The Sacred Image East and West

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The Sacred Image East and West

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The Sacred Image East and West






URBA .' :\ d





Publication of this book was supported by a grant from the _Research Board of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Introduction: The Sacred Image

© 1995 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois




Manufactured in the United States of America

The Byzantine Panel Portrait before and after Iconoclasm

C 5 4 3 2 l



This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Text and Image on an Icon of the Crucifixion at Mount Sinai



Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The Sacred image East and West / edited by Robert Ousterhout and Leslie Brubaker. p. cm. - !Illinois Byzantine studies : 4) Includes papers presented at a session of the International Congress on Medieval Studies entitled The sacred image: East and West, sponsored by the Byzantine Studies Conference held in Kalamazoo, Mich. in 1991. ' Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-252-02096..() lalk. paper) .1. Icons-History. 2. Icons, Byzantine-History. 3. Icons-CultHmory of doctrines-Middle Ages 600-1500 4 Ch . t . d ' · · symbolism M d' ns 1an art an History 6 ~atheol,~Ca1h, 500h-1500d. 5. Orthodox Eastern Church and artic urc an art-History I o . · Robert G. 11. Brubaker Le r . · · usterh out, BX380.5.S23 1995 , s ie. m. Sencs. 246' .53'09-dc20



A Murderer among the Angels: The Frontispiece Miniatures of Paris. Gr. 510 and the Iconography of the Archangels in Byzantine Art



Icon and Narrative in the Berlin Life of St. Lucy (Kupferstichkabinett MS. 78 A 4)



The Virgin of the Chora: An Image and Its Contexts



Images East and West: The Ascent of the Cross



Reflections on St. Luke's Hand: Icons and the Nature of Aura in the Burgundian Low Countries during the Fifteenth Century



The Liber miraculorum of Unterlinden: An Icon in Its Convent



Roger van der Weyden's Escorial Crucifixion and Carthusian


Devotional Practices ANNE D. HEDEMAN

Conclusion: Image, Audience, and Place: Interaction and Reproduction LESLIE BRUBAKER


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24e 6ory l' let~ 2 ...99C 13,., to sere "d t· ,, . d o. ..,~ ters lie5 t h a t such evo ion as existe ,...,as supnyressed ,D. h ~::>3 , ~"• o iDlP haVe for example, largely ignored the British I l 'i t e church. 3. I '£ the points I shall make about norther sEes, though l suspec 0 IJlOSt . d . f Chri n urope ap~lY as {hat gustine came an rmage o st with him wh h W'eU. All: 59 7 but, like the iconia of Gregory of Tours. en. thearnved at Cant,urY Ul b . la msix -century G aul tef . ,5 icon appears to e an 1so ted example th t d'd gu stUle f h d S R a l Cnot funda men-, J\U aff t concepts o t e sacre . ee . A. Markus "Th ~y -C=~turY Gaul," fournal of T~eological Studie; n.s. ; 9 ~~~~f lc?ns_in S~~ din Markus, From Augustine to Gregory the Great lL d bl-::, 7; repnnte on on, 1983 ,


· h · R essaY 4. See also, e.g., R. Kraut e1mer, ome, Profile of a City, 312-1308 lPrinton 1980). ce 5 For a recent thoroudgh suzrv~y,lsee dH. Belting, Bild und Kult: Eine Ge: bte des Bildes var em e1ta ter er Kunst (Munich 19901 scbic d . f 1 . , . 6 We retain the mo er~ meamng or c anty, but note that specialist lit. m· creasingly quest10ns the narrowness of this after-the-fact definierature · G . Alib egasv1·li, A. Vo1ska·a, M. Chatzidakis . . see e.g., K. We1tzmann, 1 00 ~. Babi( M. Alpatov, ~d T. Voinescu, .The Ic~n (London, 1982), 3-4 R. Cormack, Writing m Gold: Byzantine Society and Its Icons (Oxford, 1985) 10-11. 7 Though some of the details and unquestioned assumptions no longer h ld essays by N. Baynes ("The Icons before Iconoclasm,'1 Harvaid Theo1 i~al Review 44 [1951], 93-106; reprinted in Baynes, Byzantine Studies ogd Other Essays [London, 1955], 226-39) and E. Kitzinger ("The Cult of :ages in the Age before Iconoclasm,'1 Dumbarton. Oaks Papers 8 ll~S41, 88-150; reprinted in Kitzinger, The _Art of Byzant1~m and the Medieval West: Selected Studies, ed. W. E. Klembauer (Bloommgton, Ind.! 19761, 90156) remain fundamental to our understanding ~f th~se early 1mage5:i F~r the crucial years around 800, see also the oven:~ew m R: ~ormack, Miculous Icons in Byzantium and Their Powers, Arte cnstrnna 76 (1988 \, V





· · 1 · t see 8. The bibliography on Iconoclasm is vast; on this partic~ ar porn , . k "B . Art in the Nmth Century. e texts collected in L. Bruba er, yz~ntme d Greek Studies 13

eory, Practice, and Culture," Byzantine and Mo ern 89), 23-93. .b · Carolini" Specu· . See A. Freeman, "Theodulf of Orleans and the 11 n . the Carol32 (1957), 663-705, and R. McKitterick, "Text/~d Im::::~arly Median World," in R. McKitterick, ed., The Uses O itera 'Q1. Europe (Cambridge, 1990), 297-318. t citations see, e.g:, 1 0. Basil, On the Holy Spirit, _PG 32:149~. For ; e;), ed. G.D. Mansi, acts of the seventh Ecumenical Council (A.D. 8. 1 13 (Florence, . · CollectIO, vo · · hh rum Conciliorum nova et amp1issima s. Sources in Elg t 7), 324B and 377E, trans. D. J. Sahas, Icon and Logo ·



The Sacred Image

Leslie Brubaker Medieval Texts and Translations 4 (Toronto

Ce.ntUIY Iconoclasm, Toronto , I "61, 143, 179. cy" of the Byzantine image, see esp. G. Vikan 11 On the "rransparen . mt . h e Art of Byzan-' ·. . Edibl Icons· Originals an d Copies on e . 59 Th "Rum10at1ons . ,, d " · the History of Art 20 (1989), 47- . e concept had imtium, Stu ies in . . "Cult " 124-25 rial antecedents: see, e.g., K.itzm?er, . ' . . · pe J Our evidence for this is inevitably pnmarily lite~ary-and hence de1-· eople with at least some degree of schooling, many of whom dent pen · 1s · t h us particularr • f ont Pmembers of the well-educate d e li te-and 1t "'ereurious 10 ac h · · · Byzantium that until quite recently the emp as1s on images m 1 : ; explained away as having been, for example, "prompted by a desire to sublimate the naive, animistic ideas of the masses, to elevate them to a plane where they became theologically acceptable" (Kitzinger, "Cult," 146). for discussion of and opposition to this view, see Av. Cameron, "The Theotokos in Sixth-Century Constantinople," fournal of Theological Studies n.s. 29 (1978}, 79-108, esp. 102-3; Cameron, "Images of Authority: Elites and Icons in Late Sixth-Century Byzantium," Past and Present 84 (1979), 3-JS (both reprinted in Cameron, Continuity and Change in Sixth-Century Byzantium (London, 1981 J, essays 16 and 18 ); P. Brown, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Chicago, 198IL 13-18; and Anderson's article in this volume. 13. For the West, compare Brown, Cult, 1-22. 14. See too G. Dagron, "Holy Images and Likeness," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 45 {1991J, 23-33; as he (among others) has pointed out, the process was cyclical: social consensus determined what a given saint looked like and_ the images of that saint in tum confirmed this belief. In Byzantin~ hagiography, people are commonly able to identify figures about whom they have dreamt or seen in a vision because they knew (or later discovered) what ~ey looked like from icons. As Dagron noted, the relationship between image and prototype is in fact reversed. See also, e.g., Cormack, Writing in Gold, 44-45; A. Kazhdan and H. Maguire, "Byzantine Hagiographical Texts as fources ~n Art," Dumbart?~ Oaks Papers 45 (1991), 1-22, esp. 6-7. 5. Mansi, Sacrorum Concihorum Collectio vol. 13 325D trans Sahas Icon and Logos, 145. ' ' , · , 6· See _mop st alrecently K. Corrigan, Visual Polemics in the Ninth-Century yzantme s ters (Cambridge 1992) 30 17 Ma · .. ' ' · Icon ~nd :~!~~;rum Concilwmm Collectio, vol. 13, 244B, trans. Sahas,


. 18. Quotations from th L1·b · C tainly by Theod lf f e n aro1mi, written around 794, almost cerO 1eans; for a translation and discussion of the passage see McKitt;. ~ "; in c~ntext in "Thncd, If exf t anld Image," 298-99. Freeman puts the remarks of the distinction eo madu bo Or eans . ' " e sp. 696-97 ,'h ere too an examination ulf presents an extreme etwbeen image and prototype in the Libri). Theodwriters as well he case, ut his sentiments were echoed by mainstream ; see t e quotation from Hraban Maur later in the introduc-


out in h er ...erna.,. . o ~ ..-..owever, as McKitterick points h uob1l· t h e Scot conveys a somew at different i ·. ":.f;,d i' h h mpre~sw - , , • Jo '[bis is not to say t at t e By zantines ig.."'lo ed • • , 1 7 ~ - 7 .


cred images, but that "creativity" and ,,. rd. - ~t, e

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1 eif sa ll . d n '1~- ! e-:_z · u::·s, ~,, _., tb. p y OO t norma y conceive. as important . ·~~ l si.JJl -...ror should we expect 1t to be. See the ne ~· 20. .r-• 1 G y rcep .. Vf" um ·--la.rlY ambiva ent ~ ...1 sac· '"' • .rr; - •• .r.: ~ eal raeco-Roman d h . attitudes toW.:.r.,,., f' . s don "The R an t e Imaginary· Prod . • • ... ~ mages 1c;or Roman ' ld , . .:.nd li . L· Wor ,' Art His t ory 2 ~979 ~~4 ~< - · . '" GfaecoTh Ar f . 21. Trans. C. Ma_ngo, ~ to t~e Byzantine E.rnp1re 3: ~-:.! - -:. • d Documents m the History of rUt (En~e-vood. r · -~ - . • J, SG_.-. J


