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Thread: Medieval elephants always look really worried, and it's a big mood.

(Richard de Fournival, Bestiaire d’amours ('Li Bestiaires maistre Richart de Furnival'), Arras ca. 1300 (BnF, Français 25566, fol. 96v))
Oh dear

(Liber de natura bestiarum, England after 1236 (British Library, Harley 3244, fol. 39v)
Just trying his best, despite his anxieties

(Thomas of Cantimpré, Liber de natura rerum, France ca. 1290 [Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 320, fol. 59v])
This elephant has Seen Some Stuff

( Harley 3244)
In a resigned tone: "I guess this is happening now."

(BL, Harley 4751)
All medieval elephants are basically Eeyore

(BL, Royal 12 F XIII)
It's going to be ok, little elephant! Don't be blue!

(Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 101, fol. 195v)
Finally, it's worth noting that medieval Europeans basically had no idea how to draw elephants, so no wonder the elephants looked so sad. /fin

(BL, Royal 19 d I)
FYI, there are lots of dragons in these pix bc dragons supposedly ate elephants. Bede said the elephant is "commonly recognized as a cold-blooded animal of great chastity" and, because it's so cool and chaste, dragons like to eat elephants to cool their "own burning entrails."
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