Veneto : Christ in Majesty with the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist
The Frontispiece of the Mariegola of the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista is an elaborate cover from a manuscript dated from 1300-1330. A depiction of the Last Judgment is set against an ornate gold background with every figure dressed in vibrant garments that seem to glow. Christ is seated in the center sporting the sign of benediction. To the viewers’ left is the Virgin Mary, clad in her traditional blue robe and to the right is Saint John the Evangelist. They both signal and look up towards Christ, emphasizing where the viewers’ attention should be. Many angels, all of who stare devotedly up at Christ, flank the three main figures. In the bottom third of the page is a crowd of hooded figures: the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista, the commissioners of the page. They all bear the same red cross and insignia of their order on their robes and their hoods cover their heads. From their clasped hands hangs the traditional whip used for self-flagellation rituals that occurred within many of the medieval confraternities in Italy. They stand in a tightknit group, some are fully blocked by those in front. It was common in the 14th century for confraternities to commission works such as this and group members would often be included in the images. The imagery from the Frontispiece of the Mariegola of the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista symbolizes the confraternity’s ideals of brotherhood and emphasizes the importance of both the collective group as well as the importance of keeping their individual anonymity.