We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Angels, Devils

The Supernatural and Its Visual Representation

Edited by Gerhatd Jaritz

Publication Year: 2011

Supernatural phenomena and causalities played an important role in medieval society. Religious practice was relying upon a set of cult images and the sacral status of these depictions of divine or supernatural persons became the object of heated debates and provoked iconoclastic reactions. The miraculous intervention of saints or other divine agents, the wondrous realities beyond understanding, or the manifestations of magic attributed to diabolic forces, were contained by a variety of discourses, described and discussed in religion, philosophy, chronicles, literature and fiction, and also in a large number of pictures and material objects. The nine essays in this collection discusses how supernatural phenomena – especially angels and devils – found visual manifestation in Latin and Eastern Christianity as well as Judaism in the late medieval, early renaissance period.

Published by: Central European University Press

Series: CEU Medievalia


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.0 MB)
pp. 1-3

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.4 KB)
p. 4-4

Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (110.6 KB)
p. 5-5

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.9 KB)
pp. v-7

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (120.5 KB)
pp. vii-x

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (128.1 KB)
pp. 1-2

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...

read more

The Beam of Grace and the Ocular Paradigm. Some Remarks on the Relation between Late Medieval Theology and Art

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.8 MB)
pp. 3-15

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...

read more

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

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.9 MB)
pp. 17-28

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...

read more

In diversas figuras nequitiae: The Devil’s Image from the Viewpoint of Rhetoric

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.9 MB)
pp. 29-49

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...

read more

Devils in Visual Proximity

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.4 MB)
pp. 51-73

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...

read more

Supernatural Figures Incognito

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. 75-91

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...

read more

Guardians or Avengers? Depictions of Angels in Transylvanian Altarpieces from the Late Medieval Period

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.8 MB)
pp. 93-115

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...

read more

Heavenly Envoys: Angels in Jewish Art

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.1 MB)
pp. 117-134

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...

read more

The Reincarnations of Enoch from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 135-151

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...

read more

Images to Influence the Supernatural: Apotropaic Representations on Medieval Stove Tiles

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.8 MB)
pp. 153-197

Ever since their “invention” in the early fourteenth century, medieval stove tiles have carried various types of representations...

List of Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (113.7 KB)
pp. 199-211


pdf iconDownload PDF (107.9 KB)
pp. 201-205

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.1 MB)
p. 218-218

E-ISBN-13: 9786155053238
Print-ISBN-13: 9786155053214

Page Count: 218
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1st
Series Title: CEU Medievalia