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Notes on the Early Modern Additions to an Italian Fourteenth-Century Book of Hours.

The art historian Ernst Gombrich described doodles as symptomatic of the desire to create, despite skill level. (1) When a person doodles, Gombrich argues, he or she does not try to master the art of drawing. Instead, Gombrich views the illustrative act as a product of tedium. (2) In the late medieval and early modern periods, doodling was likely practiced by people across the social spectrum, from famous artists to bored scribes. (3) Many scholars have recently analyzed the scribbles of early modern notaries, whose written records contain a variety of "doodles" in their margins. (4) However, not all images made by the untrained hand were thoughtless drawings done to occupy a bored mind. The term "doodle" is inherently dismissive. How do we know when something was a "doodle" as opposed to when it was something more meaningful? Given recent interest in the personalizing and annotation of medieval and early modern books in the work of Kathryn Rudy and many others, this unpublished set of leaves is an addition to the corpus of surviving examples of works whose illustrations were made in multiple periods by several hands. (5)

The Ohio State's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library contains fourteen leaves from a now-fragmented Italian Book of Hours. These pages are illustrated with what some might consider doodles--drawings that lack finish, finesse, or seemingly even a purpose, and as such, have not been the object of any serious study. The manuscript was likely produced near the end of the fourteenth century; the leaves are decorated with images which were added at least a century later, probably in the early sixteenth century. This essay aims to address why these pictures were drawn in the manuscript and what sort of meaning might be found in them. While they could be referred to as doodles--the bored marks of an amateur artist--I will describe them as illustrations or images. I believe they relate to the content and function of the book in which they are found. The images are tantalizing and vague, managing to seem both unique and idiosyncratic but also somehow rote and unremarkable. Indeed, it is their allusive form and meaning that drew me towards them.

Although Ohio State's library owns fourteen folios of the manuscript, which are all illustrated on the recto of the page, I will be looking more closely at only four of the leaves that contain the most interesting and unique images. I briefly studied the other leaves and believe that their illustrations have similar goals to the ones I focus on here but leave them to further scholarship. (6) I refer to the Latin found on the recto and verso of the four pages as well as their images. By comparing the text to the images, I argue that these marginal illustrations contain thematic links to the text. It is likely they were made purposefully by a later owner of the Book of Hours, serving both as idiosyncratic decoration for the individual's prayer book as well as documentation of the person's spiritual meditations and aspirations. While sharing some of the function and meaning of medieval marginalia as these are usually understood, the illustrations in these manuscript leaves differ from those more usually found in Books of Hours due to the extended time gap between the leaves' initial creation and their later decoration. (7)

Each of the fourteen fragmented pages of the disassembled prayer book measures 193 by 143 millimeters. Both recto and verso contain twelve lines of text from different sections of the Book of Hours. (8) Each page's recto includes vibrant and colorful decorations covering two of the four margins. Folio 85 recto, for instance, includes a branch of blooming flora along the right margin shaded with various pinks, yellows, and greens (Fig. 1). In the center of the bottom margin, the amateur illustrator places a circular image filled with a blue cross, which is also found on several other of the leaves in Ohio State's collection. (9) The images on the recto of the folios do not appear to be the product of an illuminator from the late fourteenth century. (10) At the earliest, these additional pictures were added around 1500, and could even be dated as late as the seventeenth century. Curators at Ohio State's library support a later dating. (11)

We can only speculate about who might have made these marginal illustrations, or exactly when or where they were produced, but we can try to understand why these images were subsequently drawn in by an untrained hand. According to Kathryn Rudy, medieval manuscripts, including Books of Hours, did not remain in one unchanged condition throughout their existence. Rather, they were "open objects": many owners would change their prayer books by adding both images and texts, even by inserting supplementary pages. (12) Because these books had many users over a long period, altering Books of Hours was a way for a manuscript to remain relevant and special to its later owners. (13) Rudy emphasizes that subsequent owners decorated their manuscripts as an act of personalization, whether the illustrations were made by themselves or commissioned from hired hands. Nearly anyone could have personalized a Books of Hours with images, especially with access to pattern and model books. (14) However, I doubt that the illustrator of the Ohio State manuscript copied the images directly from a pattern book as the iconography seems too unusual. Instead, I argue that the images the artist chose to place in the text appear as though they were very personal and conscious decisions.

