The Nachlass of Angelus Walz, OP

Angelus Walz, OP (1893-1978), was for years a prolific professor of church history at the Angelicum in Rome, and contributed to the cause of Thomas-scholarship in many ways, notably by his biography of Aquinas (especially in its French translation, known simply as Walz-Novarina).

This past week I received an e-mail from a Martin Walter in Germany, who told me that he had found (about five years ago) some interesting pictures in the “Nachlass” of Fr Walz in the Dominican convent in Augsburg. These pictures had been evidently taken by a photographer named Anderson, who had a shop in Rome, in the 1920’s. The pictures were of triumphalistic paintings of St. Thomas, and Fr Walz had obtained copies with the option of having them used in the ground-breaking Xenia Thomistica, a 3-volume publication in 1925 commemorating the 600th anniversary of Thomas’s birth, loaded with articles by key players in early 20th-century Thomism (Maritain, Lottin, Garrigou-Lagrange, Merkelbach, Prümmer, Mandonnet, Walz, Grabmann, Pelster, Roland-Gosselin, Chenu [in Latin!]). Of the pictures in Fr Walz’s Nachlass, only one made it into Xenia Thomistica, the one by the painter Francisco de Zurbarán, which you can see in the frontispiece of the third volume.

Martin Walter scanned the three pictures he found, and kindly sent them to me for presentation here. They are found below.

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Francisco de Zurbarán’s “Apotheosis of St. Thomas” (1661): this is the picture found in volume 3 of Xenia Thomistica (Seville).

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Ludwig Seitz’s “St. Thomas Offers His Works to the Church,” commissioned by Pope Leo XIII (Vatican Museum).

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“Heretics Vanquished by the Works of St. Thomas,” also by Ludwig Seitz, and commissioned by Leo XIII (Vatican Museum).

Thank you, Martin Walter!

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Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded thomistica.net on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).