• Image of Bestiary: 'The Crane'
  • Image of Bestiary: 'The Crane'

Original drawing, signed
297 x 420mm

. . .
A ‘Bestiary’ was a medieval illuminated text, an index of creatures, with descriptions and information based in allegory, rather than fact. The animals in these books were used to teach lessons of morality, and mythical creatures such as unicorns and dragons often sit alongside real animals. An account of 'The Crane' (sometimes interchangeable with descriptions of the heron, hence the mixed depiction here):

"And after they fall to the earth crying, for to rest, they ordain watches that they may rest the more surely, and the wakers stand upon one foot, and each of them holdeth a little stone in the other foot, high from the earth, that they may be waked by falling of the stone, if it hap that they sleep." (Bartholomaeus Anglicus,13th century CE)