When contemplating fragmentary folio 89 recto, the viewer beholds a page that at its apex contains a beautifully elaborated red "M" initial, which dates to the period of the manuscript's initial medieval production (Fig. 2). On the right side of the folio, the early modern illustrator paints a tree branch with budding leaves of green, contrasting nicely with the large red letter to its left. Below the text, the amateur artist depicted an ambiguous object, which appears to be unfinished rather than washed with color as are many of the other illustrations found in these pages. (15) Thus, this leaf best shows the artist's working method: the artist drew in the pictures, outlined the images in brown ink, and colored them in accordingly. As to the identity of the unfinished object in the drawing, it is difficult to say for certain what is being illustrated. Although it looks similar to a cooking pot, the two holes on top may represent the filling hole and wick of an oil lamp. (16) Next to this object, our artist depicts a cross placed in a circle, partially colored in blue.

The page's text is from the Office of the Dead, Lesson Three, which contains verses from Job 10: 8-12. (17) On this page, the text from Job reads:
Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me wholly round about, and dost
thou thus cast me down headlong on a sudden? Remember, I beseech thee,
that thou hast made me as the clay, and thou wilt bring me into dust.
Hast thou not milked me as milk and curdled me as cheese? (18)

The text leads the viewer back to the unfinished oil lamp. By considering the lamp's materiality, practical use, and possible symbolic value, we can comprehend why the owner of the text drew it. This specific type of oil lamp, made from clay, links to Latin "lutum," which is found in the center of the page. (19) Furthermore, clay could be produced from oil, the same substance which is burned in such an object. (20) Perhaps, then, the lamp's materiality acted as a mnemonic device for the illustrator, helping the artist to remember the verses on the page and their meaning.

Beyond serving as a tool for memorization or place finding, the oil lamp could also more generally have reflected the amateur artist's meditations upon the verses. The illustrator could easily have handled such an object in daily life. The artist might have used it publicly to provide fight on an altar in church or privately to give light to the room in which the Book of Hours was read. (21) Further, the oil lamp could have acted as a symbol for the illustrator's ruminations upon the verses. Like Job himself, the sinful artist was shaped like clay by the hands of God and would one day be brought to dust. (22) The lamp thus serves as a fitting metaphor for one's short duration here on earth; the oil in the lamp will only burn for so long before extinguishing.

What can we make of the rest of the images found on the page? Although the meaning of the plants is more enigmatic (and doodles of plants are very common in the margins of medieval manuscripts), I would still suggest that one could at least associate the imagery with the verses thematically. As Lucy Freeman Sandler argues, marginalia with secular subjects are still able to contain religious meaning. (23) Since the verso of the page contains no illustrations, the text here too might connect to the illustrations drawn onto the recto. On 89 verso, Job continues, crying out to God, "Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh: thou hast put me together with bones and sinews: Thou hast granted me life and mercy, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit." (24) This text suggests why the artist drew a flourishing branch on the right margin of the recto. Rather than being there for pure decoration, these flora could instead symbolize the budding life and mercy for which the worshipper is grateful. Instead of drawing a human figure or self-portrait to represent this joy and gratitude, the illustrator looks to another of God's creations to symbolize his or her own bones and sinews. (25) Finally, the circular object embellished with a cross and placed between the branch and lamp can be more straightforwardly read as a symbol of the amateur artist's faith. I will look at the cruciform symbol in closer detail where it appears again on the following leaf.

