Bridget, Revelationes, 1500
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN (c. 1303–1373). Revelationes.
Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1500. (06881)
After St. Bridget made a pilgrimage from Sweden to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1341, she began to experience “celestial revelations” of Christ’s life, the Last Judgment, her own mystical “marriage” to Christ, and divine instructions to found the Brigittine Order. The highly popular text of her Revelationes was first printed at Lübeck in 1492. This second edition of 1500, illustrated with 58 woodcuts, was printed at the request of Emperor Maximilian I. One of the many hand-colored illustrations shows a man and his wife kneeling in devotion to St. Bridget. Below the couple are two shields, originally left blank for the insertion of the owner’s personal armorials. In Bridwell Library’s copy, the heraldry added by hand belonged to the Swiss diplomat Peter Falck (1468–1519) of Fribourg, and his wife Anna von Garmiswil. In this way, the generic woodcuts served as a specific couple’s devotional “portraits.”