Magic, Monsters and Macabre : Manuscript containing illustrations of strange beasts and men, women and children.

Magic, Monsters and Macabre

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A small eighteenth-century manuscript which contains 54 images of what may be called 'marvels' or 'monsters'. The half-page watercolour illustrations are enclosed with an inked border and most are accompanied by a short explanatory text in Italian.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The depictions range from people who appear to have a recognisable medical condtion to fantastic bodies merging human and animal characteristics, to monstrous animal births. This may reflect an interest in 'curiosities', with many of the depictions drawing on traditions of 'monsters'. The compiler of this manuscript appears to have copied from other sources, but interestingly does not include references to religious concerns which may have been part of the original tale. (Warr, ‘A Series of Fifty-four Clever Drawings on Vellum’: Monstrous Births in Italian ms 63', Bulletin.).</p>

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