A thread of medieval paintings of animals that look nothing like real animals because the artist had never seen them.
Starting with - The Oyster Image
A Crocodile, Unknown Artist, c. 1250-1260 Image
A Hippopotamus, Jacob van Maerlant, c. 1350 Image
A Tiger, Unknown Artist, 12th Century Image
A Snail, Jacob van Maerlant, c. 1350 Image
A Whale, Unknown Artist, 13th Century Image
Lions And Bears, Unknown Artist, Early 13th Century Image
A Crocodile, Edward Topsell, 1658 Image
Elephants, Unknown Artist, Late 13th Century Image
This elephant with a tornado trunk.
By Jacob van Maerlant from Der Naturen Bloeme Image
This earless elephant with a castle on its back.
By Guillaume le Clerc from the Bestiary of William the Clerk Image
This beaver with a fish tail.
From Livre des Simples Médecines Image
This crocodile with a cougar head.
From the Rochester Bestiary Image
This leopard that's clearly distraught over his misrepresentation.
From the Aberdeen Bestiary Image
This Owl with a human face Image
A Beaver, Edward Topsell, 1658 Image
Crocodile, Unknown Artist, Late 13th Century Image
A Rhinoceros, Caspar Schmalkalden, 17th Century Image
The result of looking into these paintings has led me to immense admiration of the ‘have a go’ attitude that Jacob van Maerlant must’ve possessed.
*an 🙄

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