es an •Kount Athos, Lavra..:. 58, fol. froto in

2.30r. f or ot...,.,.... ;:z:_-- ::.': • ·,_ E, - 2, .3· , ..., 2(), 77. 79, evcenk ' "Where. a . hday, ed. c. Mango an 0. ritsa (=Harvard Uk . o 0 11 th His svme Bat C mbridge, Mass., 1984), 405-30. rainia11 983 1 Studies'. f1 ll .Jonastery of Saint Catherine: Icons, 61-64; Belti 5. We_itz~~~ .Kreuzbild im 'Hodegos' des Anastasios Sinaites ,,ng-Ihrn and Belt~g, Monastery of Saint Catherine: Icons, 79-82. W '. 36-38. 6 We1tzmann, . . f h. . B 1. eitzrnan · ta place of ongm or t 1s icon. e tmg-Ihm and B . n · unable to sugges · s· · , elt1n 1s b'ld ·m 'Hodegos' des Anastas10s ma1tes, '38) tentati g ("Das Kreuz I I ·fixi . (W . ve1Y sug gest that the whole group of ~ru~1 b o~ ico~~ e1tzm~nn cat. nos. B.32B 36 B.50, B.51) was made at Sma1, . ase f oS~ . e connhe~th1on between thes~ .· ' d the writings of Anastasms o ma1, on w 1c see below images an f . C h . I 7 . 7. Weitzmann, Monastery_o Saint, at lerme: cdons,? -58. The loincloth is more clearly visible in We1tzmann shco ~r reprho luct10n. The loincloth is . the Crucifixion image on t e tnump a arch over the main also used m . th . f apse in S. Maria Antigua which dates to e reign o Pope Tohn ~ (A.O. 70S-?), d Which is considered to be strongly dependent on Byzantme sources. S anf. Nordhagen, "Tohn VII 's ' A doration · · S . M ana · Antigua,,, ee P. o f t h .e C ross ' m fournal of the Warburg and Cour_ta~ld I~st1tutes 30 (1967), 388-90. J. Osborne, in Early Medieval Wall-Pamtmgs m the Lower Church of San Clemente, Rome ([New York, 1984], 55-61), discusses the various uses of the loincloth and colobium in the East and West during this period. 8. On these manuscripts, see K. Corrigan, Visual Polemics in the NinthCentury Byzantine Psalters (Cambridge, 1992). 9. This was noted by J. R. Martin, "The Dead Christ on the Cross in Byzantine Art," Late Classical and Medieval Studies in Honor of A. M. Friend, fr., ed. K. Weitzmann (Princeton, 1955), 191. 10. Weitzmann, Monastery of Saint Catherine: Icons, 82-83. 11. See Belting-Ihm and Belting, "Das Kreuzbild im 'Hodegos' des Anastasios Sinaites," 30-39; and A. Kartsonis, Anastasis, the Making of an Image (Princeton, N.J., 1986), 19, and chap. 3. Kartsonis has argued that images of Christ's death (as well as his resurrection) were avoided before this time because of the controversies concerning the precise relationship between Christ's human and divine natures during his death and the time ~pent in the tomb. Belting-Ihm and Belting connected the appearance of the unage of Christ dead on the cross to the writings of the late seventh-century monk and theologian, Anastasius of Sinai. In addition, Kartsonis has argued that Anastasius specifically used a representation of Christ dead on th e cros~ as a way refuting the Monophysites. . ,, 12· Nice?horus, Antirrheticus, III, PG 100:425 C-D, as cited in Martm, Dead Christ on the Cross in Byzantine Art," 194. Martin, who was not ~ware of th e existence of the Sinai icons mentioned above believed th at th e images of Christ dead on the cross in the ninth-century Byzantine psalters were the earliest 1 f · . · rompt. examp es o this subJect, and that its creat10n was P ed b Y a desrre to refute the Iconoclasts.

Text and Image on an Icon 13. See Corrigan, Visual Polemics, 81-90. l4. The Gospels themselves do not state precisely what Christ was wearing at the Crucifi~ion. _They tell us that the soldiers stripped Christ of his clothes, covered him with a purple cloak, put a crown of thorns on his head, and mocked him. After this they stripped off the purple robe and put his wn clothes back on him before they led him away. The only indication that ~hrist was stripped before his Crucifixion is the report that the soldiers cast lots for his garments. This situation was clarified in the fourth-century Acts of Pilate where ~t is s_pecifi~d that the soldiers_ stri~ped Christ of his ~arments and girt him with a lmen cloth. The earliest images of the Crucifixion (fifth century) do indeed show Christ wearing the loincloth (see G . Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art [Greenwich, Conn., 19721, vol. 2, 8897), but in early Byz~ntine images of the Crucifixion (sixth-eighth century) the colobium prevailed. 15. See ibid., 91, 95-96; and M. Mrass, "Kreuzigung Christi," Reallexikon zur Byzantinischen Kunst, vol. 5 (Stuttgart, 1991), 296, 315. . 16. See Kartsonis, Anastasis, Making of an Image, 143. 17. Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, vol. 2, 91. For a translation of the text, see Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Martyrs, trans: R. _van Dam (Liverpool, 1988), 41. This story has been interpreted as the reJe~tlon by the local population of a foreign innovati?n i_ntroduced under the mfluence of the large Syrian mercantile commumty m Narbonne. See Osborne, Early Medieval Wall-Paintings in San Cle:71ente, 60._ 18. Weitzmann, Monastery of Samt Catherme: Icons, 82_-83. l 9. For a color reproduction of the Sancta Sanctorum reliquary box, see A G abar The Golden Age of fustinian (New York, 1967), pl. 20~. For t~e · rll ae,' s ee A . Grabar, Ampoules de Terre Sainte (Monza-Bobbio) (Pans, ampu 1958), Monza Nos. 9, 10, 11; ~obbio Nos. 4, 5. di d. the 20 · C orrigan' Visual Polemics, 86-87. · · w ill be .scusse m 21 I Kalavrezou personal commumcat10n. ·bl N 139) that Kalavrezou is now prepar· · ' study of th~ Paris P_salter (B1 . aht. Th Miniatures of the Paris Psalter ing. For an illustration, see H. Bue t a , e (London, 1938), fig. 4. . 22. Corrigan, Visual Polemics, 85 · . M tery of Saint Cathe23. The transcription is taken from Weitzm~h' onas d line Weitzmann . . .fi t hange· m t e secon , rine: Icons, 82, with one ~1_gn1 can \ . -Ihm and Belting) takes ~ON as (following G. and M. Sotmou and Be rg . ) However, as Nancy Sevcenan abbreviation for KPE~ENOf ( ang:~; ~welve-syllable format, since ko pointed out to me, this would is~f \ It seems more likely that the 1 the second line would ~ave ~o~rtee1:' sy 1a fo:~ot a syllable-namely the NE person who wrote the mscnptwn simp Y CE ld be an easy mistake to in front of KPON. The omission of NE aftebr Bwoouwru·ng one would expect e by Ro ert r , . . make. Also1 as was suggeste d to m KPON In the transcnption • d KPEM not · , . . KPE MAMENON to be abbreviate. di t m1ssmg 1etters. ( ) indicate abbreviations, and m ca e


59 58

Text and Image on an k on Kathleen

orrig lll . , cited in L. J,1mc ,md R. Webb, "'To ·mr1t1 ·nu1ti1 . .i::.; , Ek 1 . d • Aphthonios, Prol E VV\JV T QL () 'J\ 5a. µ. KOL YI I ;'" t:' XLTuJVU1; . 39. J. Quasten, "The Garment of Imm_ort2:lity: A St~dy of th~ Acc~p~ Vestem Candidam "' Miscellanea Liturg1ca m onore di sua Emwenz cardinale Giacom~ Lercaro {Rome, 19661, vol. 1, 39l-40l. . l 0 oi cal Expression Of Th 40. S. Brock "Clothing Metaphors as a Means eo ~ _ • • b · d - tlichen Va tern un d 1 m Syriac Tradition/' Typus, Symbol, Allegone 1e en os


Kathleen Corrigan ionales Kolloquium, Eichstatt, 1981 · Afjttelalter. Interna t b il h' ' ihren Paralle!en un e ;r Eichstatter Beitrage 4, A te ung P 1losoed. M. Schmidt and C. F. G by ' 1982 ) 11-38, esp. 15-18. phie und Theo1ogie {Regens urg, ' 41. Tbid., IS-18. t ' ·n Nativitatem Sanctae Dei Genitricis 0 ra 10 1 42. Jo h n f Da mascus' D. Schriften des fohannes von Damaskos, vol. . 4 8 12 ed Kotter, ie . . S ources H ilies sur Ja Nativite et 1a D orm1t10n, Manae, , - ' · 1et, om 73 trans P. Vou · h ·b · f h 1 5' , .' · aris l961), 55. Kotter questions t e attn uuon o t e ser' although he does place it in Jerusalem (149-50). chreuennes 80f /P n to John O Damascus, . . h f h ages he finds problematic. This passage 1s t e closm~ . This is one o t e pass . est I have found so far to the language of the ~p1gram. . . . As noted inn. 14 above, the Acts ?f Pilate specify that Chnst was


A Murderer . . am ong the Ange1s.. T h e F ront1sp1ece Miniatures of p ans. . Gr. 510 and the Iconography of the Archangels in Byzantine Art HENRY MAGUIRE


stripped of his garments and girt with a lmen clo~~· .. 44 This has been pointed out by J. Engemann, Zur Pos1t10n von Sonne und Mond bei Darstellungen der Kreuzigung Christi," Studien zur spiitantiken und byzantinischen Kunst, ed. 0. Feld and U. Peschlow, RornischGermanisches Zentralmuseum Monographien 10.3 (Bonn, 1986), 95-101, esp. 100-101. See also Corrigan, Visual Polemics, 86. 45. P. Oppenheim, Symbolik und Religiose Wertung des Monchskleides im christlichen altertum, Theologie des christlichen Ostens, Texte und Untersuchungen 2 (Munster, 1932), 50. 46. Ibid., 50 n. 3. 47. Ibid., 46.

In a text whi~h was composed, in all probability, during the reign of the emperor Basil I (867-86), we find the earliest version of a well-known story concerning the empress Theodora and her iconoclast husband Theophilos. 1 After the death of Theophilos, the pious Theodora restored the veneration of holy icons, but she wished also to save her departed spouse from the eternal condemnation that awaits the impious. Accordingly, she begged Patriarch Methodios to intercede with his prayers on behalf of the soul of the dead emperor. The patriarch decided that the names of all the leaders of the iconoclasts, including that of Theophilos, should be inscribed upon a document, which he sealed and deposited on the altar of the church of Hagia Sophia. Together with many other ecclesiastics, the patriarch continued in prayers and supplications for some time, during which period he had a dream. He saw a luminous angel coming to him, to tell him that his supplication had been heard and that Theophilos had been pardoned. The patriarch awoke from the dream in a tremble, and wishing to discover whether it had been true or false, opened the document that had been placed upon the altar, whereupon he discovered that the name of Theophilos alone had been miraculously erased from the list of heretics. By this means, a sign was provided of the effectiveness of the intercession, and of the reality of

divine pardon for admitted sins. Obviously a miracle such as this one was an exceptional occurre~ce. But in other cases, an icon could provide assurance of divine for~veness and salvation. In the pages that follow, I will show how a ~amted image, or series of images, could bring such a message concerrung an62

A Murderer among the Ange1s

Henry Maguire . ·conoclast but a murderer. In the ·1 I •ho was not an 1 . £ 1 th m r, ~ ' 1•• ~ '\ s all also suggest an explana t10n or a ong1 m , discu ~10n melY why it was that archangels, £B rzanunchart,, na·n imperial dress. Bas1·1 game . d h' ·w1ding p bl t: m c 1s Ch · t were s ov. n 1 . d f th _ n'aDC o . ns ' , ·illi first the caesar Bardas m 866, an then t.hron through \'lolenct.:, k ngM. h"el III in the following year. 2 The h emperor 1c hi· 0\\'11 patron, t e . .., matter of considerable concern to • ·f! • ,u_unc.anon °f these cnmes . hwasMacedonian dynasty, who rhetorically Ba il and his successors in t ebl drunken and blasphemous charac.' . . 3 . ted Michael III as an unsta e, pamwhose removal was a consequence of divme will._ . . , ter, £ h f us Paris Gregory manuscnpt (B1bhotheque At the front o t e amo . _, MS 5 IOJ a deluxe illustrated copy of the sermons of auonaie, ' ·· gr. nzus which was produced for Bas1·1 r between t h e years Gregory o[ az1a . o and 883, there is a sequence of five painted pages which th~mati4 cally constitute a single image (fols. Av~v}. These pages were de~1gned, among other functions, to associate Basil~ w~o was no ~gel, with th_e angels, and to project his desire for salvation m the 3!ter~e. The ~udience to which these miniatures were addressed was nuxed; 1t compnsed, in the first place, Basil himself, as well as his subjects below him and the heavenly powers above him. The author of the imagery is unknown; possibly it was inspired by Patriarch Photios, who, it has been convincingly argued, was responsible for much of the content of the miniatures in this manuscript. 5 The paintings at the front of the Paris Gregory manuscript are difficult to appreciate today because they are badly flaked, and their original order has been altered. According to the most likely reconstruction, the book originally opened with an image of Christ portrayed seated in heaven on a lyre-backed throne (fig. 18 ). 6 This miniature was displayed on the back of the first folio (AvJ. The following bifolio (B-C) was folded backwards ~u~ng a later rebinding of the manuscript. Originally, its sequence of numatures began with a painting of a cross on the righthand ?age (fig. 19; now fol. Cr), facing the image of Christ. The next pair 0 -~acmg pages depicted, on the left, Basil standing on a podium between E IJah, wh~ was holding the labarum, and the archangel Gabriel who was crownmg the emperor 'fi h I g. 2O; now fol. Cv); on the right-hand' page was td e em l press standing between her two sons Leo and Alexan er, a so on a podmm 1,fi 21 f I ' family w dr d. . g. ; now O • Br). All members of Basil's ere esse m imperial d h t wearing imperial robes The fif coS ume, an .t e angel Gabriel was also th now fol BvJ Th · page contamed another cross (fig. 22· · · e cross on fol Bv · d ' the angel crowning Bas·l h' · h was pamte over an underdrawing of finished miniature now1 'wf1cl seems to have been a trial piece for the on o. Cv.1








some respects, these . paintings are sim'l 1 ar to a m . In ault of a chamb er m the building known h osaic that adorned the V . as t e K · .

