Article Title

The Iconography of Herod in the Fleury Playbook and the Visual Arts


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Twelfth-century art and drama are rich in representations of Herod the Great. The sculptural decorations and stained glass windows of the cathedrals being built in France provided excellent opportunities for artists to portray large-scale cycles of the Infancy and Passion of Christ, while in England manuscript illuminators were using similar subject material for cycles of the Life of Christ which were prefixed to the text of the Psalter. Since there also was an increasing interest at this time in the story of the Magi, their visit to Herod was often portrayed within Magi cycles as well as in series of paintings devoted to the Infancy of Christ. Twelfth-century art is notable not only for the variety of contexts in which Herod appears, but also for the dramatic changes which take place in the iconography of this king. He becomes less and less regal, and, with the introduction of devils to advise him and a sword to replace his scepter, he is now unmistakably associated with the forces of evil.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.