March 22, 2018 9:55 AM   Subscribe

"...these are the most curious pictures that can be found in the whole world..." A fascinating and discursive essay on Les songes drolatiques de Pantagruel, a 16th-century collection of enigmatic monsters.
posted by theodolite (11 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
In a better world, these would have been our Smurfs.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:59 AM on March 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

Quite a number of these have strong Jim Woodring vibes. Thanks for posting!
posted by wires at 10:39 AM on March 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love how the expressions are either going about their business or ohshit! someone saw me!

Great find! Never would have discovered this (or the website for that matter) without MeFi!
posted by A hidden well at 11:59 AM on March 22, 2018

I would play the hell out of the video game with those monsters in it.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:34 PM on March 22, 2018

Like Bosch, in woodcut, with codpieces.

I’ll take three dozen.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like the way that it's not clear how these creatures are put together, or where their clothing ends and bodies begin. In many cases their clothes and accessories appear to be sort of structural, such that these beings would probably just collapse into a jumble if brought into the real world. They're delightfully nonsensical, sort of sinister and whimsical at the same time. Wonderful!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:23 PM on March 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Pantagruel's Nativity by Gentle Giant - there's a few Rabelais references in their early stuff.
posted by parki at 2:05 PM on March 22, 2018

Thanks for posting these, theodolite. I first heard of Les songes drolatiques via (Mefi's own) peacay's blog Bibliodyssey. It's intrigued me ever since. I have a decrepit copy of a 19th-century facsimile of the book (not in one piece any more, alas) which I still enjoy leafing through now & then.
posted by misteraitch at 2:41 PM on March 22, 2018

Thanks to the Bibliodyssey link, I think the whole book is available here.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:16 PM on March 22, 2018

These are really cool. Looks like someone got into the mushrooms ( or possibly ergot laced bread ).
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:42 PM on March 23, 2018

Worst bunny girl ever.
posted by Segundus at 2:51 AM on March 24, 2018

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