il built m the Great Palace. Although the K . ai~ourg1on, which . BaS now from t h e L'f i e of Basil that the mos . a1nour1no c.~ n is now lost we k . a1c portrayed h ' together with his empress, Eudokia, and all their chi t e emperor, "raising their hands to God and the life-bringin . ldren, who were ut crying out as follows : 'on account of thi g ~ign of the cross and all b . s v1ctory-b · · bol everything that is good and dear to God h as been ace nnging symhieved in the days of our reign." '8 Like the . . omphshed and ac hi . . m1ruatures of the p . Gregory, then, t s groupmg of rmages apparently associated Christ ans ross , and members ' the . . .of the fimperial family. The m osa1.c was accom C ·ed by two mscnpt10ns o .thanksgiving , one addr esse d to God by pathe ru rents on behalf of the children and the other addr essed by th e chil . Pa dren on behalf of therr parents. The prayer of the children read· "W~ thank You, 0 Word of God, ~hat You have elevated our fathe; from Dav~dic poverty ~d have anomted him ~ith the unction of Your Holy Spint. Yet guard him and our mother with Your hand, while deeming both them and ourselves worthy even of Your heavenly K.ingdom."9 Thus, the image was both a celebration of pubhc triumphs, wrought by the power of the cross, and an expression of hope for personal salvation in heaven. It acknowledged temporal success, while it anticipated spiritual benefits. It will be seen that this complexity of reference, public and private, material and spiritual, present and hereafter, also characterizes the opening miniatures of the Paris Gregory. The painting of Basil between Gabriel and Elijah lfig. 20) has several unusual features. Ioli Kalavrezou-Maxeiner has shown how the presence of Elijah holding the labarum refers both to the victories of Constantine I and to the legend that Elijah prophesied to Basil's mother that he would become emperor. 10 The figure of Gabriel, who crowns Basil, also carries a complex meaning. The Nea Ekklesia, the church which Basil I built in the Great Palace, was dedicated to Gabriel, along with Christ, Elijah, the Virgin, and St. Nicholas, "in exchange for their goodwill on his behalf." 11 As we have noted, in the miniature of the Paris Gregory the archangel is dressed in imperial vestments. Most obviously, h. Gabnk 12 v el wears the loros, the long jeweled scarf that makes a. at is ~ec , and he carries an orb in his left hand. In post-iconoclastic Byza~tme art it is almost invariably the rule that archangels only wear impenal dres.s th they change their w h .en they are in heaven. When they appear on ear , fi . . t 0 high court of c1a1s attire, either wearing the garments appropriate . . rmor i 3 One can or the antique tunic and himation, or, if appropna~e, \self ·On fol. 3r, 1 take an example from the Paris Gregory manuscnpt . B. .1 d his . showing as1 an t h e next miniature to follow the pre fatory senes


A Murderer among th e Angels

us tenth-century ivory in Moscow wh· h d . farn° b h · ( ic ep1cts h constantine VII y ~ nst fig. 27).22 In the ivory 1 t e ~oronation of he podium, but m the miniature of the p '. on Y Chnst is elevated on t .h h h ans Grego h es this honor wit t e arc angel. The ide . d . ry t e emperor sh ar db a is anng b it was also expresse y contemporary B . Ut we shall see t h at . h yzantme 0 the manuscnpt, t e scene of the crowni·ng O f Bas1l . rators. I· In an inscription that provides further light O . ~s surrounded d . . nits meamn Th by hose first wor s are m1ssmg, reads: clearly El". h g. e text, w . h'l G b . 11a assures . der your enemies, w i e a nel, foretelling (n , a victory Ov ·1 rul PO\lT)VUwv) lsp" · l' . owns you, 0 Basi, er of the world."'23 Thew d , mtua 1 Joy, er . h . or npoµ11vuwv m h t at is, on the one hand 1-t can re fer to th ay 1avef a double connotation; . e angel Gabnel at the Annunciation ' when he came with . ae ro e 0 1 th soteriological message to forecast joy to the whole ld b genera h · wor , ut on the · other han d it may ave a more pnvate significance addr ., . . , esse d to the absolution of Basi1 s own sms. Accordmg to this reading th . . . h h · · . , e mscnpt1on · ound the images ows t at 1t 1s not Just a record of mat · . . ena1tnumphs ar ast and present, but also a promise of future l. oy which th . . , e emperor' P will find at the 1~matenal court of heaven. As in the case of Theophilos, the angel bnngs good news concerning the afterlife. The ~iniature and its inscription are. matched by a contemporary panegync addresse~ to the emperor Basil I, which was written by an anonymous author m twelve-syllable verse. 24 This text is a verbal counterpart to the images that precede the Paris Gregory manuscript. The poem praises the material victories of the emperor, calling him a great emperor who has been able to drive away "false nations," 25 but at the same time it hints at the association of the emperor with the immaterial angels. The emperor is said to "possess the wise command of God," which "alone was sufficient to smite his enemies, even being hospitable to the very natures without bodies." That is, like Abraham, Basil even entertained the angels; the language is opaque, but the intent is clear. The panegyric continues: Basil has "procured the divine beauties of kings, that are over and above mortal beings"; his qualities are "higher than everything of the world. " 16 A few lines further on the angels reappear. "It is probable," says the orator, "that the angels above are always wisely repeating with eulogistic speech that statement which was once made to Cornelius: 'Your mercies and the great force of your prayers rd came to heaven before the face of the Lord with wingless speed acco . · f 1· · 1 d continuous mg to your unceasing memorable grace or 1m1t ess an . ages, and for eternal reward and salvation. " 17 The reference here isl to t the story of the Gentile Cornelius, related in the Acts of the ApoS es, . h. . "Your prayers W h o had a vision in which he saw an angel saying to im. k for you b efore an d acts of charity have gone up to heaven to spea 1



A Murderer among the An

Henry Maguire

. ·es show that he is to be set .1, rhly v1cton 112 In summary, Bas1 s ear f gels who say that his prayers come God. pany o anh ' ·11 receive eterna I rewar d an d rtals in the com I above mO L d so that e Wl . . · h e face of the or d by the opening m1matures m t e . expresse . bc fore th ation. Similar ideas were d the crowning of the emperor for his lv sa . es showe h Paris Gregory. The 1mag El 1.. 3 hand won by the cross; at t e same dieted by 1 · · temporal success, pre . f rting message of his own sa1vat10n ht to Basil a com O 1 time they broug 1Y court1 beside the ange s. • G regory the heaven and acceptance at f the paintings of the Pans . d . 886 a few years a ter . h h did Basil die m , .h d' we have confirmation t at e , . . h' f . . s notw1t stan mg, were ma dc. His sm h' d th for we are told this m is uner. . the angels after is ea ' d L indce d, ,om . d . d by his successor and suppose son, eo . which was e11vcre . ary orau~n, . of the departed emperor, declares: "Now, m reVI. Leo, m his cul~f; without measure, you [that is, Basil] are exalted turn for your hulmf by 'd God· in return for having founded ternhaving become o ty es1 e ' ... . d. . 1 . · h rches] you now walk m ivme pa aces; in reh , 1 . h ple to Go d It at is, c u turn for establishing the singing of sacred choirs, you now ~ ory m t e 11 2.9 There is no doubt that the verbal and visual rhetochants of ange ls. . · · h ric which c ·onerated Basil I of his crimes and si_tuated him m eaven was success fu l. Over a hun dred years later the biographer of Irene, ab. f the convent of Chrysobalanton in Constantinople, wrote of this hcs O d d .h . emperor: "Eve_n if the ~a~ be guilty of murder, _he is a om~ w~t ~~~ ou and impenal supenonty, and therefore God is pleased with him. In conclusion, a few words may be said concerning the iconography of angels in Byzantine art. From the texts that have been quoted here, it can be seen that the image of archangels in imperial dress had an ideological value in the context of imperial panegyric: the visual similarity of the emperor to heavenly beings was a powerful sign of his divine acceptance, whatever the earthly crimes that might be held against him. The force of the image in imperial propaganda may help to explain why the iconography of angels in imperial costume was retained in Byzantine art, in spite of earlier criticism of this type. Cyril Mango, in a recent article, 31 has shown how the imperially dressed archangel, which was known in early Byzantine art, 32 may have originated outside of the official church, having associations with the winged kosmokrator ':ttis, whose cult was strong in western Asia Minor. The depiction of Michael and Gabriel in imperial costume was attacked as an idolatrous image of pagan derivation by Severus the patriarch of Antioch 33 ~om 51_2 to 518, in a text that was later q~oted at the Second Coun34 cil of N 1caea · Moreav~r, ~n · t h e context o f the heavenly hierarchy, the pBortray_al of archangels m imperial dress was an anomaly. Even though yzantme texts spoke of th e arc h ange 1s ' commanding role over the

ge 1s th . enlY hosts, e supreme, imperial statu h beav ed to C h nst, . not to h'is generals 36 fore s s ould . 1og1cally have be1ong h · ' ar1Y Chnst · . writers agreed t at Chnst was the basile ian and Byzanune . 31 M us or II despot ,, hi els were his servants. ango, stating that the medie , w le the angld offer no reasonable explanation of the ico val Byzantines ~U . M~~~f h 0 ·buted the preservat10n of the imperial ang 1 . arc angels attn . e s m post · ' Byzantine conservatism. 38 But it seems 1 h -iconoclastic art to . h , a so, t at th olitical factor favonng t e p~eservation of the ima e. N ere -:,vas a P. e of Basil I but for centunes after his reign B g . ot only m the urn . . h . f , yzantme artists d ·ters working int e service o the state continued t an . 1 0~ ~ 0~0 ls between the emperor and the angels in incr . paralle 1 . ' easing1y explicit n'ls· in the Palaeo ogan penod the emperors even a . d . te r1... ,. , • • • d cquue wmgs 39 1 ress made little sense in th h . e archangels m impena h · Th · hl h' . e ierarc y of he aven 1 but m the eart • Y ierarchy theu role in elevati·n g th e status of the emperor was easier to understand. 35


I am grateful to Philip Grierson and Anna Kartsonis for their comments on an earlier draft of this paper. 1. The story is told in the Narratio de Theophili imperatoris absolutione, ed. W. Regel, Analecta Byzantino-Russica (St. Petersburg, 1891), 36.4-37.6. See also Vita Irenae, 2, ed. and trans. J. 0. Rosenqvist, The Life of St. Irene Abbess of Chrysobalanton (Uppsala, 1986), 6.4-8.2. 2. On these events see R. Jenkins, Byzantium, the Imperial Centuries, A.D. 610-1071 (London, 1966), 166; C. Mango, "Eudocia Ingerina, the Normans, and the Macedonian Dynasty," Zbornik Radova Vizantoloskog Instituta, 14-15 (Belgrade, 1973), 17-27, esp. 23-24 (reprinted in C. Mango, Byzantium and Its Image [London, 1984], no. xv); and~- Kisli~ge~, "Eudokia lngerina, Basileios I. und Michael ill.," fahrbuch der Osterre1chischen Byz-

antinistik 33 (1983), 119-36. . . 3. See, especially, R. J. H. Jenkins, "Constantine VII's Portrait of Michael ill," Academie Royale de Belgique, Bulletin de la Classe des Lettres, ser. 5, 34 (1948), 71-77. . . . scrits 4. H. Omont, Fae-similes des miniatures des pl~~ ancie~:s~:~) 12_ grecs de la Bibliotheque Nationale du Vle au XIe siecle (Pa ' .' f "The Portraits o · 13, pls. 15-19. On the date see I. Kalavrezou- M axemer, .. u·k 27 ' ·· · h · h n Byzantm1s Basil I in Paris gr. 510," fahrbuch der Osterre1c isc e (1978), 19-24. . . h-Century Byzan. 5. L. Brubaker, "Politics, Patrona~e, and _Art i~


i~ Gr. SlO)," Dumb-

tium: The Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus m Pans B. ·B b ker "To Learton Oaks Papers 39 (1985), 1-13, esp. 12-13; see also ru a '



