Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2007
Book ID: 6
291 pages + preface | 12.25 x 8 inches | 45 color images
Annotations and Meditations on the Gospels, composed by Jerome Nadal (1507-80), St. Ignatius Loyola's closest collaborator in the early days of the Society of Jesus, was first published in Antwerp in 1595 (a second edition followed the same year, and a third edition in 1607). This book combined engravings portraying episodes from the Gospels executed by the premier Flemish engravers of the day with Nadal's explanatory notes and meditations on these episodes as depicted in the engravings, in order to help young Jesuit seminarians to meditate on the Gospels that they heard read at Sunday Mass. The impact of this book on the sacred art of the period after the Council of Trent was enormous not only in Europe, but also in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Nadal's text (1607 edition) is presented in an accessible contemporary translation prepared by Frederick A. Homann, S.J., who also provides the reader with helpful notes and references. The translation is preceded by a thorough introduction to Nadal, his book, and its images by Walter S. Melion. Melion's introductory essay in Vol. 1: The Infancy Narratives is entitled "The Art of Vision in Jerome Nadal's Adnotationes et Meditationes in Evangelia."
Jerome Nadal, S.J.
Translator Frederick A. Homann, S.J., is professor emeritus of mathematics at Saint Joseph's University. He is the translator of Ladislaus Lukacs, S.J., and Giuseppe Consentino, Church, Culture & Curriculum: Theology and Mathematics in the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum (Saint Joseph's University Press, 1999), to which he also contributed an introductory essay.
Walter S. Melion is professor and chair, Department of the History of Art, The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Shaping the Netherlandish Canon; Karel van Mander's "Schilder-Boeck" (University of Chicago Press, 1991).
"With the publication of The Passion Narratives, Frederick A. Homann and Walter S. Melion have completed their three-volume, multi-year labor of love: Jerome Nadal's magnum opus. […] Melion follows his superb discussion of Nadal, his book, and his meditative methods in volume 1 (pp. 1-96) with highly focused examinations of just a few chapters. […] Throughout his learned analysis that focuses more on texts and images, Melion explicates Nadal's fundamental stress on seeing. Homann and Melion are to be congratulated for bringing Nadal's masterpiece to a broader audience."
Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Catholic Historical Review
"The illustrations of this third volume [in the series] have the same high artistic quality as those in the preceding two volumes. […] Together with these two volumes, this book will undoubtedly be of inestimable value for English-speaking readers, who will now be able to appreciate the beauty of the engravings and Nadal's commentaries on the life of Christ, such as they were published more than four centuries ago. […] This third volume of Nadal's work completes this already magnificent publication, which makes this spiritual and artistic treasure accessible to so many people in the Anglophone world."
Fernando García Gutiérrez, S.J., Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu
"The nucleus of this volume is the 22 plates designed by Bernardino Passeri and engraved by Jerome Wierix that represent so many scenes from Christ's Passion. Frederick A. Homann is the translator of the plates' Latin annotations, of the Gospel texts, and meditations that Jerome Nadal wrote in Latin as commentaries on these sorrowful mysteries of the life of Christ. […] The work he has done is excellent. Walter S. Melion, in a substantial introduction, analyzes the images and texts of the consecutive chapters of Nadal's book […] The conjunction of beautiful images and elegant presentation of the text is excellent in this book of typographic art. […] The English translation facilitates its accessibility to many readers who are not proficient in Latin as was the case during the lifetime of Jerome Nadal."
Archivum Teológico Granadino