Drawing with words
These images are not just spectacular to look at, they are also special from a production point of view. The shared feature in all four of them is the manner in which the pictures are formed: with words! The lines that make up the rider and the dachshund are, if you look carefully, tiny scribbly lines of Hebrew. The swan and hare are shaped - filled - with bold ninth-century writing. Cases like this throw our regular distinction of text versus image upside-down: the two can obviously not always be strictly separated.
More about this unusual practice in this longer blog post I wrote.
Pics: London, British Library, Harley 647 (hare and swan); London, British Library, Add. 21160 (dachshund and rider).
14. November 2014
von Bibliotheca Altonensis
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