to the Virgin Mary. While he was kneeling in prayer, he was overcome with sleep and dreamed that the Virgin had stepped down from the altar to tend his foot. When the man woke, he found that the Virgin had restored his foot and that now he was sound and healthy. He was overcome with joy and kept stamping and jumping, to make sure that he was not still dreaming. In the morning, when people flocked into the church to say their prayers, they found the man, who was stamping and jumping and crying with joy, and thought him mad. But he was soon recognized as the one who had been thrown out of church the previous day, and a special Mass was celebrated to thank the Virgin for this new miracle. The miracles of the Virgin of Soissons had their origin in a venerated local image and were not connected necessarily with the Immaculate Conception. The English Lectionary mentioned above (Fig. 45) shows how the miracle literature spread and came occasionally to be absorbed also into Immaculist liturgical books.

b) Illustrations of Texts on the Immaculate Conception

Immaculist texts are of three kinds: liturgical books connected with the devotion to Mary Immaculate; literary texts in prose or poetry in honor of the Virgin Immaculate; and theological writings which support and define the doctrine. The first concern us because they are often illustrated and offer precious material for the identification and a study of the development of the images. Liturgical books are of primary importance for the material they include, not because of their influence; they are conditioned to the cult of a specific church or monastery and usually 143. Libellus de Miraculis Beatae Virginis in urbe Sues- tenth King of Castille. The page from an English Lectionary sionensi (Migne, P.L., CLXxIX, pp. 1799-1800, Miracle N.31). reproduced in our Fig. 45 shows the miracle of the restored This miracle was also included in several other collections of foot in the scene at the left in the bas-de-page. Another repreMiracles: In France, in the collection by Jehan Miélot (Paris, sentation of the Immaculate Conception is shown on the same Bibl. Nat., Ms Franc. 9198 and 9199 “Miracle de cellui qui page: The Apocalyptic Woman holding the Child stands near

fist trenchier son pied, que Nostre Dame guarit”) and even the scene of the Coronation of the Virgin—she is not the reached Spain, where it was dutifully recorded in the late Virgin of the Assumption because she holds the Child. thirteenth century in the “Cantigas” by Alfonso the Wise,

62 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION remained in the place for which they were made. The opposite is true of literary texts and of theological writings. Although these rarely are directly illustrated, the ideas they convey are important for the genesis of images. Artists translated into visual images the ideas expressed in these texts and often included in their representations quotations of passages from the same texts. It stands to reason that compositions in honor of the Virgin, in prose or poetry, affect the iconography of the Immaculate Conception less than do the theological writings which define and prove the doctrine. Compositions in prose or poetry are themselves an artistic expression and parallel in another medium the visual images of the artists. Among the earliest of these compositions are the poem on the Conception by Robert Wace, the Lauds of the Virgin Immaculate by Adam of St. Victor, and the first legends of miracles contained in the sermon attributed to St. Anselm. They

all date in the twelfth century. Important contributions were made in the fourteenth century by the poem by Guillaume de Deguileville, Le Pélerinage de Pame, and the mystic vision in prose by St. Bridget of Sweden, the Sermo Angelicus, or Revelations. The Revelations have a place by themselves in literature, because they are written in the form of a liturgical book, with lessons, blessings and responsories for every day of the week. We have already given a brief discussion of the most important theological texts in our discussion of the doctrine. The hymns to the Virgin by Adam of St. Victor have been mentioned occasionally, and so has the poem by Robert Wace. We must now give closer attention to this poem, to explain

the curious iconography of an Austrian painting of the early sixteenth century in the Museo

| Correr in Venice (Fig. 46). The poem begins by explaining how the feast of the Conception was established (Legend of Helsinus), then states what is the object of the cult (stories from the Protoevangelium of James, story of the Doubting Joseph, of the Holy Kinship) and then finishes with a story of the Assumption of the Virgin. It also gives some miracles and some lauds. Among the lauds, the Virgin is said to be the Queen of Heaven, enclosed in a glory, the Virgin of Mercy who helps sinners to find the right path, the opposition to Eve. As Mary was announced, conceived and created, so was she born and presented to the Lord in the temple.*“* A whole theological program is contained in this poem. What particularly interests us now is the legend of the Holy Kinship to account for the origin of Mary. This was sometimes appended to the Gospels of PseudoMatthew and it is there that Wace found his source. According to the legend, St. Anne had three

husbands, by whom she had three daughters: Mary, the mother of Christ; Mary, the mother of St. John the Evangelist and St. James the Great; and Mary, the mother of Joseph the Just, Simon, Judas and James the Less. All these cousins of Christ, except Joseph the Just, later became

his Apostles. The legend of the Holy Kinship was very popular in Austria and Germany and was frequently represented by artists of these countries in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century.*** I have been unable to find representations of this subject in the Middle Ages, and I am unable to explain why this legend, which was certainly well known in the Middle Ages at least from the twelfth century—proof of it is in the poem by Wace—and interpreted in an Immaculist sense, was only depicted in the late Renaissance. The Holy Kinship is usually depicted separately; in the Austrian panel in the Museo Correr (Fig. 46) it is shown in conjunction with an image of Mary in the guise of the Apocalyptic Woman. In the central part of the painting the Virgin is enveloped in a glory, as she was described in the poem by Wace. She has the attributes of the Apocalyptic Woman, and she nurses the Child. A glory of cross-bearing and musician angels surrounds her. In the crescent moon at her feet is placed the scene of Cain killing Abel, to 144. W. R. Ashford, The Conception Nostre Dame of 145. For this iconography see Kiinstle, of.ctt., pp. 331

Wace, Chicago, 1933, verses 1093-1096: and 650; and Male, Fin du moyen age, pp. 217-219. One of

Coment ele fu annunciee the earliest Renaissance examples of this iconography is a Et concetie e criée, woodcut from the Netherlands or Germany, datable about 1460 Confaitement ele fu nee (it is reproduced in Einblattdriicke, Lxrx, pl. 23).

e al temple a .iti, anz portee.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 63 show that Mary triumphed over Original Sin and its consequences. In the left shutter is placed St. Anne, holding Mary and the Christ Child. Her three husbands are placed behind her. On the shutter to the right are the other two Marys with their children, each bearing his attribute. Behind the two Marys are placed their husbands and St. Joseph. In the formation of images, fourteenth century and later texts play a relatively small part. Artists rarely take their iconography from these texts, except when they are illustrating the texts themselves. The principal reason is probably that the iconography of the Immaculate Conception developed in connection with the earlier writers, and artists of the fourteenth and fifteenth century accepted the basic types which had been created previously, only elaborating and clarifying them. Another possible reason is that basically fourteenth century texts contributed little new material, but only elaborated in a new form the ideas which had been expressed earlier by the great theologians of the Church. There was, therefore, no reason to quote or illustrate them, except in special cases. We have seen the connection of the painting by Petrus Christus with the Pélerinage de Pame (Fig. 40). We shall discuss now some instances of illustrations of the Revelations. A painting by the Master of the Glorification of Mary in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, datable around 1460, is one of the rare instances of Brigittine contributions in German art to the iconography of the Immaculate Conception. The connection with the Brigittine Order is very clear, as the painting comes from the Church of St. Bridget of Cologne, and St. Bridget appears prominently among the saints at the left of the painting. The subject illustrated is the third lesson for Sunday of the Sermo Angelicus: Abraham prepared wheat, wine and oil before the birth of Isaac, to be his son’s food after birth. In the same way the Trinity prepared from eternity its three persons to be the refection of the Virgin Mary: the Son of God, the refection of the angels and the bread of refection for man; the Father, the oil of ever-

burning love; and the grace of the Holy Ghost, the wine which cannot be given to man for his eternal life until it has been made ready by the Passion. The painting (Fig. 47) shows in its upper part the Virgin enthroned with the three persons of the Trinity mentioned in the Revelations, while below the Son is made ready by the Passion—symbolized by the sacrificial Lamb who pours

his blood into the chalice—to distribute the wine of eternal life to mankind. A crowd of saints represents mankind redeemed by the blood of Christ. Although the Virgin Mary being crowned occupies the central part of the painting, she humbly points to her Son, who was the cause of her glorification and her salvation. She is, therefore, Regina Humilitatis, as well as Virgin Immaculate.

It is interesting to note that though the sacrifice of Christ is implied in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, at least from the thirteenth century, an explicit connection between the Virgin

Immaculate and the Passion of Christ is rarely found in art. This painting is one of the few exceptions.**°

More important illustrations of the Revelations by St. Bridget are two well-known Italian paintings of the fifteenth century: the “Madonna delle Cave” by Mantegna, and the “Virgin of the Rocks” by Leonardo. The “Madonna delle Cave’*’ shows the Virgin Mary holding the Child in her lap and seated in a rocky landscape. A high mountain is at the background, its top hidden by clouds. Along its slopes workmen are busy cutting stones and carrying them. This is an illustration of the Responsory in the Second Lesson for Sunday in the Revelations:** “By thee precious stones also are for ever carried up from our valley unto the mountain of God, for the restoration of the heavenly Jerusalem.” The mountain top hidden in the clouds is the heavenly Jerusalem. The Virgin Mary takes part in Salvation in that she is “for ever” the link between 146. Another instance in which the Immaculate Conception [1932], pl. 109.

is connected with the Passion of Christ is the Mystic Hunt, 148. Revelations and Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden

which we are going to discuss presently. ..., translated from the Latin by Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B., 147. Reproduced in F. Knapp, 4ndrea Mantegna, Stuttgart, New York, 1928.

