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Vision of Divine Love

Hildegard of Bingen

The first illustration to the Book of Divine Works represents the Vision of Divine Love, who holds the Lamb of God, and tramples upon Discord and the devil. This abstract concept is embodied in the traditional form of a young woman. Her face is bright red, a colour associated in the twelfth century both with divine love and the element of fire, and from the top of her head emerges the face of an old man. Below the illustration is a small vignette of Hildegard writing down her visions on wax tablets with the assistance of the nun Ricardis; to the left her confessor and life-long friend, the monk Volmar, copies the text into a book.

The manuscript at Lucca is an early thirteenth-century illustrated copy of Hildegard's work.

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