Are these the dirtiest manuscript doodles of the Middle Ages?

We've previously discussed how medieval manuscript writers used the margins of documents to gripe and sketch. And indeed, artists sometimes used the margins to add bawdy levity to the text.


The above manuscript (circa 1350, from Northern France or Belgium) depicts Jacques de Longuyon's poem "Vows of the Peacock." Outside this particular panel lies a cheeky interloper. As the Morgan Library explains of this scene:

Scene, upsetting Chess Game of Fesonas and Cassiel the Baudrain — Cassamus, standing between Fesonas and Cassiel the Baudrain playing chess, raises cushion to upset the board. Flanking them are two women (including, possibly, Edeas) and three men, one with sword [...] In left margin, nude man moons figures in the miniature.


Of course, there's this manuscript art at left — also from 1350s Belgium/Northern France and de Longuyon's same poem — which depicts a man playing the trumpet through his anus. So there is some historical precedent to the rectal fanfare from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

(And to all you medievalists out there, what are your favorite salacious margin scribbles?)


[Via Improbable Research]

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