Basilica Ghost Image

Last week I spent some days at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. The college is run by a group of Benedictine monks who also operate the California school where I work, and I was there with a group representing my school.

St. Anselm’s College has on loan a heritage edition of the St. John’s Bible, a modern commission that follows many of the traditional practices for creating an illuminated manuscript. But you’ll see that this is a rather modern version, with a range of artistic styles represented. The original on vellum and done completely by hand is at St. John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota. A printed “heritage” edition of it, which is what we saw, costs a cool $135,000.  You can see details about the St. John’s Bible here: St. John’s Bible

But why am I blogging about it? The group I was traveling with enjoyed a curated “tour” of the volume that contains the gospels. Here are the opening pages to the Gospel According to Mark:

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When I looked closer, I noticed this detail. Behind Mark are the gilded outlines of the Basilica San Marco in Venice. They are vague impressions rather than sharp depictions, but the Basilica is unmistakable.

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For comparison, here’s the Basilica:

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I asked the curator, Keith, who has received extensive training in the making of the St. John’s Bible, and he confirmed that the imagery is intentional.

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A statue of St. Anselm on the college’s grounds

The lion os St Mark is not only seen in Venice. He also lives in the library at St. Anslem’s College.

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(Photo of the Basilica from venice-info.com. Can you believe I didn’t have my own photo to use??)
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About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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4 Responses to Basilica Ghost Image

  1. Nancy Schwalen says:

    I am jealous that you saw these magnificent illustrations. I’ve seen pictures in magazines and those are stunning but to see them “up close and personal” – Wow.

  2. Cecelia Pierotti says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how Venice follows certain of us around, wherever we are?!!!

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