marshall SQ

Bestiary II: From the Ocean

Jennifer Marshall & Milan Milojevic

Wednesday 29 May - Sunday 23 June 2019

Opening Wednesday 29 May, 6.30-8pm

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BESTIARY (Bestarium/Bestaria). The name of a medieval collection of stories, containing pseudo-scientific descriptions and illustrations of animals, which draws parallels between the natural world and Christian teaching, thus giving moral instruction.

These stories had their origins in the ancient Egyptian animal symbolism depicted on papyrus scrolls as well as in the Greek Physiologus of the 4th century.The Physiologus, or Bestiary, as it was later called, was known in England before the Norman conquest. It was a popular illustrated book in the Middle Ages and was translated into Oriental as well as modern European languages. Most importantly it was the main source for Classical representations of animals and fabulous beasts and provided the inspiration for much of the sculptural decoration on Romanesque architecture as well as the Anglo-Norman manuscripts of the 12th century. These were filled with the ‘purposeless distraction’ of what St. Bernard described as ‘...ridiculous monsters, filthy monkeys, savage lions, monstrous centaurs, and half human creatures...’

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