The Authority of the Word

Reflecting on Image and Text in Northern Europe, 1400-1700

Series:

This book examines scriptural authority and its textual and visual instruments, asking how words and images interacted to represent and by representing to constitute authority, both sacred and secular, in Northern Europe between 1400 and 1700. Like texts, images partook of rhetorical forms and hermeneutic functions – typological, paraphrastic, parabolic, among others – based largely in illustrative traditions of biblical commentary. If the specific relation between biblical texts and images exemplified the range of possible relations between texts and images more generally, it also operated in tandem with other discursive paradigms – scribal, humanistic, antiquarian, historical, and literary, to name but a few – for the connection, complementary or otherwise, between verbal and visual media. The Authority of the Word discusses the ways in which the mutual form and function, manner and meaning of texts and images were conceived and deployed in early modern Europe.

Contributors include James Clifton, John R. Decker, Maarten Delbeke, Wim François, Jan L. de Jong, Catherine Levesque, Andrew Morrall, Birgit Ulrike Münch, Carolyn Muessig, Bart Ramakers, Kathryn Rudy, Els Stronks, Achim Timmermann, Anita Traninger, Peter van der Coelen, Geert Warnar, and Michel Weemans.
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Review Quotes

"The value of this volume goes beyond a traditional method’s careful limning of an academic specialization. Method and tradition aside, the papers all scrutinize a very significant period in the history of visual production and consumption in Europe [..] many of these [essays] make a point of socially locating their subject matter and giving the reader a concrete sense of the material relationship of text and image to the surrounding world." – David Morgan, Duke University, in: Renaissance Quarterly 65/3 (Fall 2012), p. 897
"One of the edges of current scholarship interrogates the constructed boundary between words and images. This collection of twenty essays […] is a lovely sampling of the state of the question." – Lee Palmer Wandel, University of Wisconsin-Madison, in: HNA Review of Books

Table of contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors
List of Illustrations


Introduction: Scriptural Authority in Word and Image
WALTER S. MELION, CELESTE BRUSATI AND KARL ENENKEL


I. VERBUM VISIBLE: THE AUTHORITY OF THE VISIBLE WORD


The Dominican, the Duke and the Book.
The Authority of the Written Word in Dirc van Delft’s Tafel vanden kersten gelove
GEERT WARNAR

Producing Texts for Prints: Artists, Poets and Publishers
PETER VAN DER COELEN

Embodying Hermeneutics: Rabelais and the Pythagorean Symbola
ANITA TRANINGER

Nature Discerned: Providence and Perspective in Gilles van Coninxloo’s Sylva
CATHERINE LEVESQUE


II. THE AUTHORITY OF VISUAL PARATEXTS


The Author’s Portrait as Reader’s Guidance:
The Case of Francis Petrarch
KARL A.E. ENENKEL

Solomon Writing and Resting: Tradition, Words and Images in the 1548 Dutch
“Louvain Bible”
WIM FRANÇOIS


III. READING SCRIPTURE THROUGH IMAGES


Eloquent Presence: Verbal and Visual Discourse in the Ghent Plays of 1539
BART RAMAKERS

The Earthly Paradise: Herri met de Bles’s Visual Exegesis of Genesis 1-3
MICHEL WEEMANS

Representations of Adam and Eve in Late Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century English
Embroidery
ANDREW MORRALL


IV. VERBAL AND VISUAL INSTRUMENTS OF DEVOTIONAL AUTHORITY


“Practical Devotion”: Apotropaism and the Protection of the Soul
JOHN R. DECKER

Highways to Heaven (and Hell): Wayside Crosses and the Making of Late Medieval
Landscape
ACHIM TIMMERMANN

Images, Rubrics and Indulgences on the Eve of the Reformation
KATHRYN M. RUDY

The Stigmata Debate in Theology and Art in the Late Middle Ages
CAROLYN MUESSIG

Towards a Transconfessional Dialogue on Pre-Modern Theological Texts and Images:
Some Adnotationes on Nadal, Lipsius and Rubens
BIRGIT ULRIKE MÜNCH

Responding to Tomb Monuments: Meditations and Irritations of Aernout van Buchel in
Rome (1587 – 1588)
JAN L. DE JONG

Miracle Books and Religious Architecture in the Southern Netherlands.
The Case of Our Lady of Hanswijk in Mechelen
MAARTEN DELBEKE


V. PICTORIAL ARTIFICE AND THE WORD


Prayerful Artifice: The Fine Style as Marian Devotion in Hieronymus Wierix’s
Maria of ca. 1611
WALTER S. MELION

Secret Wisdom: Antoon Wierix’s Engravings of a Carmelite Mystic
JAMES CLIFTON

Working the Senses with Words: The Act of Religious Reading in the Dutch Republic
ELS STRONKS

Index Card

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