hoefnagels

▪Flower Arrangements, Peacock, Butterflies, and Insect.
Artist: Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)
and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575)
Culture: Flemish and Hungarian
Place of origin: Vienna, Austria
Date: 1561 - 1562; illumination added 1591 - 1596
Medium: Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment

▪Hyssop, Insect, and Cuckoo Flower.
Artist: Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)
and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575)
Culture: Flemish and Hungarian
Place of origin: Vienna, Austria
Date: 1561 - 1562; illumination added 1591 - 1596

▪Insects, Carnation, and Judas Tree.
Artist/Maker: Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)
and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575)
Culture: Flemish and Hungarian
Place of origin: Vienna, Austria
Date: 1561 - 1562; illumination added 1591 - 1596
Medium: Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment

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These are pages from an absolutely extraordinary book called Mira calligraphiae monumenta. The book was first written by Georg Bocskay in 1560s a showcase of the highest quality calligraphy. In 1590s the book was reprinted with addition of natural history-themed drawings by Joris Hoefnagel. 

You can find the whole collection of drawings from the book on google art archive.

The titles of  drawings:

Gillyflower, Insect, Germander, Almond, and Frog

Chard Leaves and Red-Winged Grasshopper

Queen of Spain Fritillary, Apple, Mouse, and Creeping Forget-Me-Not 

The jackalope is a mythical animal of North American folklore, and is often considered an urban legend, is described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns. The word “jackalope” is a combination of the words “jackrabbit” and “antelope”.

Stories or descriptions of animal hybrids have appeared in many cultures worldwide. In Europe, the horned rabbit appeared in Medieval and Renaissance folklore. Natural history texts such as Historiae Naturalis de Quadrupetibus Libri (The History Book of Natural Quadrangles) by Joannes Jonstonus (John Jonston) in the 17th century and illustrations such as Animalia Qvadrvpedia et Reptilia (Terra): Plate XLVII by Joris Hoefnagel (1522–1600) in the 16th century included the horned hare. These early scientific texts described and illustrated the hybrids as though they were real creatures, but by the end of the 18th century scientists generally rejected the idea of horned hares as a biological species.

References to horned rabbits may originate in sightings of rabbits affected by the Shope papilloma virus, named for Richard E. Shope, M.D., who described it in a scientific journal in 1933. Shope initially examined wild cottontail rabbits that had been shot by hunters in Iowa and later examined wild rabbits from Kansas. They had “numerous horn-like protuberances on the skin over various parts of their bodies. The animals were referred to popularly as ‘horned’ or 'warty’ rabbits." Legends about horned rabbits also occur in Asia and Africa as well as Europe, and researchers suspect the changes induced by the virus might underlie at least some of those tales.

There are, of course, the famous cases of taxidermy and frauds, but the horned rabbit legends have been tainted by these fakes.


What do you think about the infamous jackalope, or other mythical horned rabbits of lore? Real, fake or simply diseased?

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A Renaissance book inspires a series almost 550 years later.

“Most botanical artists are collectors—leaves, acorns, seed pods, all sorts of lovely things sit on shelves in our studios. I decided to take a few of my things and create a small watercolor painting.” 

More on the artist and her connection to Joris Hoefnagel here.

All illustrations courtesy of Denise Walser-Kolar

9 Moths from 9 Separate Illustrations


All are available for free download, see full manuscript pages below:

Happy National Moth Week!