Purification of Isaiah's lips, or, putting words into Jeremiah's mouth, or, Ezekiel eats scroll.
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Title:Purification of Isaiah's lips, or, putting words into Jeremiah's mouth, or, Ezekiel eats scroll
Notes:Art historian Maria Kupfer, in an article in the Art Bulletin, March 1986, forms the theory that this part of the fresco cycle inside the church at Nohant-Vic represents the sixth chapter of Isaiah. The pertinent verses say, "6:6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.6:7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: "Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out." "

This image could also represent the action in the first chapter of Jeremiah, when Jeremiah's mission was initiated by the Lord putting words into his mouth.

Another possibility is that, since much of the decoration cycle in the small church includes images of the tetramorph (Ezekiel 1:10) and the wheel (Ezekiel 1:19; 10:9-14), key iconographic elements associated with Ezekiel, then perhaps this image represents Ezekiel 1:9, in which God touches Ezekiel's mouth to put God's words into it. The eating of the scroll is the initiation of Ezekiel's call to be a prophet to Israel, a typological symbol for Christ's prophetic life. The fresco iconography also underscores the presaging of the Eucharist. This fresco is immediately before the scene of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, the first scene of the Passion Cycle on the walls that follow.

Donated by James T. Womack and Anne Richardson, Nashville, TN.

Building:Saint-Martin (Church : Nohant-Vicq, France)

Scripture:Isaiah 6:5-13
Ezekiel 2:8-3:3
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Person as Subject:Isaiah (Biblical figure)
Jeremiah (Biblical figure)
Ezekiel (Biblical figure)
Lectionary links:CEpip05
General Subject:Purification
Library of Congress Subject:Christian art and symbolism -- France -- Nohant-Vic -- Medieval, 500-1500
ICONCLASS Number:710322
Index of Christian Art Number:31V66647 Ch05, 001C

Permalink: https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=42491
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Copyright Source:image donated by Jim Womack and Anne Richardson
Copyright Permission:Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0
Attribution:Purification of Isaiah's lips, or, putting words into Jeremiah's mouth, or, Ezekiel eats scroll, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=42491 [retrieved June 24, 2024]. Original source: image donated by Jim Womack and Anne Richardson.
Record Number:42491 Last Updated: 2022-06-20 19:27:24 Record Created: 2004-11-05 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition

Bibliographic Source:Spiritual Passage and Pictorial Tragedy in the Romanesque Frescoes at Vicq. Kupfer, Maria. The Art Bulletin, vol. 68, no. 1, March 1986.