Italian, 13th cent.
Figure Reliquary of St. Stephen
France, Late 12th century
This figure in his deacon’s robes represents the first Christian martyr, St Stephen. Full of dignity, wisdom and humanity, the figure stands out among the often restive and dynamic representations of the 12th century. But the monumentality and the inner tension, combined with masterfully executed decoration, make it one of the unquestioned masterpieces of Romanesque art. The figure holds a receptacle for relics, decorated with a cameo carved into bloodstone, which is considered to be Byzantine.
Detail from the 14th-century choir screen of Notre Dame de Paris.
Carolingian Disk Brooch
Location (found at): Niederbreisig, Germany
I have always found the metal work that flourished during the 7th and 8th centuries to be fascinating. We can see similar examples from the Visigoths in Spain. Precious stones were used along with a stylized decorative program. I have seen similar brooches in the Museo Arqueológico in Madrid.
Detail of the Batllo Crucifix (Majesty/Majestat). Polychromed wood, from Gerona, Catalonia, mid-twelfth century. Currently in the collections of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Source.
Pyramid mounts and an inscribed strip from the Anglo-Saxon gold Staffordshire hoard, c. seventh century (Source).
Leaf from a Volume of Johannes Andrea’s “Lectura super arboris consanguinitatis et affinitatis: Table of Affinity
Tempera on vellum
The Virgin and Christ Child; Christ Crucified; Christ in Majesty
From Chronica Majora, vol. 1
Saint Albans, England, ca. 1240–53
Corpus Christi College Library, Cambridge, MS 26
Then by the external sound of the words, without the aid of contemplation, without even the help of thought, the Church acts.
There it is, the miracle of her liturgy, the power of her word, the constantly renewed prodigy of phrases created by revolving time, of prayers arranged by ages which are dead. AII has passed, nothing exists that was raised up in those bygone times. Yet those sequences remain intact, cried aloud by indifferent voices and cast out from empty hearts, plead, groan, and implore even with efficacy, by their virtual power, their talismanic might, their inalienable beauty by the almighty confidence of their faith. The Middle Ages have left us these to help us to save, if it may be, the soul of the modern and dead fine gentleman.
on Latin chant
Joris-Karl Huysmans, ‘En Route,’ 1896
Ivory icon with St. Demetrios, c. 950 - 1000
Merry tenth day of christmastide. Today is the feast of St. Genevieve.
Anonymous Venetian, St. Michael the Archangel (detail from the Pala d’Oro, Basilica di San Marco, Venice), begun 1063