The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, November 18, 2018


The strange and mysterious role of the monster in the Middle Ages is the subject of new Morgan exhibition
The Taming the Tarasque, from Hours of Henry VIII, France, Tours, ca. 1500. The Morgan Library & Museum, MS H.8, fol. 191v, detail. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2013.


NEW YORK, NY.- From dragons, unicorns, and other fabled beasts to inventive hybrid creations, artists in the Middle Ages filled the world around them with marvels of imagination. Their creations reflected a society and culture at once captivated and repelled by the idea of the monstrous. Drawing on the Morgan Library & Museum's superb medieval collection as well as loans from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders—on view this summer—examines the complex social role of monsters in medieval Europe. It brings together approximately seventy works spanning the ninth to sixteenth centuries, and ranging from illuminated manuscripts and tapestry to metalwork and ivory.

The show explores three key themes:

“Terrors” demonstrates how monsters enhanced the aura of those in power, whether rulers, knights, or saints. “Aliens” reveals how marginalized groups in European societies—such as Jews, Muslims, women, the poor, and the disabled—were further alienated by being depicted as monstrous. The final section on “wonders” considers the strange beauties and frightful anomalies such as dragons, unicorns, or giants that populated the medieval world. The show runs through September 23, 2018. Following its exhibition at the Morgan, it will travel to the Cleveland Museum of Art from July 14 to October 6, 2019 and the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin from October 27, 2019 to January 12, 2020.

“In the medieval world the idea of the monstrous permeated every level of society,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum, “from rulers, and the nobility and the clergy, to agrarian and urban dwellers alike. Artists of the Middle Ages captured this phenomenon in images of beings at once familiar and foreign to today’s viewer. We are grateful to our guest curators Asa Simon Mittman and Sherry Lindquist for helping us bring this engrossing subject to the public.”

THE EXHIBITION
I. Terrors

Throughout the Middle Ages, rulers capitalized on the mystique of monsters to enhance their own aura of power. In medieval art, they often depicted themselves—or figures with whom they could identify—as righteous heroes demonstrating their worthiness by slaying the most frightful creatures imaginable. By embellishing all manner of luxury objects with monstrous imagery, the nobility and clergy could also reinforce and dramatize their own authority. Such fearsome motifs were often thought to have not only a symbolic potency but also actual power in warding off evil.

Because of their ability both to terrify and to inspire awe, monsters could even be used to evoke the divine. From headless saints to three-headed trinities, these “sacred terrors” vividly bring to life the power of monsters to bridge the gap between the natural and the supernatural. Ultimately, the monsters in this section offer us a glimpse into how people in the Middle Ages perceived relationships of power, whether earthly or divine.

II. Aliens
In the modern world, the term alien is most strongly associated with extraterrestrials. In the Middle Ages, however, aliens were very much inhabitants of our world. Deriving from the Latin word for “foreign” or “exotic,” an alien was simply a person or thing from somewhere else. For medieval men and women, the various peoples thought to live on the other side of the world were just as unreachable, and therefore unknowable, as Martians would be to us. At times, these aliens were the subject of titillating speculation; other times they were sources of fear or objects of derision.

As in other eras, monstrous imagery could be used to stigmatize those perceived to deviate from the norm. This held true not only for “strangers” to medieval Christian societies—most notably, Jews and Muslims—but also for those who were marginalized within their own communities. Women, the poor, the mentally ill or physically impaired could all be made monstrous by medieval artists. Such representations helped define the difference between those who were accepted and those who were cast aside. Confronting these at times difficult images reminds us of the ability of the visual arts to shape our perceptions of others.

III. Wonders
For medieval viewers, monsters could also inspire a sense of wonder and marvel as a transformative response to strange, surprising, or mysterious phenomena. During the Middle Ages, wonders were only as significant as their authenticity, which could be confirmed either by eye-witness accounts or by the authority of venerable authors. The difficulty of disentangling truth from fiction became a common theme, giving rise to entire genres of text that claimed to catalogue the various phenomena of the world: from herbals and bestiaries to travel accounts.

Capable of shifting expectations and perceptions, monsters inspired viewers to reconsider their place in the world. These fantastical creatures were often so unpredictable and prevalent in the cultural imagination that it is often hard to judge whether they reinforce or disrupt the norms of the time. This exhibition invites visitors to consider what medieval monsters can teach us about the cultures that created them.





Today's News

July 13, 2018

Exhibition of works by Lino Tagliapietra opens at Schantz Galleries

The strange and mysterious role of the monster in the Middle Ages is the subject of new Morgan exhibition

Banksy's lesser-known works on show in London

Hauser & Wirth announces appointment of Liberté Nuti as International Senior Director Impressionist & Modern

Crocker Art Museum names Olson Kundig as lead architect for $40 million project

Rising middle market & portrait stars at London Art Week Summer 2018

Philadelphia Museum of Art announces new restaurant, Stir, designed by Frank Gehry

'The Colour Palace': Pricegore and Yinka Ilori chosen for second Dulwich Pavilion

Palmer Museum announces opening of provocative new exhibition

Katonah Museum of Art appoints Michael Gitlitz as Executive Director

Taliban defeated by the quiet strength of Pakistan's Buddha

Marvels of Modern Music Auction featuring Ramones, Boston, Dylan and Prince

NOMA announces appointment of Ndubuisi Ezeluomba as Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art

Simon Lee Gallery opens exhibition of major works conceived by artists of the Conceptual art movement

Invasive Behaviour: Group exhibition opens at Play-Co

Eduard Planting Gallery in Amsterdam opens exhibition of photographs by Terry O'Neill

New method to explore Science Museum Group collection revealed

Solo exhibition and major new commission by London-based artist Evan Ifekoya on view at Gasworks

Brud's first institutional exhibition in Germany opens at Kunstverein München

Kunsthuis Gallery opens its 2018 Summer show with works by René Korten and Richard Mackness

Animation icon Genndy Tartakovsky draws blood for Drac's return

The Clark names Robert Wiesenberger Associate Curator of Contemporary Projects

Quentin Blake: A Retrospective totals $1,015,968 at Christie's London

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- TEFAF New York Fall 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales

2.- Christie's announces auction of Magnificent Jewels and the concurrent Jewels Online Auction

3.- French court finds Jeff Koons guilty of plagiarism

4.- Papers of the exiled Stuart kings published online for the first time

5.- New exhibition explores relationship between British and Russian royal dynasties

6.- Wes Anderson presents box of 'treasures' from Viennese vaults

7.- Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies present...The Dark Side of Hollywood

8.- Hopper, de Kooning, Gorky and Stella hit new auction records in New York

9.- Old Master? Cave paintings from 40,000 years ago are world's earliest figurative art

10.- Cat mummies, animal statues discovered in Egypt sarcophagi



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 
Check out Casinostoplay.com for a range of beautifully designed online slot games.

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful