Open Book, Broken Flesh: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Gothic Ivory Devotional Booklet as Simulacral Wound

Alexa Sue Amore

Dating to c. 1330-1340, the tiny painted ivory devotional booklet in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London offers a number of compelling visual strategies for presenting Christ’s Passion. Eschewing the carved diptych or triptych configurational formats—which are attested in fourteenth-century devotional ivories that contain narrative images by a much greater number of surviving examples—it belongs to a small group of extant ivory booklets comprised of carved outer covers and flat leaves painted with religious images and bound together by a strip of leather (Figure 1).1

Thus, in its format and appearance the ivory object alludes to an illuminated codex. In addition, the internal painted program of the V&A booklet features both narrative and non-narrative images; the first nine leaves show the events spanning from the Last Supper to Christ’s Resurrection, while the final five feature images of the Vera Icon and the arma Christi, or weapons of Christ’s torment (Figures 2 and 3).2 While the immersive devotional context of the V&A booklet and the semiotic nature of its images of the arma Christi have long been recognized,3 this paper calls attention to the significance of the booklet’s physical form in relation to its function as a stimulus of (and channel for) devotion to Christ’s Passion. I argue that the underlying conceptual aspects of the booklet related to its codex format work in tandem with the content of its painted images and stood to enhance the efficaciousness of the booklet as a devotional tool by increasing the immediacy of its beholder’s encounter with Christ’s wounded body.

The V&A ivory booklet’s images attest to the intensification of Passion devotion that began in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, spurred by theological treatises such as Anselm of Canterbury’s Why God Became Man and Bonaventure’s The Tree of Life.4 This trend continued into the fourteenth century, which saw the emergence of liturgical plays that included dramatic reenactments of the Passion as well as the well-known devotional tract, The Meditations on the Life of Christ.5 Much like the piecemeal images of Christ’s Passion and the arma Christi contained within the V&A booklet, these texts often feature expanded narrative accounts of the Passion that linger on the gruesome details of each of Christ’s bodily torments in order to emphasize the fundamental connection between Christ’s bodily suffering on the cross and human redemption.6 At the same time interest in the Passion increased, so too did private devotion among both monastics and lay people. Outside of the regimented space of the Church, books of hours, rosaries, ivory statuettes, and other individually-sized objects that were meant to be touched and viewed in close proximity, served as foci for meditative prayer, which could take place in a small chapel or in the privacy of the home or monastic cell. Tiny enough to be held in the palm of one hand,the diminutive scale of the V&A booklet confirms that it was intended for handling and viewing in this intimate context, while the appearance of a tonsured figure kneeling before Saint Lawrence, an unidentifiable bishop on the front cover, and a vision of the Coronation of the Virgin on the back indicates the patron and original owner of the booklet was a monk.7

It is unclear where the V&A booklet was produced. The apparent disjunction between the style and iconography of the carved outer covers and the painted and gilt images within has led some to suggest that the object was carved in the courtly milieu of Paris and painted slightly later in the Rhineland, most likely in Cologne.8 Following this scenario, the booklet may have been initially designed as a bound set of ivory writing tablets.9 Indeed, this would account for the presence of raised borders around the inner leaves, which would have allowed them to hold a thin layer of wax to serve as a temporary writing surface. However, most cataloguers of the V&A booklet agree that this need not be the case; as William Wixom points out, the widespread use of terra cotta models in the production of gothic ivory diptychs allows that the booklet may just as easily have been carved in Cologne—a major center of ivory production in its own right—from a Parisian model, while the image of the monk on the outer covers strongly suggests that the object was made-to-order for a specific patron.10 Moreover, Paul Williamson suggests that the raised borders around the inner leaves of the V&A booklet may have been adapted from ivory wax writing tablet booklets, deployed in this case in order to protect the delicate painted images from the greasy fingers of its beholders.11 Ultimately, whether the painted program of images was conceived at the same time as the booklet itself or slightly later, I maintain that the artist who painted the Passion images was in all likelihood sensitive to the medial and material particularities of the ivory codex support when conceiving and executing them—especially given the degree to which late medieval artists seem to have actively harnessed the physical properties of their media and materials to the specific meanings of their works.12

