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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  December 2015

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION December 2015

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (Dec. 1): St. Eligius

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 2 Dec 2015 05:39:08 +0000

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Eligius (d. 659/660; Eloi, Aloy, Aloisio, Loise, etc., etc.) was a pious goldsmith of Gallo-Roman origin who served as master of the mint at Marseille under the Frankish kings Chlotar II and Dagobert I.  One of the latter's _familiares_, he distinguished himself by ransoming prisoners of war and by founding monasteries at Solignac in his native Limousin and at Paris.  Shortly after Dagobert's death in 639 Eligius took holy orders.  In 641 he was elected bishop of Noyon-Tournai.  He founded monasteries in his diocese and undertook missionary work in Flanders.  A Carolingian-period collection of sermons circulated under his name (it's now known as the Pseudo-Eligius).

Eligius' Vita by his friend Audoenus (Ouen, Dado) of Rouen survives in a later reworking (BHL 2474).  Jo Ann McNamara's English-language translation may be read here:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/eligius.html
That Vita's morality tale (cap. 47) of the greedy bishop and the late Eligius' horse combined with Eligius' having been a smith may have given rise to the story, popular in the later Middle Ages, of the saint's removing a lower leg (or just a hoof) of a horse that needed to be shod, shoeing the hoof, and then re-attaching to the unharmed beast the member in question. Eligius, who is also a patron of goldsmiths and of jewelers, thus became a patron of blacksmiths and farriers and is often represented with a hammer or with the horse's lower leg.


Some period-pertinent images of St. Eligius:

a) as depicted (at left) in a mid-twelfth-century copy, of Limousin origin, of Usuard's Martyrology (Paris: BNF, Nouvelle acquisition latine 214, fol. 100v):
http://tinyurl.com/y8vyuvm

b) as depicted (nine scenes) in the earlier thirteenth-century St. Eligius and St. Nicholas window (w. 18; ca. 1235) in the cathédrale Saint-Étienne in Auxerre:
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Auxerre/w18.htm

c) as depicted (scenes) in the earlier thirteenth-century Life of St. Eligius window (w. 107R; ca. 1240) in the cathédrale Saint-Maurice in Angers:
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Angers/w107R-1.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Angers/w107R-3.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Angers/w107R-4.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Angers/w107R-5.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Angers/w107R-6.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Angers/w107R-7.htm

d) as depicted (at left) in the late thirteenth-century (ca.  1285-1290) Livre d'images de Madame Marie (Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 88r):
http://tinyurl.com/ykepc4g

e) as depicted in a fourteenth-century glass window (w. 19, Scenes of St. Eligius and of St. Thomas of Canterbury ) in Rouen's église abbatiale de Saint-Ouen:
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Rouen-St-Ouen/w19-A.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Rouen-St-Ouen/w19-B.htm
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Rouen-St-Ouen/w19-C.htm

f) as depicted in a fourteenth-century fresco in the church of the Holy Cross, Slapton (Northants):
http://www.paintedchurch.org/slapeloi.htm

g) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century Smiths' Window (w. 37, Schmiedefenster; 1320) in the Münster in Freiburg im Breisgau:
http://www.michaelseeger.de/see/muenster/schmiede.html
A better view (but the caption is a tad uninformed):
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Freiburg/n37-b2.htm

h) as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1326-1350; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, 182r):
http://tinyurl.com/ybnz6ej

i) as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century French-language legendary of Parisian origin with illuminations attributed to the Fauvel Master (ca. 1327; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 183, fol. 248v):
http://tinyurl.com/y8vy8cv

j) as portrayed in high relief in the mid-fourteenth-century structural member above the left jambs on the north portal of Öja kyrka, Öja (Gotlands län):
http://tinyurl.com/jzwo7zf
Detail view:
http://tinyurl.com/hq53asc

k) as depicted in a now lost panel from the later fourteenth-century rood screen of St Andrew, Hempstead (Norfolk):
http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/hempstead/Eligius.jpg

l) as depicted in a fifteenth(?)-century pen-and-ink drawing in the margin of a page of a later tenth- or early eleventh-century copy of Audoenus' Vita of the saint (Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 1028, fol. 32r):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht2/IRHT_051007-p.jpg

m) as depicted in a fifteenth-century fresco in Holy Trinity, Wensley (N. Yorks):
http://www.paintedchurch.org/wenseloi.htm

n) as depicted (at right) in a heavily restored fifteenth-century fresco in St Lawrence, Broughton (Bucks):
http://www.paintedchurch.org/broubhel.htm

