Friday, December 11, 2009

measure, lance

imagined amulet, sans pierce

"Attention was drawn to the violations of Christ's body, as these were recorded and incorporated in acts of writing, measuring, wearing, eating: people carried the wounds around on a piece of parchment hanging from their necks, as amulets and as remedies. An amulet containing a 'measure' of Christ's wounds was expected to stop the flow of blood, appealing to Longinus, the Roman soldier:
Longinus: who pierced the side and had blood flow - I dare you - in the name of Jesus Christ, so that the blood of Margery will stop flowing. "
--Miri Rubin, Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture

Lambeth Palace Manuscript, MS 545

"In prints closest to our woodcut, with one or two angels presenting the heart on a cloth, the wound is indicated not only by a printed line or drops of red pigment but also almost always by an actual slit through the paper. This seems to suggest that these prints were produced specifically to be pierced by the Holy Lance and thus to serve as contact relics for pilgrim and other devotees of the relic cult."
-- Peter W. Parshall, Rainer Schoch, Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-century Woodcuts and their Public

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