An underappreciated aspect of the object until now, the codex format of the V&A booklet has, in my view, both presentational and representational significance in light of the object’s original function as an aid for devotion specifically to Christ’s Passion. In contrast to other forms of contemporary ivory devotional media such as diptychs, polyptychs, and groups of small statuettes, the V&A booklet outlines a sequential and spatial rhythm for structuring its beholder’s meditation on Christ’s Passion by means of the codical arrangement of its images. The turning of each tiny ivory page facilitates narrative unfolding through time, while the tactile engagement demanded by the action of turning the pages implicates the beholder not only as a witness but also as a participatory agent in the story. In addition, the format of the codex carried a great deal of conceptual and metaphorical weight in the late medieval Christian imaginary, particularly in light of the central subject of the object’s image program—Christ’s wounding and torment. In medieval Christian exegesis, the verbum or logosincarnate (that is, “the word made flesh”)described at the beginning of the Gospel of John was understood to refer to Jesus; thus, bound parchment Gospel books as inscribed flesh could themselves be seen to both signify and performatively embody the concept of Christ incarnate.13 In the fourteenth century, moreover, Christ’s crucified body was explicitly likened to the process of parchment-making and to the appearance of an open book. For instance, a passage from a fourteenth-century English preacher’s manual called the Fasciculus Morumreads: “[the Crucifixion] stretched out his blessed body, as a parchment maker can be seen to spread a hide in the sun. In this way Christ… offered his body like a charter to be written on. The nails in his hands were used as a quill, and his precious blood as ink.”14 Similarly, the contemporary English mystic Richard Rolle wrote: “sweet Jesus, thy body is like a book written with red ink; so is thy body all written with red wounds… grant me to read upon thy book, and somewhat to understand the sweetness of that writing.”15 Such metaphors find a striking visual parallel on the continent in an image from a French devotional anthology dating from the early fourteenth century that shows a female devotee at prayer before Christ on the cross, his sinuous body superimposed against the gutter of an open and inscribed book (Figure 4). The Christological import of the codex format to which these contemporary verbal and visual images attest generates a self-reflexive relationship between the central subject of the V&A booklet’s painted images and the booklet in its physical totality. Furthermore, the strikingly stark images of the arma Christi depicted on the final leaves of the booklet—which represent the events of Christ’s Passion obliquely through a system of indexical signs—may have primed the beholder for perceiving the physical form of the V&A booklet as a symbolic representation of Christ as well as a vehicle for presenting images of his Passion.16

In concert with its codex format, the ivory material of the V&A booklet enhances the object’s symbolic affinity with Christ’s body. Like the animal parchment used in book production throughout the Middle Ages, elephant ivory resembles human flesh and responds to human touch.17 As Peter Barnet has pointed out, the twelfth-century monk Theophilus uses the Latin terms os(bone) and ebur (ivory) interchangeably in his brief discussion of the material in his treatise on the Various Arts, implying that ivory was recognized by its medieval audience as the literal stuff of bodies.18 Yet at the same time as ivory resembles flesh in terms of its color and organicity, it suggests transcendence and sublimity in ways that parchment cannot. When polished, ivory’s opaque surface gives off a reflective luminosity that makes it an ideal support for representations of the fully human and fully divine body of Christ, while its exotic African provenance may have lent it a further aspect of otherworldliness from the point of view of the Latin west. Finally, the V&A booklet’s fusion of the hallmark features of two more common and distinct types of devotional media—that is, the format of the prayer book and the material and outward appearance of the diptych—reinforces the Christological significance of ivory’s simultaneous terrestriality and otherworldliness and resonates through its intermediality with Jesus as one being of two natures.

In its presentation of images depicting Christ’s Passion, the V&A ivory booklet profits from two further reciprocal characteristics that are inherent to the codex format: that is, its physical articulation of both revelation and rupture. Though ivory diptychs and polyptychs composed of two or more carved ivory panels joined together by means of metal hinges similarly exploit this “trope of unveiling,” the spatial economy of the V&A ivory’s format has a greater yield in this respect, given its seven consecutive openings.19 As Elina Gertsman notes, medieval audiences’ awareness of the revelatory nature of the codex format is illustrated in many thirteenth-century illuminated Apocalypse manuscripts, in which the seven seals of the book held by the lamb described in chapters five and six of the Book of Revelation are shown dramatically flying open one by one, cultivating a sense of anticipation in the beholder who turns the pages of the book containing these images and emphasizing the allure of esoteric knowledge to which the unsealed book in the image grants access.20

