Title: Virtues and vices reformed? : visual pastoralia in fourteenth-century Bohemian art
Reformované ctnosti a neřesti? : obrazová pastoralia v českém umění čtrnáctého století
Source document: Convivium. 2018, vol. 5, iss. 2, pp. 50-67
ISSN2336-3452 (print)2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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Depictions of didactic-dogmatic images in the mural paintings in two Bohemian parish churches are unique in the Czech environment, and their possible meaning, function, and use in pastoral practice (cura animarum) have to be undrestood, particularly in the context of religious reform and devotional-moral transformation initiated by the Fourth Lateran Council. The first example is the image of scutum fidei, which appears next to the prominent Bohemian saint and Přemyslid dux St Wenceslaus in the former chapel of the Hradec Králové parish church, that was painted shortly after the mid-fourteenth century. The scutum fidei in Hradec Králové represents the oldest known Central European example of such a Trinitarian diagram, and it is considered here in its original visual context. The scutum in the Hradec Králové chapel should be understood as a multi-layered image with strong pastoral-educational power. It is "Bohemianized" by being the protective attribute of the Czech holy patron, St Wenceslaus, and part of his arma virtutum. The second case represents All Saints parish church in Zdětín; its presbytery is decorated with two unprecedented monumental paintings depicting the Seven Sacraments and the Seven Works of Mercy, together with a scene with preaching Christ and Mary Magdalene accompanied by the Czech-Latin text of the Decalogue. The iconographic conception of the Zdětín paintings is unique in Bohemian medieval art and was inspired by the period's catechetic handbooks.
- The study is supported by the research grant project The Fourth Council of the Lateran and the Transformation of Bohemian Lands during the 13th and 14th Centuries (Czech Science Foundation, ga čr 15-01866S) and by the research project The Construction of the Other in Medieval Europe (University of Ostrava, irp 201820).