64 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION mankind and God. The “precious stones” carried for the rebuilding of the heavenly Jerusalem are shown directly by the figures of workmen carrying stones, and also allegorically by the Virgin holding the Child, who is the Instrument of Salvation necessary for such rebuilding. The Virgin has not the joyous mood of a mother contemplating her child. This is explained by another passage in the Revelations, the Blessing for the Second Lesson of Friday: “Wherefore even as she was of all mothers the most blessed when she beheld the Son of God born of her . . . so was she also of all mothers the most afflicted, by reason of her foreknowledge of his most bitter Passion.” The afflicted mood of the Mother finds a proper setting in the barren, rocky landscape in which she is placed. As in the Master of the Glorification of Mary, the passage chosen by Mantegna shows the close connection between the Immaculate Conception and the Passion, between the

exalted position of the Virgin, and the bitter price she had to pay for it. The idea which was responsible for the two paintings is very similar, only Mantegna made of it one of the most beautiful creations of the Renaissance. The London “Virgin of the Rocks” by Leonardo is placed in a setting of rocks like the “Madonna delle Cave” by Mantegna and is based upon similar ideas. Leonardo’s painting is also based upon the Revelations, but its mood is altogether different. It is interesting to contrast these two paintings of a similar subject, because they are both masterpieces, but they are created by totally different

temperaments. The “Madonna delle Cave,” with its jagged and barren landscape, conveys the idea of drama and suffering. Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks,” on the other hand, places the scene in a secluded meadow and by the freshness of the flowers and the placing of the scene in a grotto gives a lyric feeling of intimacy. There are two versions of the “Virgin of the Rocks,” both attributed

to Leonardo for very good reasons, one in the Louvre and the other in the National Gallery in London.**” We shall discuss here only the London version, because only this painting depicts the Immaculate Conception. It has been claimed that the London painting does not depict the Immaculate Conception, but this statement is untrue. The sum of the elements in the painting definitely conveys the idea of the Immaculate Conception, and the provenance of the painting supports the Immaculist interpretation of its elements. The painting comes from the Church of S. Francesco Grande in Milan and is connected with documents of commission for an altarpiece dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The main emphasis in the painting is centered in the figure of the Virgin Mary. She occupies the center of the composition, she looms large over the other figures, and all movement starts with and converges upon her figure. She is in close communion with the Child because she kneels in front of Him and blesses and accepts Him. By her posture and gesture she sums the two ideas of Adoration of the Child and the Annunciate Virgin, the latter idea being strengthened by the gesture of the Angel who pushes the Child towards

his Mother. Mary’s relationship to the infant St. John is one of protection: she places her hand on his shoulder and affectionately gathers him under the folds of her mantle. Thus, in addition to the idea of Adoration and Annunciation, the “Virgin of the Rocks” evokes the idea of Mary Mediatrix. Whatever doubt might remain as to the Immaculist implications of the picture, it is dispelled by the meaning of the flower symbolism. From under the folds of the Virgin’s mantle spring forth roses, violets and lilies. They are the well-known Immaculist symbols of the rose without thorns, the lily among thorns and the violet, symbolic of the bending humility of Mary. This specific choice of flowers to convey an Immaculist idea was dictated to Leonardo by an Immaculist text, the Revelations by St. Bridget of Sweden. In the Responsory and Verse for the Second Lesson of Monday, the Virgin Immaculate is depicted in such pictorial terms which must have appealed to the artistic taste of Leonardo: “Blessed is the land whose flowers do not fade, whose fruit is the life of all living things . . . verily that land is the Virgin Mother, the flowers 149. For a full discussion of the Louvre and London versions of the “Virgin of the Rocks” see Appendix.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 65 are her works, the fruit is her Son.” In another passage we are informed which flowers are her works: Virginity, Humility, and Obedience. These are the symbols given to Mary by the flowers in the London “Virgin of the Rocks.” Other details are also based upon the Revelations. The gesture of the Virgin wrapping the infant St. John under her mantle, and at the same time holding her hand towards the blessing Child, can be interpreted as the gesture of intercession, the role described in the Blessing of the Third Lesson for Saturday in the Revelations. Even the kneeling posture of the Virgin and St. John and the figures of the two musician angels in the two panels at the sides of the “Virgin of the Rocks” have their explanation in St. Bridget, in the third prayer appended to the Revelations: “O my Lord Jesus Christ, let all the inhabitants of Heaven praise thee, as well as all those on earth bend the knee out of reverence. .. .” Both the Virgin and St.

John are inhabitants of earth, and they are kneeling out of reverence to Christ. The idea of representing Mary Immaculate as Mediatrix may have been suggested to Leonardo by the writings of Bernardino de’ Busti, who gives especial emphasis to this identification.”

c) Prefigurations from Scripture | E. Male has devoted an extensive study to the image of the Virgin Immaculate surrounded by the symbols of the litanies, and other monographs on the Immaculate Conception (Tormo y Monz0, for example) have also discussed this typus of Immaculate Conception. What they omitted to mention is that this iconography of the Immaculate Conception was in use as early as the twelfth

century.”* St. Bernard had applied to the Virgin the “symbols of the litanies,” but he had not accepted the theory of the Immaculate Conception. Abelard, however, applied the passages from the Song of Songs*” to the Virgin Immaculate, while Richard of Saint-Laurent applied to her Eccl. 14:14.** Other prefigurations from the Old Testament were applied to Mary Immaculate in several hymns by the twelfth century poet Adam of St. Victor.** The literature, as can be seen, was not lacking. These symbols were not confined to theological writings or poetry. We have seen many instances of this iconography in the images we have discussed, from the late eleventh century onwards. Two more instances are included in a miniature of a manuscript in Dijon

(Dijon, Bibl. Mun. ms 129, fol. 4v) (Fig. 48). This miniature is a direct illustration of the text of Isaiah on the Tree of Jesse, but attention is focused on the gigantic figure of the Virgin, who looms above the reclining figure of Jesse, while the tree is barely indicated. The representation is of the Immaculate Conception, since the Virgin holds the lily, sign of her purity, and is surmounted by the Dove, symbolic of the Holy Ghost. This group of the Virgin, Child, and Dove, or Virgin, Child, and lily, had appeared earlier (Figs. 1, 35 and 42); but here are seen in addition two angels offering a pyx on either side of the Virgin. The first pyx is shaped like a circular, two-storied building with a conical roof and many windows, and the Angel points to one of these. It may

have been intended to depict the Fenestra Coeli, the Window of Heaven, as the Virgin Immaculate was frequently called (Fig. 52 shows the Window of Heaven and the Closed Gate of Ezekiel, at the right and left of the Virgin Mary). The second casket is shaped like a rounded structure without a top. It may be the Well of Living Waters or the Enclosed Garden, both of which are similar in shape to the casket, and are attributes of Mary Immaculate. Without examining the manuscript directly it is impossible to give an exact interpretation of the symbols, but 150. See F, Cucchi, La mediazione universale della Santis- et Gloriosae Virginis Mariae, mentioned in the Dictionnaire sima Vergine negli scritti di Bernardino de? Bustis, O. M., de théologie catholique, VU, pt. 1, p. 1016.

Milan, 1942. 153. De Laudibus b. Martae, x11, “Maria cedrus. Quia 151. In his history of the Litanies of the Virgin, A. de Santi cedrus odore et succo fugat et exstinguit serpentes . . . haec

(Les Litanies de la Sainte Vierge, Paris, 1900) traces their gratia transfusa est in eam in sua singulari sanctificatione.” origin to the twelfth century and states that they derive from 154. See Analecta hymnica Medti Aevt, Liv, Leipzig, 1915. earlier poems in honor of the Virgin, the Lauds. It is not Another poet of the twelfth century, Robert Wace, included surprising, therefore, that symbols of the litanies should several symbols in his poem on the Conception of the Virgin have found their way into art as early as the twelfth century. (Ashford, of.cé#., verses 1012-1026). 152. Tractatus mag. Petri Abelardi de Conceptione Beatae