Revelation is both accompanied and facilitated by rupture, itself a kind of wounding that in the V&A booklet recursively brings into view successive images of wounding and wounds.21 The intense interest in Christ’s wounds and blood evident throughout the V&A booklet registers the influence of contemporary Franciscan spiritual literature, which figured the bleeding wounds of Christ as gateways to spiritual nourishment and salvation.22 As Bonaventure wrote in a spiritual handbook for nuns, for example, “Draw near, O handmaid, with loving steps to Jesus wounded for you… be not satisfied with putting your finger into the holes made by the nails in his hands; neither let it be sufficient to put your hand into the wound in his side... but enter entirely by the door in his side and go straight up to the very heart of Jesus.”23 Notably, the intimate, tactile manner in which the V&A booklet’s beholder must interface with the tiny object closely resembles the way in which Bonaventure instructs nuns in this passage to imagine themselves physically entering into Jesus’ wounds. Furthermore, the very breaking open of the flesh-like ivory object by the beholder’s fingers to reveal its painted images may be understood as a performative echo of the flaying, piercing, and breaking of Christ’s skin pictured within.

Continuing with this line of thought (and keeping in mind the wealth of Christological metaphor that attends both the material of ivory and the format of the codex discussed above), the polychromed and gilded ivory leaves of the booklet may be said to be suggestive of bleeding tissue, though admittedly in a vague sense. However, one image in particular—that of Christ’s disproportionately-large side wound among the arma Christi—literally equivocates blood and paint, flesh and bone (Figure 3). Here, the red wound is figured on the ivory ground as if the ivory were Christ’s skin. Though it slightly overlaps the lance with the sponge and is hemmed in by the other instruments of Christ’s torture imaged around it, there is no clear delineation between the end of the image and the beginning of the flesh-colored organic support, since we expect the wound to be located on a body. Given its ambiguous boundaries, the visual and tactile resemblance between the matter of ivory and the matter of flesh, and the semblance between ivory’s surface effects and the dual nature of Christ, this image of the side wound stands to further transform the V&A booklet itself into an interactive, three-dimensional image of Christ’s wounded and bleeding body. More than a collection of images of the events and instruments of the Passion for passive viewing, the booklet offers its beholder a simulated experience of Christ’s wounding and torment through a chain of visual and conceptual allusions that brings the events of sacred history forcefully into the present.

In addition to the image of Christ’s side wound, the relationship between image and support is rendered ambiguous in one further miniature within the V&A booklet: that of the Vera Icon, or true image of Christ, thought to have been imprinted upon the veil with which Christ wiped his face while carrying the cross to Calvary (Figure 2). Here, the luminous ivory support serves as a substitute in the image for the veil. Thus, it is as if the image of Christ’s face has been imprinted directly onto the ivory. In the late Middle Ages, images that reproduced the Vera Icon were felt to retain the power of the original image, whose very origin as a replica safeguarded it from diminishment through a theoretically endless chain of replication.24 As Jeffrey Hamburger and David Areford have emphasized, images of the Vera Icon in the early medium of print tend to express a self-conscious discourse on the nature of representation that complicates the image’s status as a copy.25 In a similar vein, the ambiguity of the boundaries of the painted image of the Vera Icon in the V&A booklet may reflect the medieval reception of images of the Vera Icon as both an image of the holy relic and the very thing itself. The conspicuous blurring of the boundaries between the image and the support playfully undermines the status of the crafted image as a copy of the original veil, threatening to collapse the distinction between them.

The subtle elision between copy and original in the V&A booklet’s image of the Vera Icon introduces a way of seeing that also bears on the image of Christ’s side wound as it is enigmatically rendered on the next bifolium. Following the logic of the image of the Vera Icon, the image of Christ’s wound upon the metaphorically suggestive page of the ivory codex is capable of being perceived as both an image of the wound and wounded flesh. The multitude of ways in which the V&A booklet foregrounds the formal, tactile, and conceptual affinities between open book and broken flesh express a sense of the latent animacy of the booklet’s matter comparable to contemporary sculptural images of Christ, which—in addition to frequently being made out of organic materials and sometimes even enhanced with moveable joints—were sometimes perceived to have come to life in monasteries and convents in the late Middle Ages.26 While the V&A booklet as an object constitutes a symbolic representation of Christ as the word incarnate, as I show above, its performative image of Christ’s side wound underscores its potential to facilitate a simulated encounter with Christ’s wounded body in the mind’s eye of its pious beholder.

