Tag Archives: art history

Everyone Farts; or, Historical Bathroom Humor

Bonnacon - Medieval monster that farts

Today’s page is dedicated to those fans who have wondered when I’m going to put up more bizarre historical art. About 300 years ago, some genius Japanese artist gave us He-Gassen, or “the fart war.”  I can’t make this up if I tried.  Not quite safe for work. And then there’s more medieval silliness on the matter: Says one source, who I’m sure is totally reputable and wasn’t drinking at all when he wrote it: …in Asia an animal is

Art of the “Dark Age”

Sainte Chapelle, gothic architecture

One of the things I deal with is the continuing use of the term Dark Age to describe the Middle Ages. It wasn’t that dark, at least not overall. It did get pretty ugly at the beginning, however, and it was definitely different from what came before it, which was the Roman Empire. …with whom Renaissance writers were in love with, and they were the ones who decided to call everything I love the Dark Age, meaning the unfortunate time

St. Margaret of Antioch; or, the Teenager Who Destroys Dragons

St. Margaret of Antioch, also known as St. Margaret the Virgin and St. Margaret the Martyr, is purported to have lived at the end of the 3rd century during the great persecution of Christians under the reign of Emperor Diocletian.  Disowned for converting to Christianity, Margaret moved to the countryside where she attracted the unwanted attention of a man who demanded she both marry him and disavow Christianity. The teenage Margaret, already pledged to a life of chastity, refused, at

And Now…Queen Elizabeth Feeds a Cow

Queen Elizabeth I of ENgland Feeds the Dutch Cow, 16th century painting

We have no idea who painted this beyond it was someone in the Netherlands around 1586. Queen Elizabeth I of England was a longtime supporter of the Dutch.  They were connected religiously, with both countries being Protestant, and also economically: the Dutch had the most lucrative trading markets in northern Europe (they create the world’s first stock exchange in 1602), and they produced large amounts of textiles made from English wool. Here, the healthy, productive cow represents the Netherlands.  Elizabeth