Open Book, Broken Flesh


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, 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.

Athanor articles are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Copyright for article text belongs to the authors. Images belong to their respective copyright holders and are reproduced with permission.