Like 89 recto, folio 137 recto contains carefully drawn illustrations from life (Fig. 3). Below the text, the amateur artist includes a bouquet of golden flowers, perhaps blooming yellow daffodils, while the right side of the page displays a yellow-gold lidded vessel set atop a broken column, marked again with the circular cruciform symbol. (26) Before describing these objects, I would first like to turn to the text. The verses that accompany the images again derive from the Office of the Dead. From the Vespers section of the book, Psalm 129: 2-6 states:
If thou wilt observe iniquities O Lord: Lord who shall endure it?
Because with thee there is pitifulness: and for thy law I have expected
thee O Lord. My soul hath stayed in his word: my soul hath hoped in our
Lord. (27)

The verso of the page continues the psalm, calling for mercy and redemption for Israel and its evils. I offer two possible readings of the golden vessel. On one hand, it could depict a funerary urn that is placed upon a fragmented pedestal. If the object is read as an urn, then the cross marking the column below would symbolize the remains as a Christian's. As such, the artist depicts the ultimate result of humanity and its sins--death. These drawings then point to the mortality of man and his necessity to lean upon God. Stamping the monument with the sign of the cross, the illustrator shows that it is only God's mercy that allows this Christian to hope for life after death. In this instance, the flowers too can be read as memorial, placed perhaps before the grave of the artist's loved one.

However, the object's form is ambiguous; it could also be read as a pyx or ciborium. (28) In this instance, the cross placed below, which is composed within a circle, might be read as the host, similar in size and shape to the Sacramental bread. (29) If the artist intended this, I would still argue that these doodles reflect upon the page's text. In this case, the illuminator illustrates God's own response to the psalmist's cries for mercy. Contemplating the verses, the artist depicts the symbols of the Eucharist, representative of Christ, who ultimately paid for man's sins. Moreover, placing these sacramental instruments atop a broken column further emphasizes the power of Christ. In the sixteenth century, statues placed atop columns still held idolatrous connotations. (30) Perhaps to displace these anxieties, the illustrator instead places a ciborium atop a broken column. Rather than depicting a statue of Christ, then, the artist instead draws a representation of the actual body of Christ (after being blessed by a priest) that is elevated. Ultimately, then, this image could be read as a Christian triumph over the law, represented below as the column, broken for evermore. (31)

Turning to another section of the illustrator's prayer book, folio 143 recto, we find a page from the Hours of the Cross (Fig. 4). The text here describes the excruciating ordeals of Christ's Passion:
At the third hour of the day they crucify him cry,
In a purple robe clad him more to mock thereby,
Piteously his head was pricked with the crown of thorn,
To the place of pain his cross was on his shoulders born. (32)

The artist does not depict Christ in the flesh, placed upon the cross with a crown of thorns; a convincing figural illustration like this may have been beyond the artist's skill. Instead, the illustrator decorates the page with what appears to be a red leather thread that hangs from a golden loop. Attached to this string are a series of ten bones, grouped into sets of two, placed diagonally against one another, forming X's that are evenly placed down the vertical plane. If a viewer turns her head slightly to either side, she would find that these bones too make signs of the cross. The artist could be depicting Christ and the Passion through these bones, which recall the body while not directly representing it. (33) Furthermore, the bones evoke the image of a religious relic the artist might have viewed in his or her local parish. (34)

In addition to the string of bones that can be interpreted as relics or crosses, we again find a cruciform symbol below. Choosing blue to shade in the figure, the illustrator decides to combine the form of the cross along with the initial P. This initial could possibly stand for the family's name, for it appears on folios 44, 86, and 128 rectos. If the "P" is the family's initial or monogram, it would be consistent with the late medieval and early modern practice of adding monograms, initials, and coats of arms to one's prayer books to express personal possession. (35) Another possible interpretation of the P marked with a horizontal band might be that it represents the Chi Rho symbol, making up the first two letters of Christ's name. Although the Chi symbol is not accurate in the circle, it can be correctly found on the right side of the page, depicted five times in a column. This again would lead us back to readings and interpretation of the text on the page that describes the Passion of Christ.

