Leaf from a Breviary - Hidden within a jungle of flowering vines, an ape attempts to unlock the secret to a three-dimensional puzzle. Medieval artists were fond of depicting animals, in particular apes and monkeys, engaged in human activities. In medieval Europe, the term "aping" was used to describe the mimicking of human nature, so showing apes acting like people was a play on this idea. (The Walters)

Manuscript Leaf Date: 14th century Geography: Made in, Bologna (?), Italy Culture: Italian Medium: Parchment, tempera, ink, gold leaf Dimensions: Overall: 11 11/16 x 8 in. (29.7 x 20.3 cm) Mat size: 19 1/4 x 14 3/16 in. (48.9 x 36.1 cm) Classification: Manuscripts & Illuminations Credit Line: Gift of Louis L. Lorillard, 1896, transferred from the Library

Apes and Monkeys on Behance

MEDIEVAL BESTIARY

Medieval - Animal - Animal acting human - Rabbits beating up man

Medieval horses acting like people

"Y" Leaf from Alphabet Book | France; Paris | 16th century | Walters Art Museum | Accession #: W.200.29V

Illuminated Manuscript, Book of Hours, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.165, fol. 110v by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts

Album of Persian and Indian calligraphy and paintings, Mary and Jesus, Walters Manuscript W.668, fol.10b detail by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts, via Flickr

Turkish version of the Wonders of creation, Three angels, Walters Manuscript W.659, fol. 48b by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts, via Flickr

Book of Hours Pentecost/All saints Walters Manuscript W.269 fol. 87r by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated Manuscript, Map of the western part of the city of Venice (Venedīk) from Book on Navigation, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.658, fol.186a by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts.

Psalter, Three clerics chanting; shepherd trumpeting and fox marginal decoration, Walters Manuscript W.79, fol. 100r by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts, via Flickr

Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts

Psalter-Hours, Initial “D” with nimbed apostle and pseudo-inscribed scroll; dragon with man's head and apes jousting in margin, Walters Manuscript W.82, fol. 194v detail | by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated Manuscript, Map of the city of Damietta (Shahr-i Dumyād) on the Egyptian coast from Book on Navigation, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.658, fol.308b by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts,

Carrow Psalter, Above: Deposition/Three Maries at the tomb; Below: Limbo/Resurrection, Walters Manuscript W.34, fol. 28v detail by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts, via Flickr

Apes Dancing to Ring-around-a-Rosy: The song Ring-around-a-Rosy is still popular today, often danced in a circle just as we see the monkeys doing here. Yet this seemingly lighthearted song has a dark past. The plague swept Europe during the 14th century, and the songs words actually refer to its terrible symptoms: a circular rose-colored rash, sneezing or coughing, and finally, death. ... The Walters.

Illuminated Manuscript Koran, The right side of a double-page frontispiece, Walters Art Museum MS. W.557, fol.2b by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts, via Flickr

Collection of poems (divan), Double-page illuminated frontispiece, Walters Manuscript W.636, fol. 2b by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts

medieval imaginations: literature & visual culture in the middle ages