In 1529, Peter Dell the Elder (1490–1552) made a relief sculpture of the Resurrection for Duke Heinrich of Saxony. At this time, Heinrich was shifting toward his wife Katharina's Lutheranism despite his elder brother Georg's disapproval. The relief's disjunctive, nonillusionistic appearance resonates with Lutheran image theology. Its maintenance of visual difference exemplifies a faith in sacred history's power to transcend historical difference; the relief depicts Heinrich's conversion as one sacrohistorical event among many. The relief's disjunctive appearance also provides an occasion to propose the general heuristic term “chimerism” to describe a specific kind of visual form: not a hybrid that fuses different visual modes, but a chimera that joins unlike features while preserving their differences.
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Research Article| May 01 2016
Jennifer Nelson; Visualizing Sacred History: Peter Dell's Resurrection and Lutheran Image Theology. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 May 2016; 46 (2): 339–379. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-3491834
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