Searching For Illumination Manuscript Humor
While waiting to leave for an appointment the other day I decided to see what funny and weird illuminated manuscript stuff I could find with Google. This is a fun time suck that must be used sparingly or it will make me late to my appointment.
|British Library’s Harley 7026 f. 16|
These handmade devotional books often had margins filled with tiny pictures called “marginalia.” While not all were weird many had pictures of bawdy whimsy, fanciful animals, political satire and even sexually explicit jokes. Seen through our modern eyes they appear outlandish because we’re not used to seeing lurid detail displayed in holy books, especially from a distant time we think was conservative and proper.
Immediately I hit paydirt with three posts on io9.Gizmodo a popular weblog.
- Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts by Vincze Miklós General medieval weirdness mostly.
- Why do knights fight snails in illuminated manuscripts? by Lauren Davis With this writing, I found an interesting link to the British Library’s manuscript blog post Knight v. Snail
- Are these the dirtiest manuscript doodles of the Middle Ages? by Cyriaque Lamar
Those led me to this Spanish post.
- There are lots of medieval paintings of knights fighting giant snails and nobody knows why. by Matías S. Zavia
- Naughty Nuns, Flatulent Monks, and Other Surprises of Sacred Medieval Manuscripts a more academic writing by Hunter Oatman-Stanford at Collectors Weekly
- Weird Trippy… Pictures From Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts an image collection by Paul Sorene on Flashbak
If you followed me this far, now give the kids their iPads before you look at the first one of these.
Continuing on my Google list I came to another io9.Gizmodo post by Lauren Davis
- Who knew illuminated manuscripts contained so many fart and poop jokes? This one is mostly bathroom humor.
Of course, there’s also the standard Google image search for funny illuminated manuscripts. When I search Google’s images and find some incorrect entries I know they were swept up incidentally. With these, I wonder what Google thought was funny.
It’s backdoor research or upside down thinking, but I was killing time. Not serious about my scouting, just having fun.
|British Library’s Royal 19 B XIII f. 5|