Art History

Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)

It wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't write at least once about creepy creatures in art. (Did you really think I wasn't going to do it this year?) Well, HeadStuff just posted my article "Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art", in which I take a look at how imaginings of witches, vampires, demons, and… Continue reading Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Office of the Dead – Day Thirty-One of Medieval Manuscripts

The Office of the Dead (f.99) from the Belles Heures of Jean de Berry. French, c. 1405-9. The Cloisters Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (CC0 1.0) Today is the last installment of 31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts. I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing and reading about all these beautiful books over the past… Continue reading The Office of the Dead – Day Thirty-One of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

Alchemical Manuscripts – Day Twenty-Nine of Medieval Manuscripts

In preparation for Halloween, I decided that today's post should have something to do with something magical(ish) and eventually settled on alchemy. Alchemy is probably more of pseudo science than it is magic, but it was in Harry Potter, so I'll let this slide. Alchemical treatises and illustrations were common in manuscripts of the Western and… Continue reading Alchemical Manuscripts – Day Twenty-Nine of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Hours of Catherine of Cleves – Day Twenty-Seven of Medieval Manuscripts

The Hours of Catherine of Cleves is a fifteenth-century Dutch book of hours that was owned by a controversial duchess of Guelders. According to the Morgan Library and agreed upon by pretty much every other source I read, the manuscript is "the greatest Dutch illuminated manuscript in the world" (Morgan Library website). The Morgan's description… Continue reading The Hours of Catherine of Cleves – Day Twenty-Seven of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

October in the Calendar Pages – Day Thirteen of Medieval Manuscripts

I have October on the mind today, so I figured I would run with that. Medieval books of hours, much like today's day planners (if anyone even uses those anymore), often included calendar pages for each month of the year. These weren't the sort of calendars you might write down your appointments in, however. Instead, they… Continue reading October in the Calendar Pages – Day Thirteen of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Manuscript Collection of Jean de Berry – Day Seven of Medieval Manuscripts

Instead of focusing on a manuscript or a component of one, I've chosen to write today about one of history's most famous and prolific medieval collectors of manuscripts. Jean de Berry (1340-1416) was a French duke and the brother of King Charles V of France. An extremely wealthy and well-connected nobleman, Jean de Berry collected all sorts of… Continue reading The Manuscript Collection of Jean de Berry – Day Seven of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Black Hours – Day Five of Medieval Manuscripts

Earlier today, I came across an article on medievalists.net entitled "Top 10 Most Beautiful Medieval Manuscripts", and I decided that today's featured manuscript would be one of those ten. (I also felt validated to see that my day two pick, the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, made the expert's list.) The Black Hours owned by the… Continue reading The Black Hours – Day Five of Medieval Manuscripts

31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts

The Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux – Day Two of Medieval Manuscripts

Today's manuscript is the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, a selection that isn't nearly as famous as yesterday's Book of Kells but is widely known in art history. The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux is an example of a book of hours, a calendar of prayers for the hours of the day and the main religious events of the year.… Continue reading The Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux – Day Two of Medieval Manuscripts

Gargoyles · Manuscripts · Medieval Art and Architecture

Demons in Pen and Ink

In one of my last posts, I promised that I would talk about non-architectural grotesques. So meet the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, a fourteenth-century illustrated French prayer book by Jean Pucelle. It now resides at the Cloisters in New York, and I highly recommend going to see it. It is certainly not the only medieval… Continue reading Demons in Pen and Ink