A Surfeit of Monkeys (Mmm… Marginalia #37)

This week’s installment of my month-long blogasmicalfragicalamagoria of images taken from Pierpont Morgan Library MS G24 brings my lucky readers not one, not two, not the number that comes after two, but, indeed, the number that comes before five images of monkeys.

All four of these rakish simian fellows are just looking for love. Some might say in all the wrong places.* Our first monkey is actually a monkey dyad, two happy chimps slipping one another the tongue:

It’s hard to tell when a monkey is a girl monkey or a boy monkey–I tend to assume all monkeys are boys for some reason–so that image might even be more shocking still. But not nearly so shocking as this one, a monkey having a cutesy tea-party with a demon:

It’s all very metrosexual, no? You just know that underneath that blurry smudge, the monkey is holding his chalice with his pinky held out. But perhaps you are one of those who is not scandalized by monkey raconteurs and their droll dinner conversation at tea. To you, I say, how about a monkey getting his ass kissed by a rabbit-headed grotesque?

Still not satisfied? Yes, it does get harder and harder to shock you week in and week out. But the illuminator behind MS G24 always has an extra trick up his sleeve. I submit for your approval (and shocked outrage) a monkey-lover kneeling before the moon.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the moon is someone’s disembodied butt sticking out of the top of a woman’s hood? I really need to try to pay more attention to detail when I write my blog posts.

Anyway, stay tuned for next week’s installment of “It Came from MS G24 *cue spooky music* wooooOOOOooooOOOOOooo“.

*Others, doing Buckwheat impersonations last current in the early eighties might say they are “wookin for nub in all da bong paces.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • A World Quite Mad

    Are these just doodles? Or do they have something to do with the text? I’m just curious.

    Thanks for posting them, they’re very interesting!

  • Got Medieval

    In general, no, they don’t have anything to do with the text. But they’re not just doodles, either. They’re an elaborate, expensive companion piece of art.

  • Livia Indica

    I swear to the gods, those illuminating fellas must have been tripping balls to come up with this kind of weirdness.

  • Macaroni

    Wow! I love these. I am also in the middle of reading the Parson’s Tale and came across this, in the section on Pride:

    “Allas, somme [proud men] shewen the boce of her shap, and the horrible swollen membres, that semeth like hte maladie of hirnia, in the wrappynge of hir hoses; and eek the buttokes of hem faren as it were the hyndre part of a she-ape in the fulle of the moone.” (X.422-3)

    It reminded me of all your monkeys!

  • StrawberryKaren

    The disembodied butt is actually sticking out of a pair of breeches, which is where embodied (?) butts would usually go. See fols. 6v, 8r, and 87v for other examples in this manuscript. http://www.larsdatter.com/breeches.htm has more examples in general, too.

  • Got Medieval

    I suppose it could be breeches, but if so, then they’re being worn ass-backwards.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ6XLfz41IE felix


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