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Leaves from Paradise

Leaves from Paradise

The Cult of John the Evangelist at the Dominican Convent of Paradies bei Soest

Edited by Jeffrey F. Hamburger

ISBN 9780976547280

Publication date: 11/30/2008

A pair of leaves recently acquired by Houghton Library presents an opportunity to examine the illuminated sequence composed in honor of John the Evangelist, Verbum dei deo natum, within its broader cultural context. Written and illuminated at the Dominican nunnery of Paradies bei Soest in Westfalia as part of a set of liturgical books that are among the most elaborate of their kind from the entire Middle Ages, the richly decorated fragments promise to transform our understanding of the special place of Christ’s “beloved disciple” in fourteenth-century art, liturgy, theology, and mysticism.

In addition to an introduction on art and liturgy in the Middle Ages, the interdisciplinary collection of essays includes contributions by musicologists, philologists, and art historians.


  • Jeffrey F. Hamburger is Kuno Francke Professor of German Art and Culture in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 200 pages
  • 7 x 10 inches
  • Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library