Taking stock of the physical and metaphorical characteristics of the V&A booklet’s material and format in relation to its images increases our understanding of how the object cultivated empathetic engagement, bringing its beholder to the brink of encounter with Christ’s suffering on the cross. In my analysis of the V&A booklet, the object’s materiality holds as much stake as its iconographic content in the production of its meaning. As a case study, this paper reiterates the importance of thinking about the ways in which medieval artists marshalled their materials in the service of the subject matter of their images and further extends this kind of thinking to the configurational support of a series of images. In the V&A booklet, the codex format does both presentational and representational work, transforming the page-turning viewer into a participatory agent at the same time as the object itself transforms into a version of Christ through a series of verbal and visual metaphors. Whether or not it was conceived as a booklet of Passion images from the start, its organic material and codical format were laden with Christological import that made it well-suited tobe fashioned into one. Finally, in addition to containing images of wounds, the booklet itself can be understood like the image of the Vera Icon that it contains as a simulacrum—in this case, of Jesus’ wounded body, its fleshy substance breaking open to reveal bleeding images. In the late medieval Christian world this aspect of the booklet was probably perceived intuitively, but today it only becomes visible when we look beyond the surface.


Figure 1 Devotional Booklet

Figure 1. Devotional Booklet. French and/or German (probably Cologne), c. 1330-1340. Elephant ivory, paint, gilding and leather. Each leaf: 10.5 cm x 5.9 cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (11-1872). Photo credit: Kylie Fisher.

Figure 2 Devotional Booklet

Figure 2. Devotional Booklet, folios 4v-5r. French and/or German (probably Cologne), c. 1330-1340. Elephant ivory, paint, gilding and leather. Each leaf: 10.5 cm x 5.9 cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (11-1872).

Figure 3 Devotional Booklet

Figure 3. Devotional Booklet, folios 5v-6r. French and/or German (probably Cologne), c. 1330-1340. Elephant ivory, paint, gilding and leather. Each leaf: 10.5 cm x 5.9 cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (11-1872).

Figure 4

Figure 4. Devotee in Prayer before the Book of Christ. Made in France, c. 1330-1339. Ink, tempera, and gold on parchment. Paris, BNF MS. Nouv. Acq. fr. 4338, fol. 141v. Source: / BnF


I am grateful to the organizers and attendees of the 36th Annual Art History Graduate Symposium at Florida State University (especially Kyle Killian and Preston McLane) for inviting me to present this research and for their helpful questions and suggestions. I would also like to thank Elina Gertsman and Robert Maxwell for reading earlier drafts of this paper and providing critical feedback that has helped me to greatly improve upon my original ideas. In addition, I am grateful to Hannah Kirby Wood and Johanna Pollick for inviting me to present a portion of this research at their session “Wounds Visible and Invisible in Late Medieval Christianity” at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Debra Strickland and Cynthia Hahn also offered helpful feedback on this occasion. Lastly, I thank Ryan Pinchot for his boundless interest in my research and for serving as the principal sounding board for my ideas.