o) as depicted in a fifteenth-century miniature from Hungary:
http://mek.oszk.hu/01900/01949/html/index261.html

p) as portrayed in a pair of fifteenth-century spandrel sculptures in the collégiale Sainte-Croix in Liège:
http://www.fabrice-muller.be/sc/iconographie/saint-eloi.html

q) as depicted in a probably early fifteenth-century vault fresco, last restored in 2007, in Højby Kirke, Højby (Odsherred Kommune) in Sjælland:
http://tinyurl.com/zwooofs

r) as depicted (left-hand column; right-hand column, St. Nicholas of Myra) in the early fifteenth-century Hours of René of Anjou (ca. 1405-1410; London, BL, Egerton MS 1070, fol. 81r; image zoomable):
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=egerton_ms_1070_f081r

s) as depicted in the early fifteenth-century Châteauroux Breviary (ca. 1414; Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 204v):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht2/IRHT_054049-p.jpg

t) as portrayed in a pair of early fifteenth-century sculptures (statue and historiated base) by Nanni di Banco for an exterior niche of Florence's chiesa di Orsanmichele (betw. 1411 and 1415; original and recent copy; the originals are inside in the Museo):
1) Statue (original):
http://tinyurl.com/pdzr3uh
Detail view:
http://tinyurl.com/hzj8tmk
2) Statue (recent copy placed in the niche):
http://tinyurl.com/ylmktbk
3) Base (recent copy placed at the niche):
http://tinyurl.com/2e8a9og

u) as depicted (at center; at right, St. Anthony of Egypt) in an earlier fifteenth-century fresco (1439) in the chapter room (interpreted by some as a refectory) of the eremo di Santa Caterina in Leggiuno (VA) in Lombardy:
http://tinyurl.com/zmymhj2

v) as depicted by Guillaume Vrelant in a mid- or slightly later fifteenth-century book of hours of Flemish origin (Bruges; ca. 1455-1465; Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum, Morgan ms. M.387, fol. 96v):
http://corsair.morganlibrary.org/icaimages/3/m387.096va.jpg

w) as portrayed in relief by Giovanni Gaggini on the mid-fifteenth-century tombstone (1459) for the goldsmiths' company in the basilica di Santa Maria delle Vigne in Genoa:
http://tinyurl.com/nwc4k73

x) as portrayed in a later fifteenth-century ceiling boss in the katholische Pfarrkirche St. Laurentius in Bremm (Lkr. Cochem-Zell) in Rheinland-Pfalz:
http://www.bremm.info/img/kirche/figur3.jpg

y) as depicted (several panels accessible via hotlinks) by Niccolò da Varallo in his late fifteenth-century St. Eligius window (betw. 1480 and 1486) in Milan's cattedrale metropolitana di Santa Maria Nascente:
http://tinyurl.com/2uhur9x

z) as depicted (left margin at bottom) in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (_Nuremberg Chronicle_; 1493) at fol. CLIIr:
http://www.beloit.edu/nuremberg/book/6th_age/right_page/55%20%28Folio%20CLIIr%29.pdf

aa) as depicted (center panel at right; on the outer panels: St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Sebastian) by Hans Leu the Elder in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1495) in the Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum, Zürich:
http://tinyurl.com/p37m4au

bb) as depicted (at center) in a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century panel painting attributed to the Master of the Madonna della Misericordia in the Museo del Prado, Madrid:
http://tinyurl.com/yacukul

cc) as depicted (at right) in an early sixteenth-century fresco in the chiesa di San Giovanni Battista in Salbertrand (TO) in Piedmont:
http://tinyurl.com/jy2ze5a

dd) as portrayed in high relief (at center) in the early sixteenth-century polychromed wooden Messkirch altarpiece (1519; manufactured in Ulm) in the Museum Schnütgen, Köln:
http://tinyurl.com/px96mta
Detail view (Eligius):
http://tinyurl.com/gm3jsa3

ee) as portrayed in high relief (at left) in an earlier sixteenth-century  polychromed wooden compartment (for an altar?; from Laupheim; ca. 1520) in the Liebighaus, Frankfurt am Main:
http://tinyurl.com/qcpnn5j

ff) as depicted by Adam Schlanz on a wing of an earlier sixteenth-century altar (1523) in the Stephanskapelle in Genhofen, a locality of Stiefenhofen (Lkr. Lindau) in Bayern:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7017155.JPG
The altar as a whole:
http://tinyurl.com/jcthr9k

Best,
John Dillon
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