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Tianzhu jiangsheng chuxiang jingjie 天主降生出像經解. [Jap-Sin I, 187, Jap-Sin I, 188]
AuthorAleni, Giulio 艾儒略, 1582-1649
Nadal, Gerónimo, 1507-1580
Pub. LocationJinjiang 晉江PublisherJingjiaotang 景教堂
Date1637Phys. Desc.pdf [1 v. : ill. ; 28 cm.]
LocationDigital ArchivesCall NumberBV3427.A38 T53 1637d
Tianzhu jiangsheng chuxiang jingjie 天主降生出像經解.

Jap-Sin I, 187
Tianzhu jiangsheng chuxiang jingjie 天主降生出像經解
By Ai Rulüe 艾儒略 (Giulio Aleni).
One juan. Chinese bamboo paper in one volume. The Arabic number on the lower margin of each page was added later. No date or place of publication.

The cover bears the title Tianzhu jiangsheng yanxing jixiang 天主降生言行紀像 (equivalent to Tianzhu jiangsheng chuxiang jingjie, cf. Jap-Sin I, 188) and a Latin inscription: “Vita D.N. Iesu Christi imaginibus illustrata.” On folio 2v there is a note in Latin: “Duo exemplaria rarissima Jap.a Sin. I. 187, Jap Sin I, 188 ᅵ Vita D.N. J. Xti ᅵ auctore P. J. Aleni ᅵ Cum illustrationibus P. Natalis ᅵ Parvus Codex (Jap-Sin I, 187) ᅵ continet praefationem, ᅵ quae in majori ᅵ autem codex (Jap-Sin I, 188) major plures imagines . . . ᅵ Initio, viam ᅵ crucis ᅵ Deest datum.”
This book is the same edition as Jap-Sin I, 188, but the quality of paper is inferior and even the printing is not distinct. The illustrations do not always follow the same order as in the above mentioned number. Three of the illustrations are missing, namely, (1) the sermon on the mount, (2) the miraculous cure of the centurion’s servant and (3) the cure of the paralytic man.
In addition to the twenty-seven folios of illustrations (folio 16r and 16v is a repetition of folio 14), there is an introduction (two and one-half folios). Here the country of origin of Christ is called Da Qin 大秦 , obviously a reference to the Nestorian monument (cf. Jap-Sin I, 33 and 53). It also tried to explain why spiritual beings were represented in physical forms: God the Father as an elderly man, the Holy Spirit in form of a dove and the angels as young men with wings.
At the end of the introduction the names of the three censors are given: Manuel Dias Jr. 陽瑪諾, Simão da Cunha 瞿西滿 and Pietro Canevari 聶伯多. For further details, see below (Jap-Sin I, 188).

Jap-Sin I, 188
Tianzhu jiangsheng chuxiang jingjie 天主降生出像經解
By Ai Rulüe 艾儒略 (Giulio Aleni).
One juan, white paper in one volume.
Twenty-eight folios, with an Arabic number in pencil on each folio. 28 x 16 cm.

The cover bears the a title in Chinese and a Latin inscription: “Vita Christi P. Natalis.”
At the beginning of the book there is a map of Jerusalem (43 x 28 cm.). The Chinese inscription on the map reads: 大秦如德亞國協路撒稜都城當天主降生時圖 (The city of Jerusalem in Judea of Da Qin at the time of God’s incarnation). There is another inscription: 此城日久存毀改變不一然吾主耶穌受難升天聖蹟諸所至今顯存凡諸國奉教者每往瞻禮云 (Through the centuries this city has suffered destruction and alterations; the place, however, where the Lord suffered, the place of the resurrection and the places where he worked miracles still exist and they are visited by the faithful of all countries).

This book is the same as Jap-Sin I, 187, except for the absence of the introduction in Jap-Sin I, 188 and that of the map of Jerusalem in Jap-Sin I, 187. In the introduction (Jap-Sin I, 187) Aleni says that he has translated the Tianzhu jiangsheng yanxing jilüe and that in imitation of Western commentaries illustrations are added to inspire the readers with love of Christ. It is obvious then, that the present book is a continuation of the Tianzhu jiangsheng yanxing jilüe (cf. Jap-Sin I, 58 and 76).
Courant (6750) says that the edition owned by the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris) is a large in-octavo and on good paper, with an introduction by Aleni and a map of Jerusalem. It has twenty-eight folios and fifty-six illustrations, published in 1637 by the Jingjiaotang of Jinjiang (Fujian). This description makes us think that our edition is the same.
The Western commentary, mentioned in Aleni’s introduction, is the Adnotationes et Meditationes in Evangelia in Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio toto anno leguntur by Jeronimo Nadal (1507–1580). The first part of this work has 153 illustrations. The title page reads: “Evangelicae Historiae Imagines ᅵ ex ordine Evangeliorum quae toto anno in Missae Sacrificio recitantur, ᅵ in ordine temporis vitae Christi digestae.” It was printed in Antwerp in 1593. It is not certain who was the painter of these illustrations. According to some they were painted by Martin de Vos; others attributed them to the Wierix brothers or to the Italian painter Bernado or Bernardin Passeri (cf. AHSI, XIII, pp. 121–122; XIV, pp. 194–195). The etchings, however, were made by six artists, namely: the three Wierix brothers, Jerome, Jean and Antoine; their assistants Adrien and Jean Collaert; and Charles Mallery.
The engraver of the Chinese engraving is unknown to us. According to Aleni the Chinese illustrations numbered only one tenth of the European. In fact, they numbered in all fifty-eight. Apart from the first and the last, which were of purely Chinese origin, they amounted to about one third of the European illustrations. They are very close to the original, both in composition and in spirit. In general, the Western style is retained, but here and there they reveal the Oriental touch of the artist. For instance, on folio 17v and 18r (Lazarus and the rich man) one may notice the Chinese blanket on the bed of the rich man, and on folio 21v (the washing of the feet) the vases are all in Chinese style and, to add to the decoration, there is a Chinese movable door screen on which is painted a Chinese landscape with cherry blossoms and bamboo trees. On the last folio (the coronation of the Blessed Virgin in Heaven) the group of figures on the lower left corner are all Chinese mandarins, military men, scholars or ordinary people. These pictures, no doubt, could be of great help in the study of the early influence of European art on China.
A title is given to each illustration, the characters of which run horizontally. The figures and things illustrated are marked in the tiangan 天干 (ten heavenly stems). A column is reserved below the illustrations to identify the persons and things marked by the tiangan numbers, which take the place of the Roman alphabetic numbers in the original.
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese books and documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 110-112.

Subject(s)Jesus Christ--Biography
Jesus Christ--Art--China
Bible. N.T. Gospels--Illustrations
Nadal, Gerónimo, 1507-1580. Evangelicae historiae imagines
Rec. TypeDigital Book (PDF)LanguageChinese 中文
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryRec. #19313