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Protestant Princes against the Papal Beasts from Rome

Keywords: Reformation, Religious Wars, Protestant Schmalkaldic League, Lucas Cranach the Younger, Johann Friedrich I When Martin Luther died in 1546, the Lutheran electors, princes and dukes took the role of the defenders of the reformed Church. They were depicted as knights fighting against the papal beasts from Rome. The papacy were depicted as monstrous beasts… Continue reading Protestant Princes against the Papal Beasts from Rome

The Monster of Cracow: Monstrous Births as Portents during the Reformation

Keywords: Monstrous Births, Portents, Reformation The monstrous birth resembling a demon with faces embedded in its body become known as the Monster of Cracow, after its birthplace in 1547. The image of the monstrous birth was reproduced in multiple prints. It appeared in Jacob Rüeff’s (1500-1558) De conceptu et generatione hominis, (‘On the Conception and… Continue reading The Monster of Cracow: Monstrous Births as Portents during the Reformation

Shining a Light on Darkness: A broadsheet marking 100 years after the Reformation

Keywords: Martin Luther, Reformation, Lucas Cranach the Younger The 1617 broadsheet entitled Martinus Lutherus ss. theologiæ … antitypus orthodoxae religionis … marked the centenary of Martin Luther’s publication of his ninety-five theses. The broadsheet is divided into two contrasting frames. Luther has brought people to the direct radiating light of Christ on the left, while… Continue reading Shining a Light on Darkness: A broadsheet marking 100 years after the Reformation

Bestiality and Human-Animal Hybrids: Inter-Faith Relations and the Corruption of the Christian Body

Keywords: Monstrous Births, Bestiality, Jews, Monstrous Races, Cynocephali A tale spread across Europe during the sixteenth century of a monstrous birth that possessed the legs and a curled tale of a canine, and the upper body of a young boy. An illustrative woodcut of the ‘dog boy’ posed like an ethnographic portrait appeared in Konrad… Continue reading Bestiality and Human-Animal Hybrids: Inter-Faith Relations and the Corruption of the Christian Body

Myth-Making in Cannibalistic Portrayals of Native Americans

Keywords: Cannibalism, Native Americans, Hans Staden, Theodor de Bry, William Arens In sixteenth-century prints, Native Americans were depicted in scenes of cannibalism with hanging body parts or in the act of cooking human flesh. Europeans were already preconditioned to associate the foreign Other with man-eaters when exploration shifted to the New World. Native Americans became… Continue reading Myth-Making in Cannibalistic Portrayals of Native Americans