Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Attacks

Saints of France, pray for Paris, for France and for all of us.

Saint Joan of Arc                                                                       Saint Genevieve
Jules Bastien-Lepage, St. Joan of Arc
French, 1879
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jules Cebron-Lavau. St. Genevieve Repulsing Attila
French, 1900-1925
Angers, Musee des Beaux-Arts

Saint Martin of Tours                                                                          Saint Louis
Saint Martin of Tours
from Sacramentary of Mont-Saint-Michel
French, 1050-1065
New York, The Morgan Library
MS M641, 173r
Saint Louis and His Brothers
Carrying the Crown of Thorns
from the Ambulatory of the Cathedral of St. Gertain
French, 1245-1248
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
The Cloisters























Saint Denis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres
St. Denis, First Bishop of Paris
French, 1844
Paris, Musee du Louvre
                                                       
Jean Bourdichon, St. Bernard with Chained Devil
from Hours of Frederic of Aragon
French, 1501-1504
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Latin 10532, fol. 330



Saint Peter Julian Eymard                                                        St. Therese of Lisieux
Auguste Rodin, Saint Peter Julian Eymard
French, 1863
New York, Eglise St. Jean Baptiste
                       
Maurice Denis, Apotheosis of Saint Therese
French, 1939
Autun, Musee Rolin




                                                       Saint Michael the Archangel
Eugene Delacroix, Fall of the Rebel Angels
French, 1854-1861
Paris, St. Sulpice


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saint Martin of Tours -- European


St. Martin of Tours As Bishop
from Sacramentay of Mont-Saint-Michel
French (Mont-Saint-Michel), 1050-1065
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library
MS M641, fol. 173r
Martin of Tours is one of the great saints of Europe.  Traditionally, one of the patron saints of France, he actually spent large parts of his life elsewhere as well.  Born in the Roman province of Pannonia, today’s Hungary, shortly after the conversion of Constantine to Christianity, he grew up in northern Italy, where he was converted to Christianity at a young age.  He served in the Roman cavalry in Gaul and Germany.  Finally rejecting his participation in the army he became a disciple of St. Hilary of Poitiers, whom he followed to Italy and then back to Gaul.  Martin eventually settled in what was still the Roman province of Gaul, at Tours, where he was acclaimed as bishop in 371.  

He was instrumental in spreading the Gospel beyond the Roman cities of Gaul and in combating the Arian heresy, which professed Jesus as a demi-God, but not as fully human and fully divine (the orthodox Christian view).  He also founded monasteries at Ligugé and Marmoutier.  He died in 397 shortly before the invasion of the Germanic tribes that ended Gallo-Roman life in what would become known as France.1

In addition to the historical facts of his life, a number of legends about St. Martin grew up in the decades and centuries after his death.

St. Martin and the Beggar

St. Martin and the Beggar
from Psalter
Belgian (Ghent), 1270-1280
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library
MS M 72, fol. 136r
The most famous is undoubtedly the story of his meeting with a poorly clad beggar, while still a Roman cavalry man and a catechumen (not yet a baptized Christian).  In charity he drew his sword, cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar, thus fulfilling one of the corporal works of mercy cited by Jesus at the Last Judgment “I was …. naked and you clothed me” (Matthew 25:36).  Later, in a dream, he realized that the beggar had indeed been Christ.  In some versions of the story, Christ himself returns the half cloak to Martin.2

Master of Jeanne de Lavel, St. Martin and the Beggar
from Book of Hours
French (Nantes), 1435-1445
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library
MS 63, fol. 70v
(Notice that here the beggar has lost both
legs, possibly reflecting the experience of many
in France during the Hundred Years War, a period
which saw the first extensive use of cannon.)













