Monday, June 29, 2009

Christ in Majesty

Title: Christ in Majesty

Artist: Luçon Master

Medium: Ink on parchment

Size: 14.5 cm x 21.0 cm

Date: 1400 - 1415

Location: Free Library of Philadelphia, Rare Book Collection

Christ in Majesty, or in Latin Majestas Domini, is the Western Christian image of Christ seated on a throne as ruler of the world. This unique example, however, replaces the throne with a rainbow, still beautifully signifying Christ’s overarching glory.

The illustration shown above was included in a book of hours from Rennes, France. The books of hours were composed for lay people who wished to incorporate elements of monasticism into their devotional life. Reciting the hours typically centered upon the recitation or singing of a number of psalms, accompanied by set prayers. This particular image was on the leaf following a French prayer "To the Five Wounds of Christ," and indeed, all five of Christ's wounds are shown in the miniature.

This anonymous artist, whose oeuvre has been recognized by art historians, has been named Luçon Master after a noted cycle of miniatures he illustrated belonging to the Bishop of Luçon. A French illuminator and leading artist working in Paris in the Late Gothic style, his works are distinguished by meticulous finish, elegance and subtle tonalities. Characteristic are his sinuous figures echoed by curling arabesques in the backgrounds or borders.

No comments:

Post a Comment