Friday, March 6, 2009

Alfonso X's and Others' Cantigas de Santa Maria - Coda # 1










1. scenes fifteen and seventeen of Ilias Picta (or Ilias Ambrosiana; c. 493 - 508) as published in L'illustration - the illustration - by Michel Melot (Skira, 1984); the Ilias Picta is a Byzantine codex depicting Homer's Iliad; you may find a few more images, here:;
2. page from Charles le Chauve's Bible (c. 846) as published in L'illustration; as Danièle-Alexandre Bidon put it: "There was, during the first centuries of the Middle Ages [...], a confrontation between two figurative narration systems: the panel and the strip." (Le collectioneur de bandes dessinées - Hors série: Les origines de la bande dessinée, 1996: 13; my translation); Carolingian bibles, as the image above shows, privileged the strip;
3. another strip: scenes from the Joshua Roll: a 10th century Byzantine rotulus almost four hundred inches long (ten meters), as published in Michel Melot's book who added (34): "images and texts overlap closely to tell, in a comic-like way, the first twelve chapters of the Book of Joshua;"
4. Romanesque image by Facundus (1047); page from Comentarios al Apocalipsis (commentary on the Apocalypse) by the Beatus of Liébana (w; 776);
5. page from the Moralia in Job (12th century); the characters talk with each other using phylacteries (the shepperd on the left tells Job and his wife how something bad happened; we see the event, in flashback, in the upper panel); Töpfferians love to say how phylacteries don't have the same function as modern balloons because they're more like labels; well, sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't: we can clearly see here how phylacteries serve the purpose of conveying direct speech (just like speech balloons do);
6. page from the Maciejowski Bible: (c. 1250); the architecture has the same function as the modern gutter in this four panelled page;
7. page from Al-Maqamat (the assemblies; 1237) by Abu Muhammad al Qasim ibn Ali al-Hariri (w) and Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti (a);
8. October in Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry (the very rich hours of the Duke of Berry; 1412 - 1416) by the Limbourg brothers; all twelve months are illustrated in this famous book (the palace that you see in the image is the Louvre in Paris);
9. the Liber de herbis (the book of herbs) by Monfredo de Monte Imperiali (14th century).

PS From Cave Paintings to the Internet, Manuscript Illumination Timeline:

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