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12 February 2012


Grotesque animal carvings in medieval churches, reproduced in lithograph in Gothic Ornaments, selected From Various Buildings in England and France by Augustus Charles Pugin.

The following are wood carvings from New College Chapel in Oxford:

And the following are stone carvings from the Cathedral of Rouen: 

11 February 2012


Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature:
Hans Holbein, the Younger, who had been recommended to More by his friend, Erasmus, arrived in England in 1526. Next year, he began a painting of Sir Thomas More and his family. A preparatory sketch for the original survives, but the painting itself was destroyed by fire in the eighteenth century. Fortunately, paintings which were created based on it by Rowland Lockey in the late sixteenth century, survive.

6 February 2012


Her life, according to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

5 February 2012


Her life, according to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

3 February 2012


His life, according to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

29 January 2012


28 January 2012


His life, according to Einhard, and according to a monk of St. Gall.

Sequence for the Feast:

Urbs Aquensis urbs regalis
Regni sedes principalis
Prima regum curia.
Regi regum pange laudes
Que de magni Regis gaudes
Caroli memoria.

Iste cetus psallat letus,
Psallat chorus hic sonorus
Vocali concordia.
Ac dum manus operatur
Bonum quod cor meditatur,
Dulcis est psalmodia.

Hac in die, die festa
Magni regis, magna gesta
Recolat Ecclesia.
Reges terre et omnes populi
Omnes plaudant simul ac singuli
Celebri letitia.

Hic est Christi miles fortis,
Hic invicte dux cohortis
Ducum sternit milia.
Terram purgit lolio
Atque metit gladio
Ex messe zizania.

Hic est magnus imperator,
Boni fructus bonus sator
Et prudens agricola.
Infideles hic convertit,
Phana deos hic evertit
Et confringit ydola.

Hic superbos domat reges,
Hic regnare sacras leges
Facit cum iustitia.
Quam tuetur eo fine
Ud et iustus sed nec sine
Sit misericordia.

Oleo letitie
Unctus dono gratie
Ceteris pre regibus.
Cum corona glorie,
Majestatis regie
Insignitur fascibus.

O rex mundi triumphator,
Jhesu Christi conregnator,
Sis pro nobis exorator,
Sancte pater Carole.
Emundati a peccatis
Ut in regno claritatis
Nos plebs tua cum beatis
Celis simus incole.

Stella maris, o Maria,
Mundi salus, vite via,
Vacillantum rege gressus,
Et ad Regem des accessus
In perenni gloria.
Christe, splendor Dei Patris
Incorrupte fili matris
Per hunc sanctum, cuius festa
Celebramus, nobis presta
Sempiterna gaudia. Amen.

Englished by Dom Laurence Shepherd:
O city of Aix! City of royalty I seat of princely power, and favourite court of kings!

O thou that so joyously celebratest the memory of King Charles the Great, sing thy praises to the King of kings.

Let this glad assembly give forth its hymns, and this sweet choir of music sing as with one voice of praise.

O sweet the psalmody, when the hand achieves the holy meditation of the heart!

On this festive day, let the Church proclaim the great deeds of the great King.

Let the kings of the earth and the people, let all and each, praise him with a holiday of joy.

This is the brave soldier of Christ, the leader of the invincible army, and he prostrates his enemies by tens of thousands.

He weeds the earth of its cockle, and with his sword cleanses the harvest from the tares.

This is the great Emperor, the good sower of the good seed, the prudent husbandman.

He converts infidels, he overthrows the temples, and the false gods, and breaks the idols.

He subdues haughty kings, he establishes the reign of holy laws and justice.

He defends the right, for he loves justice; but he tempers justice by mercy.

He is anointed with the oil of gladness, and with grace, above all other kings.

He wears the crown of glory, he is decked with all the emblems of kingly majesty.

O King that didst triumph over the world! O King that now reignest with Christ! O Charles! O sainted father! pray for us,

That we thy people, being cleansed from our sins, may be made fellow-citizens with the blessed in the kingdom of heaven.

O Mary! Star of the Sea! that didst give to the world its Saviour and its Life! guide our faltering steps, and lend us to Jesus our King, in everlasting bliss.

O Jesus! Brightness of the Eternal Father! Son of the Virgin-Mother! we beseech thee, by the merits of the Saint whose Feast we celebrate, grant us to come to everlasting joy. Amen.

26 January 2012


National Gallery of Slovenia:
The panels are a remnant of the wings of a Late Gothic altar of the Holy Cross. In the central part of the altar was a painted, or more probably a sculpted group of the Crucifixion: on the inner (festive) side of the wings were scenes of Christ’s suffering, two of which are in the Narodna Galerija in Ljubljana, and two in Vienna. That these are really the festive sides is indicated by the gold background. On the working-day, outer side of the wings were scenes of the Finding of the Cross, of which only two are preserved in the Narodna Galerija, while the scene of the unearthing and the recognition of the True Cross (when touched by the Cross, a dead man rises again) and perhaps also the fourth scene, of the entry into Jerusalem of the emperor Heraclius with the Cross, which he had torn from the hands of the Persians, are missing. The panels, which were once painted on both sides, were later sawn up so as to make two out of one; the external pictures of the Viennese panels, with the legend of Saint Helen, have unfortunately been lost. Furthermore, all the panels were painted over a number of times.
In the first panel below, Pontius Pilate has the visage of Vlad the Impaler.

24 January 2012


23 January 2012


Arizona State University:
A book of liturgical chants, illustrated with geese, foxes, bears, dogs and cats, sounds like a Dr. Seuss creation – but the Geese Book actually is a 500-year-old liturgical manuscript that once was used in Nuremberg, Germany...

[ASU professor Corine] Schleif discovered the Geese Book when she was a doctoral student...

The book was created by artists and craftsmen in Nuremberg to preserve the complete liturgy used in the parish of St. Lorenz, as it was sung by the choir of young adults and schoolboys. The book survived World War II and came came into the hands of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, whose founders trace their roots back to a patrician family in Nuremberg. The Kress Foundation helped the church rebuild after Nuremberg was bombed. In return, the church presented the Geese Book to the foundation.
Eventually, the foundation gave the two-volume book to the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York – where, at 30 inches by 50 inches, it is the largest book in the library’s collection. But it had to be large; when it was used in the church five centuries ago, the St. Lorenz choir members had to share it...

It is known that the cleric Friedrich Rosendorn was responsible for the writing, and it is thought that Jakob Elsner painted the incredibly detailed illustrations, but scholars can only guess at the meaning of the whimsical drawings.

The book takes its name from an enigmatic, self-referential, bas-de-page illustration that shows a choir of geese and a fox singing from a large chant manuscript with a wolf as their choirmaster, Schleif says.
The website for the scholarly project.

A compact disk recording some of the music.

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