Title: Eating the Face of Christ : Philip the Good and his physical relationship with Veronicas
Pozření Kristovy tváře : Filip III. Dobrý a jeho fyzický vztah k Veraikonům
Source document: Convivium. 2017, vol. 4, iss. Supplementum, pp. -179
ISSN2336-3452 (print)2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
fulltext is not accessible
Philip the Good (1396–1467) updated his grandfather's prayer book with many images, including no fewer than six depicting the Face of Christ. Larger images served as folios, and smaller images were sewn to pages. He handled these Veronicas intensely and even kissed them. Facial oils and dirt deposited in cumulative layers on the images testify to the duke's intense facial contact with the Veronicas. Philip's Veronicas received another kind of treatment as well: the paint of two has been scraped off, revealing the parchment underneath. Carefully avoiding the eyes, the knife-wielder has concentrated on the paint from the forehead and nose. Why? This article proposes that the paint may have been lifted off so that the duke could actually ingest the very substance of his favorite images, possibly during his attenuated demise of pneumonia. In this way, the duke would have been restoring a medicinal function to the image-icon, which had, after all, been brought to Rome as a cure. Other owners of small Veronicas likewise scraped them, possibly for medicine. If this hypothesis is correct, then it also explains why such images were often rendered in thick paint that could easily be freed up and consumed.