The final folio that I would like to examine is 150 recto, the sole page that depicts a human figure (Fig. 5). This leaf s text comes from the Seven Penitential Psalms, which worshippers often prayed from when resisting the desire to sin. (36) Along with an image of a vertical tree branch holding acorns below the text, the artist depicts an illustration quite strikingly different from the rest of the manuscript illustrations. (37) In a semi-circle, the illustrator draws what appears to be a building, perhaps even a furnace or oven, made of brick or stone. Inside the shape, through a window, or opening in the furnace or oven, there is an androgynous, hairless, and nude figure crowned by a halo, surrounded by fire. The figure's arms are crossed over the chest so it is difficult to discern its sex. Although we should be able to see the person's genitalia, the flames of reds, oranges, and yellows burn, extending out just below the navel. The fire fans around the figure, appearing wing-like in its spread.

Who is this figure trapped in the flames? Why is he or she nude, and where exactly is he or she placed? The image seems to refer to text from Psalm 37: 15-18:
Because in thee O Lord have I hoped: thou shalt hear me O Lord my God.
For I have said, lest sometimes my enemies rejoice over me: and whilst
my feet are moved, they spoke great things upon me. Because I am ready
for scourges: and my sorrow is in my sight always. (38)

On the back of the page the psalm continues, "Because I will declare my iniquity: and I will think for my sin." (39) The last few lines of this text are most interesting in comparison with the image of the figure in flames. The psalm states that the writer of the verse is prepared to be punished, for he or she knows his or her guilt. To depict someone, then, who was prepared to suffer, it would make sense that the artist would illustrate a figure who went through trials or persecution for faith, yet ultimately triumphed. Although I am not certain who this figure in the flames is, I believe that there are several possibilities, which are open to interpretation.

Because the figure has a halo, he or she is holy. Looking to the Bible first for possible examples, we find reference to three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, from Daniel 3:19-30, who faithfully enter a furnace, refusing to worship the gods of Nebuchadnezzar. (40) While they are in the flames, a fourth figure miraculously appears, resembling a god. Since the three men are virtually untouched by the fire (they come out with every hair on their head intact, their clothing untouched), could the figure depicted on the leaf then be the fourth individual who materializes in the fiery furnace? I would not discount this reading, but I wonder if the artist instead illuminated here a martyred saint, a figure who once put hope in God when enduring hardships at the hands of enemies, as in Psalm 37. If so, this image of a burning, haloed figure may be evocative of a saint's martyrdom.

The only saint that I have found to be associated with an oven or furnace is Saint Victor of Milan, a Roman soldier who was martyred at the turn of the fourth century CE. Although he was ultimately beheaded, several sources have mentioned his being severely tortured beforehand, including being flung into a flaming oven. (41) Furthermore, St. Victor is usually recognizable as a Roman soldier on horseback or with an oven containing fiery flames. (42) While I have found no other saints burnt alive in an oven or furnace, I have discovered several others burnt at the stake or at least associated with flames. (43) A particularly interesting account is the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp, a bishop from Smyrna who refused to stop practicing Christianity in Imperial Rome. According to early Christian chronicles, Polycarp was also set to be burned at the stake, but when the fire lit, it formed a space around him, like a wall or narrow chamber. Furthermore, the saint's body was not burned but was rather like "bread in the baking or gold and silver refined in a furnace." (44)

It is plausible that the illuminated figure in the flames is a rendition of either Polycarp or Victor. However, because of its bizarre iconography, the illustrator of the Ohio State manuscript was more likely inspired by multiple martyrdom images of saints set on fire. Although the figure's iconographic ambiguity makes me hesitant to identify it as a specific religious figure, I maintain that the person drawing the haloed body was responding to the religious verses. In doing so, the artist illustrated the Psalm and created a powerful and praise-worthy image. The figure in the illustration is shown in flames but is faithful to God.