66 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION the scene depicts certainly an Immaculate Conception, and the manuscript belongs to the same period and region as the miniature in the Legendary of Citeaux discussed above (Fig. 35), which we know from its text to be an Immaculate Conception. If in the twelfth and early thirteenth century the Scriptural prefigurations had only appeared sporadically in connection with the Immaculate Conception, by the end of the fourteenth century and early fifteenth they appeared almost invariably in the Office of the Conception. Usually they are scattered in the borders or enclosed in the initials. A number of these scenes are displayed in the Bedford Hours (Brit. Mus., Add. ms 18850). On fol. 283 of this manuscript the Virgin is identified with Noah’s ark, which saved the human race (Fig. 5). The scene is inscribed “Je aporte le savement a lumain lignage” (no doubt, therefore, about the interpretation of the image: the inscription explains that the Virgin Mary brings salvation to mankind) and the Virgin Mary appears above the ark. St. Ambrose had compared the Virgin Mary to Noah’s ark, and the comparison was taken over by Petrus Comestor (ca. 1150) in his sermon on the Immaculate Conception and adapted specifically as a prefiguration of the Virgin Immaculate.”* In the same Immaculist sense the comparison between Mary and Noah’s ark was made by St. Bridget of Sweden in her Sermo Angelicus.** The other pages of the office of the Conception are illustrated by Jacob’s Ladder, the Fountain of Living Water, and the Olive Tree (Oliva Speciosa).**’ In the latter instance alone the Virgin is depicted with the Christ Child, and she is shown seated on a bench under the olive tree. It is interesting to note that the attribute of the Oliva Speciosa had appeared in the text of the Glories of the Virgin in the Flemish manuscript of the thirteenth century, illustrated in our Fig. 35. However, in the thirteenth-century illustration the Virgin Mary is shown alone, established in the tree like a dryad. In another manuscript, Prayers to the Virgin, English, of the early fifteenth century (London, Brit. Mus., Add. ms 22720, fol. 12), four scenes, each inscribed with its text, are combined in one page (Fig. 49). The four instances selected are the Virgin with the unicorn, the Virgin treading the serpent, Gideon with his fleece, and Joseph sent out by his father to meet his brothers. The second and third are already known to us (Figs. 5, 20, and 35), the first will be discussed presently. The last scene introduces a new idea. The sacrifice of Joseph (sold into slavery by his brothers, an act of treachery which later saved them) was taken as a parallel to the Betrayal and Passion of Christ which was necessary for the salvation of mankind. The combination of the four scenes in our miniature shows that Mary was preserved from sin (as illustrated by the unicorn scene, symbolic of Virginity), that she defeated the Devil (as shown by her treading upon the serpent) and that she did so through the sanctifying grace of the Holy Ghost (symbolized by Gideon’s fleece) and through the merits of Christ (indicated by the scene of Joseph sent out to his brothers). This fifteenth century miniature is therefore the closest illustration, which we have found in our study, of the definition of the Immaculate Conception formulated in 1854.

The symbols of the litanies appear on a series of panels painted in Germany and Austria in the beginning of the fifteenth century. In a Lower Rhenish panel preserved in the Provincial Museum at Bonn (Fig. 50) the Virgin is surrounded by eight scenes which were considered proofs of her immaculacy. Complicated as it looks, the Bonn painting 1s a comparatively simple representation of a type which, at times, shows the image of the Virgin or the scene of the Nativity surrounded by no less than twenty-six scenes!*°* Some of these examples occur as early as the end 155. Sermon on the Immaculate Conception, quoted by kenntnis der Kiinstlerischen ueberlieferung im spiiten Mit-

Malou, L’lmmaculée Conception, U, p. 117. telalter,’ Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des 156. Revelations by St. Bridget, of.cit., pp. 7-8, the Second Allerhéchsten Kaiserhauses, xxi, heft 5, Vienna, 1903;

Lesson for Sunday. Zeitschrift fiir Christliche Kunst, vit, 1905, p. 178, fig. 2; 157. These attributes of the Virgin Immaculate will be xvil, 1904, pp. 207-2183 XVIII, 1905, pl. 10, pp. 322-327. This

shown later in paintings of the Immaculate Conception. See, iconography originated in Dominican circles and is more for instance, our Fig. 52, painted by Baltazar de Echave Ibia often an illustration of the Immaculate Incarnation of Christ in 1622, now in the Galeries San Carlos, I.N.B.A., Mexico. than of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. 158. For this iconography see: J. von Schlosser, “Zur

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 67 of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth century: Moses and the burning bush, Aaron and his rod, Gideon and his fleece and Ezechiel with the closed gate (see Figs. 20, 35). In the Bonn panel, there have been added, in the small triangles, the Virgin with the unicorn, the phoenix rejuvenating himself in fire, the pelican feeding her young with her own blood, and the bear reviving his young with his breath. These examples are taken from Medieval Bestiaries which derive from the Greek text of the Physiologus. The scenes are connected with Christ rather than with Mary. The Virgin with the unicorn was an example of the Incarnation of Christ; as the unicorn could be captured only by a virgin and was then killed by hunters, so did Christ assume human form in the Virgin Mary and was killed by men to redeem them. The phoenix rising from the flames is an example of the Resurrection of Christ, while the pelican who nurtures her young with her own blood is a symbol of the Passion of Christ. The bear who revives its young with its breath is an allusion to the Holy Ghost, who breathes the life of the spirit unto men. Around these scenes are half-figures of Prophets and Patriarchs of the Old Testament, each holding a scroll. With these figures we are already familiar through representations of the Tree of Jesse, though their number has not before been so large. The two saints in the wings of the Bonn panel are St. Ambrose and St. Jerome, two of the four Latin Fathers who were most often quoted by the Immaculists. The four Latin Fathers played an important part in the discussion of the Immaculate Conception at the end of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth. Though they did not defend the doctrine specifically, some of their phrases were interpreted in an Immaculist sense. The various treatises composed on the theory before or on the occasion of the Council of Basel never fail to buttress their arguments by first quoting Scripture, then the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. We may cite as an instance the Tractatus auctoris anonymi de Conceptione Immaculata Beatae Virginis Mariae (the author of which seems to be Magister Johannes Roceti**®) composed in 1435. The Tractatus opens by quoting the Song of Songs: “Tota pulchra es, amica mea et macula non est in te”—a passage that is found often as a label in fifteenth and sixteenth century images of the Immaculate Conception—then quotes passages from the Bible, the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and finally miracles of the Virgin Immaculate. The panel in Bonn, which is about contemporary with the T'ractatus, reflects the same ideas. Later, the presence of the Church Fathers alone in connection with an image of the Virgin was thought sufficient to identify a Virgin Immaculate. In the German and Austrian panels we have just discussed we have the first instance of a representation of the Immaculate Conception surrounded by a considerable number of symbols from the Litanies. The central image in these panels is usually a Virgin and Child or a Nativity of Christ. A parallel image was created in the early sixteenth century. It shows the Virgin standing alone, surrounded by the symbols, each inscribed with a scroll. This image was created as a woodcut to illustrate the Hours for the Use of Rouen, printed by Antoine Vérard, and later used again by Thielman Kerver in 1505. It enjoyed great popularity and was repeated in a great number of printed books by Kerver and also later by Simon Vostre. A variation of this image is the woodcut first printed in Paris by Pigouchet for Simon Vostre in 1502 in the Hours of Tournay, which was then employed in the Hours of Simon Vostre in 1510; it shows St. Anne with Mary and Christ in her womb, surrounded by symbols from the Litantes. We may connect with the iconography of prefigurations from Scripture the representation of Mary in the Burning Bush. We are already familiar with the illustration of Moses and the Burning Bush in connection with Immaculist iconography; it appears, for instance, in our Fig. 35. In a manuscript from the Chartreuse de Cologne (Cologne ms 20) Mary is said to have triumphed over the sin of our forebears in the same way as the Burning Bush of Moses was spared destruction by fire: 159. Roskovany, of.cét., 1, p. 260, No. 1708.

68 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Et sicut Moysi rubus ardens non fuit ustus sic nec primorum vitlis est lapsa parentum

(as the Burning Bush of Moses was not destroyed by fire, so Mary was untouched by the sins of our forebears). It is a typical Medieval syllogism, by which natural examples or scriptural quotations are taken as proofs of Mary’s immaculacy. We find the same arguments in the sermons of Vidal and the Treatise of Roceti, in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century. Usually the prefigurations from Scripture are not found isolated but accompany an image of Mary as an attribute. Occasionally they may appear as isolated images. This is the case of the painting “Mary in the Burning Bush” by Nicolas Froment, painted in 1475, and now in the Cathedral of Aix. This painting has been studied in an article by E. Harris'® and interpreted by this author as a representation of the Immaculate Conception. However, Miss Harris seems to have intended by the term Immaculate Conception the Incarnation of Christ. Aside from this confusion of the two ideas, the analysis of the painting given by her is a masterful work, and we will only add a few details to the conclusions of the author. The placing of the Virgin in the Burning Bush derives from the fusion of three iconographical types: the Virgin in the Tree of Jesse, the Virgin in the Tree of Life (Fig. 38), and Moses with the Burning Bush. In discussing the Virgin in the Tree of Life, we pointed out the similarities between this image and the image of Mary in the Tree of Jesse. We have also discussed an image, the relief by Bartolomeo Bon in the Victoria and Albert Museum, in which the Tree of Jesse is identified with the Tree of Knowledge, and its trunk is formed by the body of the Virgin. In the Apocalypse of Moses the Tree of Knowledge is a fig tree. The devil “poured upon the fruit the poison of his wickedness, which is lust, the root of beginning of every sin.” The fig tree is therefore identified with lust, the beginning of every sin. To show that Mary was by nature surrounded by lust, but untouched by it, Bartolomeo Bon placed Mary in the middle of a fig tree. It is the same idea which 1s conveyed by the Burning Bush of Moses and the rose without thorns. Therefore Froment merged the three Immaculist ideas into one, placed Mary in the Tree of Life, and identified this tree with the rosebush and with the Burning Bush of Moses. The painting is full of allusions to the Incarnation: the Christ Child, the hunt of the unicorn and the Tree of Jesse in the frame, the Annunciation in the shutters. Our natural question will be therefore: Is it a picture of the Incarnation, or does it also depict the Immaculate Conception; is it a Maculist or an Immaculist representation? The study of its elements shows that it is an Immaculist picture. The painting contains not only references to the Incarnation, but also to Salvation, in which Mary takes a direct part. The flock of Moses is divided into two groups. In the foreground are sheep mixed with goats, and there are white as well as black

