Materia curiosa 1

Angel as Demon Killer
Hours of Catherine of Cleves, Utrecht, c. 1440
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum, Ms. M945

Mouth of Hell, det. fol. 97r
The Hours of Catherine of Cleves is the greatest Netherlandish illuminated manuscript in the world. Its 157 miniatures are by the gifted Master of Catherine of Cleves (active ca. 1435–60), who is named after this book. The Master of Catherine of Cleves is considered the finest and most original illuminator of the medieval northern Netherlands, and this manuscript is his masterpiece. The manuscript Catherine commissioned is a prayer book containing an unusually rich series of devotions illustrated with especially elaborate suites of miniatures. Important is the artist's keen sense of observation. All the miniatures are filled with amazing detail. Narrative was also one of the great talents of the Master of Catherine of Cleves—he could tell a good story (Demons and Devotions).


Your ticket to Hell: Demon with the Seven Deadly Sins

Double-mouth of Hell

Hans Friedrich Schorer
Skull in a cartouche,
with a grotesque mask below and a cherub above

Germany, 1651. Drawing
Pen and brown ink, with watercolour, heightened with white
British Museum, London
See also Online Database: Grotesques (2,707 items).

Materia valiosa
Luttrell Psalter
Farnese Hours
Faces of the Grotesque
Neuw Grottessken Buch
Menachem Kipnis
Roman Vishniac