This cup was used to feed babies and infants. The decoration on the sides are the same as those on magical wands, used for the protection of the child. From left to right: the goddess Taweret, a griffin, a snake, a lion and a turtle.
Found in Lisht, the Memphis area, found in the west corner of the pyramid cemetery
Claricia was a German illuminator who included a self-portrait in a South German psalter produced circa 1200 CE.
In the self-portrait, she depicts herself swinging from the tail of a letter Q with her name inscribed over her head. Her uncovered head, braided hair, and style of dress (close-fitting tunic, long-waisted dress, long flowing sleeves) suggests that she was a lay student at the convent.
Now, this is not the first time that Mannerist artist Giulio Romano has featured in Mighty Moments In Slash History. He was also responsible for the god Apollo’s upskirt shot, so it’s no surprise to find him tackling another of Apollo’s favourite hobbies, i.e. copping off with mortal boys. The identity of the mortal in question isn’t certain: it’s probably Cyparissus or Hyacinth, but it’s difficult to be sure because Giulio has decided to ignore the most recognizable bits of those myths in order to concentrate on the man-on-man action. A man after Tumblr’s heart, I’m sure you’ll agree.
As for the lady on the left, it’s hard to explain her presence mythologically or art historically. However, since she looks dazed rather than shocked by what’s going on in front of her, I reckon she must be a fangirl voyeur who’s caught in a tricky quandary. Should she:
a) continue watching their tongues battle for dominance, possibly while letting out a breath she didn’t know she was holding;
b) find a quill and parchment and start making notes to add realism to the epic multi-chapter coffeeshop AU she’s writing, called Hot God Baristas at the Olympus Café;
c) rush off to fetch her BFFs and find out whether popcorn has been invented yet;
d) all of the above?
Whichever option she chooses, I only hope she doesn’t knock over Apollo’s musical instrument in her excitement. Gods can get very vengeful if you accidentally snap their G-strings…
Vincent of Beauvais, in the mid- thirteenth century, identified three types of dog: hunting dogs, with drooping ears, guard dogs, which are more rustic than other dogs, and Greyhounds, which are “the noblest, the most elegant, the swiftest, and the best at hunting.”
The Greyhound was used as an emblem, often in tombs, at the feet of the effigies of gentlemen, symbolizing the knightly virtues (faith), occupations (hunting) and generally the aristocratic way of life.
Acoustic jars are ceramic vessels found set into the walls, and sometimes into the sides of cavities beneath the floors, of medieval churches. They are believed to have been intended to improve the sound of singing, and to have been inspired by the theories of Vitruvius.
I had a moment of nerdlirium this morning when I saw that a facsimile of one of my favorite manuscripts, the Cloisters Apocalypse (Cloisters MS 1968.68.174) came in the mail. And I took pictures of some of my favorite miniatures and marginalia because they are fantastic and amusing and I love them.
(note: fol. stands for folio and refers to a page of the manuscript; r and v stand for recto and verso, and refer to the front and back of the page, respectively.)
fol. 17v (Revelations 11:3-6) The Two Witnesses. In the text, the two witnesses who prophesy concerning Christ’s coming, punish sinners who attempt to harm the olive trees and lamp-stands. That is supposed to be fire coming out of the witness’s mouth, but it looks like he’s spitting red Kool-Aid on disgusted onlookers. Beneath the text there is an adorable little grotesque bishop wearing his mitre and riding a kangaroo-raptor thing.
fol. 31v (Rev. 16:4-7) The third angel pouring out one of the seven bowls of God’s wrath, turning water to blood. The miniature is of three angels, two of whom look angry and one of whom just looks like he does not care, but the marginal grotesques are hilarious and disturbing: you’ve got a centaur-lion dude pointing up at the text and looking like “See all the fucks I do not give” at the goat-footed, face-genitalia-having lady.
fol. 23v (Rev. 13:7-10) The Beast wages war against the saints. The beast looks like an angry leopard-giraffe thing with monkey faces, and he’s busy stabbing away while Jesus and the saints who are already in heaven look on with vague boredom. I’ve just given the little grotesques again, though, because it’s a guy with a weird butt shooting an arrow into the eye of a man-headed raptor creature.
fol. 22v (Rev. 13:1-3) The Beast of the Sea. The leopard-giraffe-man creature I mentioned above is either standing on or about to trample that poor little ship and its dog-sheep. It, as the Beast of the Sea, is accepting power from its predecessor, the dragon. Meanwhile John the Revelator (the author of the Revelations) is not impressed by any of this shit, nor does he seem to be interested in the bird-footed lady feeding her falcon another bird’s leg while an angry puggle and confused greyhound attack a club-wielding rabbit.
fol. 27r (Rev. 14:9-12) The third angel warning those who accept the Sign of the Beast that they will be damned forever. "Uh-uh, girrrrrrrl, you did not go there!” “And fuck that grotesque in particular.”
The end of days will not only involve terrifying many-headed giraffe beings, it will be hilarious.