This book is the first detailed investigation to focus on the late medieval use of Tree of Jesse imagery, traditionally a representation of the genealogical tree of Christ. In northern Europe, from the mid-fifteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, it could be found across a wide range of media. Yet, as this book vividly illustrates, it had evolved beyond a simple genealogy into something more complex, which could be modified to satisfy specific religious requirements. It was also able to function on a more temporal level, reflecting not only a clerical preoccupation with a sense of communal identity, but a more general interest in displaying a family’s heritage, continuity and/or social status. It is this dynamic and polyvalent element that makes the subject so fascinating.
Introduction, Chapter One The Tree of Jesse and the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Chapter Two The Tree of Jesse and Saint Anne, Chapter Three The Tree of Jesse, the Carmelites, and other Religious Orders, Chapter Four The Tree of Jesse and the Schöllenbach Altarpiece: A Case Study, Chapter Five The Tree of Jesse and Antwerp Carved Altarpieces, Chapters Six The Tree of Jesse in Northern France, Conclusion, Appendices, Bibliography