1. For an overview of gothic ivories, see especially Raymond Koechlin, Les ivoires gothique français, 3 vols. (Paris: F. de Nobele, 1968); Paul Williamson and Glyn Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings: 1200-1550 (London: V&A Publishing, 2014); and Peter Barnet, ed., Images in Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age (Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1997). The V&A booklet’s next closest of kin, so to speak, is a painted ivory booklet of slightly smaller dimensions now in the Linsky collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1982.60.399). It contains carved scenes of the Passion on its outer covers and painted Marian images inside, though these have mostly worn away. Two further painted gothic ivory booklets are known, including one in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (dating to c. 1350-1420), and another in the collection of the Museo Nazionale di Ravenna (dated to c. 1350-1425). These objects are published in Renate Eikelmann, Mittelalterliche Elfenbeinarbeiten: Ausgewählte Werke aus den Beständen des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums (Munich: Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, 2010), cat. 16 and Clementina Rizzardi, Luciana Martini, Cetty Muscolino, and Elena Cristoferi, Avori Bizantini e Medievali Nel Museo Nazionale di Ravenna (Ravenna: A, Longo Editore snc., 1990), cat. 20-22. While some scholars estimate that thousands of pocket ivories were produced in the fourteenth century alone, it is difficult to speculate about the popularity of ivory devotional booklets in particular given the paucity of the surviving evidence. Their rarity today may indeed indicate that these objects were relatively uncommon in their time, perhaps specially commissioned rather than serially produced for the open market. On seriality in gothic ivory production see especially Nina Rowe, “Pocket Crucifixions: Jesus, Jews, and Ownership in Fourteenth-Century Ivories,” Studies in Iconography 32 (2011),” 84 and 90, and Charles T. Little, “Gothic Ivory Carving In Germany,” in Images In Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, 82.

2. Some crucial studies on the iconography of Christ’s Passion, the Vera Icon, and the arma Christi include Rudolf Berliner, “Arma Christi,” Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst 6 (1955), 35-153; Robert Suckale, “Arma Christi: Überlegungen zur Zeichenhaftigkeit mittelalterlicher Andachtsbilder,” Städel-Jahrbuch n.s. 6 (1977), 177-208; James Marrow, Passion Iconography in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance: A Study of the Transformation of Sacred Metaphor into Descriptive Narrative (Kortrijk, Belgium: Van Ghemmert, 1979); Hans Belting, The Image and Its Public in the Middle Ages: Form and Function of Early Paintings of the Passion, trans. Mark Bartusis and Raymond Meyer, (New Rochelle, New York: Aristide D. Caratzas, 1990); Herbert L. Kessler and Gerhard Wolf, eds., The Holy Face and the Paradox of Representation: Papers from a Colloquium Held at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome, and the Villa Spelman, Florence, 1996 (Bologna: Nuova Alfa, 1998); A.A. MacDonald, Bernard Ridderbos, and R.M. Schlusemann, eds., The Broken Body: Passion Devotion in Late Medieval Culture (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1998); Lisa H. Cooper and Andrea Denny Brown, The Arma Christi in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture: with a critical edition of ‘O Vernicle’ (Burlington: Ashgate, 2014).

3. See especially Heather Madar, “Iconography of Sign: A Semiotic Reading of the Arma Christi,” in ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art, ed. James Romaine and Linda Stratford (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2013), 114-131; Jeffrey Hamburger, “The Use of Images in the Pastoral Care of Nuns: the Case of Heinrich Suso and the Dominicans,” The Art Bulletin 71/1 (1989), 30; idem., The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in late Medieval Germany (New York: Zone Books, 1998), 209 and 340; Michael Camille, Gothic Art, Glorious Visions (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996), 118-19; Henk W. Van Os, Eugène Honée, Hans M. J Nieuwdorp, and Bernhard Ridderbos, The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe, 1300-1500 (London: Merrell Holberton, in Association with Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, 1994), cat. 35; Barnet, ed., Images in Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, cat. 40; and Williamson and Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings: 1200-1550, cat. 121.

4. Anselm, Cur Deus Homo: Why the God-Man?, trans. Jasper Hopkins and Herbert Richardson (Ex Fontibus Co., 2015); Bonaventure, “The Tree of Life,” in Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God – The Tree of Life – The Life of St. Francis, trans. Ewert Cousins (New York: Paulist Press, 1978).

5. See Isa Ragusa and Rosalie B. Green, Meditations on the Life of Christ: An Illustrated Manuscript of the Fourteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961). For more on the phenomenon of fourteenth century literature concerning the humanity of Christ and his suffering on the cross, see especially Sarah Beckwith, Christ’s Body: Identity, Culture and Society in Late Medieval Writings (New York: Routledge, 1993) and Thomas Bestul, Texts of the Passion: Latin Devotional Literature and Medieval Society (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996).