Jean Colombe and Workshop
from Book of Hours
French (Angers), 1465-1470
New York, The  Pierpont Morgan Library
MS M248, fol. 120r








This image is the one that is most often depicted in works of art, especially during the middle ages and especially in the periods in which chivalry was the dominant secular ideal, for this image encapsulates much that was integral to that ideal.  
Master of Claude de France
from Book of Hours
French (Tours), 1515-1520
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library
MS M 1166, fol. 38r









It appears in manuscripts, especially in the Books of Hours that were the chief religious book used by the laity.  But it also appears in sculpture, in stained glass and in needlework, as well as in full-scale painting. 
St. Martin of Tours
French (Autun), 15th Century
Autun, Musee Rolin








St. Martin and the Beggar
German (Mid-Rhineland), 1490-1500
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters















Chasuble with orphreys, St Martin of Tours
appears in the central medallion
Italy, ca. 1500-1525
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Lehman Collection






El Greco, St. Martin of Tours
Greco-Spanish, 1597-1599
Washington, DC, National Gallery of Art

















Jan Brueghel the Elder, St. Martin
Flemish, ca. 1600
Nelahozeves Castle (Czech Republic), Lobkowicz Collections
(Here St. Martin is confronted not with one beggar but with a
crowd of the needy.)



Anthony van Dyck, St. Martin of Tours
Flemish, ca. 1618
Zavantem, St. Martin Church



















Jacob van Oost the Elder, St. Martin of Tours
Flemish, ca. 1650
Bruges, Groeninge Museum
Francois Nicholas Delaistre, St. Martin on Horseback
French, Late 18th Century
Besancon, Musee des Beaux-Arts et d'Archeologie






















St. Martin As Bishop

Also prevalent, though more often found in books specifically for the use of the clergy, was the image of St. Martin as a bishop. 
St. Thomas Becket and St. Martin of Tours
from Psalter
German, 1208-1228
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library
MS G8, fol. 54v
Here he is often paired with other bishop saints, such as St. Thomas of Canterbury or St. Nicholas of Myra.
St. Martin of Tours and St. Nicholas of Myra
from Huntingfield Psalter
English (Oxford), 1212-1220
New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library
MS M 43, fol. 26r
(St. Martin is here shown dividing his cloak while wearing
a bishop's miter, conflating his early and late careers)


St. Martin of Tours
Austrian (Carinthia), 1340-1350
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cloisters Collection


St. Martin of Tours
German, Late 15th Century
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art





















Cycles of the Life of St. Martin

There are also several surviving cycles of pictures showing the life of St. Martin.  
They appear in manuscript form in books such as Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum historiale.
St. Martin and the Beggar and Baptism of
St. Martin
from Vincentius Bellavacensis, Speculum historiale
French (Paris), 1453
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Francais 51, fol. 250
 
St. Martin Converts a Brigand, Saves a House from Fire
and Is Chased from Milan by Arian Clergy
from Vincentius Bellavacensis, Speculum historiale
French (Paris), 1453
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Francais 51, fol. 254























St. Martin Attacked by Soldiers and St. Martin
Bringing a Child Back to Life
from Vincentius Bellavacensis, Speculum historiale
French (Paris), 1453
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Francais 51, fol. 297

St. Martin Visited by the Virgin Mary and Saints
and St. Martin Tormented by Demons
from Vincentius Bellavacensis, Speculum historialeFrench (Paris), 1453
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Francais 51, fol. 299
Translation of the Relics of St. Martin
from Vincentius Bellavacensis, Speculum historiale
French (Paris), 1453
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Francais 51, fol. 393v



During the summer of this year (2015) the Metropolitan Museum of art reunited several related Franco-Flemish embroideries of St. Martin’s life, probably meant for the decoration of liturgical furnishings, which have found their way into various parts of the Museum’s collection.  The small, highly detailed embroideries were small marvels in their own right.3
St. Martin Announcing His Conversion to His Parents
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Lehman Collection


















St. Martin and the Brigands
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Cloisters Collection





St. Martin with St. Hilary of Poitiers
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Lehman Collection





















St. Martin Offers the Wine Cup to a Priest, Bypassing the
Emperor and the Empress
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Lehman Collection




