sheep. In the second group there are only white sheep, and these are drinking water from a spring. They are the blessed, those who have drunk of the fountain of living water, as explained by the inscription above the painting. The mixed sheep are mankind not yet saved, the good mixed with the bad (the separation of sheep from goats is a common symbolism of the Last Judgment and is based upon a parable of Christ). The mixed group of sheep and goats surrounds the figure of the Angel, who prominently wears a medallion with the Fall of Man. This is to show that mankind was under the impact of Original Sin when the Angel brought the message of redemption. The figure of the Angel is most peculiar in the composition because he is an announcing Angel, a figure we are familiar with in the scene of the Annunciation and of the Announcement to Joachim. In fact, this composition was formerly thought to be the Announcement to Joachim. The painting makes a parallel between the Old Law, in which Moses was the mediator between God and man, and the New Law, in which this role of mediator is taken up by Mary. The passage from 160. E. Harris, “Mary in the Burning Bush: Nicolas Fro- more completely and reproduced in the Catalogo della Mostra ment’s Triptych at Aix-en-Provence,” Journal of the Warburg Bresciana del Rinascimento, Bergamo, 1939, pp. 152ff. Institute, 1, 1937-38, pp. 281-286. The ceiling is discussed

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 69 the Old to the New Law is indicated by the group of white sheep, the part of mankind saved by drinking of the water of the fountain that springs from under the Tree of Life, in which the Virgin is placed. The Virgin Mary occupies a prominent position, in fact, she is the central figure in the painting. She sits in the burning bush without being touched by its flames, to convey the idea that she was untouched by Original Sin (see the passage from the Cologne manuscript quoted above), and this bush is a rosebush. She is, therefore, the rose without thorns (for an interpretation of thorns as sin see note 76). Thus, the fact that Mary sits in a rosebush, but is untouched by its thorns, and that this rosebush is the Burning Bush of Moses, the flames of which leave her unscathed, is an allusion to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. But there is more. The spotless mirror, one of the symbols of Mary Immaculate, is held by the Child, who in turn is held by the Virgin. This is a reference to the definition of Mary as the Mirror of God who gives his image from life and shines with divine splendor.’ Miss Harris, in the same article in which she discussed the painting by Froment, reproduces a ceiling decoration by Moretto, painted in 1529 and now in the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo in Brescia.**° She says that, although the iconography of the painting by Moretto is similar to that of the painting by Froment, the figure shown by Moretto in the Burning Bush is Ecclesia, the Church, instead of Mary. The reason for this interpretation is the fact that the figure is crowned, does not carry the Child, and is shown in prayer in an attitude that often is given to the figure of the Church. Miss Harris supports this interpretation with a quotation from a passage by a Carmelite writer, in which the Bush of Moses is interpreted either as Mary or as the Church. The painting by Moretto is part of a ceiling decoration, and the other figures around the Burning Bush are Prophets. This fact seems to prove conclusively that the central figure is intended to be Mary, she being the figure announced by the Prophets, and not the Church. We are familiar with Immaculist pictures in which Prophets allude to the Immaculate Conception. The fact that the figure

, wears a crown and does not carry the Child does not exclude her identification with Mary Immaculate: The Apocalyptic Woman in our Fig. 6 is crowned and does not carry the Child, while her praying gesture may be found in the figure of Mary as well as in that of the Church. Moretto may have wanted to depict Mary as the Church. The idea of Mary Immaculate was so closely associated with the Burning Bush of Moses that this Scriptural prefiguration becomes sometimes an identifying element in a representation of the | Immaculate Conception. In the Pinacoteca of Forli there is a painting by Francesco Menzocchi."™ It shows God the Father holding the naked infant Virgin Immaculate, the pure soul, an image created from eternity and foreseen the exact way in which she was to be born (for this iconography see our Chapter 2, type g, p. 54). The figure of Mary Immaculate is identified by an inscribed scroll, “Rubum quem viderat Moises incombustum conservatam agnovimus (tuam Virginitatem),” the same line which is inscribed at the bottom of the picture by Froment. However, in the painting by Menzocchi the Burning Bush does not appear among the other Immaculist symbols (the Tower of David, the Gate of Heaven, the Enclosed Garden, the Cedar of Lebanon). The saints in the lower part of the painting are two of the Latin Fathers of the Church (Ambrose and Augustine), who were considered from the Renaissance onwards as supporters of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and St. John the Evangelist, the author of Apocalypse 12, who was considered a Prophet of the Immaculate Conception. Accordingly, there is no doubt that the painting depicts the Immaculate Conception. The concept depicted is that Mary was as pure before she was conceived as she was to be in her terrestrial life. The painter seems to have handled this subject with relative ease, in spite of the fact that the idea is difficult to render visually. This was possible both because the idea was by now clearly formulated, and also because a pictorial tradition for this 161. It is reproduced in Venturi, of.cit., IX, pt. 5, p. 667, fig. 386.

70 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION theme already existed, even if all its elements were not identical with Menzocchi’s picture. What-

ever was left unclear in the painting, was clarified by the inscribed scroll, “Rubus quem

viderat... 2” d) Fathers and Doctors of the Church The Latin Fathers connected with the Immaculate Conception were four: Ambrose, Augustine,

Jerome and Gregory.” To these authoritative writers were usually added two of the Church Doctors, Anselm and Bernard.** None of these clearly favored the Immaculate Conception, and we know that St. Bernard definitely opposed it. However, this did not prevent Immaculist authors from quoting the Fathers and Doctors as their source when they wished to prove that the doctrine was defended from the first years of Church history. The Fathers and Doctors are usually readily identifiable: Ambrose and Augustine appear as bishops. Ambrose may carry a flail or scourge, his attribute, while Augustine usually wears under his cope the dark grey or black habit of the Augustinians. Jerome is shown as a cardinal or as a penitent, often accompanied by the lion, while Gregory wears the papal tiara. As for the Doctors, Anselm usually wears a black robe, while Bernard wears the white robe of his order. The Fathers and Doctors are not especially interesting per se in the iconography of the Immaculate Conception, but they are important insofar as their presence often identifies an image of the Virgin Mary as an Immaculate Conception. These saints are usually shown reading a book or holding a scroll inscribed with the passages from their works which were interpreted in an Immaculist sense (Figs. 14 and 50). 162. The Pala Pesaro by Titian is also a representation century by the sculptor of the “Virgin of Dom Rupert” (for of one of the Prefigurations of the Virgin, as it identifies Mary a reference to this image see note 117). Other examples of the

with the Closed Gate of Ezekiel and the Gate of Heaven. Its iconography of the Virgin as the Gate of Heaven are disdate takes us beyond the chronological boundaries of this cussed in Vloberg, of.cit., pp. 174-179. book, and therefore we shall give it only a passing mention 163. The reason for their connection with the Immaculate in a footnote. The iconography of this painting has been Conception is to be found in the following passages from identified by E. Tietze-Conrat, “The Pesaro Madonna, a_ their works, interpreted by the Immaculists as in favor of the Footnote on Titian,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, October 1953, doctrine: St. Ambrose: Expositio in Psalmum 118, Sermo 22, pp. 177-182. We shall only discuss the architecture in which 301 (Migne, P.L., xv, p. 1521), “Suscipe me non ex Sarra,

the Virgin is placed and the key placed on the steps. The sed ex Maria; ut incorrupta sit virgo, sed virgo per gratiam architecture looks like the entrance of a Church or a building. ab omni integra labe peccati.” St. Jerome: Breviarium in

On a close look, however, we see that the steps only lead Psalmos, Psalmus 77 (Migne, P.L., xxvi, p. 1049), “Et to the podium on which Mary is sitting, and behind Mary deduxit eos in nube diei. Ecce Dominus venit in Aegyptum there is no opening, but a wall. The sturdy columns look over- in nube levi. . . . Nubem levem, aut proprie Salvatoris corpus powering, if we compare them with the archway through debemus accipere: cui leve fuit, et nullo piccato praegravatum which they are seen and with the thin facade behind them. est. Aut certe nubem levem debemus sanctam Mariam accipere: Their top is not seen in the picture, but the clouds around nullo semine humano praegravatam, . . . Nubes enim il/a non their middle seem to indicate that the columns reach up to fuit in tenebris, sed semper in luce.” St. Augustine: De natura Heaven. The whole structure does not lead inwards, but et gratia Liber 1, cap. 36, n. 42 (Migne, P.L., xLiv, p. 267), upwards, to Heaven. It is the Gate of Heaven in which the “Sancta virgo Maria sine ullo vixit peccato. Nullus praeterea Virgin Mary is placed, and at the entrance of which we find sanctorum absque peccato . . . excepta itaque sancta virgine its guardian, St. Peter. The Virgin is thus depicted as the Maria, de qua propter honorem Domini nullam prorsus cum Domus Dei et Porta Coeli, as she was labeled in a painting in de peccatis agitur, haberi volo quaestionem: unde enim scimus the Metropolitan Museum we have discussed. The Gate of quid ei plus gratiae collatum fuerit ad vincendum omni ex Heaven is also the closed gate of Ezekiel, as indicated by the parte secretum.” Secundum Juliani Responsum imperfectum single key placed on the steps—the keys carried by St. Peter opus, sex libros complectens, Lib. 1v, cap. 122; “lle virginitaare usually two, and they are symbolic of earthly and spiritual tem Mariae partus conditiones dissolvit, tu ipsam Mariam power. Here the key is only one, and it is not carried by the diabolo nascendi conditione transcribis. . . . Non transcribimus Saint but placed at his feet. It is a link between the Gate and diabolo Mariam conditione nascendi; sed ideo, yuia ipsa conthe Saint but does not pertain to the Saint (for the iconography ditio solvitur gratia renascendi” (italics are mine).

