Adoration of the Magi
Jerome Nadal Evangelicae historiae imagines Antwerp 1596 Houghton Library f Typ 530.93.596
Jerome Nadal composed Evangelicae historiae imagines at the request of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. The book, which circulated among several generations of Jesuits, was used not only as a guide to meditation, but also as a missionizing and teaching tool. It was sent to the Jesuit mission at Nanjing in 1605, and shortly thereafter to the mission at Beijing, following the request of Matteo Ricci. The book consists of a series of biblical scenes, such as this Adoration of the Magi. The image is schematized and marks specific figures or zones with letters corresponding to items in the legend below. This visual progression through a sequence of points is retraced and expanded in exegetical texts that follow the images.
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