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The Bosom of Abraham

A Representation of Paradise in Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts

The concept of the Bosom of Abraham is mentioned in Jewish writings as early as the 2nd temple period, 500BCE-70CE, and in Christian writings as early as the Gospel of Luke, 80-130 CE. This talk will focus on the use of this iconographic subject in medieval Christian art from Western Europe, specifically illuminated psalters and books of hours from the 12th to the 16th centuries. Illuminated images of the Bosom of Abraham are used in this context to represent paradise, particularly in contrast to the mouth or cauldron of Hell. I will show examples of these beautiful illuminations and discuss their origins, composition, and the role they played in these devotional manuscripts.

Faculty Member: Sharon Clayton, Associate Professor, Libraries
Discussion Date: Thursday, November 8 at 1 p.m.

Meet Sharon Clayton

Sharon Clayton

Areas of Responsibility

Library Acquisitions and Discovery; Cataloging and Metadata; Research and Instruction

Consulting Areas

Art and Art History, French and Arabic

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Wednesday November 8
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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