Opicinus de Canistris (1296–ca. 1354)
Diagram with Zodiac Symbols, folio 24r
Avignon, France, 1335–50
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City, Pal. Lat. 1993
This highly colorful and complicated folio coordinates a vast amount of information, far more than any of Opicinus’s other drawings. It includes more than twenty separate sets of content, including the prophets, symbols of the zodiac, doctors of the Church, four monastic orders, the months, days, an implied world map, the genealogy of Mary, personifications of the Church, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the four types of Biblical exegesis, the four Evangelists, the apostles, and the names of the letters of Paul. Opicinus clearly intended the drawing to be complicated and to require extensive meditation and exegesis. He made use of the medieval diagrammatic tradition in order to probe the connections between the cosmic, earthly, and the corporeal.