flying penis monster
Decretum Gratiani with the commentary of Bartolomeo da Brescia, Italy 1340-1345.
Lyon, BM, Ms 5128, fol. 100r
WOW, I’m blown away. 100,000+ followers. Thanks, everyone!
British Library, Add MS 47682, detail of f. 34r. Bible (the ‘Holkham Bible Picture Book’) c. 1327-1335
Blockbook (ca. 1470)
Apocalypsis Sancti Johannis
Germany, about 1463–67
The Morgan library
Doodles by a child in Medieval Novgorod.
The Unicorn Sonnet
O dieses ist das Tier das es nicht gibt
This is the animal that doesn’t exist.
But they didn’t know it and dared nonetheless
to love its transformations, its bearing, its gait
so much that in the tranquil gaze of light, it lived.
Really it never was. Out of their love they made it,
this pure creature. They always saved a space.
And in that place, empty and set aside,
it lightly raised its head and scarcely
needed to be. They fed it no corn,
only the possibility that it might exist –
which gave the beast such strength, it bore
a horn upon his forehead. Just one horn.
It came to a virgin, all white,
and was in the silver mirror and in her.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 4
Image: A Mon Seul Désir by an unknown French weaver c. 1410
Via one of my favorite publications ever. There are back issues in almost every room of my house.
Evangelistary (“Liber viventium”)
Parchment · 91 ff. · 31 x 20.5 cm · Churrätien · first quarter of the 9th century and 9th-14th centuries
(via e-codices)The Liber viventium Fabariensis is likely the most important surviving work of Rhaetish book art. This manuscript was originally designed as an Evangelistary and richly adorned with initials, frames for canonical tables and full-page illustrations of the symbols of the four evangelists. Starting in 830 the names of monks who joined the monastic community were listed in the empty canonical table frames, together with living and deceased benefactors of the abbey. In addition to its function as evangelistary, memorial and record of the monastic brotherhood, the Liber viventium was later also used to preserve the historial records and treasure catalog of Pfäfers Abbey. Because of the legal importance of the Liber viventium up to modern times, the volume is housed in the archival collection of Pfäfers Abbey. (kur)
Hortus Deliciarum Leviathan
German Romanesque ca. 1170
Bamberg Apocalypse: Angel and the Serpent
Ottonian 11th Century
Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Ms. Bibl. 140
The Chained Library of Zutphen
I took these pictures during a visit to the 16th-century chained library of Zutphen, in the east of the Netherlands. It is one of three such libraries still in existence in Europe. Nothing much has changed here for 550 years.
British Library, Add MS 62925, detail of f. 51r. Psalter, Use of Sarum (‘The Rutland Psalter’). c. 1260
Rylands Medieval Collection, Latin MS 53, f. 58v. Christianus Prolianus and Joachinus de Gigantibus (?), Astronomia (1478)
“Comparative view of the magnitudes of the Sun (a large disc of burnished gold), the Moon (silver), Mars (gold), Venus (gold), Mercury (gold) and Earth (pale). Framed in a green wreath of leaves and blue background.”