The illustrations in this prayer book are not thoughtless scribbles, but reflect instead the meditations of a devout individual. It seems that the person who received a once imageless Book of Hours seized upon the opportunity to decorate it, adding unique and personal images to the manuscript pages. The annotated prayerbook, after all, was a tactile way to access prayer and meditations on God. These illustrations might not exhibit the highest level of artistic skill, but they are nevertheless done with care and consideration. The owner of the book took time with the washes, carefully coloring in the lines, and choosing the pigments for their beauty and naturalistic qualities. While much of the marginalia drawn on the leaves could be viewed as purely decorative--as a doodle--a closer look at the text and its relation to the images raises questions about this assumption. I have no doubt that the later owner who decorated the pages wanted the manuscript to be pleasing to the eye. Ultimately, these illustrations display the work of a Christian artist who meditated upon the Word not only through the eyes and mouth, but also with drawings by hand.

The Ohio State University


(1.) Eric Johnson and the Ohio State Rare Books and Manuscript Library graciously allowed me to access and reproduce these images of the manuscript. I also thank Eric for his time and expertise and for introducing me to the leaves. Additionally, I thank Martha Driver and the Early Book Society for letting me present this paper in a sponsored session at Kalamazoo in 2018 and for the inspiring feedback from the audience. Lastly, this project would not have been possible without the advice, guidance, editing, and encouragement from Karl Whittington at Ohio State. This paper began as a result of his stimulating graduate level course on medieval manuscripts taught at OSU in the Spring of 2017. I am especially grateful for his aid and deep commitment to his students.

(2.) Ernst H. Gombrich, "Pleasures of Boredom: Four Centuries of Doodle," in The Uses of Images: E.H. Gombrich. studies in the social function of art and visual communication (London: Phaidon, 1999), 212.

(3.) According to Giorgio Vasari, the great Cimabue and Giotto were known to have spent much of their youth doodling. Vasari recounts young Cimabue sketching "men, horses, houses, and diverse other things of fancy." In the "Life of Giotto," Vasari repeats the legend promulgated previously by Ghiberti in his I Commentarii that Cimabue found young Giotto in a field drawing a naturalistic representation of a sheep upon a rock. Impressed, he ended up taking the young child with him to train. Although we have no real evidence for Vasari's anecdotes about the artists' young fives, it is nevertheless compelling that his stories of artists always include this insistent urge to draw or doodle. Giorgio Vasari, vol. 1 of Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, trans. Gaston du C. De Vere (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1996), 51, 97.

(4.) In her article, Carolyn Dean analyzes notarial doodles found in the Archivo Regional in Cuzco, Peru from 1630-1810. Challenging Gombrich's argument that scribal doodles were solely the result of the employee's boredom, her essay argues that these doodles had several other purposeful roles. Carolyn Dean, "Beyond Prescription: Notarial Doodles and Other Marks," Word & Image 25, no. 3 (2009): 293-316. Another essay similarly analyzes the erotic marginal doodles found on early modern ledgers in the Modena State Archive. Guido Guerzoni, "The erotic fantasies of a model clerk: amateur pornography at the beginning of the Cinquecento," in Erotic Cultures of Renaissance Italy, ed. Sara F. Matthews-Grieco (Burlington: Ashgate, 2010): 61-88.

(5.) Kathryn M. Rudy, Piety in Pieces: How Medieval Readers Customized Their Manuscripts (Open Book Publishers, 2016), accessed February 27, 2017

(6.) Although little is known about the provenance of the leaves, the fourteen fragments emerge from the modern practice of collectors' purchasing prayer books from the Middle Ages and cutting miniatures and single leaves out of the text to resell separately. This practice took off in the nineteenth century, around when "fake" manuscript pages also began to be sold for profit. Sandra Hindman, et al., Manuscript Illumination in the Modern Age: Recovery and Reconstruction (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, 2001), xxiv-xxv.

(7.) For more on this, see Lilian Randall, Images in the Margins of Gothic Manuscripts (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), and Michael Camille, Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992).

(8.) For general scholarship on Books of Hours, see Roger S. Wieck, Painted Prayers: The Book of Hours in Medieval and Renaissance Art (New York: George Braziller, 1997), and Books of Hours Reconsidered, ed. Sandra Hindman and James H. Marrow (Turnhout, Belgium: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2013).