/\ Murderer arnonv the A

Henry Maguire d Visual Authority in the Eighth and . . ·mize an Emperor: Con stan~me adn New Constantines (Aldershot, 1994), git1 . - p Magdahno, e ., Ninth Centunes, 111 · 139-58. . ,, he Illustrations of the Homilies of Gregory of 6. s. Der Ne_rsessian, . Study of the Connections between Text and Nazianzus, Pans, gr. 510 · 16119 62)' 197-228, esp. 198; KalavrezouII Dumbarton Oaks Papers Im ages f B ·1 I " 24 Ma.xeiner, "Portraits o_ as\ 'rtraits of Basil I," 21-22, fig. 3. 7. Kalavrez?~_-Ma.xe:;1~\ t~er CHSB /Bonn, 1838), 334.9-16. 8. Vita Bas1ln, 89, e . . e 3'35 2-6 1·· 89 ed Bekker · · 9. Vita Bas1 n, , : "P~rtraits of Basil r," 22-23 /citing the Vita 10. Kalavrezou-Ma.xemer, .. 8 83 ed Bekker 222.9-19, 325.13-15). Basilll, , , · ' 5 11 20 Vita Basilii, 83, ed. Bekker, 32 . - . . . . ll. On the 1oros, see p. Gri·erson, Catalogue of the Byzantine Corns m 12. . ) . llection 'Washmgton, D.C., 1968 vo1. 2, 1, 78-80; the Dum barton Oaks Co ' vol. 2, ii, 570. Ch · · ·k A · nstiam es r13. C. Mango, "St . Mi·chael and Attis , " De1t10n tes chaiologikes Hetaireias, ser. 4, vol._ 12 /!984), 39-62, esp. 44. . 14. On the depiction of Michael m this scene, see the observ~t1_ons of K. u, ·t Exne1 zmann, "The Classical in Byzantine Art as a Mode of· Ind1v1dual M · pression," in Weitzmann, Studies in Classical and Byzantine anuscnpt Illumination, ed. H. Kessler /Chicago, 1971 ), 166-67. 15. M. Restle, Die byzantinische Wandmalerei in Kleinasien (Recklinghausen, 1967), vol. 1, 134-37; vol. 3, fig. 317. 16. T. Schmit, Die Koimesis-Kirche von Nikaia (Berlin, 1927), 21-28, pls. 12-14. 17. Restle, Die byzantinische Wandmalerei in Kleinasien, vol. 3, pl. 333. On the date, see vol. 1, 69 and 238 n. 205. 18. S. Pelekanidis and M. Chatzidakis, Kastoria (Athens, 1985), 6-19, esp. 18, fig. 6. 19. They include the fourteenth-century paintings of the Annunciation at Stare Nagoricino (G. Millet, La peinture du moyen age en Yougoslavie [Paris, 19621, vol. 3, pl. 79, 3-4), and Decani (V. R. Petkovic and D. Boskovic, Decani [Belgrade, 1941J, vol. 2, pl. 171). This iconography was discussed by G. Millet, Recherches sur l'iconographie de l'Evangile (Paris, 1916), 87. 20. It may be noted that in the underdrawing on fol. Bv (fig. 22) the angel has even been deprived of his wings, although there was space for them, a feature that. fu~ther underscores the similarity to the emperor. 21. The pamtmg of Basil is flaked in the area of his left hand but Empress and her two sons clearly hold orbs in the miniat~re on fol. Br (fig. 21J. 2 k A. Goldschmidt and K. Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeins u pturen des X.-X!II. fahrhunderts (Berlin, 1934), vol. 2, 35, pl. 14. 23. Omont, Fae-similes, 13. 24· Ed. A. Brinkmann Alex d · L 1· · iones disput t. (L . . ' an 11 ycopo 1tam contra Manichaei opina 10 e1pz1g, 1895), xvi-xxii. 11



n n~cls Ibid., x~iii.93, xix.121. 26 . Ibid., xix.147 xx.156. . Ibid., xx.168 76 . 27 28. Acts, 10: 1 -5 . 29 Ed. A. Vogt and I. Haushcrr, "Oraison f cl . c·hristianCl 26, no. l ( 1932), 76.22 28 un m.: de Basile 1,, 0 , ]la ' . I ICnta . Vita Jrena e, 12, ed. and trans. Rosenqvist 30 ' 50 .l2 14. 3 1. Mango, "St. Michael and Attis." 32 . Archangels in imperial dress (purple chl . the mosaics of the church of St. Apollinare inamCyls a nd red shoes) appear


assc Rav, ' A,b cnna; see F. w. nd Fruhchristliche Bauten und Mosail6 1963 ll-

58.25 "Currulll suum triumphator ascendat" Amb rose Exp · . . h · X [PL 15:183 1)). Ont e use of the triumphal hari -·. _os~t10ms in ucain · 1 Ch.ri · c ot m una L . t's ascension m ear Y stian art, see A. Grabar Chris . ges of Chif:: A study of I~ O~gins (Princeton, 1968), 3S. ' tian IconogcaP'1,6.Y .-M.,s text is cited m Mathews and San1·ian, Armeman · Go sp 1 I 11.J..1. 2. The images of the voluntary Ascent do in fa t e conograPbY, 13 · ,, M ' c , resemble a man :9T'lbm·g a high sum.IIllt ; oses ascending Mount sm·ai. to receive th "CJ.J.1-1-" • • • 1 Illandments strides smillarly. See also n. 32.. e CoDl 'fhe references to t h e " traph Y o f victory" · and to Christ "has l. · h k ki ten mg\ 27 · to bis d eath" appear m t e onta on on the Passion-, see Romanos t he J. Grosdidier de Matons , vol . 4, Sources elode , Hymnes, ed.. and trans. ) . Mhretiennes 128 (Pans, 1967 , 229; English translation from Kontaki f ~owanos, trans. M. ':arpenter_ (C~~umbia, Mo., ~9_70), vol. 1, no. 20 , ~l~ . The reference to Chnst suffenng gladly and willingly" is from the kontakion on Mary at the cross (Hymnes, vol. 4, 169; Kontakia of Romanos, vol. 1, no. 19, 197). Similar references occur often in these two kontakia. 28. For the reference to Christ hastening to his death, from matins, Monday in Holy Week, see The Lenten Triodion, trans. Mother Mary and A. K. Ware (London, 1978), 511, and similarly, 594, 619. For references to the "voluntary Passion," see 514, 518, 520, 577; similar phrases include "submitting of Thine own will to death," 615; "by Thine own free choice," 563 685; "choosing to suffer Crucifixion and death," 679; "Thou hast of Thi~e own will stretched out Thine hands upon lthe cross\," 683; "Thou ... wast nailed upon [the cross] willingly," 687; nailed "of His own will upon the cross," 691. Romanos's kontakia 19 and 20 were composed for the Good Friday liturgy (Carpenter, Kontakia of Romanos, vol. 1, 191,


29. Lenten Triodion, 599. The unusual depicti_on of _t~e head of A~~ 5 eyes open at the base of the cross in the Armeman m1mature (fig. \, th interestin~ in the context of this passage {"Thou has come to bring not dea th but life"). Normally, of course, the lifeless skull of Adam appears at e base of the cross. 30. Ibid., 514. . dated to the 31. Maguire, Art and Eloquence, chap. 3. . 32. This ivory in Munich {Bayerisches Nat1onalmuseubm~ is_ and Byz· h E ly C nsuan kwit , ar . f ·mages of 1ate .fourth or early fifth century; see Bee . h y denve rom i an tine Art, pl. 3 7. The stance of Chnst ere ma dm t 5, I am grateMoses climbing up the mountain to receive the Cornman en '


Images East and West Anne Derbes th·1s observa tl·on (see also n. 26). The . Ascension f ·e Brubaker or ascending the mountam; see A. A · {ul t Le I 1 ·th Moses . ked typologically wi. . ,, L xi·kon der christlichen Ikonographie wa lin fah Chnst1 e . , "d " Himmel rt h' . th century Byzantme representations h c m1 t, 76 After t e six ' d I 0 . vo1. -., I Rome' 1970), .2 all· depict a fron tal Christ in .a man or a. f n the tyPe M . h ·vory see ibid., 270-74; or a recent of the Ascension typic Y . the umc 1 ' d .. . e art see Mathews an San11an, Arme.t the Ascension seen~ o th . gem Byzantm ' . . I b'bl. h discussion of e ima 45-47 with add1t10na I wgrap y. nian Gospel Iconography, 1 ' 7 · Description of the Church of the_ Holy A_postles 33. Belting, Image, 34. Nikolaos MesanteS, Transactions of the American PhJ.losoph. le ed G Downey, O h · k hr · at Cons~antmop ' · (Philadelphia, 1957), 859. n t IS e p asis, see 47 ical Society n.s. , no.b ildi and Redecoration of the Holy Apostles in · "The Re u ng · A. W. Epstem, .dera tion, " Greek, Roman and Byzantine Stud.. ;"ople· A ReconsI constanui.< · ies 23 (1982), 82-85.




di~·. al r·ptI·on of the text to Gregory of Nazianzos has aon asc I . · d . · . db A ,r, ilier (Gregory of Nazianzus, La passwn e Christ, been, revive [P · 1969]), b ut most . ed. A .YT u·il..1u tragedie Ier, Sources chretiennes 149 hians, . 'da · t the twelfth century· its authors p remams a matter of scho1ars te It o ' hl · h t · · con1ecture. see, form· stance, H · Hunger' Die hochsprac 1c e pro1 ane L1teratur der Byzantiner (Munich, 1978}, vol. 2, 102-4.. 37. Christos Paschon, verses 660--67 (Tuilier, Pass10n, 181). 38. For a discussion of these discrepancies between the appearance of texts and images, see Maguire, Art and Eloquence, l l 0-11. V. Cottas noted the connection between the text and this image (L'influence du drame "'Christos Paschon" SUI l'art chretien d' Orient [Paris, 1931 J, 71). 39. On Guido see J. Stubblebine, Guido da Siena (Princeton, 1964). Stubblebine dates this panel to the early 1280s, probably a bit late (Guido, 15). 40. Fig. 66: Follower of Guido da Siena, tabernacle center, Wellesley College Museum, ca. 1290; see E. B. Garrison, Italian Romanesque Panel Painting (Florence, 1949; reprint, New York, 1976), no. 342; and Stubblebine, Guido, 1034. Fig. 67: a miniature in a Vita Christi manuscript, New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, no. 643, fol. 22, from the atelier of Pacino di Buonaguida, ca. 1320; see M. Harrsen and G. Boyce, Italian Manuscripts in the Pierpont Morgan Library (New York, 1953), 13-14; and Boskovits, "Opera robabile," fig. 13. 35. Ibid.,

