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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard

Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard
Context: Litany
Iconography: A kneeling tonsured monk stands between two groups of women who hold up books. The books are inscribed with the beginning of the litany. The left book reads God the father of heaven have mercy. God the son redeemer of the world have mercy. The right book reads God the Holy Spirit have mercy. Holy Trinity one God have mercy. By holding the books aloft, it is the women who are appealing to the Holy Trinity. The dancing tonsured monk is attracting attention to their prayers. The leading woman, on the left, reaches from the temporal zone into the heavenly zone. On the left stand two similar nimbed figures, blessing, with the dove of the Holy Spirit on their heads. They are the Holy Trinity.The humans in this image do not derive from the text but are a deliberate choice, whereby a group of women, assisted by a monk, appeal to the Holy Trinity. This suggests that the litany is for these women and they are the ones who say it
Art: The dove was originally drawn with outspread wings, but they have been painted closed, in repose.This is the first page where the lines for the central column, scored since p331, are used
Thread stitch: yes, red threads attached
Historical Relevance: In Christina's vision (Talbot, 1998, 156-7) she 'saw herself in a kind of chamber, pleasing in its material, design and atmosphere, with two venerable and very handsome personages clothed in white garments. Standing side by side, they differed neither in stature nor beauty. On their shoulders a dove far more beautiful than any others seemed to rest. Outside she saw the abbot trying without success to gain entrance to her... she pleaded with the Lord to have mercy on her beloved'. The deliberate alteration of the dove from outstretched to closed wings may be an attempt to reflect the vision of the dove at 'rest' more accurately (Peter Kidd, pers. comm).Talbot (p26) considered that this invocation of the Holy Trinity must have been painted after the formal dedication of Markyate to the Holy Trinity in 1145. However, the illustration clearly reflects Christina's vision which is recorded in her Life after her profession c.1131 and before the acccession of King Stephen (1135).
Quire: 22


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