Mind-blowing golden images from Louis de Laval’s Book of Hours

[ by Charles Cameron — whatever you may think of religion, the artwork in these images is stunning ]

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There’s this phrase in the Apostles Creed, the shortest and most basic of the three creeds which mainstream Christians accept: the communion of saints. The hymn known as the Te Deum is more explicit, while describing basically the same companionship:

The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.

The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.

The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.

The holy Church throughout all the world : doth acknowledge thee;

But this image of that company, from Louis de Laval‘s illuminated Book of Hours, ca 1480, is the first I’ve seen that suggests the membership of this communion is innumerable —

— wave on wave, saint upon saint, halo on halo into the distance — until they constitute a veritable sea of gold.

Nor that the company includes many females, also innumerable–

— some of whom must have caused a ferment in their own day, or at least in the creative imagination of a court artist, likely Jean Colombe, in the 1480s..

Nor had I seen until now that there were vacancies for saints as yet unknown, perhaps unborn, their halos vacant —

— unless perchance these are saints so deeply meditative that they have lost all face, as the Zennists might say, save the original face alone..

Glorious.

2 comments on this post.
  1. Sally Benzon:

    Breathtaking! And I especially appreciate your comment “unless perchance these are saints so deeply meditative that they have lost all face, as the Zennists might say, save the original face alone.”

  2. Charles Cameron:

    Thanks, Sally. I’m happy that you like it.