Crusie’s Guide to Art, Lesson 3

Ironically, this was part of a wedding present in 1430.

“The Hours of Catherine of Cleves (The Hours) was commissioned for Catherine, Duchess of Guelders and Countess of Zutphen, upon the occasion of her marriage to Arnold, Duke of Guelders, on 26 January 1430.”
“Its 157 miniatures are by the gifted Master of Cleves (active ca. 1435-60), who is named after this book. This manuscript is his masterpiece.”

But to really appreciate this, you have to see the entire illustration:

20 thoughts on “Crusie’s Guide to Art, Lesson 3

  1. Horrifying!!

    🎶 goin’ to the chapel, and I’m gonna get married, and I’m gonna be eaten by ferocious house monsters, tra la la 🎶

  2. Are we allowed to send you our favourite weird masterpieces and ask for a ‘lesson’?

  3. I presume the naked humans in the wheelbarrow in the lower left are souls about to be cast into the hellmaw. Since wheelbarrows only had been used in Europe since the 13th century and were rare until the 15th (Wikipedia) , this is pretty modern tech in 1430, reminiscent of some of the tech used in Niven and Pournelle’s novel Inferno.

    I thought there was a typo since the artist flourished starting 5 years after the wedding, but per Wikipedia it was a *very* belated wedding present.

      1. Or an artist who had been prevaricating until the Duke was standing outside the studio pointing out that he’d like to have something soon…very soon…

    1. The wheelbarrow at the bottom left reminds me of Monty Python: clang, “bring out your dead”…

  4. This makes me wonder about his possibly wretched childhood. Or maybe the church his family visited? Or if he had an encounter with a huge, scary dog as a child? Ick.

  5. Everyone gets that one weird wedding gift from an ancient relative that they have to pretend to like, and then hide in a closet until Great Aunt Broomhilda comes to visit and wants to see it displayed. ((Shudder))

  6. This could be a sweet fixer-upper. I think Catherine just needs to call the exterminator and an A/C repairperson.

  7. Jenny’s comment is a hoot.

    The Hours of Catherine of Cleves are actually beautiful. This illustration is certainly graphic, yet Mary Anne has a point about the cheerful creatures. Torturers just want to have fun?

Comments are closed.