its origins in a book, that it was created specifically to accompany a written text from which it migrated into other media, then the Gospel lectionary is certainly the most likely source. Unfortunately, there are not nearly as many Gospel lectionaries adorned with feast scenes as one would like for this theory to be convincing (the decoration of the great majority of the illustrated lectionaries is restricted to portraits of the Four Evangelists). Furthermore, given the independent nature of Byzantine iconography, which is rarely a literal illustration of any single text, it is more likely that things worked the other way around and that the iconography of the feast cycle was developed first in monumental painting or on icons, and only then made its way into illustrated manuscripts and other media.
Text and image in homiletic and hagiographic collections The concept of the church calendar is intrinsic to many other kinds of liturgical books.38 Collections of homilies to be delivered on certain feast days were, from the eleventh century on, being arranged in manuscripts according to the date of the feast at which they were to be read.39 This is true primarily for manuscripts ofthe Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzos (fig. 5.3), which, as would any Gospel lectionary, open with an Easter reading; in this case, with one of Gregory's homilies on Easter. While their illustrations, usually restricted to headpieces and initials, do tend to reflect the content of the homily, they also make reference to the feast at which the homily is read.40 Though also read in services throughout the church year and often illustrated, the homilies of John Chrysostom were not organised according to the church calendar as were those of Gregory.41 Homilies by other authors, such as George of Nikomedeia, which were read out at specific feasts, had a tremendous influence on the depiction of that feast, either directly or through hymnography based on these homilies.42
38 Walter, Art and ritual, 67-72.
39 A. Ehrhard, Überlieferung und Bestand der hagiographischen und homiletischen Literatur der griechischen Kirche von den Anfangen bis zum Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts [Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlicher Literatur 50-52] (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs Verlag, 1937-52), 3 vols. in 4.
40 G. Galavaris, The illustrations of the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzenus [Studies in Manuscript Illumination 6] (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969); Sevcenko, 'Illuminating the liturgy', 219-20.
41 K. Krause, Die illustrierte Homilien des Johannes Chrysostomos in Byzanz (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004). His homilies are commentaries on the various books of the Bible (esp. Matthew, John and Genesis), and are collected therefore according to the book, not the calendar year.
42 H. Maguire, Art and eloquence in Byzantium (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), 91-108; M. Vassilaki and N. Tsironis, 'Representations of the Virgin and their association with the Passion of Christ', in Mother of God: representations of the Virgin in Byzantine art, ed. M. Vassilaki (Milan: Skira, 2000), 453-63.
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