A new exhibition at the Getty is all about the book of beasts—the medieval bestiary.

What is a bestiary? It is a richly illustrated book containing stories about lions, unicorns, foxes, whales, and more animals—both real and imagined, common and fantastical. In this video, Getty Museum curators Elizabeth Morrison and Larisa Grollemond introduce a few of their favorite medieval beast stories and explain what makes the bestiary such a fascinating and visually compelling art form.

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World is on view at the Getty Center until August 18, 2019; admission is free.

ELIZABETH MORRISON: When I first started studying the Middle Ages, I was so excited to discover there was an entire type of book devoted just to animals, called the bestiary. And now, in Book of Beasts, I get to share the world’s greatest bestiaries with everyone else.

I’m Beth Morriso...