Egorova Anastasia

Cherub from the image range of Speculum theologiae

Egorova Anastasia (2019) "Cherub from the image range of Speculum theologiae ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2019, vol. 35, pp. 33-47 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV201935.33-47


The Mirror of Theology (Speculum theologiae) is a unique example of a book miniature of the Latin Middle Ages. It represents an embodiment of the Catholic didactics of the 13th — 15th centuries concentrated to its maximum. This article studies one of the miniatures of the illustrative range of the Speculum theologiae with a schematic drawing of a cherub. It is not only an image but also a chart into which the main theses of Alan’s of Lille treatise On the Six-Winged Cherub are incorporated. The article uses a number of artefacts as examples and scrutinises the formation and development of the iconography. A detailed analysis of each miniature allows one to understand the way how the coёxistence and mutual infl uence of the word and the image are expressed in the these specifi c cases. The article also demonstrates the correlation of the iconographic scheme with other didactic visual diagrams contained in the collection of the Speculum theologiae. A sheet with a schematic image of the cherub is studied in the article not as a lone-standing illustration accompanying the theological dissertation but as an element in the whole array of miniatures. In order to carry out the study, the author of the article has read and translated into Russian the charts-illustrations with the images of cherubs. A comprehensive translation allowed the author to understand the princliple of work of the illustration, i.e. how it combines images and texts, how they occupy their — sometimes interchangeable, sometimes irreducible — positions, how such exquisitely refi ned iconography is created in the golden age of the schematic theology of scholasticism.


Western Medieval art, Medieval illuminated manuscripts, Medieval illumination, Medieval iconography, cherub, visual diagrams, Medieval craft of memory, Medieval theology, Alan of Lille, Hugh of Saint-Victor


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Information about the author

Egorova Anastasia

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: Lomonosov Moscow State University; 27/4 Lomonosovsky prospekt, Moscow, 119991 Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0002-9356-2744;
Email: eto.nastya@gmail.com.