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Psalter, MS M.98 fol. 1r - Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts - The Morgan Library & Museum

two-headed multi-eyed crowned dragonsLe Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre, France 1420British Library, Royal 20 B XX, fol. 83v

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Français 143, f.14v (the Fates). Evrart de Conty, Le livre des échecs amoureux moralisés. Cognac, 1496-1498. Artist: Robinet Testard.

An asp, depicted with wings as it often is, blocks one ear with its tail to avoid hearing the the man. Bestiaire; Philippe de Thaon, England, c 1300.

The exhibition also features an amazing print showing several men measuring a beached whale on a Dutch beach, another illustration of a great beast that was now the object of scientific scrutiny rather than passive wonder. Contrast this whale with illustrations from two thirteenth-century bestiaries in the collection of the British Library and you can easily see the difference of attitude. The two medieval whales are depicted in standard fashion as ” islands”, based on the legend of Saint…

Heidelberg / Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 471, detail of fol. 047v. Hugo von Trimberg, Der Renner (The Runner/Courier). Nürnberg, 1425-1431.