New high-resolution scan of medieval Aberdeen Bestiary


Originally published at:


Stunning. Magical. Want.

I had the chance to see the Book of Kells (800AD) last time I was in Dublin and was profoundly moved by the level of skill and art in these types of manuscripts. It’s great that they are posting the pages online. If one can, one simply has to see these manuscripts in person. Breathtaking.

Medieval Cats


I’ll just leave this J-Pop video with animated bestiary beasts here.


I would very much like to hear these two monks opinion:


Turns out this is meant to be a hyena, if anyone else was wondering.


The bookmaking team would have consisted of prickers, a scribe, draftsmen, and painters, and pages reveal instructions left by craftsmen for one another.

I think I’ve figured out what the “prickers” job was.

I was! I think they did a pretty good job, except they mangled one important detail: the front legs should be longer than the back.

Also, in that case, possibly a female:


MONK #1: what part of a goat is a snail again
like the front end or the back end
MONK #2: what part do you feel like should be the snail part
MONK #1: the back part?
MONK #2: you shouldnt doubt yourself
you know more about goats than you give yourself credit for



I assure you, if this particular piece of artwork was hanging on my living room wall, it would be well hung.


I like digital libraries who take high resolution seriously! makes my 5K display seem wimpy.


No, that’s a hyena meant to look like Harvey Weinstein. Well, I’m almost positive on that…


When I went to Dublin to see it, the docent warned the crowd, “we flip the pages every week or so, so there’s no guarantee of what pages you’ll see on display.” I was all set to see an ordinary manuscript page, but the Chi Rho page was on display that day, and I nearly cried.


Same. Some of the most beautiful hand made illustrations I’ve ever seen.


That is the now-extinct hermit goat.


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