Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sources on Medieval Art

A NOTE from Catholic illustrator, Daniel Mitsui:
Dear friends, aquaintences and fellow bloggers:

I recently finished a new webpage about the Biblia Pauperum and the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, two of the most important books of the late Middle Ages. These books are indispensable for interpreting the typological juxtapositions in late mediaeval art. The webpage includes a description of the books and their significance by my favorite art historian Emile Mâle, and all of the typological pages from a representative example of each book. My hope is that this webpage will be useful as a reference for both students of sacred art and its creators. These two books helped to maintain a theologically rich iconography through the intellectual poverty of the waning Middle Ages; perhaps they can instruct us in iconoclastic modernity as well. I put a fair amount of effort into this project; please take a look.


I have also added to my website excerpts from the writings of Theophilus the Priest and Denis of Fourna on sacred art, as well as the complete text of a 9th or 10th century Latin poem by Hucbald of St Amand written in praise of bald men; every word in the poem begins with the letter C.

These can all be found at [], along with hard-to-find writings by Emile Mâle, A.W.N. Pugin, and the complete text of an English translation of the third book of the Rationale Divinorum Officorum of Durandus of Mende, explaining the symbolism of the sacred vestments.

All of this is part of an ongoing effort to bring some of the magnificent symbolism of the Middle Ages back into the contemporary Catholic consciousness. My next webpages, currently in progress, will concern the liturgical poetry (hymns and sequences) of Adam of St. Victor.

Kind regards and Happy Easter,

Daniel Mitsui

Dan is a prominent young iconodule, who has made significant and serious intellectual contributions to the cause of a Medieval artistic revival.

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