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Illumination of Images and Illumination through the Image – Functions and Concepts of Gospel Illustrations in the Bible of the Nuremberg Patrician Martin Pfinzing

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses one aspect of the Pfinzing Bible's complex program. The coloration of the Bible illustrations in the Pfinzing Bible was probably made in the circle of the distinguished Nuremberg book illuminator Georg Mack the Elder. The illumination of the Pfinzing Bible is characterised by the rich use of gold heightening. The chapter explains the connection with Martin Luther's ideas on the exegesis and appropriation of the Bible by the faithful. Luther emphasized that Christ's doctrines in the Gospels cannot be comprehended by the intellect alone but that they need to be absorbed by the heart as the organ of faith. Luther strictly tied the 'illumination' of the faithful to the word of God, whether it was listened to or read. The sermon images analysed in the chapter represent God's word as substance of the biblical text and visualize it in a way that can be grasped sensuously.

Keywords: Christ; Georg Mack the Elder; God; Gospels; Martin Luther; Pfinzing Bible's complex program



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