Saint John (15th Century) By Jan Provoost

John the Baptist is featured in this dark art piece. He was killed by beheading. However, this depicts him as very old, and possibly dying from old age. Maybe Provoost wanted to illustrate an alternative ending. What could had been, but wasn’t – a headful John.

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Saint John (15th Century) By Jan Provoost

The Wild Hunt of Odin (1872) By Peter Nicolai Arbo

Based on Johan Sebastian Welhaven’s romantic poem Asgaardsreien. The poem is about a wedding that turns violent and is visited by the Wild Hunt.

The Wild Hunt of Odin (1872) By Peter Nicolai Arbo

The original poem is in Danish. I was able to find a copy. Below is my attempt at a translation.

Asgaardsreien

Sounded through the air At night, a train of frothy black horses rides. In the rush the wild crows draw; they only have clouds for a foothold. It goes over the valley, over Vang and Hei, through Mulm and Veir – they don’t end it. The hiker gets scared on the road. Listen, what a Gny! – It’s Asgaardsreien.

Thor, the strong, with the lifted Hammer, stands high in his frame – is at the forefront; he turns on the shield, and red flames illuminate the nightly train at the battle. When sound is wondering, there is a noise of beetles and rippling equestrian, as the swarm howls, and the people listen with increasing anxiety in the quivering cabins.

The Asgaardsreien in Fylking rides at Autumn and Yinter in harsh nights; but preferably it is at Christmas time – then it holds the party with trolls and jetters, then it lows over the meadow and path, and passes the noisy countryside, – then guard you, farmer, keep the order and order! for Asgaardsreien is soon at Gaarden.

When the beer works in the parlor, and awakens the pagan Christmas customs, and the fire throws its skin from the pit on the swinging knives and wild glances, then there is a thrill through the tumult; then the night of the crowds is heard, then the wall is cracked, as the mug dances, – for Asgaardsreien turns the house around.

A wedding was held on the – Upper Flage three holy Christmas days until the end. Among the Terns there was a bride’s belly, and the groom’s egg between Hungarian. There was a glands in the boned hall of covered tables and expensive metal; there was a treasure that came to order. of Copper on Wall and of Silver on Tables.

And cheerfully, drums and giggles dared, and the groom entered his man’s manhood, leading his bride between swords and maidens – then the halling was easy and powerful! To Dandseren’s mighty cast and hop, the tern flew around like a buzzing summit. Then the noise and the game flowed together, then the hall of life and of the gutter.

The third evening, when the beer was drunk all weekend, by Old and Young, the thirst of the team was off, but the men were drunk and heavy. Our bride again had her crown on; for now the bowl on the table was to go, – and now the master of the kitchen took the floor, and demanded silence with a beat on the table.

When the Beneath Guild crashed into the far-infamous Seims berserker, – The Oins rolled dark and wild, on the foreheads they had blow-marks they made a leap across the floor of the hall – yes, it was the brothers Grim and Wolf! Grim, who had just been displaced by the Bride, now came second-self, and was not the messenger.

The foolish jester got up with the trembling, and had only little to contend with. Every raving man clenching his fist was grabbed in the chest and thrown aside. The groom put down his goblet, got up on the bench, and asked for peace. But the brides drew all the knife from the belt – it was the groom’s life that mattered.

Then the women stumbled into a cluster and formed a guard over the much needed; behind the tables and benches that lay in a heap they stood at the high seat. The oldest woman in their flock now uncovered her grained cap, and then gave the groom the son’s sack, and took him on his lap and held him embraced.

But the brothers endured a woman’s gentleness, they stormed over tables and benches and split the women’s flock with wild songs – then there was no longer peace to think. They seized their offering and dragged him to the door of the hall and out through it. Then there was a furious battle in the yard, and the guests followed wildly.

They crashed with fire and with fires; for over the region was the darkness. Then the grooms stood upright; now he was strengthened by the Winter’s airing. He bent his knife to the cut and to the stand – then he gave what the others offered. The Trends formed an awful bunch, and none of them would let the roof down.

Then Grim tumbled with an eagle, and the blood flowed across his chest. The harder the other Tvende broke and kept each other in the back of the cross. At last the Bridegroom was set against Earth, and the knife all against his throat, – but Wolf held in, and stood anesthetized, and trembled and trembled like the Aspelea.

For through the air in Mulmet, a howling train of gyrating horses whispered; it crossed the forest towards the bridal house, and the bloody guild would be invited. Then there sounded lurking, then there was a noise of beetles and rippling riding clothes. Now it was near, – it came across the hay, – a cry was heard: It is the Asgaardsreien!

Then there was a vein between earth and sky that cast terror into all bosom – it swirled away in growing voice, it struck with wings, it gripped with arms. Then it was Wolf became the dragon in hair and flung in the air and fort of Gaard, yes yes fort over forest, over the mountain top: he asked no more – he was not to be found.

As the alarm quieted about the place of horror, Grim of Djod let the shambles shrink, —but the groom was led over the snow and put on the pillow in the guest room. His head wobbled, his blood flowed – he hovered for a time between life and death; but he was nurtured and well connected. He had lost everything about the spring.

Now he sits stooped and tall, and can gather his food, warmly bathed; now he often sits with Legends in the team and shortens the time for young and old. Then it was the last Christmas Eve when the youth cried out: “Tell, tell!” Then his gaze flickered, then he looked back, then the month he spent his wedding days.

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Martyrdom of Bartholomew (17th Century) By Jusepe Ribera

Poor Saint Bartholomew skinned alive. He is sometimes depicted holding his own flayed skin. After this fucked up torture, he was put out of his misery by being beheading.

The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew (17th Century) By Jusepe de Ribera

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Credit

Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, 17th century. Credit: Wellcome CollectionCC BY

Tryphon (17th Century) By Wenceslas Hollar

Tryphon, or ‘Trypho’, was a famous Greek Grammarian. He contributed many works on language and grammar. This is showcased with the word combination illustration of a common Greek myth – Harpies.

This image is quite fantastical! Not sure why, him being a mortal man, is pictured so.

Tryphon (17th Century) By Wenceslas Hollar

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The Opening of the Sixth Seal (1494) By Albrecht Durer

In the Book of Revelation, the Seven Seals are the seven symbolic seals that secure the book or scroll that John Patmos saw in an apocalyptic vision.

Sixth Seal

Revelation 6:12-17
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of the heavens fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The Opening of the Sixth Seal (1494) By Albrecht Durer

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The Penitent Magdalene (1609) By Jose de Ribera

She was the perfect lover of Christ. Her beauty was made appealing. This was to show repentance as such too. A symbol of sacrament of penance and contemplation.

The Penitent Magdalene (1609) By Jose de Ribera

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Romulus and Remus (1575) By Antoine Lafrery

Romulus and Remus are twin brothers, whose life story tells the events that led to the founding of Rome. Since ancient times, the image of the twins being suckled by a she-wolf has been a symbol of the Roman people.

Romulus and Remus (1575) By Antoine Lafrery
Romulus and Remus (1575) By Antoine Lafrery - Upclose

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Monk Fighting a Demon (1804) by Edward Bell

A monk, a ghost, and a statue of the pope, are fighting a demon. The demon was trying to snatch a corpse from its grave.

Sounds the the start to a joke, “A Monk, a ghost, and a statue of the pope, walk into a bar….”. I don’t get out much.

Monk Fighting a Demon (1804) by Edward Bell

Image source. This work is available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images.