of the Virgo Clavigera see our note 138). Thus Titian gave 164. For the connection of Anselm and Bernard with the a Renaissance flavor to the old theme of the Virgin in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, see notes g and 13. Gate, a theme which had been treated already in the twelfth

CHAPTER 5

RARE OR DUBIOUS [CONOGRAPHIES E have mentioned before that the Passion of Christ is rarely depicted in connection with ~

\ \ the Immaculate Conception. One type of Immaculate Conception, however, always includes the Passion in the representation: the Mystic Hunt, or hunt of the unicorn. The legend of the unicorn is an allusion to the Incarnation and the Passion of Christ. It was applied to the Virgin Mary by Gregory the Great’ and represented in art at least from the twelfth century. In this type the Virgin Mary usually sits in an enclosed garden and is approached by the unicorn who symbolizes Christ. The Archangel Gabriel impersonates the hunter and blows a horn from which issues the angelic salutation. Sometimes the Archangel holds by a leash a pack of hounds, who symbolize the theological virtues. This scene was combined in the fifteenth century with the symbols of the Litanies and came to represent the Immaculate Conception. With this intention it is shown in the frame of the painting by Froment discussed above’ and in a Dutch

Book of Hours (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, ms McClean 99, fol. 11v)*” of the early sixteenth century (Fig. 51). A triptych by Zenale of the late fifteenth century almost certainly shows an Immaculate Conception—but the Conception of Christ is meant here. The triptych was painted shortly after 1480

for the Church of St. Anne in Milan’ and is now divided between the National Gallery in Washington and the Contini Bonacossi Collection in Florence. The central part, with the Virgin surrounded by saints, has been called “AII Saints” or the “Pentecost,” but none of these identifications have been found satisfactory. What the painting depicts is the Conception of Christ. The Virgin 1s labeled “formosa filia Jerusalem” and St. Michael is shown defeating the Devil on the left shutter, while on the right shutter St. William of Vercelli introduces a donor, a monk clad in the white robe of the Gesuati. Among the saints who surround the Virgin is St. John the Baptist who points to her and holds the scroll inscribed: “Ecce Agnus Dei... 2” These words are usually applied to Christ, who is the sacrificial Lamb, but here Christ is present only by implication, insofar as the moment of his conception is depicted. His Incarnation is necessary to redeem the world, and this fact is alluded to both by the expectant attitude of the Virgin and by the defeat of the Devil in the left shutter. An image of the Virgin, said to have been worshipped already in 1225, has been published in L’Osservatore romano for December 4, 1954. Together with a reproduction of the image, there is an article which explains that this image was placed in 1340 by Pope Bonifacius IX on an altar dedicated to the Immaculate Conception in the “Grotta Pinta” in Rome. The Virgin is shown half-length, as an orams. An inscription around the border mentions the relics of several saints but does not indicate that the image represents the Immaculate Conception. In the absence of identifying symbols and inscribed texts that identify this image as the Immaculate Conception, this image should be classified among the dubious representations, even if the information that the image was placed in 1340 on an altar of the Immaculate Conception should prove to be true—no document is given in the article. 165. Dictionnaire de théologte catholique, vil, pt. 1, pp. 168. It is reproduced and discussed by W. Suida, “Bernardo

1143ff. . Zenale, Addenda et Corrigenda,” Art in America, xxx1, Janu-

166. For a discussion of this iconography see H. Bergner, ary, 1943, pp. 6-7, and figs. 5-7. The fact that the triptych Handbuch der Kuirchlichen Kunstaltertiimer in Deutschland, was painted for the church of St. Anne is one more argument

Leipzig, 1905, pp. 542ff. - in favor of its identification as the Immaculate Conception. As

167. It is reproduced in W. Byvanck, La miniature dans les in the painting of the “Madonna della Serpe” by Caravaggio, Pays-Bas septentrionaux, Paris, 1937, pl. 100, fig. 260, from St. Anne is glorified through the Immaculacy of Mary, and

which our photograph has been taken. her veneration is conditioned to that of her daughter.

72 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION With these examples we may close our survey of the iconography of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. Later developments have been discussed by standard books on iconography and by monographs on the Immaculate Conception. The Baroque and later periods contributed little to the formation of new images. Almost all the representations that appear in the Baroque period developed before the Renaissance, and it is only an insistent repetition of certain images and the elimination of others which established the iconography of the Immaculate Conception definitively and gave the impression of a newly discovered iconography. The importance of the Baroque lies not in its creation of new images, but in its being the culmina-

tion of a long phase of development. The period before the Baroque may be termed a period of evolution, while the Baroque is a period of bloom for the iconography of the Immaculate Conception. In the same way the theory of the Immaculate Conception had been defined in its main points long before the Society of Jesus was founded, but the intense propaganda of the Jesuits made the doctrine accepted almost universally by the Catholic Church. A stabilizing influence was brought to bear upon both the doctrine and the iconography by the Council of Trent, which refused to take a stand, but proclaimed the status quo in this respect. In the history of art, the iconography of the Immaculate Conception is remarkable, perhaps unique, in that one and the same idea was expressed in a great variety of images until one universally accepted was found (Fig. 52). This accepted image is the most satisfactory illustration of a complex idea, difficult to grasp and even more difficult to depict. It illustrates the most important points in the concept. It is a simple devotional image and has a timeless quality which is in keeping with the doctrine and which makes it particularly fit for devotion. The trivial points in the discussion of the doctrine,

such as the time in which the union of body and soul of Mary took place, or how Mary as an individual stood in relationship with the generation of her parents, were recognized as secondary,

and therefore discarded from the image. The attention is now focused on Mary alone. She is placed in heaven, triumphantly carried by clouds and often accompanied by a glory of cherubs. She obtained her exalted position from the Lord, and in her triumph she is most humbly thanking Flim for her privilege. Often attributes of her immaculacy are present, and sometimes the Serpent upon whom she triumphed is shown at her feet.

, 6< 29 APPENDIX

LEONARDO’S “VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS”:

HE existence of two versions of the same theme has worried Leonardo scholars no end because Leonardo is known for his dislike of repeating himself, and also because the Louvre painting is certainly one of Leonardo’s masterpieces but does not seem to be documented;

while the London painting seems well documented but is not so forcibly Leonardesque. It has been supposed, therefore, that the Louvre painting is the documented version by Leonardo, which at some time was replaced by the London painting, and the record of such substitution was supposedly lost."** Because the problem is complex, we shall review it briefly, taking into consideration all the facts that are relevant to the question. We shall 1) sketch the history of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception which led to the commission of the painting; 2) consider whether there existed a traditional iconography of the theme as sketched in the documents of commission to Leonardo, and if so, what is the relationship between this theme and Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks”; 3) examine briefly the documents concerning the altarpiece;*”° 4) examine the two versions in relationship to the documents; 5) discuss the iconography of the two versions; 6) discuss the dates of the two versions and the date of a possible substitution. We have stated that Pope Sixtus IV approved two offices for the feast of the Conception, one composed by Leonardo Nogarolo, and the other by Bernardino de’ Busti. The first was approved in 1477 and the second in 1480. The second office interests us because it was composed by a Milanese monk, because the date of its approval was celebrated in Milan by the commission of an altarpiece dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, which is the altarpiece destined to include Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks,” and because the author of the office was later called to pass judgment on Leonardo’s painting. But let us see how all this came to pass. Vincenzo Bandelli, Vicar of the Dominicans in Lombardy, had written in 1475 a treatise against the Immaculate Conception. The immediate answer to this treatise was the founding in Milan of a Franciscan Brotherhood of the Immaculate Conception, with its headquarters in the Church of S. Francesco Grande. An event of more widespread interest was the approval by the Pope of the two Offices of the Conception. To celebrate the victory of one of their Order, and at the same time the Papal sanction of the belief in the Immaculate Conception, the Brotherhood decided to dedicate an 169. For a formulation of several hypotheses on the prob- there is no indication in the documents that this is the case.

lem of the Louvre and the London versions, see the book 170. The documents of 1506-1508 are given in L. Belreview by A. E. Popham and the letters by C. Gould and trami, Documenti inediti per la storia della “Vergine delle R. Eisler in the Burlington Magazine, 1948, pp. 212, 239- occte” di Leonardo da Vinci, Milan, 1918, where excerpts