36 The tra

Other Italian examples occur in a Florentine altar dossal of ca. 1290 forerly in the Hirsch Collection, New York, and now in the Timken Musem of _San Dfego (Garrison, Italian Romanesque Panel Painting, no. 67}; ~ lllllllature ma Supplicationes Variae manuscript, Florence, LaurenLibrary, Plut. XXV.3, fol. 376r, ca. 1293-1300 (A. Neff, "Wicked Chile~ on Calvary and the Baldness of St. Francis" Mitteilungen des Kunsthisnschen I t1"tu · 1 ' . 95-1305ns (G tes · m F orenz . 34 [1990J' fig · 2)-, a Florentine panel in Berlm, . amson, Italian Romanesque Panel Painting no. 412· and Jskov1ts "Opera p b hil ,, fl ' ' ' ro a e, g. 12); a fresco of the end of the dugento or



in Ferrara, S. Antonio in Polesine \Pitt


tlY trecentonel of a triptych in the Frick Museum ;~a 1~ Italia,


vol. l

efi£l 300); a to (W R. Hovey, Treasures of the Frick' Mitts urgh, by a foi'. Gfi1ot on 33 34); a Sienese panel by a follower otDseu~ lPittsburgh, 1og~er] of 46 gs. , h b k Uccio the M ?nte 19 75, , ter current w erea outs un nown \J. Stubbl b' 1 oliveto }V1as a~d His School lPrinceton, 19791, vol. 2 pl \~n e, Ducc10 di ·nsegnaprobabi·1 e, " fi g. 19) ; ano th er s·ienese example , . att4'b ; and dBoskoBtJoI11 ,,opera k . h 192 ( n Ute to S vitS, h Munich mar et m t e Os G. Coor-Achenbach "AN ean.a, on~ e to the Monte Oliveto Master and Some Observat' ' ew 0 ~- ·buuon . W k II B 1. ions concernj\ttrl h nology of His or s, ur mgton Magazine 97 l 19551 ing the Clr~n the collection of Artaud de Montor (Millet Reche b, 20 4fin. II fi pane i " b b.l ) , re es, g. 14;) a d Boskovits, Opera pro a i e, g. 15; a fresco fragment from As41~; a~ceno (Millet, Recherches, fig. 414); a Riminese panel in the Acea1 cob ~ Venice (G. Schiller, Ico_nography of Christian Art, vol. 2, The Pasdern1a, s Christ [Greenwich, Conn., 19721, fig. 303; and Boskovits sioI1 of fesubabile," fig. 14); and a panel attributed to the Pistoian painte~ "Opera pro · · ·m · Esztergom (B osk ovits, "Opera prob. di Bartolommeo Chnstiam Giovanni

b·l " fig. 1). . i e, ll f these Christ's stance suggests that he climbs willingly up the In a ; ever' the Roman soldiers gradually take a more active role; in ladder. tio~es Variae manuscript, for instance, a soldier climbs the




the ~~ad Christ to prod him along, and in the Montor panel, a soldier ladde~i~ ~ the hair. Only rarely, though, is Christ hoisted onto the cross p~s the later Byzantine examp~es; one such example is a fresco in Naples, 111 asta aria in Donnaregina (Schiller, Iconography, vol. 2, fig. 319; and Neff, S .. M d Ch.ldr ,, fig 8) but this fresco does not greatly resemble the 1 "Wicke en, · ' al · . 1 By the end of the fourteenth century, an temative Byzantm~ exa;phe~hr. st was nailed to the cross before it was elevated, version, in w ic ~ ples cited by Boskovits, //Opera probabile," gained currency; see t e exam al 13 61 st 94 n. 92. On t~e nailing of Chr~, to !~:r~ci~a:~0 D~rbe~, 11 Siena 41. See, for mstance, Evans, Mank f OpD mus "The Style of the Kariye and the Levant.,, See also the remar s o . fe al ' 1 Art ,, in Kari ye . t h e D eve1op ment o p aeo ogan ' Djami and Its Place 1n



Djami, vol. 4, 136-37. . 42. For a discussion of commercial and the East in the thirteenth century, see

t" tic exchange between Siena 1 "Siena and the Levant"; ~ er es, 9 195 for specific references to Guido, _see 19 0-~l, ~ ~hristi per septem diei h~43. Pseudo-Bede De meditat10ne passwms . 5 The date of this 1 56 . ' sage m co. ras libellus PL 94:561-68; the relevant pas H burger citing sever, ·11 d b ted. J· am ' . -1 t text and identity of its author are SU e a (" A Liber Precum 1;; Se eS a~ al writers, dates the text to the twelfth century ok in Germany, Art Bul

and the Development of the illustrated. Pray:{ B:st certainly of Francisc: letin 73 [1991] 227 n. 88). However, it is .bm. n ·n a study of thirteenth1 ' authorship·1 I discuss the reasons for t attn utioA mi· d- or late- thirt een M • century Italian Passion images, now m progress. . see for instance, J· ar-

Century date has been proposed by several wnters; 127


Anne Derbes es multi: Christ's Tormentors in N orther ,,de.runt me can l R . " n row, 11 Circ11m d" Late Middle Ages and Eary ena1ssanc_e, _A rt BulleEu ropean Art of the db g The Power of Images: Studies m the His 197· D Free er ' dD . 771 ti11 59 I19 , . ' · s onse /Chicago, 1989), 171; an . Lesnick, Preach tory arid Theones of Re P_ The Social World of Franciscan and Dominican in in Medieval FloreGnce. 1989) 269 n. 46. . · J'ty /Athens a., ' h I 1 . Spmtua .' ns of Christ ascending t e cross a so appear in thirExtended discussiod . sermons where Christ's Ascent of the Cross be h rury crusa mg ' l reent -ccn h r for the taking of the cross. See e, The Preaching of O come a metap h u ly Land 1095-1270 (Cambridge, Mass ., 1991) 168 theCruwderstot eno ' . . p . , , · Th texts their links with Franciscan ass10n narratives I 74-75 I 79- 81 . ese , . , ·' h . se of the image in a Franciscan context will be disand the metap one u . b cussed at greater length in the study ment10ned a ove. . locum Calvanae populus clacads: "Cogita quod usque ad . · 44. Th e tex t r . ·b 1 · · t t nc ·b videntibus ommbus, expo 1atur sms vest1 us, et cum mans vemt, e u 1 1 . . maxima dolore, quia vestis interior adhaerebat e1 fort1ter propter sanguinem flagellationes, et tune apparuit corpus ejus, tam elega_n t~r figuratum, totum cruentatum. o quantus dolor tibi erat, mater sanct1ss1ma, cum aspiceres ista. Deinde parata cruce dicunt ei, Ascende, Jesu, ascende. 0 quam libenter ascendit, 0 quanta amore ista omnia pro nobis sustinuit, o quanta patientia, o quanta mansuetudo! 11 {my translation). 45. Millet, Recherches, 385. The text reads: "elle vidono Messer Giesu que saliva super Ia scaia co' suoi piedi e colle sue mani ... e pensomi che salisse Giesu super Ia scaia della croce colle sue mani e co' suoi piedi voluntariamente. 11 46. The phrase is M. Baxandall's; see his Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy (Oxford, 1972), 45; also cited by Freedberg, Power of Images, 168. 47. For a thorough discussion of Mary's sorrow in Byzantine literature and art, see Maguire, Art and Eloquence, 91-108. Guido's panel can trace its ancestry back to Romanos's kontakion on Mary at the Cross: in the kontaki~n, Mary is so reluctant to see her son die that she attempts repeatedly to dissuade him from continuing on the road to Calvary (Hymnes, vol. 4, 161-:-87; Kon_takia of Romanos, vol. 1, 196-203). There is no suggestion of her mterceding physically, however. 48. For instance, in the frescoes at Ohrid (fig. 58) and Starn Nagoricino (fig._ 60), she and John are present, but observe from a distance, crouched behmd a rock outcropping. See also Mathews and Sanjian Armenian Gospel Iconography, 131. ' 49. On the importance of M t · d h . . . . ci to th . . on apert1 an t e S1enese dedication of theu tySO e Vrrgm, see, mo st recently, Corrie, "Political Meaning," 65-68. · Coor-Achenbach observ es th at t h"1s 1s · a S1enese . . motif· she does not h owever, associate Mary' · . ' ' cated to they- . ("N s proi:nmence with the fact that Siena was dedi11 besides the pan:f~ Gu;; Attnbution, 20~ n. 14). The Sienese examples, O the Monte Olivet/ anel and the one by ~Is follower in Wellesley, include P and the one attnbuted to Segna-see n. 40. In all 128

Images East and West other examples of the Ascent listed there the bserves but does not react. M. Meis h, when the Viro,n . 1 · s . s, owev · c,,o. is pre!"> be O s ntine dossa now m an Diego (seen 40). er, Cites a see . ent Flore p Christ on the road to Calvary-a sc.e in Which the Virginne in the to sto . . . ne remi · attempt . see Pamtmg m Florence and Siena aft n1scent of Roman \ s 47) n. 1951· ' · N y k er the Bl k os see ton, ' repnnt, ew or ' 1964)' 129 · p·ma11y · ac Death \P.nncefourteenth-century fresco in Sta. Maria . n' in a related image th early the Virgm . . s h'1eld s Chr'1st' s nudity by c in .onnar egma, . Naples' \s e n 40 ), overing hi . ee . 51 See H. van Os and H. K. Gerson s1·e .m with her veil . ) 13 ( . , nese Paint · . . oningen, 1969 ' cat. no pagmation) where th h' In~s in Holland IGr · For several variants ' · coat of arms o f S1ena. f eh s 1eld 1s 1·dent1fied as t he i Le contra d e d e11 a cltta . , d e Siena (n p 1 o )t e coat of arms, see F . f h · ·, 981 , 2 vols Th d' . · RoSs , black and white o t e coat of arms was adapted . 126 · e 1stmctive dral in black and white marble, was dedicated t~nth ~'. ~hen the cathe'e vol 1 19) e ugm (Rossi, Contra d , · ' · for Coppo are still G Co "Av· 52 · The standard1 sources · · or, 1sual B · f e Documents Re atmg to Coppo di Marcovaldo andH· S S 1 as1s or th is on a erno ,, Art Bulletin 28 (1946 ), 233-4 7, and Coor, "Cappo di Marcovald . H' Ar , . . T" " M o. 1s t m Relation to t h e A rt o f H is ime, arsyas S (1947-49) 1-21 S · 70- 84 ; A . T artufen,· 11 P1ttura • ee also11 P.e1nture, fiorenti·na' de1 d•uecento Marques, . . . 1 in p1ttura m Italia, vol. 1, 270-72; and the literature cited in Derbes 11p· _ toia Lamentation," _134 n. 2, a?-d, Corrie, "Po~itical Meaning," 69 n. '6. is 53. The ~loo~s_tams on Chnst ~ torso are difficult to see in photographs, but are easily v1s1ble when one views the cross itself. 54. On this mosaic see 0. Demus, The Mosaics of Norman Sicily (London, 1949; reprint, New York, 1988), 287. Demus rightly describes the scene as "somewhat uncommon," but errs in stating that it is "an invention of the twelfth century"; it appeared at least occasionally as early as the eleventh century, as in an icon on Mount Sinai (see K. Weitzmann, "Byzantine Miniature and Icon Painting in the Eleventh Century," in Studies in Classical and Byzantine Manuscript Illumination, ed. H. Kessler (Chicago, 1971], fig. 300). 55. The rope around Christ's neck appears occasionally in Italy in r~lated Passion scenes; for instance, it is seen in a Preparation for the Crucifixion in a thirteenth-century manuscript (Rome, Vatican Museum, MS. lat. 0 39 fol. 64v, for a photograph see Boskovits, "Opera probabile," fig .. S; ~ ' ' · · I 1 d Byzantrnm the' manuscript, see L. Eleen, "Acts Illustrations m ta Y an ' Dumbarton Oaks Papers 31 (19771, 255-78). Tuscan versions 0 ~ the W,daydto example m a mi · uCalvary sometimes include the rope as well (e.g., a~ p 1Pam· u·ng · 1 · R a1ssance ane the relics' gento Pisan painted cross in Garnson, Ita ian en 0 3 n~. 514). Its origins are eastern (Mil~et, Recherche~, ;~ate which displa~ed in Jerusalem was the cham u~ed, to lea The relic was known in was said to have been placed around Chnst s neck. d . De meditatione mid-thirteenth-century Italy; it is cited by Pseudo-Be em ostendebatur in 05 passionis Christi (11 catenam in collo ejus, quae P_ t5ela) But the popular· e" (PL 94·56 · Hierusalen peregrinis pro magna devotion



