Article Title

Iconography and the Montecassino Passion


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

A close reading of the text of the twelfth-century Montecassino Passion suggests an important relationship between the language of the play and the stage directions which outline its performance. To a remarkable degree, language and rubrics attempt to convey the Passion as a series of visual images, while individual speeches and choral address often serve as glosses on dramatic action. Art historians such as Emile Mâle1 and Otto Pächt have discussed the impact of liturgical drama on the visual arts. Pächt, for example, sees this impact in such developments as the substitution of a liturgical sepulchrum for the tomb mentioned in scriptural sources, in the expansion of figures to include midwives in the Nativity and in the "style of the narrative" in the Emmaus miniatures of the St. Albans Psalter.2 In our effort to determine if the Montecassino playwright constructed a dramatic vision of the Passion sequence from his imagination or from available models from the visual arts, we must pursue a slightly different course.

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