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Tony Grist

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A Tree Full Of Penises [Jan. 3rd, 2005|08:51 pm]
Tony Grist
I had to share this.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=7010695

amritarosa put me onto it.

This medieval mural in the Italian city of Massa Marittima shows a bunch of women standing under a tree full of penises. According to a British academic, it illustrates a passage from the Malleus Maleficarum and is the earliest representation of witches in European art.

The Reuters article gives a full explanation.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-03 02:10 pm (UTC)
Well, my goodness gracious!

I'm amazed no graffiti or censorship has covered this over in all these centuries.

Reminds me of the Garden of Earthly Delights. Wonder if Bosch saw it?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-03 02:19 pm (UTC)
Actually it was covered over. Probably not to censor it, but because they needed the wall for something else. It was only uncovered about four years back.

Might Bosch have seen it? I doubt it, but his work comes out of the same weird medieval dream-world.
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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2005-01-03 02:39 pm (UTC)
I cite the Montague Summers trans. of that passage in this old post:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/cataptromancer/2003/11/05/
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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2005-01-03 02:42 pm (UTC)
Also, I think the penis-tree is a pretty common med/early-mod european folk story. That new-ish Medieval Folklore book charts it (I can give a better reference once I get home, and if anyone cares).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-03 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I care. I'd love to have the reference.
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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2005-01-04 08:11 am (UTC)
Okeydokey - I'll get it for you when I'm back at my apartment (still on holiday sojourn right now)...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-04 08:21 am (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-03 02:44 pm (UTC)
What a charming joke.

And the old fools took it as an authentic piece of witchcraft lore. Hah!
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From: morrison_maiden
2005-01-03 05:16 pm (UTC)
Haha, wow! That is quite a find 0__o
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-04 01:18 am (UTC)
Different, eh?
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[User Picture]From: hepo
2005-01-04 03:33 am (UTC)
This made me smile.

Thanks for sharing.

HePo
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-04 03:34 am (UTC)
Don't you just love the middle ages!
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