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Framing Devices and Exegetical Strategies in Northern Illustrated Spiritual Literature

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with framing devices and exegetical strategies in spiritual literature. It focuses on the dispositio and the compositio to show that meditation is specifically an art of the 'montage' of images. A telling example of figured frames applied to meditational emblematics can be found in the Sacrum Oratorium by the Spanish Jesuit, Pedro Bivero, published in Antwerp in 1634. At first sight, Bivero's work offers itself as a game of image 'montage', since it is presented as a sacred oratory of pious images of Mary and of the soul. Two of the five series of engravings use a figured frame, identical for each engraving in the series. Here the framing elements will function in a rhetorical fashion by supplying supplements to interpretation, or they will refer back to the biblical-source episode in a movement opposite to that at work in the first type of 'montages'.

Keywords: compositio; dispositio; exegetical strategies; framing devices; montage; Pedro Bivero; Sacrum Oratorium; spiritual literature



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