Depiction of Angels and Devils in Medieval French Manuscript Illumination

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This book examines the paintings of angels and devils by medieval French illuminators and discusses the manner in which they were depicted. With Illustrations.


“Patricia Gathercole again demonstrates her remarkable familiarity with Medieval France's illuminated manuscripts. Her study of angels and devils is a succicent history of the supernatural's occurrence across the ages, indeed, to pre-biblical times, and even farther back than the classical world of myths. The ever-present struggle between the minions of the Side of Light, of Holiness and the Dark Side is present. Therefore, the illuminations studied and presented visually in a variety of black-and-white illustration from documented miniatures, strengthen the author's investigation. The good angels are depicted with wings and haloes, with cherubs among them, while fallen angels, the opposite, with Lucifer and Satan predominating, are unattractive. Devils appear in the form we know today, with horns and hooves and the furry legs which go back to Pan, who so terrified those who saw him or who even heard the click of his horns, were filled with "panic" the fear of Pan. Devils were also depicted as dragons, and other creatures. The scope of this book is substantial, since in it the author makes a two-fold presentation: she entertains and instructs the general public and she offers the scholar an excellent bibliography and the footnotes scholars expect. But there is more to popularize this book: it appears at a time which is experiencing a revival of the public fascination with the supernatural, especially with miracles of the Virgin Mary, and of saints, and of encounters with the Dark Side. We witness this revival in the cinema, in television, in the radio, on the stage, in music, and even in the ballet. The public is as charmed with the supernatural now as it was in the past.” - (From the Commendatory Preface) John E. Keller, University of Kentucky

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Part I Angels:
• Introduction • Physical Appearance • Haloes • Hair • Wings • Attire • Gabriel • The Rebel Angels • Conclusion to Attire • Activities of the Angels • Introduction • Scenes Where Angels Appear • The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary • Nativity Scenes • Scenes of the Annunciation to the Shepherds • The Virgin and Child in Glory • Visitation Scenes • The Flight Into Egypt • Crucifixion Scenes • Resurrection Scenes • Christ in Majesty • Scenes with Adam and Eve • Scenes of the Last Judgment • Angels Fighting Dragons and Battling for Souls • Angels Seen With Saints • Other Miscellaneous Subjects • Conclusion to the Section on the Activities of Angels • Main Conclusion to Part I

Part II Fallen Angels:
• Introduction • Physical Appearance • Satan and His Devils • Dragons • Hell • Paintings of the Time and Later • Conclusion to Fallen Angels

Selected Bibliography, Index

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