The LION & the CARDINAL by DANIEL MITSUI


The LION & the CARDINAL
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8 September 2010


NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY



Its significance, explained in the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Lux advenit veneranda,
Lux in choris jubilanda
Luminosis cordibus!
Hujus lata lux dieï
Festum refert matris Dei
Dedicandum laudibus.

Vox exultet
Modulata,
Mens resultet
Medullata,
Ne sit laus inutilis!
Sic laus Deo
Decantetur
Ut in eo
Collaudetur
Mater ejus nobilis

Gloriosa
Dignitate,
Viscerosa
Pietate,
Compunctiva nomine,
Cum honore
Matronali,
Cum pudore
Virginali,
Nitet coeli cardine.

Rubus quondam exardebat
Et tunc ardor non urebat
Nec virori nocuit:
Sic ardore spiritali
Nec attactu conjugali
Virgo Deum genuit.

Haec est ille fons signatus,
Hortus clausus, fecundatus
Virtutum seminibus.
Haec est illa porta clausa,
Quam latente Deus causa
Clauserat hominibus.

Haec est vellus trahens rorem,
Plenus ager dans odorem,
Cunctis terrae finibus.
Haec est virga ferens florem,
Terra suum Salvatorem
Germinans fidelibus.

Haec est dicta per exemplum
Mons, castellum, aula, templum,
Thalamus et civitas:
Sic eidem aliorum
Assignatur electorum
Nominum sublimitas.

Cujus preces vitia,
Cujus nomen tristia,
Cujus odor lilia,
Cujus vincunt labia
Favum in dulcedine.
Super vinum sapida,
Super nivem candida,
Super rosam rosida,
Super lunam lucida
Veri Solis lumine.

Imperatrix
Supernorum,
Superatrix
Infernorum,
Eligenda
Via coeli,
Retinenda
Spe fideli,
Separatos
A te longe,
Revocatos
A te, junge
Tuorum collegio:
Mater bona
Quam rogamus,
Nobis dona
Quod optamus,
Nec sic spernas
Peccatores
Ut non cernas
Precatores;
Reos sibi
Diflfidentes,
Tuos tibi
Confidentes
Tuo siste Filio! Amen.


Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Dawns a day for adoration,
Day, when in glad jubilation
Songs enlightened hearts should raise!
This day's joyous light another
Feast-day brings round of God's mother,
Dedicated to her praise!

Voice! now keep thou
Joyful measure;
Heart! now leap thou,
Filled wdth pleasure,
That your praise effective be!
Let God's glory
So be lauded,
That the story
Be applauded
Of his mother's dignity!

Great in splendour
Of her station;
Very tender
In compassion,
Sorrowful is she by name;
Honour-laden,
As child-bearing;
Still a maiden
Pure appearing,
Bright in heaven's height shines her fame!

As of old the bush to Moses
Seems in flames, yet never loses
Aught, by burning, of its green;
So by spiritual graces,
Not by conjugal embraces,
Hath a maid God's mother been.

She is that sealed fount, ne'er drying,
That walled garden, fructifying
By the good seed in it sown:
She is that close-fastened portal,
Shut by God 'gainst every mortal
For some secret cause unknown.

She that fleece is, which inviteth
Dew; that rich field that delighteth
With sweet scents all ends of earth:
She that rod is, blossoms bearing,
Soil for all, true faith declaring.
To a Saviour giving birth.

She is titled, for example,
"Mountain," "Castle," "Hall," and "Temple,"
"Bridal Chamber," "Citadel":
To her now hath there been given,
Of sublimest names in heaven,
That which doth the rest excel.

Whose petitions vices quell,
Whose name sorrow doth dispel.
Whose rare scents like lilies smell,
Whose sweet lips by far excel
Honey's nectar in delight.
Daintier than the wine-cup's flow.
Whiter than the driven snow,
Fresher than rose, washed but now,
Brighter with the true Sun's glow
Than the pale moon's orb by night.

