The Apocalypse Tapestry is a 14th century French work commissioned by the Duke of Anjou. In over 90 scenes it portrays the apocalypse as described by John in the New Testament book of Revelations. Allusions to the 100 years war with England are also present. The Anjous held the tapestry for a century before gifting it to Angers Cathedral. During the French Revolution the tapestry was stolen, cut into pieces, and used for functional purposes ranging from floor mats to insulating stables. During the 19th century a canon of the cathedral located the pieces (all but 16 were successfully recovered) and began restorative work. After World War II the tapestry once again moved, this time to Chateau d’Angers. In order to preserve the 300 foot masterpiece a special gallery with dim lighting and custom ventilation was built within the castle where it remains on view today.  


The mythological headless creature known as a Blemmyes. Believed to have had their eyes in their shoulders and mouth in their chests.

The Rutland Psalter.  Folios 57r, 88r 84r respectively.

Manuscript made in England, possibly in London circa AD 1260

Add MS 62925: Images from the British Library manuscript website.


Claricia’s Medieval Selfie

Claricia was a German illuminator who included a self-portrait in a South German psalter produced circa 1200 CE.

In the self-portrait, she depicts herself swinging from the tail of a letter Q with her name inscribed over her head. Her uncovered head, braided hair, and style of dress (close-fitting tunic, long-waisted dress, long flowing sleeves) suggests that she was a lay student at the convent.

Top 10 Medieval Butt-Licking Cats


The nastiest habit of medieval cats seen via illuminated manuscripts.

10. Regular licking

Thomas of Cantimpré, Liber de natura rerum, France ca. 1290 (Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 320, fol. 72r)

9. Licking and mouse-hunting

Ashmole Bestiary, England 13th century (Bodleian Library, MS. Ashmole 1511, fol. 35v)

8. Licking, mouse-hunting and bird-stealing

Bestiary, England 13th century (Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 764, fol. 51r)

7. Hey cat! Stop licking your butt on the Book of Maccabees or you’ll get an arrow!

below the cat: 1Maccabees 16:18-20. Bible, France 13th century (Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne, U 964, fol. 376r)

6. Otter-like cat

Bestiary, England 15th century (København, Kongelige Bibliotek, GkS 1633 4º, fol. 28v)

5. Devil and the cat worshippers licking the cat’s butt

Jean Tinctor, Traittié du crisme de vauderie (Sermo contra sectam vaudensium), Bruges ca. 1470-1480 (Paris, BnF, Français 961, fol. 1r)

4. Prayerbook cats

Hours of Charlotte of Savoy, Paris ca. 1420-1425 (NY, Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.1004, fol. 125r, 172r)

3. Weirdly long tongue

Book of Hours, Lyon, ca. 1505-1510 (Lyon, BM, Ms 6881, fol. 30r)

2. Villard’s cat

Sketchbook of Villard de Honnecourt, France ca. 1230 (BnF, Français 19093, fol. 7v)

1. Licking Cat of Apocalypse

Christ on Majesty flanked by two angels blowing trumpets of the Last Judgement and a little grey guy licking its butt. Missal, Bavaria ca. 1440-1460 (New York Public Library, MA 112, fol. 7r)

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