Rowing Rats Association
Pontifical of Guillaume Durand, Avignon, before 1390.
Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, ms. 143, fol. 77v
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
Illuminated elephants on parade.
1. From a herbal, Italy (Lombardy), c. 1440
2. From a bestiary, England, between 1236 and c. 1250 (he looks so scared, poor soul)
More about medieval pachyderms here.
how to make a mule
St. Albert the Great, De animalibus, Paris 14th century.
BnF, Latin 16169, fol. 84v
Psalter, Flanders ca. 1320-1330.
Bodleian Library, Douce 6, fol. 114r
The gruesome death of Thomas Becket
One of more graphic depictions of this moment. Three of the four knights attack the archbishop, who is kneeling in prayer before the altar. One of the knights kicks Thomas to the floor, and sends his miter flying as his sword cracks open Thomas’s head.
Edward Grim, who was himself wounded in the attack, wrote down what, according to his account, are the last words of Thomas:
‘For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.’
The White HorseI watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. ( Revelation 6:1-2)
The Red HorseWhen the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come and see!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. ( Revelation 6:3-4)
The Black HorseWhen the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6)
The Pale HorseWhen the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine, and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)
Image: Illustration from the Beatus Facundus (1047 AD), a “Commentary on the Apocalypse”
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)