Images East and West Anne Derbes d trecento may also reflect Franciscan . the dugento an . ·ty of the moti f in . f der with Christ; Francis was once dragged I . te their oun . f . d h. eek For more m ormatlon, see Derbes empts to assoc1a . ' att . d aroun is n . . about by a rope ue he Dugento," 150-51. "Byzantine ~t and. t of the Passion scenes in the San G1m1gnano cross, 56. For a discuss1?n Art and the Dugento." see Derbes, "Byzantine ·a" of 1260 and the apocalyptic prophesy of "flagellant 57. Fort he B man1 The Monophonic Lau d a an d th e Lay Religious Joachim of Fiore, see C. arr, d Umbria in the Late Middle Ages (Kalama· s 0 I+Tuscany an · · Ch ronicon de Confraterm·tie h t tion from Monach1. Pataviru, 3 5. for t e quo a ' h. rr . . . R 1988) zoo, , . -. ' bardia Praecipae et Marc 1a 1.arvisma, m erum ItalRebus Gest~s in Lom M"l 1726 ) see Barr, 4. See also G. Dickson, "The icarum Scnptores 8 I ~ ~~~ Crus'ades, 11 Journal of Medieval History 15 Flagellants of 126 0 an 89) 227-67 esp. 237-39, 253-55. . . I19 , . ' F B0 logna refers to the "uncompromismg conformity" 58 · For mstance, 1· to the /E 1 ·Italian Painting [Rome, 1963,] 5 8), an d E . Cari of the dugento ar Y . ,, 11 1 · p · · · p · ·d and sterile conventions , ta 1an 11m1t1ves: anel "atmosph ere of ngi · [ k . . of th e rn,.·el''th , 1965], 10). Pamtmg 1. vv, , and Thirteenth. Centuries New. Yor . . . t texts a similar concept10n of dugento pamtmg can persist; , . . Even m recen · t James Snyder's Medieval Art (New York, 1989), descnbmg for ms ance, . . f . ,, d B Coppo's Madonna and Child m Orvieto, re ers to its stereotype yzan. . . . tine formula" /451). 59. In the course of the thirteenth century, tradit10nal ways of depictrng virtually every Passion scene preceding the Cruc~on w~re discarded in favor of new and more dramatic renditions. For a discuss10n, see Derbes, "Byzantine Art and the Dugento"; my study of Passion narratives in thirteenth-century Italian painting will treat these questions more fully. 60. I. Ragusa and R. Green, eds., Meditations on the Life of Christ (Princeton, 1961), 334. Pseudo-Bonaventure was presumably influenced here by accounts like those of Pseudo-Anselm (PL 159:282) and, more importantly, St. Bonaventure (in the Lignum Vitae), both of whom tell us that Christ was nailed to the cross when it was still on the ground. Both Byzantine and Italian art depicted this episode; the Byzantine examples are found especially in middle Byzantine psalter illustration (see n. 13 ); the Italian versions, which bear little resemblance to the Byzantine, occur primarily in the trecento and after (see n. 40). 61. The first reference comes from J. Stubblebine, ("Byzantine Influence in Thirteenth Century Italian Panel Painting," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 20 [19661}, who alluded to the "enormous and magnetic pull" of Byzantium and t? the "exclusive domination of Constantinople" that prevailed until Duccio (97, 100); the second is from 0. Demus, Byzantine Art and the West (Ne~ York, 1970), who wrote about dugento painting: "an entirely new art was m the making ...-a revolution was set off by those overpowering waves of Byzantine influence" (208). 62 , Bonaventure, Expositio in quatuor libros sententiarum, lib. 3, dist. 9, qu. 2 · A very similar statement appears in Aquinas: one of the three pur130

f images is "to excite the. emotions wh·ich are m po ses od by things seen t h an b y t h mgs heard" (C 0 ore effectiv 1 . li mment · eY ar0 use brum III, dist. 9 art 2 anum super libro . um: commentum m 2 se11tiatof Images, 162). As Leslie Brubaker h;s ob. 'qud. , trans. Freedbergs wet serve By . , P~ s during and after Icono_c1asm likewise stressed the' za_nt~ne theologian ·ng· see her "Byzantme Art in the Ninth C supenonty of sight bean , . entury· Th eory, Practice to d culture," Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 13 989 an d s acknowledge that "it was from imported . L71-74. Belt. g oe . images th t h . in to expect liveliness and therefore reality for th a t e viewer be~anernphasis; Image, 217); he does not, however ~orenp~edsenthed person" . d d , si er t e w . (his h' h Italian pamters respon e to the same qualities (li l' ay_s in :il~eightened them in their work. ve iness, realism\



Reflections on St. Luk ,8 e


votional cults. Although the attract" wo de d . . ions of the . ·iy understoo , 1t 1s more difficult t f h Painting m be eas1 d'E o at om th ay thus urgogne, count tampes, and the cath d e actions of 1 de Bo en 1454 and 1455, they commissioned e ral chapter of Cambean betwe h . p a total of fi.f ra1· e irnage from t e pamters etrus Christus and Ha teen copies of th ,.,..h· 5 paper explores the phenomenon of th _Yne de Bruxelles .i 1 . h . 1· . e replicas Of h . cambra1, t e soc1opo 1t1cal circumsta t e revered f ·con o h . nces surro d. 1 . .ons and what sue replications might re un ing the com m1ss1 , f h h. 1 vea1 about 1 t . . a e medieval tions o aut ors 1p, sty e, and the role d perceP f d . an re1at1ve . . ch phenomena or evot1onal practice and sign1Rcance o£ su empathetic response. t

Reflections on St. Luke's Hand: Icons and the Nature of Aur~ in the Burgundian Low Countries during the Fifteenth Century fEAN C. WILSON

Images of the Virgin and Child were among the most common devotional artifacts in the Franco-Burgundian territories from the twelfth century onward. The cult of the Virgin was widespread throughout the high and late medieval periods, and countless communities had their own "Notre-Dame" church or cathedral. However, although not every community could boast that it possessed an important relic associated with the Virgin, the cathedral of Cambrai claimed to have an image of the Virgin and Child by the hand of St. Luke himself. In 1450, a canon of the cathedral of Cambrai, a certain Fursy du Bruille, gave to the church a panel painting depicting the Virgin and Child that he had purchased in Italy in 1440, said to have been painted by St. Luke (fig. 70}. 1 The painting has since been determined to be an early fourteenth-century Sienese or Florentine replica of a presumed Byzantine prototype, but it was nevertheless, at the time of the bcq ucst and for centuries to follow, an important attraction for the cathedral.2 Not_ only did commoners come to the cathedral to pray before the image m order to benefit from its miraculous powers but important visitors~ such as Duke Philip the Good, were also apparently eager to sec the image for themselves. 3 C~idering the special character of this devotional icon, it is hardly surpnsmg_that the Carnbrai Notre-Dame de Grace became a most im~tan~ o~ect for the cathedral and the community a.s a whole. PosscsBmghas tt _did what Benjamin might have called a "double aura" 4-tha.t

of t e muaculous 1· · If and, at the same time, of St. Luke's authorial hand . ~ge ttse aod VISton-the Cambrai Notre-Dame effectively combined

• The cambrai Notre-Dame de Grace is a painting · 35 .7 x 25 .7 cm., an d represents a va.on a. wooden suP· t measunng por , . f h . . . nation on the El ar_ h the blame · hiles must s are Christ's h and breaks off in her grasp (iconop . repeated at"th iconoclasts · . o f una · ges) Despite Wl for the destruct10n ·


15 159

Liber miraculorum of Unt er1.m d en Jeffrey Hamburger

s to be repaired, and the convent preserves the f e em pts' the statue re1·t us ·t were a relic. The cult an d even t h e cult statue hand separate1Y, as 1 fragmented by the deman dso f pnvate · d evotion · J f U 1· · itself are bro k en down, Like the Vitae sororum, the Liber mrracu orl~m o _dnter mden ad·ences simultaneously: the pub 1c outs1 e the walls as dresse d two au d1 . · I within enclosure. The concludmg muac e suggests not we 11 th e nuns "bl h I . b only that the miraculous panel was adccess1h ~ to _t e a1lt: kut t~at for t h ose ou t s1·de enclosure, it also serve as t eu pnmary .m to hfe in side the convent. In giving us a picture of how the panel might have been used in the fifteenth, and perhaps already in the fourteenth, century, the miracle defines the place of the panel in the convent's public life. In essence the miracle is little more than an admonition to give donations to altar and to the convent community. A nun standing in prayer before the altar asks whether God desires donations-in the Latin, "donares," but in the German, "gezierde" /"decorations")-to the altar (fig. 86}. To which, of course, the answer is yes: whoever gives a gift shall receive a corresponding gift in heaven. 76 Here in a nutshell is the barter system of salvation to which, at a later date, Protestants would so vehemently object. As if obeying these dictates, the final illustration shows both nuns and laity, men and women, lining up in front of the altar to offer their devotions and, presumably, to loosen their purse strings as well /fig. 86}. One, apparently in search of a cure, carries a cane, another, just behind him, a hen. The print in the front cover of the Liber miraculorum is a token of what pilgrims might have received in exchange for their donations. Whether or not the laity had access to the Liber miraculorum (or to otf1er co~pendia_like it), they were drawn to Unterlinden by the panel_ s pro~se of still more miracles to come. The closing passage of the L1ber mrraculorum refers to cures and indulgences granted not only to nuns but also to persons outside the convent. Although it remains un;~ef how bo th gro~ps shared access to the image, the situation suggest· y the sources is hardly unique. 77 For example at the c· t . , 1s erc1an conv t Aa h N. he7 a~ _c en-Burtscheid, the miracles attributed to the icon of St. b 1~ 0; :mclicate that it passed in and out of enclosure on a regular arv:ms1~. ?,n~ the functions it performed for citizens of the city were Se gas witness" to fin ·a1 . childb · th A h . ~ci transactrnns and protecting women in ir · t t e C1sterc1an co f w· miraculous crucifix and Hol nvent o ienha~sen in Sax~~Y, a if not always accessible to Sepulcher were ~laced m .a space v1s1ble, which survive stood. ,th he nuns and the laity. The rmages, both of one side to th~ chapt: ho::e ape} of th e Holy Cross, which opened on to the church of the . h ' on th e other, through a small window, pans . 79 t




cited in the Liber mira cu 1orum re . t of the persons . . . . even the pnor provmc1a1 piously rememb d rnam anony..-1ous, h ere for hav· d ..... h image. Two names, owever, are cited in th . d ing onat. . . e in ulgenc ed t e des by notmg t h at: "D omm1 consecraturn fu· h e, w h'1ch one1u A . it oc altar . h c supra tempore nne sorons, Priorisse d. d e in onre ut ' . . d . ' icte e Ramst . 0 Anne sorons d1cte e Sultz, emsdem altari f d . em; nee non ,, From t h'1s 1nscnpt10n . . . we 1earn that the alts un atnce lsic'I devote. 80 db ar, as opposed to h was donate y a nun, Anne of Sultz at the t· h t e 1 . h ' ime w en An 0 f Pane 'tein was pnoress. Bot Annes are recorded in th b. ne RaJ11S f 1· e o ituary or of the convent o Unter mden, preserved like th L"b . necro1o gy 'bl. h;... M . . ' e 1 er m11acrum in the B1 wt c;que umc1pale at Colmar (MS. 576) 81 u1o ely the ob.1tuary 1·1sts t h e names of deceased sisters w·th . Unfor1 out dates tunat I d . with the Uber miraculorum · Bu t t he name' so 1·t cannot be correlate . . . A9'0ne of Ramstem appears three times m the obituary, twice on fo1. 3r ~~~ d . . . the list of nuns an once agam m the list of prioresses on f l 8 81 J.ll . h l' f O • V. .Anlle of sultz appears once, m t e 1st o "sorores conversae" on fol. ?v where she is named" Anna de Sulz vel Turkenheim,"83 a village just t~ the south of Gebweiler, about fifteen miles south of Colmar.s4 There is no reason to doubt that these are the nuns named in the Uber miracu]orum. And if Anne of Sultz, donor of the altar, remains something of a mystery, her prioress, Anne of Ramstein, emerges from other documents as a figure of some importance, a member of one of the most powerful families along the Upper Rhine, with long-standing connections not only to Colmar but also to Basel. An ancestor, Touring V of Ramstein, had been the Dominican prior in Colmar, before his transfer to Hungary in 1301; her grandfather, Burkhart Wernher I (d. 1337\, had been Burgermeister of Basel from 1314.85 No matter how transformed by the demands of the genre and the passage of time, the events reported in the Uber miraculorum leave the impression that Anne of Ramstein and her predecessors at Unt~rlinden at first did not know what to make of the gift from the pnor provincial of Saxony. In early fourteenth-century Germany, any panel let alone one with claims to descend from a miraculous exemplar, th w~uld have seemed an unusual if not exotic item. The candid, for th right manner in which the Liber miraculorum acknowledges that e . . d . . 1 f t 11· c authority contravenes llllage 1s a copy an not an ongma o apos o . 1 d ttached to Lucan the central convention of the Byzantme egen s a . . . f · g miracles 1t )US' Th 1cons. Nonetheless the image works. By per orrrun . ' d h · · Of an indu1gence. e tifies its installation on an altar an t e issumg • h h ve . h . ·t anyone m1g t a muacles restore whatever aura of aut entici Y • . The . . . h of duplication. unagined the panel to have lost m t e process image may be a copy, but it is no counterfeit. l\1105