40, and 328-30. A later summary of the question is given by and a résumé of the earlier documents are also to be found. M. Davies, The Earlier Italian Schools, London, 1951, pp. The dating of the signed appeal by Leonardo is discussed by 204-219. R. Eisler sees rightly that the Louvre painting was F. Malaguzzi Valeri, “Un nuovo documento sulla Vergine made in Florence, and his idea to connect this version with a delle Roccie di Leonardo,” Rassegna d’arte, 1, 1901, p. 110. legend of St. John the Baptist is very interesting. He is mis- The earlier documents are given in E, Motta, “Ambrogio leading, however, when he says that the dogma of the Im- Preda e Leonardo da Vinci (Nuovi documenti),” Archivio maculate Conception was proclaimed by Pope Sixtus IV in storico lombardo, x, anno XX, 1893, pp. 972-989; G. Bis1483, because it was proclaimed instead by Pope Pius IX in caro, “La commissione della ‘Vergine delle roccie’ a Leonardo

1854. The central image was certainly not a “Madonna da Vinci, secondo i documenti originali (25 aprile 1483),” standing between the sun and a crescent moon.” This image Archivio storico lombardo, XIII, anno XXXVII, 1910, pp. 125was only created in the Baroque period and is a development 161, as well as L. Beltrami, “La ‘Vergine delle Roccie’ di of the iconography of the Apocalyptic Woman, with the Londra é dipinto originale di Leonardo da Vinci (Nuovi Docucrescent moon under her feet and the rays of sun enveloping menti Vinciani 1506-1508),” Rassegna d’arte, n.s., I, anno H, her. The image which the Brotherhood asked from Leonardo 1915, pp. 97-101. does not seem to have been an Apocalyptic Virgin, or at least,

74 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION altarpiece to the Immaculate Conception in 1480, the year Busti’s office was approved by the Pope. This altarpiece was to be set in the Church of S. Francesco Grande in Milan, and it was commissioned from the Milanese artist Giacomo del Maino. It was to be composed mostly of sculpture, a polyptych of polychrome wood, as was the fashion in Lombardy at the time. A disagreement having arisen between the Brotherhood and the artist, the Brotherhood decided te interrupt Maino’s work and to commission in 1483 Leonardo and the two half-brothers De Predis to complete the altarpiece.

Meanwhile, the discussions of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception had increased in violence. When he accepted the feast of the Conception, the Pope failed to define the doctrine. Bandelli took this opportunity to say that by the word Conception the Pope meant Sanctification in the womb, the theory proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas, and that whoever would defend a different view was a heretic. The opportunity to put forward these views had been offered Bandelli by Nogarolo’s Office of the Conception, in which St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Dominic are quoted among the authoritative supporters of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope was outraged by such interpretation of his ideas and answered with two bulls in 1482 and 1483. He menaced excommunication to all those who stated that Mary was only sanctified in the womb or that the feast of the Conception only celebrated her spiritual conception. However, he also threatened sanctions against the supporters of the Immaculate Conception who tried to give their own definition of the doctrine. He held that such definitions were the right of the Papacy and that no supporter or opposer of the doctrine had a right to call the opposing faction heretical. The commission of the painting to Leonardo and the two De Predis comes between the two bulls. The painters had to be careful to present the idea of the Immaculate Conception in a way that would support the doctrine but would not be in any way condemnable by the Church. The two factions of Maculists and Immaculists looked at each other with exasperated but contained hatred. The , painters found themselves in a very delicate position. The altarpiece, the central part of which was to be occupied by Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks,” was to consist originally of a figure of God the Father among seraphim and cherubim above an image of Mary Immaculate. The commission of 1483 called for three blank panels to be painted in oil, plus the gilding of the figures and frames which had already been completed. The painted panels were to consist of a central image of the Virgin Mary, her Son, two prophets and angels, and two lateral panels with each a group of four angels, singing or making music. The altarpiece, the central part of which was to be occupied by Leonardo’s “Virgin of the Rocks,” has been dismembered, and we do not receive a clear idea of the ensemble from the document of commission. We only have a general idea of the number of figures in the central panel, but not of their action and interrelation. In Immaculist iconography, the only scene that included all these figures was the Coronation of the Virgin, where Mary was crowned by her Son. The painting that comes closest to the description given in the document of 1483 is the Lucca altarpiece by a Ghirlandaiesque master, which we discussed in our chapter on the Coronation of the Virgin (Fig. 14). This painting was about contemporary with the commission to Leonardo. The two “Prophets” included in the Lucca altarpiece are David and Solomon. Actually these two figures are not Prophets, but Kings and ancestors of the Virgin. However, in

Immaculist iconography the list of Prophets includes any Biblical figure connected with prefigurations of Mary Immaculate. Patriarchs, such as Moses, were also considered Prophets. Accordingly, David, the author of Psalm 109, and Solomon, the author of the Canticles and Proverbs, were considered Prophets. David and Solomon had their natural place in connection with the . scene of the Coronation of the Virgin, because this scene is based upon the Book of Kings (3 Kings 2:19) where Solomon is said to have set up a throne for his mother. In Immaculist illustrations the scene of the Coronation of the Virgin is usually associated with Psalm 109, the author of which is David. The scene of the Coronation provided, therefore, the figures of Mary, Christ, and two

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 75 Prophets. Angels were a natural part in the celestial court where Mary was crowned, and sometimes the crown was placed on Mary’s head by Angels. Thus the theme of the Lucca Coronation would have provided all the figures required by the Brotherhood. There was, however, a difficulty which prevented Leonardo from using this theme. This was

the part already completed by Maino. Above the central panel which was to be painted by Leonardo there was a figure of God the Father surrounded by seraphim and cherubim. To depict below this figure a scene of the Coronation would have meant to split the Godhead into two persons performing different functions. This representation would have been theologically unsound. Leonardo had, therefore, to choose another theme. Aside from the theme of the Coronation, where Christ appears as the Bridegroom, 1n all the other representations of the Immaculate Conception the figure of Christ, when included, has the aspect of the Child: Apocalyptic Woman; Anne with Mary and Christ; the group of Virgin and Child with scenes from the Protoevangelium

or with Immaculist attributes; Prefigurations from Scripture. In these themes Angels may be shown crowning Mary, but then Prophets are absent. The coexistence of Prophets with Angels is found in the scene of the Annunciation—where only one Angel appears, sometimes pointing to the descending figure of the Christ Child (the “telephone baby”)—or in the Prefigurations of

Mary. Among the latter scenes, the closest image to that required by the Brotherhood is the “Burning Bush” by Nicolas Froment, painted in 1475, which includes one Prophet, that 1S, Moses, one Angel, and the group of the Virgin and Child. Although the figure of God the Father is absent, it could be reconciled with the theme. Leonardo chose a similar solution. He also depicted

the Virgin and Child with only one Prophet and one Angel. The image he selected blends well with the figure of God the Father that was to surmount it; it is the theme of the Adoration of the Child with the blessing Father and the infant St. John the Baptist, an image which had been popular in Florence, if we may judge by the two versions of this theme by Filippo Lippi, now in the Uffizi in Florence and in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin. Other Angels were to appear in the two side panels. Only the figure of one Prophet was unaccounted for, but it could find its place elsewhere in the altarpiece, or be omitted altogether. The choice of the infant St. John the Baptist as a Prophet is a peculiar one. It is true that St. John is the last Prophet of the Old Law and the first of the New Law—as such the infant St. John is usually depicted carrying the Cross or a reed with an inscribed scroll “Ecce Agnus Dei”?’—but with an Immaculist picture of the Virgin and Child we would rather expect as a Prophet Isaiah, who foretold the Incarnation. St. John is only occasionally depicted in Immaculist representations, and in these images the idea of the Immaculate Conception is usually merged with that of the Divine Incarnation and with an allusion to the Passion (the painting by Zenale discussed in our last chapter, or the painting by Timoteo Viti discussed in our section on the Annunciation (Fig. 21). I have never seen elsewhere

in Immaculist pictures the figure of the Baptist as a child, and I do not think that Leonardo would have made this choice if he had painted his “Virgin of the Rocks” originally for the altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception. The document of commission in 1483 stipulates that Leonardo and the two brothers Ambrogio and Evangelista de Predis should gild the sculptures made by Maino—except for the faces which were to be painted a natural flesh tone—and that three painted panels should be added to the sculptured ensemble: two side panels with each a group of four angels and a central panel with the Virgin, her Son, Angels and two Prophets. The contract specified that the artists should receive 800 lire imperiali for the completion of the altarpiece, and that in addition they should receive a reasonable sum for the completion of the central panel. This sum was to be decided by the Brotherhood upon completion of the painting. The work was to be finished on December 8, 1483, feast of the Conception of the Virgin. A clause was added to the effect that in case Leonardo should leave