6. Furthermore, many of the fourteenth-century texts concerned with Christ’s Passion insistently characterize Jews as the principal tormentors of Jesus, a sentiment which can also be discerned in the grotesquely-stereotyped images of Jews that appear throughout the painted program of the V&A booklet. On the depictions of Jews in pocket ivories featuring scenes of Christ’s Passion and the relationship between the iconography of gothic ivories and contemporary devotional literature, see Rowe, “Pocket Crucifixions,” 98-99.

7. Williamson and Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings: 1200-1550, cat. 121.

8. See for example Barnet, ed., Images in Ivory, cat. 40.

9. A representative example of this type of object can also be found in the collection of the V&A museum (804E-1891). Bound sets of ivory writing tablets are attested by a fewer number of surviving examples relative to statuettes, diptychs, and related types of objects, though a healthier number of these types of objects survive relative to the extant number of painted ivory booklets.

10. William Wixom, “Twelve Additions to the Medieval Treasury,” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 59/4 (1972), 95-99. On terra cotta models used in ivory production see Little, “Gothic Ivory Carving in Germany,” 82 and Rowe, “Pocket Crucifixions,” 91-92.

11. Williamson and Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings: 1200-1550, cat. 121.

12. This issue has been taken up extensively in recent art historical scholarship, particularly in relation to the materiality of figural sculpture; see especially Jacqueline Jung, “The Tactile and the Visionary: Notes on the Place of Sculpture in the Medieval Religious Imagination,” in Looking Beyond: Visions, Dreams, and Insights in Medieval Art & History, ed. Colum Hourihane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 202-240; and Caroline Walker Bynum, Christian Materiality: An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe (New York: Zone Books, 2011).

13. Herbert L. Kessler, “The Book as Icon,” in In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000, ed. Michelle Brown (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 2006), 77-103.

14. Quoted from Nancy Thebaut, “Bleeding Pages, Bleeding Bodies: A Gendered Reading of British Library MS Egerton 1821,” Medieval Feminist Forum 45/2 (2009), 187-188.

15. Quoted from Thebaut, “Bleeding Pages, Bleeding Bodies,” 187-188.

16. On the semiological significance of the arma Christi see especially Suckale, “Arma Christi,” 177-208 and Madar, “Iconography of Sign,” 114-131.

17. Sarah Guérin, “Meaningful Spectacles: Gothic Ivories Staging the Divine,” The Art Bulletin 95/1 (2013), 71.

18. Barnet, “Gothic Sculpture in Ivory: An Introduction,” in Barnet, ed., Images in Ivory, 7.

19. I borrow the phrase “trope of unveiling” from Elina Gertsman, Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015), 42. On the typical spatial and narrative organizations of gothic ivory diptychs and triptychs see Harvey Stahl, “Narrative Structures and Content in Some Gothic Ivories of the Life of Christ,” in Barnet, ed., Images in Ivory, 94-114, esp. 97-102.

20. Gertsman, Worlds Within, 42.

21. The concept of rupture and its pertinence to bodily wounds and openings is explored at length in Gertsman, Worlds Within, 57-100.

22. On devotion to Christ’s blood and wounds in the Late Middle Ages see especially Caroline Walker Bynum, Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).

23. Quoted from Jeffrey Hamburger, The Rothschild Canticles: Art and Mysticism in Flanders and the Rhineland circa 1300 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 72.

24. On the history and problematics of the representation of the Vera Icon see especially Gerhard Wolf, “From Mandylion to Veronica: Picturing the ‘Disembodied’ Face and Disseminating the True Image of Christ in the Latin West,” in Kessler and Wolf, eds., The Holy Face and the Paradox of Representation, 153-179.

25. David Areford, “Multiplying the Sacred: the Fifteenth-Century Woodcut as Reproduction, Surrogate, Simulation,” in Peter Parshall, ed., The Woodcut in Fifteenth-Century Europe. Studies in the History of Art 75. Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Symposium Papers LII (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 143-145; and Jeffrey Hamburger, “‘In gebeden vnd bilden geschriben’: Prints as Exemplars of Piety and the Culture of the Copy in Fifteenth-Century Germany,” in Parshall, ed., The Woodcut in Fifteenth-Century Europe, 155-189, esp. 156.

26. For a detailed discussion of this phenomenon see Bynum, Christian Materiality: An Essay on Religion in the Late Medieval Europe, 44-61 and 105-121.