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Old 04-01-2009, 07:35 PM
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Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons! (Apr-May 09)



PROJECT: MEDIEVAL BESTIARY- There be Dragons!
INTRODUCTION

What is a Bestiary ?

A Bestiary, in short, ...
... is a compilation, in manuscript form, of animal images, descriptions and stories. Based on more ancient text, history and myth, as well as speculation at the various times written; it is a most interesting mix of art, the moral concepts and scientific knowledge of the period and story-telling!

Like an "Aesop's Fables" for the Medieval Judeo-Christian Era in Europe it sought, by means of Allegory, to impart the values of the time. It assigned to animals - other than we human kind- traits , motives and actions as experienced through a human lens, the consequences for said actions percieved to be a manifestation of a God-directed universe.

One of the most comprehensive, extensively-linked and filled with imagery References ( in English ) I could find is:

http://bestiary.ca

A very good but less exhaustive overview, needless to say is Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bestiary

...if you use the link to Illuminated _manuscripts, a very good brief overview of the hands-on "production" process of the whole period can be found; as well as other links....

The best ( multi-lingual ) ONLINE MUSEUM EXHIBIT of the subject I could find is:

http://expositions.bnf.fr/bestiaire/expo/index.htm

...Talk about a quick read! .. even less than the length of a 1/2 hr PBS special!

OVERVIEW, and more Images in the next installment!
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Last edited by WildGoose : 04-01-2009 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:07 PM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

This is great, can hardly wait for more.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:01 PM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Sounds intriguing!!
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:56 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Medieval Bestiary Project - There be Dragons!

Overview of Imagery:

The tradition of manuscript copying did not persish during the so-called Dark Ages of Europe afefter the Fall of Rome...As is well known, it was carried on in the monasteries of Europe, and was also carried on in the long period of Arab domination in Spain.

Initially, the manuscript was entrusted to a scriba/ copyist, a patient craftsman of calligraphic skills, and there was minimum decoration.

The art of miniatures and illumination began to flourish under the auspices of the emperor Charlemagne, and spread to Spain of the 10th and 11th Centuries.

Beast of the Apocolypse/ 9th c Valencia, Spain


Secular Miniaturist workshops began springing up in towns from the 12th Century onwards, near the monastic centres that had been illustrating religious texts.

Initials became increasingly elaborate, sometimes filling an entire page.



British and French miniatures found in manuscripts of the Anglo-Norman period ( 1066- approx 1250 ) illustrating herbals, BESTIARIES and aviaries , usually of Greek origin, but translated into and written into Latin were closely connected to the text in which they were written...

This period in history was basically the "HIGH TIDE" of the Illustrated Medieval Bestiary.
It's final swell eventually extending to such places as diverse as
Iceland to Iran



Animal imagery could either dominate a page, be illustrative of a story on a page, or be one of more subjects discussed on a page...



Their imagery could be executed along the spectrum from a simple one colour execution to an elaborate use of vivid colours and gold; in a loose, unbordered format to square, rectangular, or even a "rounded' one...



....and potray the same subject from the same translation in a differing manner
2 sets of lion families



and 2 differing potrayals of panthers



...and 2 dragons



...one of which, would admirably have suited the upcoming question....
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:03 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Sometimes, things appeared to have been "lost" in the translation.....


Can you-hoo,too.... guess this mystery animal ??



Answer tomorrow!!!


also
UPCOMING:

PROJECT IDEAS!!
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Last edited by WildGoose : 04-03-2009 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:13 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

What a wonderful introduction! I got a book on medieval art from the library. Not too much in the way of animals in it though. I really love these old illustrations of animals. They are half fantasy and half reality. Suits me perfectly. Looking forward to the project ideas.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:15 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Thank-you, Trafford and June!
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:18 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Medieval Bestiary Project- There be Dragons!

ANSWER:

It's NOT a camel
It's NOT a donkey
It's NOT a horse.....




It's a giraffe!

...according to an illustrator who lived in Flanders in 1350....
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:25 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Medieval Bestiary Project - There be Dragons!

PROJECT IDEAS:

To keep us going from the month of the April Fool into the begining week or so of the Merry Month of May , I propose the following.....

Every 7-10 days I myself, as host, will try and follow one of the upcoming suggestions... indicating the initial idea, then perhaps showing a WIP along the way...

TO WIT!

A) COPY

Choose a Bestiary rendering you really like, and basically copy it

This can be done any number of ways...pencil, cp, pen & Ink, water-colour , Gouache, ect....

Self-challenge yourself by going for an unfamiliar or little-used or new-to-you medium...

EG-



This depiction of a Griffin/Gryphon from the Aberdeen Bestiary is a favourite of mine......I have never used gouache, and rarely do water-colour pen and ink renderings....so my challenge to myself will be to do one of them!

