This essay focuses on an engraved Passion cycle originally designed by Marten de Vos in the 1580s. What makes this particular example exceptional is that parts of the black-and-white engravings have been painstakingly removed and the gaps filled with seventeenth- and eighteenth-century fabrics, creating a sumptuous mosaic of color. Thus augmented and annotated, the cycle records and provokes intense intellectual, emotional, and physical responses which evoke the rituals of late medieval devotion. At the same time, the cycle is the product of an international print industry and combines the mass-produced with the handmade. The cutting and sticking in this volume create a palimpsest of times, places, bibliographical traditions, and interpretive practices. These engravings vibrantly enhanced with fabric challenge divisions set up between disciplines and the bases of scholarly value judgments, as they focus attention on the materiality of meaning, offering an unexpected perspective on the way books are consumed, defined, and catalogued.
1 September 2015
Research Article|September 01 2015
Georgia E. Brown; Cutting, Sticking, and Material Meaning in a Book of Passion Cycle Engravings. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 September 2015; 45 (3): 543–556. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-3149155
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