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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Transfiguration Gospel in Lent


The Master of David scenes in the Grimani Breviary
f. 39v: Miniature of the Transfigured Christ before astounded Apostles, flanked by a horned Moses carrying the tablets of the Law and Elijah, with God above, enclosed in an architectonic border.
From: The Book of Hours, Use of Rome (the 'Hours of Joanna I of Castile' or the 'Hours of Joanna the Mad')
1486-1506
Illuminated manuscript
Add. Ms. 18852
The British Library, London



The Master of David scenes in the Grimani Breviary
f. 40r: decorated initial ‘I’ of a tree with flowering strawberries, surrounded by a full border of shelves laden with metal vessels and strings of beads, with a peacock and an open book in the foreground.
From The Book of Hours, Use of Rome (the 'Hours of Joanna I of Castile' or the 'Hours of Joanna the Mad')
1486-1506
Illuminated manuscript
Add. Ms. 18852
The British Library, London 



The so-called Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary was a Flemish illuminator active around 1500

As well as the illuminator of much of the Hours of Joanna of Castile (London, British Library, Add. Ms. 18852), he was also involved in The Grimani Breviary (Venice, Bib. N. Marciana) (naturally). the Brukenthal Breviary in the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu (Romania) and The Flemish Book of Hours of Marie de Medici among many others 

In Volume II of his Life of Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI took the period of Christ`s life from The Baptism of Christ to The Transfiguration

At his Baptism and Transfiguration Christ receives witness from heaven  to his Divine Sonship. Further  the Prophets of the Old Testament are not rivals, but servants in comparison with Him 

Of The Transfiguration [Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:1-9; Lk 9:28-36], Pope Benedict wrote:
“The hoped for salvation and the Passion are joined together intimately and then developed into a picture of the Redemption that accords with Scripture’s deepest intention, although in terms of the prevailing expectations of the day it constitutes a startling novelty. Scripture had to be read anew with the suffering of Christ, and so it must ever be. We constantly have to let the Lord draw us into conversation with Moses [the Law] and Elias [the Prophets]; we constantly have to learn from him, the Risen Lord, to understand Scripture afresh” (pp. 312-313).
“The Lord has pitched the tent of his body among us [re: the feast of tabernacles] and has thus inaugurated the messianic age” (p. 315).
“The [Father’s] solemn proclamation of [Jesus’] Sonship is followed by the command, ‘Listen to him.’… Jesus himself is the Torah. This one command brings the theophany to its conclusion and sums up its deepest meaning. The disciples must accompany Jesus back down the mountain and learn ever anew to ‘listen to him’… (p. 316).