FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Diabolical images of Hell and its demons from the 15th Century
12.29.2016
10:09 am
Topics:
Tags:

002snomed.jpg
 
For such a beautiful book containing such rich and powerful religious iconography there is surprisingly little known about Livre de la Vigne Nostre Seigneur other than it is a French book written circa 1450-70 and is an illustrated treatise “on the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ” and “the Antichrist, Last Judgement, Hell, and Heaven.”

The book’s title Livre de la Vigne Nostre Seigneur is an “allusion” to:

...a vineyard often evoked in the Old Testament, planted by Yahweh and symbolizing the people of Israel. The image is taken up in the New Testament [Matthew 20-21], Jesus comparing the Kingdom of God to a vine whose Christians are the winegrowers.

The manuscript is illustrated throughout with stunning miniatures produced by many different hands depicting a diverse range of demons carrying out their dastardly deeds in Hell.

These “medieval demons”:

...undertake a much broader variety of activities—none of them good—and as observable here and elsewhere in the Livre de la Vigne imagery, their physiognomies often incorporate a baroque set of negative pictorial signs, which may include dark skin; deformity; bestial features such as fangs or beaks, horns, hooves, and tails; ugly grimaces; and supernumerary bodily orifices.

Demonic attributes, such as military weapons, pitchforks, fleshhooks, and flails, are associated with warfare, agricultural labour, and torture; and the torments inflicted by demons upon the damned include some of those familiar to medieval viewers from earthly spectacle, including public punishment.

Writer and researcher Jenny Judova notes the “most interesting aspect of these demonic depictions is”:

...that according to F. Carey (The Apocalypse and the Shape of Things to Come, p.93) ‘many of the details of the pictorial depictions follow the account in the text, which incorporates the description (in Latin ) from the book of Job 41:5-12:

(41-5) Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. (41-6) His body is like molten shields, shut close up with scales pressing upon one another. (41-7) One is joined to another, and not so much as any air can come between them: (41-8) They stick one to another and they hold one another fast, and shall not be separated. (41-9) His sneezing is like the shining of fire, and his eyes like the eyelids of the morning. (41-10) Out of his mouth go forth lamps, like torches of lighted fire. (41-11) Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, like that of a pot heated and boiling. (41-12) His breath kindleth coals, and a flame cometh forth out of his mouth’

Jenny also points out the manuscript’s depiction of the Devil is “to some extent based on scripture and not social expectations of what the devil should like and artistic imagination.”

The Bodleain Library has uploaded a large selection of images from Livre de la Vigne Nostre Seigneur which can be viewed here.
 
001snomed.jpg
 
004snomed.jpg
 
More images of Hell’s angels, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
12.29.2016
10:09 am
|
A history of the Devil
04.11.2014
10:55 am
Topics:
Tags:

00666livedride.jpg
 
The Devil first appeared in early Christian iconography as a blue angel assisting Jesus on judgment day separating the goats from the sheep, as described the gospel according to Matthew (25, 31-33):

When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

A 6th century mosaic of the last judgement in Ravenna, in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Italy, clearly shows Jesus flanked on the right by an angel of light, in red; and on the left by an angel of dark, in blue. This is the Devil, who was seen in early medieval times as little more than a low-ranking bureaucrat, who was working for God.

Gradually, as the Catholic/Christian religion extended its power, the Devil began to take on a more sinister form. The blue angel sprouted horns, and slightly resembled a dragon. Interestingly, Hell at this time was not yet the fiery furnace it is depicted as today, the river of flames would be first painted with the last judgment mural at Torcello Cathedral in Venice, produced during the 11th century

The Devil slowly changed color to red, and took on elements from other mythical gods and creatures: firstly Hades, the Greek god of the underworld, and then another Greek god Pan, who was originally the god of shepherd. (His name meant “to pasture.”) It was Pan who gave the Devil his goat’s legs and cloven hooves. Our vision of the Christian Devil owes more to artists than it does to any descriptive verse in the Bible.

By the 1600s, this horned red Devil was used as a means to oppress and enforce the rule of the Catholic/Christian church. Anyone who spoke out against the church was a heretic and in league with the Devil. For if the church was God on earth, then those against the church were on the Devil’s side. This led to the brutal and horrific slaughter of thousands of innocent people.

Today, the Devil is still used to oppress and inspire fear. Most recently, the American government, under President George W. Bush, declared war on an “Axis of Evil,” while at the head of the US military were men who literally believed they were waging war on the Devil.

This documentary examines the creation of the Devil from mythical gods to source of terrorism and fear.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
04.11.2014
10:55 am
|
Cereal Thriller: Vintage cut-out-and-keep Devil Mask
04.29.2013
12:44 pm
Topics:
Tags:

00000sggolleknrocsekalfksam.jpg
 
Having one of these for breakfast would have made me eat my Corn Flakes. A vintage cut-out-and-keep Halloween mask given free with Kellogg’s breakfast cereals.
 
000000111sgggolllekkkkkk.jpg
 
Via Not Pulp Covers
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
04.29.2013
12:44 pm
|
Exorcists Gather in Poland
11.13.2010
07:55 pm
Topics:
Tags:

image
 
Earlier this year, the Holy See’s Chief Exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth claimed, “The Devil resides in the Vatican and you can see the consequences. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, or even appear to be sympathetic. At times he makes fun of me. But I’m a man who is happy in his work.” He also said that the 1973 film The Exorcist gave a “substantially exact” impression of what it was like to be possessed by the Devil.

“People possessed by evil sometimes had to be physically restrained by half a dozen people while they were exorcised. They would scream, utter blasphemies and spit out sharp objects.

From their mouths, anything can come out – pieces of iron as long as a finger, but also rose petals,” said Father Amorth, who claims to have performed 70,000 exorcisms. “When the possessed dribble and slobber, and need cleaning up, I do that too. Seeing people vomit doesn’t bother me. The exorcist has one principal duty - to free human beings from the fear of the Devil.”

Old Nick finds work for idle hands, and this week sees the National Congress of Exorcists in Poland, as increasing numbers of Poles struggle with Satanic possession, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Since 1999 the number of Polish exorcists has surged from 30 to over a 100, despite the influence of the Catholic Church waning in an increasingly secular Poland.

Exorcists attribute the increase in their numbers to growing scepticism in psychology in the wider Polish population, and people looking for spiritual reasons for mental disorders.

In recognition of modern science, however, exorcists now work in tandem with psychologists in order to distinguish between psychiatric problems and the work of the devil.

But while some cases of Satanic work are difficult to diagnose others manifest themselves in shocking circumstances explained exorcist Father Andrzej Grefkowicz.

“An indication of possession is that a person is unable to go into a church, or, if they do, they can feel faint or breathless,” he said.

“Sometimes if they enter a church they are screaming, shouting and throwing themselves on the ground.”

The national congress comes as part of a policy by Poland’s Catholic Church to lift the veil on what was once a secretive practice. Frustrated by the Hollywood image of cross-wielding exorcists engaged in dramatic conflicts with demons the Church intends to show the complicated and often more mundane world of exorcism.

Father Grefkowicz stressed that the most of the time exorcism required quiet prayer.

Quiet prayer? I was hoping it would be a bit more like this…
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
11.13.2010
07:55 pm
|