Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Rosary Confraternity Treasure at Brandeis Special Collections


In March of this year (2009), the Special Collections Department of the Brandeis University Libraries posted on its "Spotlight" a beautiful early 18th century illuminated Rosary Confraternity document:
"The most significant artistic aspect of the manuscript is the presence of a fine illuminated miniature in the upper margin. There, the floral border includes an elaborate central medallion (6 x 8 cm.) surrounded by additional floral patterns, which contain an image of Mary holding the infant Christ, flanked by St. Dominic and an unidentified female Dominican saint. Mary is depicted hooded and crowned, robed in blue and pink, holding a rosary in her right hand while in her left she holds the infant Christ. Christ, with a celestial halo, is clothed in red and also holds, in his left hand, a rosary. The pair is shown elevated within a third large rosary, of which each bead is represented as a pink rose . . . . St. Dominic . . . is represented kneeling below and to the left of Mary and Jesus, tonsured and in the black and white Dominican habit, left hand lifted to the Virgin and Child and right hand clasped to his chest, with the traditional iconography of a dog carrying a torch visible at his feet, looking out from behind his robes."
At the linked page, one can read the entire explanatory text and view the document, including close-ups of its various details. (Click the photographs to enlarge them.)

Source:
Rutledge, Adam; "Charter of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary," Brandeis Special Collections Spotlight, March 29, 2009.

Image:
Rose Duchesse de Brabant, from Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved.

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