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¹ Edith Stein, Finite and Eternal Being, trans. by Kurt F. Reinhardt (Washington, DC, 2002), 91.

² Stein earned her PhD in 1916 at the University of Freiburg, under the direction of Edmund Husserl. While teaching at a Dominican nuns’ school in Speyer from 1923 to 1931, Stein translated Aquinas’s De Veritate into German and wrote “Husserl and Aquinas: A Comparison” (1924). Later in her career, she also worked closely with texts by the Pseudo-Dionysius, Duns Scotus, Saint Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross.

³ Dr. Barnes purchased the following manuscript miniatures from Jacques Rosenthal on December 11, 1930: BF1044, BF1045, BF1046, BF1047, BF1048, BF1049, BF1050, BF1051, BF1052, BF1053, BF1054, BF1055, and BF1056ab. Barnes Foundation Archives, letter and inventory from Rosenthal to Dr. Barnes, December 14, 1930 (AR.ABC.1930.458).

⁴ Jeffrey F. Hamburger and Robert Suckale, “Between This World and the Next: The Art of Religious Women in the Middle Ages,” in Hamburger and Susan Marti, eds., Crown and Veil: Female Monasticism from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Centuries (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 97.

⁵ Stein, “Artistic Truth,” in Finite and Eternal Being, 300–305. The artist calls a work of art into Dasein by means of their idea for it. For this and other concepts, Stein engaged in discourse with numerous philosophical predecessors and colleagues—for example, Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art (first delivered as a lecture in 1935).

⁶ Cf. Stein’s treatment of the question “Is a philosophic study of angels possible?” in Finite and Eternal Being, 380–90. She cites Thomas Aquinas, who figured that the “sensible shapes in which [angels] at time appear to human beings are produced by them in the manner of a handiwork [Werk, opus], so that by means of these visible shapes [angels] may make themselves intelligible to creatures whose knowledge is tied to sense perception.”

⁷ In the inventory he sent to Dr. Barnes, Rosenthal described BF1046 as “Deutsche Malerei aus einem Frauenkloster” (“German painting from a convent”). Comparanda for the Nativity/Virgin and Child miniatures include a late-14th-century embroidery in the Cloisters made by nuns in Lower Saxony under the direction of their abbess or prioress (MMA 69.106); and Princeton Art Museum y1031, a cutting from a choir book featuring Saints Martha, Agatha, and Elizabeth, shown as Fig. 7 in Hamburger, Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

⁸ Concerning the architecture: the nuns who created the Barnes miniatures may have engaged the medieval notion of memory as a “thinking machine,” cultivated partly by erecting mental buildings as heuristic devices for internalizing information, such as the history and mystery of Christ’s Incarnation. One of the most frequently cited passages on this approach is by Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604): “First we put in place the foundations of literal meaning [historia], then we build up the fabric of our mind in the walled city of faith; and then at the end, through the grace of our moral understanding, as though with added color, we clothe the building.” See Mary Carruthers, The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images, 400–1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Saint Bridget of Sweden, Prophecies and Revelations, VII, 21. The angels’ music represents the Gloria in excelsis hymn celebrating Christ’s birth in Luke 2: “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the heavens, and on earth peace to people of good will.’”

¹⁰ The image develops the iconography of the Throne of Wisdom, in which Christ as Wisdom Incarnate sits on the Virgin’s lap as upon a throne. The 12th-century wooden sculpture A437 is an example at the Barnes.

¹¹ Object entry for the Limoges casket.

¹² See Genesis 2:9 for the Trees of Life and Knowledge; Revelation 22:1–2 for the Tree of Life (Lignum vitae); the text Regnavit a ligno Deus from the Latin text of Psalm 95:10; and the text Ascendam in palmam of Canticles 7:8. Paul Binski, Becket’s Crown: Art and Imagination in Gothic England, 1170–1300 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 212.

