All Saints Day, All Souls Day: The Hunterian Psalter: Virgin Mary on her Deathbed and her Assumption.
Two hands upon the breast,And labor's done;
Two pale feet cross'd in rest,The race is won.
That on the left shows Christ blessing Mary on her death bed; her funeral procession is below [it]. Three Jewish elders stand to the left, the chief of whom - according to the apocryphal work the De Transitu - tries to overturn the funeral bier; as a punishment for this act of desecration, his hands cleave to the bier only to be released by Saint Peter on his conversion to Christianity.
The illustration of the entombment and bodily assumption of the completely enshrouded Virgin, borne aloft by fourteen angels, is not found in any other iconographical source. The question as to whether Mary was assumed bodily and reunited with her soul in heaven, or body and soul together, was a subject of intense theological debate in the Twelfth Century.
This image, which unambiguously depicts the bearing aloft of a corpse, may form part of the polemic. It has been linked to a vision experienced by a twelfth-century German Benedictine nun, Elizabeth of Schönau (d. 1164), and also to the writings of Honorius of Autun (d. c.1156). The Hunterian Psalter, 1170
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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