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News › “Wild Man” Images in European Art
“Wild Man” Images in European Art

Research Paper by Pearl Jo Prihoda

Editor's Note: As recently discussed in my own article, What's In an Image?, Humans had a need to depict the world around them in their artwork. Bigfoot, or in this case ‘Wild Man,’ was important enough to European's during the 14-19th century, that images of hairy humans (male or female) made their way into texts, cloth, stained glass windows, alters, cathedral ceilings and doorways, and sculptures. The ‘Wild Man’ was significant enough to everyday life that it was necessary to represent even the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalen as hairy women of the woods. Below is a small collection of images, information, and web locations of the some European ‘Wild Man’ art gathered by Ms. Prihoda. Please enjoy! Kathy Strain

From: Early Manuscripts at Oxford University



Figure 1. The Romance of Alexander in French verse, with miniatures illustrating legends of Alexander the Great and with marginal scenes of everyday life, by the Flemish illuminator Jehan de Grise and his workshop, 1338-44. Image 63. (Note: Click all, then click on image 63).


From: The British Library


Figure 2. Alexander and the Savages. Click here for more information.


From: The National Library, Paris


Figure 3. Alexander and the Wildman. Click here for more information.


From: The British Library


Figure 4. Alexander burns the Wild Man (from the early 15th century). Click here for more information.


From: The Cathedral Notre-Dame, Semur-en-Auxois, Côte-d'or, France.”


Figure 5. A Wildman and his “Showman.” Note: hairy body, absence of neck, low cranium, big face with high cheekbones, and wide nose. Click here for more information.


From: De Sint Jan kathedraal


Figure 6. Wildmen (from 14th century). Click here for more information.


From: St Michael, Peasenhall


Figure 7. Woodwose (from the 17th or 18th century). Click here for more information.


From: St. Mary's Church, Beverley


Figure 8. Two wildmen. Click here for more information.


From: the Altarpiece of the Magdalen, housed at Bayerisches National Museum, Munich.


Figure 9. Mary Magdalen with two Angels. Unpainted wood, dating from 1490-1492. Click here for more information.


From: The British Library


Figure 10. St. Mary of Egypt. Miniature with Mary of Egypt, at the beginning of her suffrage. Originating from Paris, France. Click here for more information.


From: The British Library


Figure 11. St Mary Magdalene. Click here for more information.


From: The Fitzwilliam Museum


Figure 12. Mary. Click here for more information.


From: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


Figure 13. The Elevation of the Magdalen (from the16th century). Click here for more information.


From: The Syracuse University


Figure 14. Mary. Click here for more information.


From: The Syracuse University


Figure 15. Wildmen of the Forest. Click here for more information.


From: Arts and Antique Exhibit.


Figure 16. Wildman (a franco-flemish tapestry from the 15th century). Click here for more information.


From: Sacco, in Valgerola


Figure 17. l'inafferrabile Uomo Selvaggio, in una delle sue rappresentazioni. Click here for more information.


From: National German Museum


Figure 18. Two apes. Click here for more information.


From: National German Museum


Figure 19. Wildman. Click here for more information.


From: A Premier Gallery of Antiquities, Ancient Coins, and World Art


Figure 20. Wildman. Click here for more information.


From: Victoria and Albert Museum


Figure 21. Spoon with figure of wild man. London, 1450. Click here for more information.


From: Loire en Rhone - Alpes


Figure 22. Wildman. Click here for more information.


From: Loire en Rhone - Alpes


Figure 23. Wild woman and child. Click here for more information.


From: St. Mary's Church of England, Beverley


Figure 24. Ape doctor. Click here for more information.


From: Church of Norfolk


Figure 25. Wildman hero. Click here for more information.


From: the Schnütgen Museum, Cologne


Figure 26: Wild Man from a Choir Stall. Click here for more information.


From: The British Library


Figure 27. Wild man abducting woman. Click here for more information.


From: Duke University


Figure 28. Wild Man (from the 15th century). Click here for more information.


From: The National Gallery of Art


Figure 29. European 'wildman' and his family. The image (Family Selvantica) or "The Wild Condition" is of French origin dated to the Renaissance (c. 1500 CE) and appears as an illumination on a parchment manuscript.


From: The Museo romano di Villa Giulia


Figure 30. Fregio Della Coppetta Fenicio-Cipriota. Click here for more information.


From: Elegant Repository of Natural History


Figure 31. Oran Outang, 1804. Click here for more information.


From: The National Museum of France


Figure 32. Wildman watching. Click here for more information.


From: Bodley, Oxford


Figure 33. Wildman. Click here for more information.


From: The British Library


Figure 34. Male and female wildmen. Click here for more information.


From: France.


Figure 35. France man of the forest. Click here for more information.


From: Museum of Zuruck


Figure 36. "Wildem Mann" created in 1570. Click here for more information.


Pearl Jo Prihoda is from Washington State. She maintains a website that includes many more images of the 'Wild Man.' Thank you to Ms. Prihoda for allowing the AIBR to feature her work on our website.

Posted by Kathy.Strain on Friday, May 26, 2006 (21:47:00) (12788 reads)
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