Monday, February 27, 2006

Monster Devilry

(after) Liber Floridus by Lambert de Saint-Omer : 'Le diable Beenoth'
15th century parchment miniature from Musée Condé, Chantilly.

Le grand diable d'argent : patron de la finance (the great money devil)
undated but the printer was active 19th century.
from: Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires

Le Loup Garou : The text beneath reads something like:
'The ferocious beast named hyena eats humans, particularly women and children, tearing out their hearts and ripping off their heads. It reeked carnage in the Auvergne region of France'.
This copper plate engraving bears the date 1767.
from: Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires

Approximately says: The state of a sinner in denial who thinks of other things
that he sees around him and in his soul (at least, that's what I think it says)
17th/18th century
from: Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires

Frontpiece by Phillip Galle for a late 16th century edition of the
Hunting series of illustrations by Johannes Stradanus.
from: Musée National de la Renaissance, Ecouen.

Harpie Male ~1840
either a newspaper broadsheet or a print (text down either side of the illustration) from: Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires

All these images were found wandering around L’agence Photographique section of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux. I actually went looking for a few of these images at their original repositories but I couldn't find them so I think the RMN has the only copies of example images for some of the institutions it represents. There are paintings and sculptures and pottery etc.
Love the monsters. [1st & 3rd images are slightly retouched]
Addit: english search page


michelle said...

These are gorgeous! I want them to hang in my house! :)

pita said...

find many things with keyword on recherche section:
many pictures but not always in good definition .

pk said...


And for english readers, the search page is:

You're right pita, it is disappointing 1/2 the time - why is this? Crazy!

L said...

wonderful blog....

smoroi said...

Thank you for your thought-provoking blog...

Seeing as you love “beasties” and such, you really ought to check out the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum ( (

You may have already known about this database and museum but as I have not seen any imagery on your blog referring to this collection, I thought I’d refer you to this rich resource.

The explanation of how to use their database is first rate; it is not too cumbersome for those with limited bandwidth, and they offer billiantly-sized images.

There are several examples of filtered searches which really cut down the search process. Here are some of the titles of their offerings; good luck -
1) Fabulous Animals
2) Unnatural Causes
3) Devils and Demons
4) From Achilles to Zeus (highlights->introduction (under cartoon at top right)-> will lead to you all of their beasties



pk said...

Cheers Smoroi.
You're right, I haven't spent a lot of time among the manuscripts at KB although I did post some links from the Meermanno portal just just recently. I *think* that the images posted came from KB - I remember being confused about the nature of the site though. But thanks, I'll keep KB in mind.

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