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27 Times Tumblr Used Art History Perfectly To Make A Point
Art Historians Explain Why A Medieval Man Is Getting Rolled Into A Joint, Among Other ThingsOnce upon a time in the Middle Ages, some artist spent a surprising amount of time painting a face on the butt of a horse. Fast forward to 2015, and social media users centuries later are gleefully adding modern captions to the medieval handiwork for their Tumblr and Twitter audiences. Because lol!And yet these illustrations would surprise no expert historian. Books were intentionally filled with this kind of strange artwork, and took a long time to make, even as a team effort by skilled artisans concentrated in cities like Paris. A book didn’t used to be a thing you could buy as a joke at an Urban Outfitters store – mainly just the rich and leaders of the church could afford to own books. Their pages were made from vellum or parchment – animal skin soaked in lime water, scraped and stretched thin, then cut into groups of pages. Pages were ruled to ensure text was handwritten in straight, even lines. And unlike the doodles in the margins of your geometry notebook, the manuscript’s illustrations, called “illuminations,” were first outlined onto the pages, then filled in carefully with vegetable dyes and often gold leaf.The end product, though, was sometimes bizarrely hilarious. Since we’re all about the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of art, The Huffington Post asked a couple experts what’s going on in some of the Internet’s favorite medieval manuscripts.