The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel

A strangely skewed 18th century rendering of the “The Tower of Babel” the famous mega-structure from antiquity designed to be as tall as to touch heaven itself. Note the top of image and the falling bricks and hod carrier, according to the accompanying article a day of mourning was declared whenever a brick fell from the top of the tower, this of course due to the immense effort and time span in ferrying it up there… alas no mention of remorse for the hapless builder!

Not sure of the Artist, exact date or origin of the painting, please let me know if you do…

Image is scanned from the 70′s publication Man, Myth & Magic more about that here at Wikipedia.

Werewolves

Werewolf

Werewolf

Werewolf

The Werewolf mythology depicted here in three Old World Etching/Woodcuts. These scans are taken from a lengthy essay featured in Man Myth and Magic Issue #107 ( from around 1971?).

Article synopsis: “Stories of men having the power to change themselves into ravening beasts have gained currency in almost every part of the world; a universality which suggests that the under-lying idea emanates from deep within man’s own mind”

Mention Werewolf and it’s impossible not to think of scenes from John Landis’s 1981 Horror / Black Comedy An American Werewolf in London particularly the stunning metamorphosis sequence and the immortal lines “Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors – Beware the moon, lads”. This article predates that film by 10 years or so, and references material back to antiquity, most interesting is it’s discussion on the mental illness known as Lycanthropy  a kind of insanity in which the patient believes himself to be a beast, especially a wolf. Although this condition was diagnosed as far back as the 16th Century it had little effect on the superstition,  the articles surmise is that known instance of werewolves attacks and tyranny probably had more to do with the rapists, maniacs, and serial killer’s of the day…

The Scans relate to: (Top and Center) The Werewolf of Eschenbach, Germany 1685, said to have preyed on children. (Below) Werewolf attacking a man, from a 15th Century German Work.

Full article scanned and hosted over at Flickr: http://twurl.nl/drh3qo

Man Myth & Magic – Cover (1)

Man Myth & Magic - Siegfried Killing The Dragon

I’ve been running a little bit low on original Blog resource material until yesterday when a trip to my local antiques centre yielded a selection of this obscure magazine publication ‘Man Myth & Magic’ with it’s tagline’s: ‘An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural’ & ‘The most Unusual Magazine ever Published’

Man Myth & Magic was a UK based publication that ran for 112 weekly issue’s starting in 1970 – as mentioned the magazine feature’s many Illustration’s ranging from quirky woodcut’s of Ye-olde spooky folklore; Werewolf’s, Witches’s, Demon’s through to double page spread reprint’s and analysis of the work of master Artist’s/Illustrator’s such as Albrecht Dürer, Matthias GrunewaldAubrey Beardsley and many more…

The cover art used here is Teutonic Mythology  ‘Siegfried Killing The Dragon’ taken from a 19th century German edition of nibelungenlied.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Sabbath / Netherlandish Proverbs

Encylopedia of Superstitions

* * *

the_sabbath_st_james_the_elder_comabating_the_diabolical_enhancements_of_a_magician

* * *

Fleet Foxes LP Cover

Apologies for the lack of activity as of late… Here’s an expansion on Netherlandish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 – September 9, 1569)

The top image is a scan of an Occult/Supernatural charity-shop-book-special; by special I mean that is seems there’s always a surplus of these type of books, be it ufo’s, unsolved mysteries or archaeological anomalies. The cover featured here dates from 1974 and is the GB edition of “Encylopedia of Superstitions” a hardback which chronicles fabled British superstions from Adder’s Tounge’s & Apples to YellowHammer’s & Yew Tree’s (no Z’s are listed)…

The jacket design by Ralph Mabey is a coloured reworking of a Sixteenth Century engraving composed by Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder entitled “The Sabbath” depicting Saint James the Elder combating the diabolical enchantments of a sorcerer. Pieter Brueghel was a printmaker and painter, best known for his landscapes and particularly for his depictions of Dutch / Flemish Peasant scenes. In fact one of his best example’s ‘Netherlandish Proverbs’ (1559) has just been recycled into sleeve art for Seattle based indie/folk group the Fleet Foxes (below).

Netherlandish Proverbs (also known as The Blue Cloak or The Topsy Turvy World) depicts a land populated with literal renditions of Flemish proverbs of the day. Of the 100 or so featured several have now faded to become archaic though many have since transmigrated into English and are in common usage, see if you can spot: “swimming against the tide”, “big fish eat little fish”, “banging one’s head against a brick wall” and “armed to the teeth”. Interesting also to note that the Fleet Foxes sleeve in fact won the MTV:UK 2008 Album Art Prize, presumably Pieter picked up the prize posthumously….. See the full original art here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bruegel_Proverbs.jpg

Pieter Bruegel the Elder is also famous for paintings such as his brooding depictions of  The Tower of Babel – see and read more about him here @ Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieter_Brueghel_the_Elder

Matthias Grünewald – Temptation of St. Anthony

Matthias Grünewald - Gruen

The_Temptation_of_Saint_Anthony

The beautiful grotesque; Matthias Grünewald’s (1470 AD – 1528 AD)
depiction of “The Temptation of St. Anthony” a religious theme that’s has been repeated many time’s in European Art most notably by Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali. These images are taken from just one panel of the twelve panel’s that make up the magnificent ‘The Isenheim Altarpiece the masterpiece for which German Artist Grünewald is most famous for.

The Isenheim Altarpiece was painted between 1512 and 1516 and now stand’s on display at The Unterlinden Museum at Colmar, Alsace, in France – read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isenheim_Altarpiece