The Supernatural and Its Visual Representation
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Central European University Press
Series: CEU Medievalia
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
A simple current understanding of the supernatural cannot be the basis for discussing the variety of surviving medieval visual images of supernatural entities or phenomena, which lie beyond the realm of today’s scientific understanding or are in direct conflict with scientific...
The Beam of Grace and the Ocular Paradigm. Some Remarks on the Relation between Late Medieval Theology and Art
About 1440 the Florentine Painter Filippo Lippi finished his work on the Annunciation altarpiece for the church of San Lorenzo (fig. 1). At first glance one is captivated by the strict spatial composition, a structure of different spatial elements oriented towards a vantage point which...
Visual Images of the Supernatural in the Late Middle Ages, or, How to Make the Entities Recognizable that Are not Part of Our Natural World
A cradle with a six-week-old baby in it fell from a bench onto another child so that both of them died. Their mother prayed to the Virgin of the Styrian pilgrimage, Mariazell. By the latter’s intervention both children became alive again (fig. 1).1 In the visual image of this miracle...
In diversas figuras nequitiae: The Devil’s Image from the Viewpoint of Rhetoric
This article deals with some features of the devil’s visual image which might be regarded as, at least, unnatural. But “unnatural” is a negative definition: if these visual features do not belong to “nature”, then to what type or level of existence do they belong? We are inclined...
Devils in Visual Proximity
Considering cultural phenomena of the past we must take into account possible differences between nowadays’ views and the views which were relevant in the past. This topical ethnological postulate might meanwhile be taken as dispensable, but I want to affirm it here because the need for that...
Supernatural Figures Incognito
The identification of supernatural beings is not always easy. In the visual arts, angels and devils are regularly marked with conventional signs such as horns or wings, which facilitate their recognition. However, in certain...
Guardians or Avengers? Depictions of Angels in Transylvanian Altarpieces from the Late Medieval Period
As is usual for a polyptych decorating a Marian altar, the altarpiece of Biertan (Birthälm, Berethalom) has an extended Infancy cycle depicted on the interior of the wings.1 The Flight into Egypt is part of this cycle. In this scene, Mary and the Christ Child have not yet alighted...
Heavenly Envoys: Angels in Jewish Art
The abstract nature of God in Judaism required the existence of intermediaries between God and the created world. Therefore, angels as servants and agents of God were present in Jewish thought from biblical times. The word for angel in the Bible is...
The Reincarnations of Enoch from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance
A perplexing text, the Apocalypse of Enoch, has become a treasure of modern occultists. For example, it was translated into Hungarian by the esoteric philosopher, Béla Hamvas, and the publication appeared during the last days of the war...
Images to Influence the Supernatural: Apotropaic Representations on Medieval Stove Tiles
Ever since their “invention” in the early fourteenth century, medieval stove tiles have carried various types of representations...
List of Contributors