Subjects of art / Gürtelspende

If you get home and find an urgent request to add this to your translation:

eine Himmelfahrt Mariä, die mit einer Gürtelspende an den Ungläubigen Thomas verbunden ist

see here:

Gürtelspende , * Thomas, der als einziger der * Apostel bei der Himmelfahrt Marias (* Dormitio Mariae, * Assumptio) nicht zugegen war, wollte an das Ereignis nicht glauben. (Thomas hatte schon an der * Himmelfahrt Christi gezweifelt.) Der Legende nach erschien Maria deshalb dem Zweifler und reichte ihm ihren Gürtel, als Beweis für die leibliche Aufnahme in den Himmel. Die Gürtelspende war im Barock ein beliebtes Motiv der christlichen Kunst.

you will be as glad as I am for Hall’s dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art and in particular Anabel Thomas’s Illustrated Dictionary of Narrative Painting:

Matteo di Giovanni also chose to show one apostle figure only at the side of the Virgin’s tomb. This is Thomas who doubted that the body of the Virgin had indeed been transported to heaven. According to apocryphal sources the Virgin had to let down her girdle so that Thomas would realise that both her soul and fully clothed body had ascended to her maker.

2 thoughts on “Subjects of art / Gürtelspende

  1. Religious Education at school might have more interesting if they’d talked a bit more about virgins and girdles. In England Doubting Thomas was more interested in Jesus, which probably says something or other about the place.

  2. Yeah, well, I think the Catholics have Thomas putting his hand in Christ’s wounds in their Bible too. Do the Catholics not recognize the Apocrypha, and is this in the Apocrypha or not? I find the adjective ‘apocryphal’ ambiguous.
    Btw it was in Hall as well as Thomas (Anabel rather than Doubting).

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