Queen o'er glorious
Realms supernal,
And victorious
O'er infernal!
All-availing
Path to heaven.
Whence unfailing
Faith's ne'er driven!
All those falling
From thee wholly,
Now recalling
From their folly,
With thine own once more unite!
O good Mother,
Whom we pray to!
Grant our other
Prayers to-day too;
Sinners, straying,
Ne'er so spurn thou,
As from praying
Hearts to turn now:
Sinners, wholly
Self-diffiding,
With those, truly
Thine abiding,
Lead into thy dear Son's sight! Amen.

7 September 2010


GERMAN-EARLY CHRISTIAN ORNAMENT

Selected plates from Styles in Ornament by Alexander Speltz, published in 1906:










30 August 2010


16TH CENTURY GERMAN BOOK of HOURS ~ NORBERTINE USE








19 August 2010


NATURE PRINTED FERNS







George Glazer Gallery:
Nature-printed ferns were created in Victorian England by pressing actual specimens in lead, transferring the image by electrotype to a copper plate and printing and hand-coloring each one. The process allowed the reproduction of the finest details down to the veins of the fronds. In a sense, nature itself provides the artistic detail as revealed through the nature printing medium. The original collection contained a scientific text, written by Thomas Moore, and 51 plates executed by Henry Bradbury, depicting the native ferns of Great Britain and Ireland . According to the noted botanical scholar Wilfred Blunt, this series is the crowning achievement of nature printing in terms of science and aesthetics.
More on Victorian pteridomania here.

18 August 2010


BARONESS GRANTHAM PSALTER











Antiques Council:
A superlative example of English Gothic Revival manuscript illumination... A gift to Lady Henrietta Frances, Baroness Grantham, circa 1834 (possibly on the occasion of her 50th birthday). The book was the work of her daughters, Lady Anne Weddell Florence who executed the illumination and calligraphy, and Lady Mary Gertrude Weddell who crafted the embroidered binding. According to a contemporary note tipped to the back endleaf: on the Baroness' meeting with Queen Victoria and the Queen's son, the Duke of Kent in 1839, Victoria herself prayed from the Psalter, and remarked upon the book's surpassing beauty.
I saw this book in person, for sale, at the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair earlier this year.

15 August 2010


ABINGDON LABYRINTH



The Labyrinth Builders:
The Abingdon Labyrinth is found in an early 11th century copy of Boëthius, produced at Abingdon Abbey. The Illustration of a six-path, seven-wall labyrinth, contains a poem, Assumpta est Maria ad Caelestia, Alleluia! (Mary is assumed into Heaven, Alleluia!), which can be read in either of two ways: by following the path of the labyrinth, which gives one arrangement of lines, or according to the circles, which gives a different combination.

14 August 2010


TAPESTRY of the HOLY FAMILY PRESSING WINE



Art Institute of Chicago:
This tapestry may be interpreted as a commentary on the Christ Child’s predestined fate to shed his blood to redeem mankind. It depicts the Holy Family, with Christ in the center, flanked by the Virgin Mary on the right and Joseph on the left. Christ squeezes a bunch of grapes above a chalicelike vessel and holds another sprig of grapes in his left hand, which is reflected on a rock crystal globe, where it appears to point toward the cross surmounting the orb... Behind the figures, three golden cloths of honor hang from irregularly spaced coiled columns. The outermost column bears a parchment notice that references scripture. The columns, which are meant to resemble the screws of a wine press, allude to the crushed grapes that produce the wine that is transubstantiated into Christ’s blood during the Eucharist.

3 August 2010


WORKS of GEOFFREY CHAUCER ~ KELMSCOTT PRESS








27 July 2010


SEVEN SLEEPERS of EPHESUS



Their lives, according to James of Voragine.

24 July 2010


ARMENIAN GOSPEL MANUSCRIPT ~ 12th CENTURY

The preface:





The concordance:















The initial pages of the four Gospels:








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