Monday, March 27, 2017

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

Another image from The Morgan Library and Museum's collection of miniatures, this Annunciation is framed in an architectural setting. The central panel is, of course, the encounter of the Angel and Mary. On either side, behind columns, are four prophets:
Upper left, Isaiah holds a scroll with the one word taken from his writings, probably a shorthand reference for a" shoot shall spring forth from the stump of Jesse" (Is 11:1-2).
Below Isaiah, Amos holds a scroll with the words "behold a virgin" (possibly from Amos 5:2 on the fallen condition of Zion, often personified as a maiden?); the more famous prophecy "behold, a virgin shall conceive" is from Isaiah. Could the artist have confused the two?
On the right, above, Jeremiah's scroll simply says "now"; below him the hooded Daniel's scroll seems to read "species tua," words that do not appear in the Vulgate translation of the Book of Daniel.

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