Les nouveaux riches

I believe that the most difficult issue facing those of the nouveau riche today is not about acquiring wealth, but not looking vulgar and uncultured when spending some of it.

Then again, most of them can’t tell classy from tacky, so it doesn’t matter to them as long as they have plenty of generic crystal and gold chandeliers in each of their billion rooms in their gaudy mansions.

If you want to look like the gentry, then at least act like it.

Sorry, I just watched “Queen of Versailles” and threw up in my mouth a little, so I had to vent my anger.

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erikkwakkel: Medieval animals made out of words This is a…


London, BL, Harley 647, fol. 5v (swan)


London, BL, Harley 647, fol. 3v (fish)


London, BL, Harley 647, fol. 9r (rabbit)


London, BL, Harley 647, fol. 7r (eagle)


London, BL, Harley 647, fol. 2v (ram)


London, BL, Harley 647, fol. 8v (dog)

erikkwakkel:

Medieval animals made out of words

This is a special book from the early Middle Ages (France, 9th century). Not only does it contain a high volume of very attractive images, but these images are also not what you would expect: they are drawn, as it were, with words. They illustrate Cicero’s Aratea, a work of astronomy. Each animal represents a constellation and the written words in them are taken from an explanatory text by Hyginus (his Astronomica). His words are crucial for these images because the drawings would not exist without them. It is not often in medieval books that image and text have such a symbiotic relationship, each depending on the other for its very existence.

Pics (BL): London, British Library, Harley 647 (France, 9th century). The manuscript is available fully digitized here. More about illustrated Aratea manuscripts here. English extracts from Hyginus’ texts are found here (including the swan).

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