Medieval Book Shrines

cumdach-of-st-patricks-gospels

Medieval Fragments has a terrific, well-illustrated post on book shrines: shrines designed to look like books. Called a cumdach, the book shrine was a kind of reliquary contains pages from books associated with saints, and occasionally first class relics: Usually quite small, they served as a portable vessel meant for the preservation of a sacred [Read More...]

Catherine of Cleves Has a Case of the Mondays

cathyclevesmatins

From the Morgan Library & Museum comes this page from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, Monday Matins “Office of the Dead.” Even in the 15th century, Mondays had a grim association. The Morgan describes it thus: As a man dies, his wife offers him a candle, a doctor examines his urine, and his son [Read More...]

Reliquary of St. John of God

L0035668 Spanish reliquary statue of Saint John of God

Beautiful. Part of the collection released for use from Wellcome Images, which has a huge collection of medical and scientific images. St. John was a health care worker who founded the Brothers Hospitallers. The reliquary contains a piece of his walking stick. [Read more...]

Augustine Contemplates the City of God

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From the collection of the Morgan Library & Museum comes this amazing illuminated page from De civitate Dei. If you click on it you can zoom and scan to a remarkable level of detail. The illuminations are by Girolamo da Cremona from 1475, and the Morgan describes it this way: “In the lower portion of this sumptuous [Read More...]

Just Beautiful: Medieval Calendar Pages

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If you haven’t already added The British Library Medieval Manuscript page to your must-visit list, you really should. They routinely offer beautiful and fascinating treasures from their collection. This year, they’re running pages from The Huth Hours, a manuscript noted for its spectacular illuminations: The Hours include double page monthly calender spreads noting the feasts [Read More...]

Watch What This Artist Can Do With An iPad

morgan

Morgan Freeman: you know him, you love him, he could inform you that he’d annihilated a small village and that soothing voice would make everything seem okay. Here’s his face: Know what’s impressive about that image? It’s not a photograph. Artist Kyle Lambert made it with his finger, and iPad, and the Procreate app. Watch [Read More...]

Medieval Warrior Snails

snail

The British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts Blog has an interesting compilation of marginal art depicting knights charging at snails. I’ve seen snails in marginals before, but never realized they were such a persistent motif. The symbolism and placement is still puzzling to many medievalists, particularly since the snail did not have a stable meaning associated with [Read More...]

Stunning Jeweled Saints

Saint Deodatus in Rheinau, Switzerland, by Paul Koudounaris (Thames and Hudson)

Smithsonian has a long, heavily-illustrated piece on photographer Paul Koudounaris and his amazing work cataloging the heavily bejeweled skeletons and corpses of saints. He’s gathered them in a book called Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (Thames and Hudson), and they are simply astonishing. Here’s a taste: You should read the entire [Read More...]


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