76 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Milan without completing his share, the Brotherhood would pay him only for the work done, arid another artist would be selected by the Brotherhood to complete the work. The three artists had less than eight months to do their work, and the altarpiece was not completed in time; the central panel was still unfinished in 1506. Some time between 1483 and 1506 there arose a disagreement between the painters and the Brotherhood. Other events had also taken place between these two dates. Evangelista de Predis had died around 1490. The King of France, Louis XII, captured Milan, and Leonardo fled from the city in 1499; he did not come back to Milan till 1506. An appeal to the Duke of Milan, signed by Leonardo and Ambrogio de Predis, but without date or name of the addressee, states that the central panel of the altarpiece with an image of the Virgin was painted entirely by Leonardo; while the side panels contained two large musician angels (instead of the two groups of four mentioned in the contract of 1483). According to the two painters, the Brotherhood had given them 800 Jire imperiali for the altarpiece and had judged the central painting to be worth only 25 ducati. This sum was ridiculously low, considering that other prospective buyers had offered 100 ducatt. The painters asked that the Brotherhood should pay for the painting at its right value or return it to the painters and keep only the part of the altarpiece which had already been paid for. The artists asked that a commission of experts should judge the painting, not members of the Brotherhood who had no eye for art—“a blind man cannot judge color.” The appeal is not dated, and many conjectures have been made as to the time in which it was written. The Duke of Milan was supposed to be Lodovico il Moro, or the King of France. Because a résumé of this appeal was found among documents dated between 1491 and 1494, the 1490’s seems the more probable date for the appeal. This date would agree with the fact that the appeal does not bear the signature of Evangelista de Predis (who died in 1490), but bears that of Leonardo (who left Milan in 1499). A second appeal was made in 1503, this time to the King of France, and signed only by Ambrogio de Predis. This second appeal repeats

the statements made in the first, only asking that the painting should be valued at its market price. The second appeal does not mention the authorship of the central panel, nor does it propose that the painting be judged by art experts. It simply states that the complete altarpiece had been in the hands of the Brotherhood for several years, and, therefore, the Brotherhood should give

the artists their due for the central panel. The King of France took immediate action, and the Governor of Milan pressed the Brotherhood to pay its due. To this the Brotherhood answered with several reasons and added that Leonardo was absent from Milan. Part of the acts of court are lost, so we do not know the reasons given by the Brotherhood. We only know that a summons was served on Leonardo, warning him to appear in court, upon pain of judgment against him, and of liability of the expenses of court for default in doing so.*”* Leonardo was in Florence when he received the summons. He was painting the Gioconda, had been asked to make an expertise of Michelangelo’s David, and was busy with the competition with Michelangelo for the battle scenes in the Palazzo Vecchio. It was an awkward moment to leave Florence, and he decided to let the matter rest. Owing to Leonardo’s absence, Ambrogio de Predis could not claim his due from the Brotherhood. An unexpected event caused Ambrogio de Predis to reopen the question in 1506. The King of France, planning a trip to Milan, wanted the services of Leonardo there. He wrote the Florentine Government to release the painter from his duties in Florence and to let him go to Milan for a

few months. Ambrogio de Predis got wind of the projected trip and asked the Brotherhood 171. It is unclear why the Brotherhood took action against he left Milan, and enclosed a clause in the settlement of 1506 Leonardo in 1503. In the Commission of 1483 a clause had to the effect that Leonardo should come back and finish the been inserted to the effect that, if Leonardo left Milan before painting. Probably the acts of court, now lost, would have the completion of the altarpiece, he would be paid for the given us an explanation for this puzzling detail, as well as for work he had done, and the Brotherhood would have chosen the reason why the Brotherhood accepted the London “Viranother painter to substitute him. Instead of following this gin of the Rocks,” which certainly does not correspond to the course, the Brotherhood kept after Leonardo, fined him because commission of 1483.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 77 finally to make its supplementary payment. A settlement was reached, and upon condition that Leonardo should come back within two years and complete the central panel, the Brotherhood promised to pay 200 J/ire in two payments in 1507 and 1508. Leonardo was in Milan and received the two payments. So we may assume that all went according to plans from 1506 onwards. The altarpiece ordered from Leonardo was to be set in S. Francesco Grande in Milan. The documents of 1483 and 1506 seem to refer to this altarpiece. In the undated appeal signed by Leonardo and Ambrogio de Predis the central part of the altarpiece is said to be by Leonardo’s own hand. Since the London “Virgin of the Rocks” comes from S. Francesco Grande, it was concluded that the painting is by Leonardo. Against this theory were the facts that the London painting is not particularly characteristic of Leonardo—while there exists another painting, in the Louvre in Paris, which is certainly by him—and that the London painting, if by Leonardo, cannot be dated as early as 1483. It was therefore concluded that Leonardo painted the Paris version in 1483, and that this painting was replaced by a copy by Ambrogio de Predis—the London version—either between 1483 and 1506, or after 1506. We may dismiss the second hypothesis. The commission of theologians would not have approved the painting in 1506 unless it were theologically acceptable; we know that the commission only objected to the unfinished state of the painting. If the date 1483 is too early for the London version, it is too late for the Paris one. Furthermore,

the Paris painting does not depict the Immaculate Conception; on the contrary, it shows ideas which are foreign to this belief. In this painting the emphasis is centered on the infant St. John. All action converges upon him: the Angel points to him, the Christ Child blesses him, and the Virgin gathers him protectively under her mantle. Even assuming that Leonardo’s painting was only a secondary part in the altarpiece—which it was not, the painting is repeatedly mentioned as its central part—such prominence given to St. John would certainly not have been acceptable to the Brotherhood. The figure of the infant St. John, though common in the fifteenth century in a picture of the Adoration of the Child or of the Holy Family, could not be easily associated with the Immaculate Conception. St. John was sanctified in the womb of his mother, and his association with the Virgin Mary would seem to point to the doctrine of Sanctification. His prominent posi-

tion in the Louvre panel would have made such interpretation even more probable. In view of the fact that the altarpiece was commissioned to oppose the doctrine of Sanctification and that the Pope had condemned this doctrine only the year before, Leonardo’s Louvre “Virgin of the Rocks” is a surprising solution for an Immaculist theme. For iconographic and stylistic reasons we are forced to admit that Leonardo did not choose this theme when he received the commission for the altarpiece in 1483, but that he adapted the painting to the commission. A prominent position for St. John is perfectly explainable in a painting destined for Florence, as St. John the Baptist was the patron saint of this city. The style of the painting points to the earlier period of Leonardo’s activity, and there are several drawings from Leonardo’s Florentine period which show studies for the theme of the Adoration of the Child. Since we have excluded the Paris version from being painted in 1483, the supporters of the London version will conclude that the problem is solved and that they were right in assuming that the London painting is the one commissioned from Leonardo in 1483. Unfortunately there are difficulties also against this conclusion. We have already mentioned that this painting is stylistically later than 1483. But as we are concerned here only with iconographic problems, we shall set this reason aside. The London version fits the documents of commission of 1483 only with a stretch of imagination. There is only one Angel and one Prophet, and one which hardly fits the iconography at that. Furthermore, the relationship to the Paris version is so close as to suggest an adaptation of the theme. This adaptation would have been very likely if the Paris version had been painted before 1483 and if the Brotherhood had seen it and liked it and asked Leonardo to produce a similar painting but with a change of implications. However, this was not

78 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION the case. There is no trace in the document of commission that the Brotherhood knew of the Paris painting. On the contrary, the number of figures required does not correspond with those in the painting. If we contrast with the requirements of 1483 the fact that the painting is described in

the document of 1506 as including the Virgin, Christ and St. John the Baptist, we will come to the conclusion that the Brotherhood was aware of the Louvre painting after 1483, but before 1506. Leonardo usually avoided repeating the same subject, and he would probably have painted something quite different from the London “Virgin of the Rocks” if he had been free in his choice of iconography. Something must have happened between the time he painted the Louvre and the London version."” This is what probably happened: Leonardo had not finished the Louvre “Virgin of the Rocks” when he came to Milan. When he received the commission from the Brotherhood of the Conception, he decided to place this painting in the central part of the altarpiece; it contained a figure of the Virgin, her Son, a Prophet and an Angel, more or less what he was required to provide. He had but a few months to complete the work, and the painting already well in hand could be finished in a short time. This would explain why Leonardo definitely states in his signed appeal that he worked at the central panel unaided, while in the document of

commission he was required to share the responsibility of the work with the two De Predis brothers. The Brotherhood liked the painting but did not approve of its subject, as it did not depict the Immaculate Conception. It was, therefore, agreed that Leonardo would provide an Immaculist subject. The artist was faced with two alternatives: to change the gesture of the Angel and add Immaculist symbols to the painting, or to paint another subject altogether. At first he considered both possibilities. He toyed with two other compositions. One was the Leda, the pagan counterpart of the Immaculate Conception; the other was the Virgin with the two kissing

children. Meanwhile he let his pupils work at different versions of the “Virgin of the Rocks” (several are still preserved). He decided against making the changes in the Louvre painting itself, because to alter the gesture of the Angel would have involved a change in the whole figure. It

would have transformed the picture and spoiled its artistic beauty. We are aware of the fact when we compare the London and Paris paintings. The mysterious quality of the Louvre version is lost in the London painting and a sense of emptiness prevails in it. It is a pretty genre scene, nothing more. This is not only due to the inferior quality of the technique but mainly to the changed gesture of the Angel. Leonardo was pressed with work and interested in other problems. Therefore, he decided not to give a new painting but to use one of the experiments made in his

workshop under his supervision. He transformed the content of the painting by centering the emphasis of the new composition on the Virgin Mary and by changing the plant symbolism into Immaculist. In the Louvre version the plants allude to the Passion of Christ (aconite, palm tree, iris); in the London version the flowers under the mantle of the Virgin are violets, lilies and roses, the well-known symbols of Mary’s purity and humility. The basis for this new symbolism was found in the Revelations by St. Bridget of Sweden (see the discussion of the London version in the chapter on Immaculist texts). The changes were certainly due to Leonardo himself. No one else could have thought of transforming the pointing gesture of the Angel into that of pushing

the Child towards his Mother, thus implying the idea of the Annunciation. And the idea of conveying Marian symbolism by means of the plants under the mantle of the kneeling Virgin is in keeping with what we know of Leonardo’s personality, of his interest in such symbolism, of his special studies of the Acerba by Cecco d’Ascoli—a Medieval treatise in which animals and plants are given as allegories of human virtues and vices. When was the London version painted? When was it substituted for the Louvre version? The exchange must have taken place between the time of the undated appeal—in it the Brotherhood

is said to be too blind to see a good painting, and the “Virgin of the Rocks” is said to be by Leonardo’s own hand—and before 1499, when Leonardo left Milan—since Leonardo himself must