(9.) Varying forms of this image can be found on folios 41r, 46r, 63r, 89r, 98r, 98v, 135r, 137r, and 148r.

(10.) For a comparative example of a more typical kind of Trecento illumination, see Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library MS 12, F. 26.

(11.) In an email (2018), Eric Johnson, the curator of Ohio State's Rare Books and Manuscript Library, has also agreed with this dating of the late sixteenth or seventeenth century. For this dating, he takes into consideration the images' color, quality, and design.

(12.) Rudy, Piety in Pieces, 16.

(13.) Books of Hours were often passed down through one's family line. Christopher De Hamel argues that these prayer books were akin to domestic heirlooms, similar to genealogical books that recorded their family's heritage. Christopher de Hamel, "Books of Hours and the Art Market," in Books of Hours Reconsidered, ed. Sandra Hindman and James H. Marrow (Turnhout, Belgium: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2013), 44-46.

(13.) Wieck, Painted Prayers, 2-3.

(14.) Dean, "Beyond Prescription," 312.

(15.) A finished example of this object can be found on 41r, which is colored in with yellow and brown. It too has a dark hole in the object's center as well as one in the handle on its left.

(16.) This suggestion was proposed to me during the presentation of this paper at Kalamazoo's International Congress of Medieval Studies on May 11, 2018 in the Early Book Society's panel, "Personalization in MSS and Printed Books: Ownership Marks, Annotations, Emendations." The oil lamp depicted here appears most like examples found from the ancient Greek and Roman periods, produced out of terracotta. Due to its inexpensive material, it seems possible that the illustrator of this manuscript had a similarly constructed oil lamp made of clay.

(17.) This section of the book was often read for the souls of the deceased who were trapped in purgatory. Wieck, Painted Prayers, 117-118.

(18.) Translations from Glenn Gunhouse, "A Hypertext Book of Hours," accessed July 7, 2018, "Manus tuae plasmaverunt me et fecerunt me totum in circuitu et sic repente praecipitas me/ Memento quaeso quod sicut lutum feceris me et in pulverem reduces me / Nonne sicut lac mulsisti me et sicut caseum me coagulasti..."

(19.) For more on clay oil lamps, see Eric C. Lapp, "Clay Lamps Shed New Light on Daily Life in Antiquity," Near Eastern Archaeology, 67, no. 3 (2004): 174-175.

(20.) According to The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, the word "oil" itself is found almost two hundred times in the Bible. It is mentioned in both common and sacred contexts in the Old and New Testaments, such as fueling oil lamps. In Exodus 25:6, God informed Moses that olive oil for lamps would be an acceptable sacred offering for the Tabernacle. Leland Ryken, Kames C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 603.

(21.) Although the illustrator of this Book of Hours might have used a candle rather than this antiquated object, the overall effect of each item is nevertheless the same.

(22.) In his book on the Gothic idol, Michael Camille also notes that the medieval artist was considered to be created by God, as if made from clay. Michael Camille, The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-making in Medieval Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 33.

(23.) Lucy Freeman Sandler, Studies in Manuscript Illumination 1200-1400 (London: The Pindar Press, 2008), 92.

(24.) "Hypertext Book of Hours," "... carnibus vestisti me et ossibus et nervis conpegisti me / Vitam et misericordiam tribuisti mihi et visitatio tua custodivit spiritum meum."

(25.) In John 15: 5-8, Christ compares his followers to branches, referring to himself as the vine. Having been granted everlasting life, the Christian's branches flourish and produce fruit, as seen in the illustration with its green berries.

(26.) I have had trouble distinguishing exactly what type of flower this is. My best guess is that the artist was attempting to depict a daffodil, for the illustration mimics the flower's trumpet-like structure, also referred to as a corona. "How the daffodil got its trumpet," University of Oxford News, accessed May 23, 2018,

(27.) "Hypertext Book of Hours," "Si iniquitates observaveris Domine: Domine quis sustinebit? / Quia apud te propitiatio est: et propter legem tuam sustinui te Domine. / Sustinuit anima mea in verbo eius: speravit anima mea in Domino."