Liber miraculorum of U

Jeffrey Hamburger

de Flesh· Art, Asceticism, and The Image Ma · .. the Cura morualmm nvents the web of evidence for the exchange of case of most co tattered ' that we can no l onger reconstruct the images has become sO . U . b d uns to donors patrons, an d advisers. nterlinden ues that oun n xception even ' if . much of t h e pertinent · . ' evidence however, offers an embled let ' alone analyze d. Sigm . "fi cant m . its . own has never been asse , . . . .h ly landmark in the history of icons imported to northern ng t as an ear , . Europe during the late Middle Ages, the conve~t s Manan panel also forms part of a broader and more varied array of im_ages and associated devotional practices. The Liber miraculorum and its legends only acquire their full resonance within this _larger c?nt~xt. Whatever his identity, the Saxon pnor provmcial commemorated in the Liber miraculorum was hardly the only friar who supplied Unterlinden with images. Anne of Ramstein's connections, familial and religious, remind us that Unterlinden's affiliations were international in scope. The cura monialium also ensured that the convent of Unterlinden had contacts with Dominicans from across Europe. Of these, one of the best documented, yet least known, is Venturino da Bergamo (1304-46). 86 Between 1339 and 1343, that is, during the very decade that the Marian altar at Unterlinden was dedicated, this controversial and charismatic figure was in close contact with the nuns at Unterlinden as well as their supervisors in Basel. Venturino wrote from his exile in Provence, where he had been banished after arousing suspicions of rabble-rousing for having led, then abandoned, the mass pilgrimage of flagellants to Rome in 1335. 87 Accused of hypocrisy by Pope Benedict XII but rehabilitated by Clement VI in 1343-44, Venturino joined his patron, Henry II of the Dauphine, on a crusade to the Holy Land, where he died in Smyrna only two weeks after his arrival. Although himself under constant suspicion, Venturino nonetheless seems to ha_v~ enjo!ed a considerable reputation, especially among his fellow ~omirucans m Germany. From his correspondence, we learn that he was m contact with friars and nuns throughout the Rhineland including such luminaries as Johannes Tauler. 88 To Katharina von Gueberschwihr, prioress of Unterlinden and probable author of the Vitae ~ororum, he sends a scourge ("cordula"J that he himself has employed m ~emory of Christ's flagellation, together with elaborate instructions 89 on Its use. Additional scourges are enclosed "one for Sister Augustina, ~~c~~mended to me in a letter by Broth;r Egenolf1 a third for Sis1ter n stma, who has a sweet name, a fourth for Anna who wrote your etter to me. "90 A veritable connoisseur of asceticis~, Venturino recIn the



nterhnden s that the prioress and her nuns i . rnend h d . m1tate h ottl . st. J{atharina, .e a vises, should flagellat irn and, through h· Cbfl ight, seven times for each verse of p le her naked ~h 1un, erY n h fi d sa m 50 " . au ders e"I rnol"Y oft e ve woun s of Christ, the b· , M1serere tn . ,, ill rned sop, and the crown of thorns.91 itterness of the vin ei, . f s·1 . f egarsoake h Vita of He dwig o i esia, ounder of th 'f e . . h e great C1st 'frebni·tz , indicates . t at such exercises were by no ercian conv ent at ding to her b10grapher, Hedwig retired t h means unusual Accor fl o t e ch . P. s where she age11ated herself with su h . apter house after Jllalu~,~d her saw drops of blood on the thongsc f vh1gor that those who fol o Hedwig ha d one of t h e nuns strike her st" o t he scourge. Not con11 tent, ance se lf -in . fl"icte d an d administered . . by l arder h ·91 Both'torms n pe ' f anot er a . 0f egister of one o the drawings in the illust d ' ppear 1n the r 10 we r . rate copy Of h ,,..,aior dated 1353, now m the J. Paul Getty M t e Leg-'11 da~ ~~~ 93 ) (fig. 94). In contrast, Venturino encouraged wig MS. ft.Jo 7 . f d . greater restrai t H ed the importance o mo erat1on a recurrent th . n· e streSs . ' eme m lett f . ers o •...;tual advice at least m part because it so often sp.u... . . h f 1 was ignored.94 For rn.ple to Dietnc o Co mar, a fellow Dominican v . eJGl ' bl h . , entunno sends . structions compara e tot ose delivered to Katharina b ]ll .h h . , ut adds that d wit C hnst. To do so would be vam; . more. . di t here is no nee to compete dds , 1t 1s te ous to ave to wash bloodstains fr ver Venturino a , o , h. .h h h om ones clothes.95 Com~are t 1s w:1t t e grap ic ~ccount of Elsbeth of Villigen, from an unpublished version of the chromcle of Katharinenthal according to which she "disciplined herself every night after matins .:.Ud compline, so that the blood _ran down her back, just as from a vein, so that some other nuns kneeling about her were so spattered with blood by her discipline that they had to wash their clothes. "96 Still more extreme is the ascetic extravagance of Elsbeth von Oye, a nun from the Rhenish convent of Oetenbach, who around 1320 left an autograph account of her self-inflicted sufferings. 97 Year after year, Elsbeth scoured her flesh with a nail-studded girdle and cross. In Elsbeth's practice, the image is made flesh, the same excoriated flesh we see in fourteenth-century German images of the crucifixus dolorosus. 98 Elsbeth writes of the nails sinking into her body as a seal into wax, of suckling from the vein of the cross and of her wounds as blossoming flowers-all conventional images. Her mortification, however, was not merely metaphorical_. In her own words she sought "the bloodiest likeness," the "utmoS t hke' · · 1 · h · ") gn·slv, ness" ("die allerbhitigiste glicheit," "die gle1chsten g eic eit a 99 identification with Christ realized in her own body. . . 1 d ditation on the..Arma Venturmo's letter provides an encapsu ate me • · 100 In addition to Christi, complete with all the necessary accessones. . . ·mage of the Arma the scourge and the step-by-step mstruct10ns, an 1 VT


Liber miraculorum of Unterlinden Jeffrey Hamburger . . d d · order to focus and direct the nun's devotions. 1u e m Christi .was me · 1347, one year after his h l1'f f Venturino comp1·1 ed m

According to ~ e h eb?tually added to his letters an inscribed drawing 1 death' Venturmo a · h h'1s own hand · db eIow wit Ch . u·· "at the end he dep1cte of the Arma ns · ·1 f . . . f the Passion- that is the cross, na1 s, crown o thorns all the msigma O·th bucket column · '. · Id I dd d h with sh1e , a er an ammer as' w1 , lance' sponge h 1. "101 to which he would then add " aroun d t h e cross' of well as t e piers, f h 11102 Al h . or several verses in praise o t e cross. t ough no t he Sav10r one . · · f ·ngs or letters by Ventunno survive, m orm as well as autograp h draWl · f h · content they may have resembled the drawmgs o t e Arma Christi in ·scellany in Brussels (Bibliotheque Royale, MS. 4459-70, fols. 150v h C' . am1 and 152v) /figs. 95-96). Compiled by nuns at t e ~s:erc1an convent of Vrouwenpark in 1320, working under the superv1s10n of John of St. Trond it consists largely of lives of the holy women entrusted to the pastor~l care of the Cistercian order. 103 One drawing centers on the side wound, the other on additional insignia of the Passion. Like those described in Venturino's correspondence, both are embedded in prayers and indulgences that focus the viewer's attention and comment in emblematic fashion on the significance of the wounds. Some of Venturino's letters confirm the report of his Vita. Writing to Egenolf von Ehenheim in 1340, the Dominican concludes: "In the manner to which I am accustomed, I have wished to paint for you in my letter the signs of the passion of the Lord." 104 There follows a passage of potted exegesis, comparing the side wound to the hollows in the rock of Song of Songs 2: 19. 105 In an earlier letter dated ca. 1336 and addressed to an otherwise unknown Sister Margaret, Venturino explains the function of his customary envoi: "in case you are unable to understand everything, I have drawn for you this most sacred wood of the passion and the cross," to which he appends verses, just as described in the vita .106 Vent~ino explicitly identifies the image as a devotional aid complementing the preceding text, a treatise on the crucifixion that he designates a "speculum passionis." 107 Nonetheless, Venturino's attitude toward t~e visual remains ambivalent. In keeping with traditional monastic prohibitions, he encourages Margaret to look into his "mirror" · · Ch nst's · . ' an d imagme sufferings as if present-but only to her 08 d mm 's eye. ' Although the image provides a visual summation of the cont~nt of h~r meditation, the meditation itself is to be conducted "cum ocuhs claus1s," "with closed eyes. 109 · di cate th at m · the economy of spiritual exchange . Venturino's lette rs m · images of all kinds - be th ey icons or devotional drawings-comple-' mented t he more custom · f a1: comage O treatises and sermons as tokens of spiritual aff . ecuon. To his words and images, Venturino added him11

