Funny medieval doodles
With their wild hair and frantic gaze, these doodled men look like fools. They are waving as if to seek contact with the reader. The thing is, the reader is busy singing and listening to a sermon. That is because these 800-year-old images are found in a Missal, a book used during Holy Mass. What a shock it must have been for the serious user of the book, to flip the page and suddenly find yourself face to face with these funny creatures. And what a great contrast: a serious book with silly drawings.
Pic: Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, MS 95 (Missal, 12th century). More about the manuscript here.
|—||Graham Greene, 1977. (via kulolo)|
Doodle by bored medieval school boy
This 15th-century doodle is found in the lower margin of a manuscript containing Juvenal’s Satires. This classical text was a popular device to teach young students - kids - morals. The medieval teacher Alexander Nequam stated: “Let the student read the satirists […] so that he may learn even in his younger days that vices are to be shunned” (quote here). Spoken like a true optimist, because this page shows what young school boys like to do with rules: disobey them. And so in stead of studying the student who used this book drew a funny doodle in the lower margin: a figure with a flower in one hand and what appears to be a pipe in the other. Could it be his teacher? Doodles are of all ages but those produced by bored school kids are the most entertaining.
Origin of dream
מקורו של חלום
Hand o’ graphs: this bizarre book of outlines of hands dates to the early twentieth-century. It was found by the artists Clare Woods and Des Hughes (who has a fascination in the macabre ‘hand of glory’). Hand o’graphs were presumably a kind of esoteric interpretive activity, like graphology, phrenology or palmistry, in which character traits would be read into the shape of the hand. There is something rather unsettling about the fact that these pages were touched by the hands of these long-dead people , including one that was murdered in the Russian Revolution. It’s the kind of object that could be used in a seance - eerie and macabre.
Things my Uncle Billy said to me in the kitchen.
Poland, 19th C. Egg decorated with micrographic text from the Song of Songs. Handwritten in ink. From the 18th century, and perhaps even earlier, hollow eggs on which sacred texts had been written in micrography were used to decorate European sukkahs. Not all the texts related directly to the holiday of Sukkot, the Festival of Booths: this example has Song of Songs 1-4:7 inscribed in miniscule letters. At times feathers were added to the hanging egg, so that it looked like a bird in flight.”