(28.) This idea was suggested to me by Drew Jones and Karen Winstead during a practice session for the Kalamazoo conference at Ohio State, organized through Ohio State's Medieval & Renaissance Graduate Association, 8 May 2018.

(29.) Aden Kumler also analyzes manuscript illustrations of the Eucharist in Translating Truth: Ambitious Images and Religious Knowledge in Late Medieval France and England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).

(30.) Included here are several texts that have been written concerning art and idolatry in sixteenth century Italy. These writings specifically address the anxiety that arose from columns topped with statues and other objects in the period. Michael Cole, "Perpetual Exorcism in Sistine Rome," in The Idol in the Age of Art: Objects, Devotions, and the Early Modern World, ed. Michael Cole and Rebecca Zorach (Burlington: Ashgate, 2009), 57-75, and Alexander Nagel, The Controversy of Renaissance Art (University of Chicago Press, 2011), 103-152. Michael Camille also addresses idols and columns in his book on Gothic idolatry. Camille, Gothic Idol, 197-203.

(31.) The column could also refer to Christ's flagellation during the Passion. Its broken state, then, might be interpreted as Christ's triumph over his torture and death. James Hall, 2nd ed. of Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art (Boulder: Westview Press, 2008), 255-256.

(32.) "Hypertext Book of Hours":
Crucifige clamitant hora tertiarum:
Illusus induitur veste purpurarum:
Caput eius pungitur corona spinarum.
Crucem portat humeris ad locum poenarum.

(33.) Skulls and bones were also placed under the Cross of Jesus at times in Western art from the Middle Ages, according to Jennifer Speake. The Dent Dictionary of Symbols in Christian Art (London: JM Dent, 1994), 129.

(34.) Of course, no remains of Christ's physical body exist since his body and soul ascended to heaven, according to Christian doctrine. Nevertheless, contact relics of Christ were considered holy objects, such as the lance that pierced Christ's side.

(35.) Wieck, Painted Prayers, 17.

(36.) Ibid., 9, 91. The seven penitential psalms are psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129 and 142.

(37.) Although I have investigated the religious symbolism of acorns for this specific illustration, I was unsuccessful at finding any connections. In this case, I must admit that some of the drawings found on the leaves may be either purely decorative or perhaps contain a more personal meaning to the illustrator.

(38.) "Hypertext Book of Hours," "Quoniam in te Domine speravi: tu exaudies Domine Deus meus. / Quia dixi, ne quando supergaudeant mihi inimici mei: et dum commoventur pedes mei, super me magna locuti sunt. / Quoniam ego in flagella paratus sum: et dolor meus in conspectu meo semper."

(39.) Ibid., "Quoniam iniquitatem meam annunciabo: et cogitabo pro peccato meo."

(40.) This identification was also suggested to me at the Kalamazoo panel, "Personalization in MSS and Printed Books."

(41.) Anna Jameson, vol. 2 of Sacred and Legendary Art (New York: AMS Press, 1970), 416.

(42.) Arthur de Bles, How to Distinguish the Saints in Art by their Costumes, Symbols, and Other Attributes (New York: Art Culture Publications, Inc., 1925), 152, 155.

(43.) Some of the saints that were burnt alive (although some were ultimately unharmed from this method of torture) include St. Afra, St. Apollonia, St. Christina, Sts. Cosmo and Damian, St. Ephesus, and St. Lucia. Ibid., 144. St. Anthony of Padua is also sometimes shown with fire since he is the patron saint of protection against the flame. George Ferguson, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1961), 41.

(44.) Polycarp's martyrdom is recounted and analyzed in Donald Attwater, "The Early Martyrs," Life of the Spirit (1946-1964) 11, 130 (not sure what these numbers are referring to?) (1957): 441-454, and M. Therese Lysaught, "Witnessing Christ in Their Bodies: Martyrs and Ascetics as Doxological Disciples," The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics 20 (2000): 239-62.
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Author:Koncz, Caroline
Publication:The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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