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When you're acting cool in front of your squad but your horse knows you're a bitch:

This never gets old.
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Ouch, that's gonna hurt.

But then the monkey deserved it:

So did the bunny (see here if you do not believe me).

Still not sure why everyone was pissed off at those snails though (see them here).

From Book of Hours, Flanders ca. 1300 (Cambridge, Trinity College).
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Zeus's version of events for Hera.

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I think I can talk about it now that I am a muse and an inspiration.

In the old days artists got inspired by the superior strength and incredible acts of courage and perseverance of the old day heroes. I am not like the old day heroes. I managed to inspire by cowardly fleeing from a bunch of birds.

This is the drawing of me [ profile] bunn got inspired to draw after she read this entry. Thank you [ profile] bunn!

The original entry in bunn's journal is here. I like the drawing a lot, the geese look every bit as scary as they are in real life and I run like a bitch exactly like I do in real life. I usually have much less hair at the back, most of mine is at the top and at the front and now I have no hair at all because of this of course. But otherwise it is an awesome drawing, which I put on my desktop.

So, if you have given up on ever being a muse, don't. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. To speed things up a bit you might want to find some geese in your area and try to hang out with them. It worked for me.
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I spend a lot of my time in Asia and have met quite a few fu er dai turned "modern art collectors". The ones I met were a very sad sight. And the feeding frenzy around them was very often nauseating.

I have always thought Olafur Eliasson was Danish / Icelandic (born in Copenhagen to Icelandic parents) not Swedish as BBC states. I still remember his sun installation at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, it was awesome.
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You might remember that I was puzzled by the medieval obsession with snails a while ago (look here).

I was looking through some medieval manuscript marginalia again and noticed that rabbits were also very popular but in those times they didn't seem to see them quite as we do. They must have been much less cuddly then.

And if the snails were often depicted being attacked by or fighting the knights, the rabbits appear to be way more sinister and are usually shown capturing, killing or torturing humans.

And it was not only humans the evil bunnies had beef with, they were not fond of the hounds too it seems.

But there were some nice and cute ones in those times too.

Another post on art is here.
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Everyone keeps saying that these medieval snail and frog look depressed. But to me the frog looks bullied by the snail and scared. The snail does not look depressed I think, it looks evil.

I remember that they were inexplicably obsessed with snails in those times. Medieval knights were always fighting them in the margins of gothic manuscripts. And I think it is still a mystery why.

Did the snails represent the Lombards who were vilified then? Or did they somehow represent resurrection? Was it just humour? Did they represent the inevitability of death (“Like a snail that melteth away into slime, they shall be taken away" from Psalms)? Apparently we have no idea. Depictions of snail vs knight combat were ubiquitous though.

And some were wonderfully weird.

I like the rabbit on the right. Sweet ride!

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I came across this painting randomly in the vast ethers of the internet today. It is Giovanni Bellini's 'Presentation to the Temple' dated circa 1460.

The one detail that struck me the moment I saw it was Virgin Mary's ear. It is pierced but has no earring in it. Here you can see it a little bit better.

I moved on briefly but just could not let it go. I could not get that ear out of my head. Why Bellini painted it this way? If you do not want the earring, why pierce the ear? If you do, then go ahead and pierce the ear but then also put the earring in, it is a festive occasion for Virgin Mary, right? That pierced ear must signify something I thought, it cannot be just random.

Clearly there was only one thing to do. I had to stop doing all the urgent and important stuff on my to do list at once and find the truth about that pierced ear. And so I dived into it without delay. Boy, I am finding out more than I bargained for and am learning a great deal about the history of both xenophobia and fashion in Europe and how closely linked the two were. This is the first time I read something about fashion with interest. I am not done yet but one thing I can say already is that the ear is indeed pierced and earringless for a reason. Can anyone guess what it is?


To Bellini's contemporaries the pierced ear without the earring would say what a mark on the clothes where a yellow badge ('Jew star') once was and a cross pendant would say to us. It was the sign of a Jewish woman who cast off her Jewish identity and converted to Christianity.

In fifteenth-century Italy only Jewish women wore earrings. The law actually required that every Jewish female over the age of ten wear "rings hanging from both ears, and fixed in those ears, which should be and remain uncovered and visible to all". Non-Jewish women did not wear earrings at that time. Earrings were said to be the jewels "that Jewish women wear in place of circumcision, so that they can be distinguished from other women". From the documents from that time we know about the wife of Joseph, who was arrested and fined ten ducats in the summer of 1416 for leaving her earrings - and hence her Jewish identity - at home.

It is interesting how later when the earrings went mainstream Jewish women were forbidden to wear them.

The are a number of sources available for more details but this one is the best (the answer was eventually found here):

Special thanks to [ profile] bunn, [ profile] beautesauvage13 and [ profile] heydrinkthis.
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Sometimes staying together feels like this.

Amazing Spanish artist José Manuel Castro López.


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January 2017

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