GOLD LEAF , ANYONE??

NOW"S YOUR PERFECT CHANCE TO TRY IT OUT!!


B) ADAPT-

Compare , Contrast, Combine and Adapt 1 or more images...to create a new one ( albeit close to what you interpret as the Medieval "style" )

EG

Here are 3 differing depictions of a description of a tiger...same story...drawn 3 different ways by 3 different artists in Anglo-Norman Britain



Your challenge could be to add your own vision of this or another story...

C) TRANSFORM-

Take another concurrent depiction of a Medieval bird or beast not in an illustrated manuscript...( such as a floor mosaic, sculptural form,carved wood relief, tapestry, ect...)
....and transform it into a Bestiary styled Illustration...

EG-


Unicorn floor mosaic from 12th C Ravenna Italy

D) CREATE-

EG-


from the Harley Bestiary,British Library collection

This is the only Medieval-era depiction I found for a creature called the Barnacle Goose; a creature imagined from trying to understand the migration/mating/birthing patterns of certain Geese....since I was intrigued by the legend of geese developing from barnacles on a tree, and very much wanted to do my own interpretation......

I DID!


Barnacle Goose by WildGoose

Size: 4x6 ACEO
Medium: CP on card
Year: 2008


All for today , folks!

Any more suggestions...they're quite welcome!

TOMORROW:

A few more interesting, enlightening and hopefully useful- to- all web-sites...
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Art Blog: http://wildgoosewanderings.blogspot.com

Last edited by WildGoose : 04-04-2009 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:50 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

I like that tiger with the mirror. I am off to do some reading up on the links you posted!!
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:56 PM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Glad you like one of them June!
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Last edited by WildGoose : 04-05-2009 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:03 PM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

MEDIEVAL BESTIARY PROJECT : There be Dragons!

ADDITIONAL WEB SOURCES:

Here is another great website to link to It's called CORSAIR, and linked to the JPMorgan Library's vast collection of both Medieval and Renaissance illustrated manuscript collections..

...some that I displayed in the Overview were from this souce

http://utu.morganlibrary.org/medren/

The link to the Aberdeen Bestiary site, connected to a research project at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.... acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive pictoral sites of a single Bestiary available on the web is:

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary/
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Last edited by WildGoose : 04-05-2009 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:31 PM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

MEDIEVAL BESTIARY : There be Dragons!

More Project Ideas:

E ) INVENT



Hippokantlerralogniff by Kathleen Neland Norman

SOURCE:
The New Creative Artist by Nita Leland

If her Elementary school age daughter can do it... so can you!!!.[i]

How about a mer-rabbit?
A dragon mouse?

YOU DECIDE....then DESIGN IT !!


F ) IMPROVISE

Have a yen to carve up some EX LIBRIS design plates...let this project me your inspiration/motivation!

Feel like going 'beyond 'paper or canvas or wood....transfer your design to a bag or T-shirt, ceramic ( think mosaic ) or glass!

How about a Medieval Beast Mobile!!

Do you dig Digi or like to mix your media?

GO FOR IT!!

Wall murals, anyone?

Feather painting?

POST US A PHOTO of your WIP !

Tell us your ideas for feedback!
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:44 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

I love that Hippokantlerralogniff by Kathleen Neland Norman

Also love your own barnacle goose.

Am I right in thinking geese are your favourite? There is a sweet little barnacle goose at our local pond which keeps company with the Canada geese. I've only ever seen one barnacle goose there. He or she must have got lost from the flock. But it seems happy enough with the big geese.
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Last edited by artbyjune : 04-06-2009 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:39 AM
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Re: Project: Medieval Bestiary- There be Dragons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjune
I love that Hippokantlerralogniff by Kathleen Neland Norman

Also love your own barnacle goose.

Am I right in thinking geese are your favourite? There is a sweet little barnacle goose at our local pond which keeps company with the Canada geese. I've only ever seen one barnacle goose there. He or she must have got lost from the flock. But it seems happy enough with the big geese.

June, I really think if I could be any other kind of animal in the whole world, it would be some kind of bird; think because if there was any super-human type of ability I"d want to have, it would be, first and foremost, to FLY!!

The avatar name WildGoose came about from a combination of things....
......my own wanderlust crossed with choosing to live away from the land I was born; and having an Irish last name made me think of the historical "wild geese" of Ireland....
....a mass of idealistic political exiles from the tumultous times in that land who left EIRE to wander far lands, including the "New World" of the Americas.

...( plus I knew it would probably be shortened to "Goose" at times; so keep me feeling just fine about being silly when I feel the need )

( I actually prefer Birds of Prey )
But don't think I'd fancy eating small live mammals!
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Last edited by WildGoose : 04-08-2009 at 01:47 AM.

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