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One Leg in the Grave Revisited

The miracle of the transplantation of the black leg by the saints Cosmas and Damian

Edited by Kees Zimmerman. With contributions by Carmen Fracchia, Jan de Jong, Catrien Santing

ISBN-13: 9789491431234

Publication year: 2013

Publication type: Book

Pages: 159

Cover: Softcover

Format: 210 x 210 x 10 mm; 508 g; full colour ill.

Price excl. VAT: 28.25

Price incl. VAT: 30.79

The Miracle of the Transplantation of the Black Leg, a posthumous miracle performed by the saints Cosmas and Damian, is best known from the Golden Legend of Jacobus the Voragine (1265). From the early Middle Ages on, artists have been particularly inspired by De Voragine's description of this miracle. Their works can be found in churches, monasteries, and musea, mainly in Italy, Spain, and Southern France. These artful representations have fascinated Kees‑Zimmerman, retired trauma surgeon, inspiring him to travel through Southern Europe exploring them. In this way he has gathered an impressive collection of photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art and religious objects. This book  offers over 80 reproductions of representations of the Miracle of the Black Leg, quite a number of which have never been published before. Articles by art historians (De Jong, Fracchia), medievalists (Santing), and an Introduction by Zimmerman himself, shed light on different aspects of the legend. This book will therefore be of interest for art historians and medievalists, as well as those who wish to investigate the relationship between medicine and religion in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. It offers, moreover, a wealth of beautiful pictures to be savored by all art lovers.
Extra information

List of illustrations 7

Introduction (Kees W. Zimmerman) 11

Illustrations I (general) 22

Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend: saints Cosmas and Damian, translated by William Granger Ryan 33

Transplantation and salvation (Jan L. de Jong) 37

Illustrations II (miracle of the transplantation, before 16th century) 50

Spanish depictions of the miracle of the black leg (Carmen T. Fracchia) 79

Illustrations III (miracle of the transplantation, 16th - 19th century) 92

Cosmas and Damian as representatives of a diverse medical profession and its function (Catrien G. Santing) 127

Illustrations IV (miracle of the transplantation, 20th and 21th century) 137

About the authors 158