Dekoninck et al. 2012

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Gaudio, Michael. "Cutting and Pasting at Little Gidding: Bible Illustration and Protestant Belief in 17th-Century England." In Ut Pictura Meditatio: The Meditative Image in Northern Art, 1500-1700, ed. Malter S. Melion, Ralph Dekoninck, and Agnes Guiderdoni-Brusle (Brepols, 2012), pp 401-424.

Four Daughters of Philip, from Acts of the Apostles (1637) -- no iconographical tradition, but Anna and Mary Collet thought it was significant enough to "invent their own iconography for it, and this is because Acts 21.9 is indeed significant when read in light of Mary and Anna Collet and their role in the religious community at Little Gidding. Lf was a community widely known for the devoutness of its female members, especially Mary and Anna, the 'Mayden Sisters' as they were called, who like Philip's daughers were devoted to the task of making their own house a holy one. By cutting and pasting these female figures into their home-made version of Acts of the Apostles, Mary and ANna were essentially engaging in an act of self-portrayal through typological identification; and the scissors in the sewing basket of the woman on the right call our attention to the instruments of the Collet's own form of 'prophesy', the scissors with which they cut out images and texts in order to construct books intended for devotional use." (403)

"What sort of practice was it that these women carried out with their scissors at Little Gidding in the years leading up to the outbreak of Civil War and the execution of their king, Charles I? How might Mary and Anna Collets use of prints be understood as a form of thinking or meditating with printed images. Does it even make sense to consider this work of Protestant book-making under the implicitly Catholic rubric of this volume on the meditative image ? And if it does make sense, if this cutting and pasting can be construed as a kind of pictorial meditation, then what kind of meditation is it ? W^hat kind of language might we use to address it ?" (404)

"powerful sense of the uniformity of the page" (407) -- yet paging through the LG concordances, you are at the same time fully aware that the perfectly harmonious text I have just described is exactly not what you are looking at, that what you see is not the uniform work of mechanical reproduction but is instead the work of scissors and knives; it is a text constructed of fragments" (408)

King exclaimed: "'How happy a King were I if I had many more such workmen and women in my Kingdom! Gods blessing on their hearts and painful hands! The king's language is telling: he refers to workmen and women; to painful hands. Charles's words underscore how these books were the products of the difficult work of devotion at Little Gidding. Beyond the appre­ ciation of the beauty of the completed text, then, an essential part of experiencing these books is the recognition of the painstaking labour whose traces remain vis­ ible on the page itself." (409)

"tactile nature of these Little Gidding texts" (411)

in illustrating Acts and Apocalpyse -- "drawn to images of manual activity" (412)

e.g. Evangelist dipping pen in inkwell -- invites us to see prints as double-sided, tactile, material; to run fingers over the text (412)

"How does one make sense of this unique devotional labour that took place in the concordance chamber at Little Gidding, a form of meditation that consisted not simply in praying to or through a given image but in literally dismantling the image in order to reassemble it on the page ? How might we situate this practice in relation to Protestant belief generally and, more specifically, in relation to the intense controversies surrounding what it meant to be a Protestant that raged in the years leading up to the outbreak of civil war in England in 1642? As a starting point, we need to recognize that for the Collet sisters, the work of embellishing the Bible with images was a form of devotion that was justified because it took place through Christ's incarnated body, something they make quite explicit, in fact, in their very first gospel harmony." (413)

LG concordances as "uniting of flesh and word" through "extended engagement with and meditation upon John 1. 14.

citing Henderson 1982, controversy over illustrations in Scottish Bibles and King's response; king "tries to have it both ways -- private meditation upon Bible Illustrations coupled with public disavowals that he would ever authorize such things to be published" (416)

Laud on images

Arminian nunnery -- contrasts image on pamphlet with portraits of women in Acts of the Apostles

"The comparison between the Arminian nun and these four figures especi y t e nun in habit who appears at lefi: and again at bottom -- is an interesting one, because in these cut-out images the Collets bodi embrace and reject die nun as a model for feminine spiritual life." (418)

-- in Acts, they have actually crossed out images of rosary on the prints of nuns that they use

"While their work relies upon the Catholic image in the fotm of prints, while they indeed make extraordinary use of such images, their very work of cutting, pasting and even marking upon the print is itself frequently an iconoclastic act that puts the religious image under erasure. If the work of the Collets in making these albums can be described as a form of thinking with the image, a particularly material form of meditation, then it is a form of meditation characterized by the rattle­ headed dynamic I have just described; it involves looking the image and away from it at the same time." (420)

"the creators of the LG Concordances court the visual precisely so they can resist its pull. It is a dynamic best witnessed in the Collets' frequent acts of erasure, such as the use of the tetragrammaton to conceal the image of God the Father, a technique used four times on the title page to Revelation" (420)

"The production of these albums demonstrates a complex thinking about the visual image, a thinking that is torn between a Laudian attraction to the material trappings of religion (hence the large collection of Catholic religious prints at Little Gidding) and a repulsion from those images at the same time. And it is the strange way these two impulses work together that we need to understand if we want to account for these fascinating books assembled in the Little Gidding Concordance chamber during the 1630s and 40s. What will not do are efforts to explain away or dismiss that tension." (422) -- critique of Henderson; "the cut-and-paste method developed at LG is not a corrupted form of medieval manuscript illumination but a fundamentally different way of thinking with images. The traces of the compilers' labour that remain visible on the page are not a result of 'clumsiness'; they are a crucial and considered aspect of how these texts signify." (422)

also not "a simple rejection of 17c Puritan iconoclasm, because at LG they were iconoclasts, and at the same time they were not." (423)

"For the Collets, in other words, the making of the Little Gidding Concordances was a means of becoming Protestant. The particular kind of meditation they practiced in the concordance chamber, a meditation they carried out with scissors, knives, pen, paste, and iron press, was a way of asking themselves on a daily basis the central Protestant question — are my thoughts idolatrous? It was a question they asked, and tried to answer, with their hands." (423)