¹³ Binski, Becket’s Crown, 214–15 for the Psalter of Robert of Lindsey, and 222–30 for a discussion of sweetness.

¹⁴ Digitized Rothschild Canticles (Yale University Library, Beinecke MS 404).

¹⁵ The Man of Sorrows is a type of devotional image that refers to the Old Testament verse Isaiah 53:3, a prophecy of the Messiah: “He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

¹⁶ William Wixom associated BF1044 and BF1045 with the Beautiful Style in unpublished notes on these objects. Rosenthal described the style as: “Süddeutsch. Um 1430. Wohl aus dem fränkischen Kunstkreis unter östlichen Einfluss” (“Southern German, around 1430, probably from the Franconian art circle under Eastern influence,” writing about BF1045). For a discussion of the Beautiful Style, see Gerhard Schmidt, “The Beautiful Style,” in Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347–1437, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 105–12. The chaplain’s priestly duties must be why the Man of Sorrows miniature fuses Christ’s historical passion with the communion rite of the Mass—for example, by framing the scene with an altar canopy.

¹⁷ For definitions of the types of medieval devotional manuscripts, see “The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages” (Getty Museum). For the Office of the Dead in Latin and English, see here.

¹⁸ With profound thanks to Violet Lutz (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York) and Amey Hutchins (Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania) for translating this text. Its last legible line reads: “in order that everything happens and is completed concerning the abovementioned visitation to/of [?] our dear friend, as one counts after Christ our . . .” [prelude to writing the date].

¹⁹ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was a pivotal figure for developing the tradition of devotion to Christ’s wounds, in his sermons on Canticles and in the following prayer: “Wounds of blood-red ruby droplets,/ Driven deep-set as in goblets:/ These inscribe upon my heartbeat,/ Make my joining to you replete—/ At every moment loving you.” “Vision of Saint Bernard,” Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index.

²⁰ These tokens of Christ’s Passion were known as the Arma Christi and served as mnemonic devices. The spitting antagonist is an antisemitic image of a Jewish person.

²¹ The Requiem was prayed for the faithful dead, partly to hasten their souls out of Purgatory.

²² Psalm 130 was read in the Office of the Dead at Vespers.

²³ Hamburger, The Visual and Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany (New York: Zone Books, 1998), 100, Fig. 1.36. The same miniature is illustrated in Crown and Veil, 47, Fig. 2.1 (in the context of explaining the spatial arrangements of convent churches. Sometimes the sacristy would be situated within the nuns’ enclosure). Hamburger, writing in the 1990s, does not seem to have known about BF1044 and BF1045.

²⁴ Gertrude of Helfta, Oeuvres spirituelles, qtd. in Hamburger, The Visual and Visionary, 102.

²⁵ Qtd. from the medieval text “Die geistliche Padstube” in Hamburger, The Visual and Visionary, 79.

²⁶ Julian of Norwich, Showings, trans. Edmund College and James Walsh (New York: Paulist Press, 1978), qtd. in Caroline Walker Bynum, Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion (New York: Zone Books, 1992), 164.

²⁷ Saint Thomas Aquinas, Letter on 1 Corinthians (13th century). Qtd. in Bynum in Fragmentation and Redemption, 229.

²⁸ Bynum, “Patterns of Female Piety in the Later Middle Ages,” in Crown and Veil, 184. For further analysis in this volume of nuns’ devotion to Christ’s humanity: see pages 85 (love of Christ and Church, often in the person of Mary, expressed as bridal mysticism as interpreted by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux’s sermons on Canticles); 163 (penitential piety; the “violence directed against the nuns’ own bodies coexisted with a tender, even sentimental piety focused on the child Jesus (the object of joyful longing) and the crucified Christ (the object of tearful compassion)”).

²⁹ Stein, The Science of the Cross, in Edith Stein: Selected Writings (New York: Paulist Press, 2016), 171.

³⁰ Stein, The Science of the Cross, 174.