New Contexts – New Perspectives
Dominika Grabiec: The Motif of “Deafening with Trumpets” in Central European Passion Iconography, the Religious Renewal Movement “Devotio moderna” and Reform of the Begging Monastic Orders
The Motif of “Deafening with Trumpets” in Central European Passion Iconography, the Religious Renewal Movement “Devotio moderna” and Reform of the Begging Monastic Orders Dominika Grabiec Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Warszawa The motif of “deafening” appeared in the Passion iconography towards the end of the fifteenth century, primarily in the countries of Central Europe. It was to be found most frequently in the scenes of the capture of Christ, His being taken to judgment, or on the road to Calvary. Christ being deafened with trumpets was usually bound with ropes or manacled by chains, and pushed by a mob of brutal soldiers, among whom were one or two trumpeters, blowing directly into the ears of the Condemned. We can also interpret this blowing not exactly as a deafening, but rather as a reviving, bringing back to consciousness mortified Christ, which is still an element of a suffering of His ears.1 The motif was intended to depict the torment of the sense of hearing and was closely linked to dolourism, i.e., spirituality based on the contemplation of the physical suffering of the Saviour, leading to the desire to join Him in that experience. This often led to specific penitential and ascetic practices. It is clearly apparent that the motif probably evolved directly from thirteenth- and fourteenth-century representations, quite common in the south of Europe, which depicted the Mocking or Crowning with Thorns, with men blowing horns, or pictures of the Way of the Cross and the Crucifixion, with heralds announcing...
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