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 79 be held responsible for the composition of the London painting. Probably the London version was started shortly before 1499, left unfinished when Leonardo left Milan, and completed after 1506. We know from the settlement of 1506 that the painting was still unfinished in that year. The style of the painting itself seems to support this hypothesis. There is a more “liquid” technique in the

heads of the Virgin and Child, in the flesh tones of the Child, in the cheek of the infant St. John, and in the hand of the Virgin over the saint’s shoulder. This style corresponds to Leonardo’s later style. So does the peculiar coloring of the flesh. The forms of the body of the Child and other awkward details in the painting do not seem to be by Leonardo, but we are not going to discuss here how much, if anything, in the execution of the London painting is by Leonardo himself. We are only interested in the iconography of the painting in its two versions and in the genesis of the composition in relationship to the development of Immaculist ideas. If an iconographic study does not solve all the problems involved in this complicated question, at least it explains the genesis of the two versions and their relationship to the documents. Through this study we can show that neither version is directly related to the commission of 1483 and that the settlement of 1506 can only refer to the London version.

.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 1. Virgin Present at Defeat of Devil. English, ca. ro10-1020. London, British Museum, Cotton ms Titus p xxvu, fol. 75v.

2. Virgin Present at Defeat of Devil. Fresco, ca. 1420. Constance, Miinster, Margarethen Kapelle (from Burger-Schmitz-Beth, Die Deutsche Malerei, p. 349, fig. 434). 3. Virgin Present at Defeat of Devil. Bedford Breviary, ca. 1424-1435. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Lat. 17294, fol. 567v. 4. Pacino di Bonaguida (?), Virgin Kneeling with Devil under Her Throne, ca. 1335-1340. Panegyricus by Convenevole da Prato. London, British Museum, Royal ms 6 E 1x, fol. 5. 5. Virgin Stepping on Serpent and Noah’s Ark. Bedford Hours, 1423. London, British Museum, Add. ms 18850, fol. 283v. 6. Virgin Immaculate with Apocalyptic Symbols. Flemish, x11 century. Rothschild Canticles, fol. 63v (from Quaritch Catalogue). 7. Virgin Immaculate with Apocalyptic Symbols. “Ci nous dit” manuscript. Brussels, Bibliothéque Royale, Ms 11 7831, fol. 20.

8. Virgin Immaculate with Apocalyptic Symbols Seated in Garden. English, xv century. London, British Museum, Royal Ms 2 a vim, fol. 44v. 9. Virgin Immaculate Standing. German woodcut, after 1477. 10. Giovanni del Biondo, Virgin Immaculate with Skeleton. Rome, Vatican Gallery (photo: Anderson). 11. Venetian, Virgin of Humility and Stories of the Immaculate Conception, x1v century. London,

National Gallery. |

12. Virgin Immaculate, Half-length, with Child. English, xv century. London, British Museum, Sloane Ms 2683, fol. 53v. 13. Dormition and Coronation of the Virgin. Flemish, x11 century. London, British Museum, Add. ms 2114, fol. rov. 14. Follower of Ghirlandaio, Virgin as Esther. Lucca, Pinacoteca. 15. Mary as Antithesis of Eve. Burgundian, 1477. Manuscript in Jena Library (from Bergner, Handbuch der Kirchlichen Kunstaltertiimer in Deutschland, p. 548, fig. 465). 16. Virgin Immaculate with Trinity. Carmelite Missal, English, end of xiv century. London, British Museum, Add. ms 29704, fol. 193Vv.

17. Madonna della Peste. English Psalter, xrv century. London, British Museum, Harl. ms 2356, fol. 7. 18. Virgo Mediatrix. French Psalter, x1 century. London, British Museum, Add. ms 17868, fol. 31. 19. Doubting Joseph. Franciscan Breviary, x1v century. New York, Morgan Library, ms 75, fol. 389v. 20. Annunciation, and Moses and Gideon. French or Flemish manuscript, x11 century. London, British Museum, Lansdowne ms 381, fol. 7v. 21. Timoteo Viti, Annunciation with St. John and St. Sebastian. Milan, Brera (photo: Alinari). 22. Joachim and Anne with Infant Virgin. English Hymnal, x1 century. London, British Museum, Cotton ms Calig. a xiv, fol. 26v. 23. Sanctification in the Womb. Flemish, x1v century. London, British Museum, Add. ms 29434, fol. gv. 24. Mary in Womb of Anne. Mass of Immaculate Conception of Henry VII of England. London, British Museum, Royal ms 2 a xrx, fol. 1. 25. Anne with Virgin and Christ in Her Womb, Surrounded by Symbols from Litanies. Hours of Simon Vostre for the Use of Angers, 1510.

82 THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 26. Nativity of the Virgin. Arras, x1 century. Arras, Bibliothéque Municipale, ms 960, fol. 69v.

27. Nativity of the Virgin and Tree of Jesse. French Psalter, x111 century. London, British Museum, Add. ms 28784 8, fol. 8. 28. Cycle of Stories from the Protoevangelium. Bedford Breviary, 1424-1435. Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale, Lat. 17294, fol. 386v. 29. Meeting at the Golden Gate. Breviary of Bourgueil, x1v century. Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale, Lat. 1043, fol. 442v. 30. Meeting at the Golden Gate and Legend of Helsinus. French (?), xv century. Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale, Lat. 760, fol. 327Vv.

31. Girolamo di Matteo da Gualdo, Meeting at the Golden Gate with Mary Immaculate. Gualdo Tadino. 32. Meeting at the Golden Gate with Adam and Eve. Hours for the Use of Macon, fol. 17Vv, Siraudin Coll. 33. Joachim and Anne Seated. Missel d?Arras, xtv century. Arras, Bibliothéque Municipale, ms 297 (848), fol. Sov. 34. Announcement to Anne. Breviary of St. Maur of Verdun, xiv century. Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale, Lat. 1029, fol. 241. 35. Tree of Jesse. Legendary of Citeaux. Dijon, Bibliothéque Municipale, ms 641, fol. gov. 36. Tree of Jesse. German, ca. 1200. New York, Morgan Library, Ms 710, fol. 112. 37. Matteo da Gualdo, Tree of Jesse. Gualdo Tadino. 38. Virgin in Green Tree. Flemish, x1 century. Rothschild Canticles, fol. 57. 39. Temptation of First Parents and Christ Nailed to Tree. French, xv century. London, British Museum, Sloane ms 2471, fol. ro2v. 40. Petrus Christus, Virgin in Dry Tree. Formerly Berlin, Oppler Coll. 41. Virgin Predestined. Pienza, Cathedral Museum, Antiphonary a, fol. 90. 42. Virgin and Child with Immaculist Symbols. English Psalter, x11 century. London, British Museum, Lansdowne ms 383, fol. 165v.

43. Central Italy, Vergine del Soccorso, xv1 century. Montefalco, Pinacoteca. , 44. Miracle of Child Given to the Devil. Les Miracles Nostre Dame, ca. 1320. Soissons, Grand Séminaire, ms, fol. 52v (from Focillon, Le Peintre des Miracles Notre Dame, pl. x1). 45. Miuracle of the Virgin Restoring a Foot. London, British Museum, Harl. ms 7026, fol. 14. 46. Austrian, Holy Kinship and Apocalyptic Woman, early xvi century. Venice, Museo Correr. 47. Master of the Glorification of Mary, Glorification of Mary, ca. 1460. Cologne, WallrafRichartz Museum. 48. Tree of Jesse. Dijon, x1 century. Dijon, Bibliothéque Municipale, ms 129, fol. av. 49. Four Immaculist Symbols. English, xv century. London, British Museum, Add. Ms 22720, fol. 12. 50. Rhenish, Virgin Enthroned and Immaculist Scenes, early xv century. Bonn, Provincial Museum.

51. Mystic Hunt and Immaculist Symbols. Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, McClean ms 99,

fol. rv.

52. Baltasar de Echave Ibia, Immaculate Conception, 1622. Mexico, Galeries San Carlos, I.N.B.A.

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