Item No: mca2101720
Title: Le chemin de paradis (The way to paradise)
French and Latin
Rare Book Department
This manuscript has been dated to ca. 1460-1470.
Le Chemin de Paradis purports to be an explanation of the allegorical subject matter of two tapestries depicting a procession of the Church Militant that were commissioned by Jean Germain (ca. 1400-1461), bishop of Chalon-sur-Saône and counselor to Philip III of Burgundy, for his church. Also known as "Les deux pans de la tapisserie chrétienne" (The two panels of the Christian tapestry), the tapestry as well as Germain's text were intended for the instruction of clerics in preaching the faith. The allegory describes how Scripture and the interpretation of the Divine Word form the vehicle by which the Church is made triumphant. Five leaves of parchment inserted throughout the manuscript according to the different sections illustrate the text. The procession continues here with the last of four groups to pull the chariot. This group represents five moments in ecclesiastical history in which the Articles of the Faith were interpreted and fine-tuned. First are the Councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381), represented by two groups of five bishops carrying tablets inscribed with different versions of the Creed. The next two figures are St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, holding a tablet inscribed with the words from the hymn "Te Deum", based on the Apostle's Creed and traditionally believed to have been composed by St. Ambrose on the occasion of St. Augustine's baptism in 387. Opposite the pair is St. Athanasius holding a tablet with the Creed traditionally ascribed to him, known by its opening words "Quicumque vult". The final group of bishops represents the Council of Lyons held in 1274, which upheld the wording in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed regarding the Trinitarian doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son.
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Lewis E 210
Jean Germain - Author