Marilyn Monroe

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

The Manuscript Files: A Medieval Marilyn?

Detail of Saint John the Evangelist Writing / German
Saint John the Evangelist Writing, German, about 1340–50. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 17 7/8 x 12 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 108, verso

The luxuriant locks sported by this medieval figure might seem to say more “Marilyn Monroe” than “Saint John.” Both he and the movie star sport hairstyles from the glamorous ‘40s—in the saint’s case, the 1340s. In the Middle Ages, it… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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