Artists follow the traditions of depicting Christ, Mary, and Apostles either by studying other paintings or the authorities
Year mention: 1617
Apostles ; Jesus Christ ; Virgin Mary
Visual tradition/Artistic model vs. written tradition/history

Artists should follow the tradition set by other painters or study the writings regarding this subject

Molanus, Johannes
Frostispiece of Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), Antwerp, Gasparus Bellerus
Frontispiece of Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), Antwerp, Gasparus Bellerus
Augsburg, Staats- und Stadtbibliothek — Th H 1475. Digital Reproduction: München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2015.

Molanus argues that artists should follow the pictorial tradition set by other artists or study the written sources regarding the subject.

“It is, therefore, a source of joy to see the features and lines of the portrait respected in the paintings of Christ, the Mother of God and the princes of the Apostles, as they were fifteen hundred years ago, the painters have followed in this matter the tradition of our ancestors which they learned from the paintings. And if from the paintings, they do not have the possibility of apprehending it easily enough, they will be able to grasp it in a slightly more satisfactory way thanks to the writings of certain people who refer to it.”

“Itaque iucundum est videre quod in pictura Christi, Deiparae et Principum Apostolorum, ea forma et effigiatio observetur, quae observata fuit annis mille quingentis, sequentibus hac in re pictoribus maiorum quam ex picturis didicerunt traditionem. Quod si quae ex picturis non satis comode percipi possint, poterunt eadem paulo plenisu comprehendi adhibitis quorundam scriptis.”

Model to follow

Lentulus Nicephorus Callistus

Date mention

Historical Location

Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), book 2, ch. 56, 190-191

Molanus 1996, 286.

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