incarnation of the imitatio Christi Par ll 1 f ,, as an b d · a e s rom h d . ouses other an n . b vitae 1 th. ·iar transactions etween Peter of Dacia ands an his ,, .. we earn of s1JI1.:, Christine of Stommeln, i 10 Heinrich Seuse and E?liltual daughter, a later date, between Jodocus Wind and th sbeth Stagel,111 and, atconvent at Soflingen bei Ulm.112 The corr e nunds of the Fran·scan . . espon ence b Cl aretha Ebner, a Domimcan nun at the convent f M . e~ween Marg uremburg, an d H emnc . . h o ana Medmg von Nordlingen he . . en, near N f· . ' r spmtual adv· ded with accounts o items given received eve iser, is croW ' , n 1ost or stolen 113 ienna an unknown man sends Margaretha a Ch . h. · from V . . . nst C 1ld in e which she later suckles m a v1s10n.114 Other gifts f H . . a eradl . 1 d f . rom emnch o crucifixes illuminated . . and h is friends me u e an array f ' m1matures 1 · sou," and Prayer books, and. a pane o what . . she describes as "the 1ovmg 1 a1ntost certainly an i.mage of dalliance based on the Song of Songs. us Together with th~se devotional objects, Heinrich sends any number of miscellaneo~s items: among them veils, a tourniquet for blood-letting, and vanous f.oodstuffs: cakes, spices, doughnuts l"Krapfen") as well as some chmc~ ~ustard. Writing around Easter 134S, Heinrich notes that he, too, has v1s1ted the convent at Unterlinden: "the holy sisters of Colmar at Unterlinden of our order send to you with love this little panel [tefelin] and the little cross." Referring to the cross, ·Heinrich adds, "it belonged to holy people. Pray for them faithfully, as they have faith in you. 11 Heinrich's words indicate that the exchange of gifts served a function similar to that of circulating necrologies, securing the prayers of a circle of spiritual friends extending beyond the confines of a single community. 116 Within and around such communities, however, spiritual relations could be intensely personal. Spiritual advisers may have lent nuns spiritual sanction, but through charismatic women they received in return the pleasure of proximity to the divine. Turning the tables, advisees often advised the advisers. The correspondence from Medingen reveals that the convent of Unterlinden was a part of an international network of exchange, the so~ce as well as the recipient of images. Heinrich's gifts extend beyond im. ages to relics: in the same letter he promises Margareth a t ht"foryou a, . th there will also be a reliquary [tafel], in which you will pl~ce e relic; it will be made with care." 117 Heinrich had an obsessive, if not unusuntainer of the type · . al, interest in relics, 118 his wordmg suggests a co ' 119 · but we get some known as a thesaurus. His gift no longer survives, . dis sense of what it might have looked like from the panel-refhqhua~ . n. h hrine o t e vis10 covered in 1897 among the objects preserve d mt e ~ . h' a relary Beguine, Christine of Stommeln: in effect, a reliquM?' wditt md 12 70 · f Dacia a e ' iquary (figs. 97-98). In a letter to her adviser, Peter O '

se11 lJ terlinden are a un ant. From chronicle



Liber miraculorum of Unterlinden

instructs Egen olf, is that he should

Jeffrey Hamburger . f h·s gift of a tunic and the "sanctuarium" · thanks h1m or 1 · . the Be~e lies 120 The surviving sanctuanum may not, 1n fact, or conta1~er for reb Peter-at the very least it has been a!tered.12 1 But be the ob1ect sent Y . d by Heinrich it is a "tafel"-m this case a , l1.k et hereliquary d. mentwne h 122 Each panel measures ca. 16 b Y 4.5 centimedouble panel ?r ipftyc ·iniature painted on parchment, covered with . d to h old a vaters and consists . h.o am compartmentalized frame designe glass and sl~t wI1t m apanel relics of Christ and male saints surround riety of re ics. n one , . fh l . . . f h ruci.fixion. in the other, relics o o y vugms surround an image o t e c , db . K h . . . f the Virgin and Child flanke y samts at erme and a mm1ature o b. · d· ivals are rare but simi1ar o Jects once existe m much Agnes. Suc h surv , bl 1 . Another example is the porta e a tarpiece, comprised 1arger num bers · ·h· · of texts and images printed on parchment, together wit its ~mbr01dered Ii case given ca. 1490-92 by Heinrich von Freyberg to his daughter, ~p~lloni~, a nun at the convent of Saint Clara in Miilhausen in Alsace (fig. 99). 123

Images and relics embodied the authority and the sanct10n of the saints, and, like other sources of sacred power, were guarded jealously by the church. If the documents gathered around the Liber miraculorum of Unterlinden paint a benign, even genial, vision of pastoral care at the convent, we should not forget that the pastors herded their flock. Spiritual advisers offered counsel and guidance not only because they admired but also because they feared the charisma of holy women. 124 Women could assume the aura of holy images or lend it to them in turn. This other, less familiar side of the cura monialium manifests itself in another letter from Venturino da Bergamo, not to the nuns of Unterlinden but to the same Egenolf von Ehenheim mentioned in his letter to the prioress Katharina as having recommended the nun Augustina. Egenolf was one of the vicars of Unterlinden and inquired of Venturino whether in his opinion the visions of an unidentified woman could be trusted. Venturino replies cautiously, noting that he does not .know all 0 ~ the ci_r~umstances to which Egenolf refers. But he goes on to voice his susp1c10n of all such phenomena as the deceit of the devil a mistrust confirmed by a woman in an unnamed city of whom he ha~ heard. ~t _first, _she ha_d sh~':n every sign of sanctity and reported numerous ~lSlons, mcludmg v1s1tations from the archangel Gabriel. Her reputat10n became such that vis1 · ·tors brough t h er bones ("quaedam ossa tamquam · porta buntur " -the reference 1s · to false rel. ) Sanctorum reliquiae ics 125-as well as an i f h · · . mage o t e Vugm encrusted with jewels ("in da m lcorua B V lapides qua · ·"), exp1icitly identified as an "icon." w· h h · · praetios1 It t ese, the woman s t h 1. years later y, t . e up a c ape m her own house. Then, two ' en unno 1earned that the woman was a fraud. The lesson,

ve11turinof men.126 not put his trust in th . . . e 5 0 wo \l'is1oll ·no's letter 1s cryptic and its context un . -er 11tur1 h . . certain Th . ve to suggest that t e mc1dent to which h f · ere is some

·de11ce e re ers t k 127 of the hol Y woman00 . 11za 1·n 1331. His condemnation . · place. in 1J1ce_ y· he feels free to pass Judgment on her orth0 d is not without irond 'd by fellow Dominicans as an authority 1. OhXY- and clearly . egar e . n sue matt 1s r gh as he wrote he himself was under interdict f ers-even th0 ~ And if he condemns the suspect woman fo orl ~us?icious ber c aiming t O h . ba\1'1or.·sited by the archange1 Gabnel, a claim that w ld h ave been v1 . . . h" ou ave equ ith the Vugm Mary, m 1s letter to the nun Marg th . ated h er W . ld h . . are e reminds t Gabnel wou never ave v1s1ted the Virgin h d h . bet t ha d· · 1 . . a s e not hke et read and praye m 1so at1on m her ce1112s "G d d ' Margar , . . k ,,. · o an o like. ,, he tells her, c1tmg Lu e 10:37, 1f you wish to be . wise, . ,, re freshed or . ·t d by celestla1 conso1at10ns. 129 v1s1 e The figure of the holy woman who arouses the suspicion of th 1 _ . h h" h e c er occurs so frequent 1y mt et uteent and fourteenth centurie th gy · · h b etween truth and topos.130 Venturis at it is often di£fi cu1t to di stmgms no however, seems to speak from personal experience; the woman of whom he writes is outside of orders, perhaps one of the Beguines who following the harsh decrees issued by the Council of Vienne in 1311 ~ 12, were often branded with heresy and under ever-increasing pressure to enter formal communities. 131 Records of the Beguines in Basel indicate that the events Venturino describes need not be regarded as fanciful; Beguines owned books, occasionally even images and relics. 132 For example, in 1388, a former notary and salt merchant of the city, Johannes Lebkuch, gave to the Beguine Katharina Harerin his household goods, including "alle die buecher und heiligen und daz dazu gehoert." 133 J'he reference is either to images of the saints or else to relics, not that the two possibilities are mutually exclusive. And that the distance between a nun of Unterlinden and a Beguine of Basel need not have been that great is indicated by the fact that Anne of Ramstein, prioress of Unterlinden at the time the Marian altar was dedicated, had a relative, 134 Gunsa, who in 1339 became "Meisterin" of the Basel Beguinage. Venturino's correspondence with Egenolf von Ehenheim presents us . h h . 1" m 13s On Wlt a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of t e cura moma 1~ · their face, the circumstances that so trouble him-a woman m possession of relics and holy images-are identical with those do~umented at th Maria Medingen by Heinrich of Nordlingen and at Unterlm ~ mfraculorum There is however a difference at once decisive anh inst · ' ' d that t e ructive. At both Dominican convents, enclosure ensure k d bo f · d d r literal 1oc an r Wers o holy women and their images remame un e e\l'l



Lih ·r mirlH:11/on11n of Untcrltndt·n

Jeffre , Hamburger


s of Unterlinden, the woman of Venturino's letter kev. Unhke th e nunh h ·s not enclosed. Moreover, she assumes the · d ·n t at s e 1 poses a an?er 1 . h d The icon and relics serve as proof of her . t the pnest oo . d h . stray She appropriates for herself the power trappmgs O . . nd lea ot ers a · . sanctity a h· t the church wished to reserve to itself. Context ·· powers t a . . at images, d . . f ctor in the interpretation of images, for their conroves the ec1s1ve a h . d . p . 11 s for us. In themselves, t e images an relics reh d h 1· . . temporanes as we a . . · their circumstances t at ren er t em 1c1t or illicit. mam neutra1; It 1s ,_,. hole the evidence of images from Unterlinden indicates Ta.Ken as a w , . , · · I · that they were indispensable to the comm~mty s spmtu~ routmes and observances. The icon of Unterlinden provided a focal ~omt of communal and private prayer, not only for the n~ns but ~t t11:1es for the lay community as well. Integrated into penitential ex~r~1ses, 1t ~lso, through the agency of indulgences, allowed for the r~m1ss1on of sms. In addition to their immediate function within the liturgy and the cult, images such as the icon also provided the nuns with visible reminders of donors and spiritual friends beyond enclosure. Be they panels or devotional drawings, the donated images not only reinforced institutional allegiances and obligations, they also allowed for more personal interaction, if only by proxy, granting outsiders indirect admission to places that were otherwise inaccessible. Through images acting as intermediaries, advisers interposed themselves between the sisters and Christ I their spiritual bridegroom. Their gifts in part bear tribute to a fascination with holy women, while at the same time acknowledging a fear of their charisma. The testimony from Unterlinden provides an unusual opportunity to compare male and female practice, artistic and ascetic, side by side. Read in__co~junction with the letters of Venturino da Bergamo, Heinrich von Nordlingen, and other Dominicans, the Liber miraculorum indicates ~hat the two realms of devotional experience were hardly distinct. Withm the c~ntext of the cura monialium, men may have seen images as pa~,toral mstruments particularly suited to their perception of women as c~eatures_of the flesh." Yet, just as nuns went their own way in their asce~ic exercises, so too in their devotions focused on images. Together with the Liber m · I" d uacu1orum, t h e 1etters and chronicles from Unter1bn'Jden te st ify th ~t works of art of all types, not just so-called Andacht· · s 1 er, cou 1d stimul a t e vis10nary experience of a kind that Venturino d an ot h er men so mistru t d . b . . s e , m part ecause they could not always direct ·t 1 1 friars f~;n:~~~~:mg !rages ~uch as an icon or a devotional drawing, at least to chan 1 e~~e ves with opportunities, if not to control, then ne ' v1s10nary devo t.ions. Th e icon, . however, played many

A.s testified by the Lil>er miraculorr 1

. other roles. . ultancously as a 1tarp1ccc, devotional




:\i, ,.

ttsl'\f t\1



nd institutional "figurehead." In its rnu\t ·' \ spcn scr of in. nces a . dutge ' ved as labile an d 1·1ve ly as in the manusc .ip c, , mcar \ · nauon , . on pro h L'l . npts1 lustr t' · a H>ns. tbe 1c document, t c I Jer m1rnculorum of Unt. \ Like an~l as records it. Although the manuscript ;r, int1c_n ~hapcs the we day would already have been the institute1_m: the; "'>rJY,J na]" was in ta11cd in heavcn. 41J To understand the po~itive virtueR attached to the prcc '> ,,f r!.!prr, duction we need only consider acheimp()ietai, or im:1ge not rrnHfo b1/ human hands, which have hccn mentioned i,cvcra1 time'i fri thin v attributed tr, 1t." In the_f mr~ntb ccn U· ry, a c.;.opy ,Jf the famcJW, iom c,f the V1rgrn Hodcgetna attnbuted to . , Luke, houc,ed in the di tant Pclopcmncf>C, wa ,alua~le enough that 1 owncn,hip and the n .-vcnuci, . it gcnerawd Herc the ~b1ect of a ~r case; Oikonomjdctt fiuggc tctatuB, v1c~crs an~ cr~ner of ~1~e o ar· mous f;acrcd imagcf; were proud uf their associ.atwn5. The cop p f h d ·magc in much the ame way a took of the authority