Sea pigs

Sea pigs /porci marini/ 8.8X5.9 cm
The miniature illuminating the text from Isidor /XII.VII.12—17/ is one of the most vivid and interesting in the bestiary. The text provides information on sea pigs, digging up earth under water, on the sword-fish /gladius/ on the flying fish /serra/ and the sea-scorpion /scorpio/. This miniature is clearly different from the other miniatures in the bestiary. It is painted in pink, light green, light orange — the colours rarely seen in the bestiary. The contours of the figures are delicately but clearly outlined; a lively game of the bright silhouettes distinguishes this representation from the majority of the miniatures which are static, monumental, their colours laconic. The style of this miniature is close to that of the first miniatures of the manuscript illustrating the scenes of Creation. The New York bestiary does not have a counterpart of this miniature. In the depiction of the gay and lively scene full of fairylike movement, one can perceive the painter’s acute interest in the picture and the story. The freshness of the painter’s vision was due to the naivety, curiousity, amazement and a pure childlike joy, all of which was lost in the more refined Romanesque and Gothic miniatures.





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