The Empress Kneels Before St. Martin
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Cloisters Collection





















St. Martin and the Repentent Horsemam
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Anonymous Loan






St. Martin Brings a Dead Man Back to Life
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Franco-Flemish, 1430-1435
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Lehman Collection

However, what is probably the greatest of the cycles of the life of St. Martin is the series of frescoes executed by the Siennese painter, Simone Martini, between 1320 and 1325 in the Chapel of St. Martin in the lower church of St. Francis at Assisi.  
Simone Martini, Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin
Simone Martini, Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin





















These show detailed images of the most important scenes from the saint’s life, from his early conversion to his death.  Throughout the early scenes St. Martin is imagined as a contemporary early 14th century knight, his Roman world equated with the chivalrous ideal. 
Simone Martini, St. Martin if Knighted
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin

Simone Martini, St. Martin Divides His Cloak for the Beggar
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin

Simone Martini, Dream of St. Martin
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin
(In his dream Martin saw Jesus explain to
the angels that he was the beggar to
whom Martin had given half his cloak.)





















Simone Martini, St. Martin Renounces His Weapons
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin






















Simone Martini, St. Martin Restores Life to a Dad Child
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin


















Simone Martini, St. Martin Miraculously Escapes a Fire
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin

























Simone Martini, St. Martin Meditating
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin
Simone Martini, Miraculous Mass of St. Martin
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin
(So great was his devotion that when he raised the
host at Mass a ball of light appeared above his head.)














Simone Martini, Death of St. Martin
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin





Simone Martini, Burial of St. Martin
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin
Italian, 1320-1325
Assisi, San Francesco, Lower Church
Chapel of St. Martin





















Other Images

Alongside these three major image streams, other aspects of the saint’s life have also been depicted from time to time.  These include various miracles wrought by the saint either during his life or afterwards. 
Francisco Osana, Death of St. Martin
Spanish, 1500-1514
Castres, Musee Goya




Master of Claude de France, Vison of
St. Martin
from Book of Hours
French (Tours), 1515-1520
New York, The Morgan Library
MS M 1166, fol. 38v





















Giovanni Lanfranco, Miraculous Mass of St. Martin
Italian, ca. 1640
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art















Eustache Le Sueur, Miraculous Mass of St. Martin
French, 1654
Paris, Musee du Louvre











Eustache Le Sueur, Apparition of the Virgin with Saints
Agnes, Techla, Paul and Peter to St. Martin
French, 1654
Paris, Musee du Louvre
In 1654 Le Sueur painted this pair of images of St. Martin
for the Abbey of Marmoutier, founded by St. Martin



























Sebastien Bourdon, St. Martin Raising a Dead Child
French, 1655-1660
Dijon, Musee national Magnin

Wolfgang Andreas Heindl, St. Martin Receiving Back His Cloak from Christ
German, 1719-1720
Neideralteich, Monastery of St. Mauritius

The feast day of St. Martin of Tours is November 11.  This was once one of the most important saint’s days of Europe, celebrated widely throughout the continent.  This has not entirely departed.  On my first trip to Italy in 1988 I arrived in mid-November to beautiful weather, which a resident friend informed me is known as St. Martin’s weather.  St. Martin of Tours, pray for your continent of Europe which is currently undergoing a time of testing.  Pray especially for your home in France and pray for all of us.

© M. Duffy, 2015

___________________________________________________________
1.  Clugnet, Léon. "St. Martin of Tours." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company,1910. 10 Nov. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09732b.htm>.
2.  The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints, Volume 6, page 66.  Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275. First Edition Published 1470. Englished by William Caxton, First Edition 1483, Edited by F.S. Ellis, Temple Classics, 1900 (Reprinted 1922, 1931.), at http://legacy.fordham.edu/Halsall/basis/goldenlegend/GoldenLegend-Volume6.asp#Martin
3.  See Scenes From the Life of Saint Martin at http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2015/life-of-saint-martin