I've always loved the strange and wonderful creatures in medieval art, so I was keen to have a look at this book. Edited by Elizabeth Morrison (author or editor of several other art books, including Beasts Factual and Fantastic, and A Knight for the Ages: Jacques de Lalaing and the Art of Chivalry, it contains over 270 colour illustrations.
There are real animals (as imagined by the artists of the time) such as tigers, bears and apes, and fantastic creatures like dragons and unicorns, in the form of manuscript illustrations, tapestries and sculptures. It's amazing that these illustrations have survived so many years and still seem to practically burst from the page, full of personality.
The text explains what a bestiary is and discusses its importance and influence on modern artists. It also goes into the significance of particular animals, as well as technical issues, such as how scribes made room for antlers in their page designs.
The Book of Beasts is a fascinating art book which will appeal to artists as well as anyone with an interest in Medieval history.
Rating:4/5 Published: June 4, 2019
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary ARC of this book by Getty Publications, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.