‘Unleash the beasts!’
It’s 2020. Consider them unleashed. The National Gallery of Canada has unearthed an additional 70 terrifying creatures – these ones dreamed up by 45 Baroque and Renaissance artists from Germany, France, Holland, Italy. The beautifully befanged and beclawed beings find their home in an exhibit entitled: Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450-1700).
The word monster, we learn, is derived from the Latin word monstrum, which refers to ‘an anamoly in the natural order.’ As visitors walk through the Ottawa exhibit, they will see how artists used these wild-eyed creatures to reflect day to day anxieties, embody religious lessons, celebrate literary imaginings, and illustrate Greco-Roman myths.
If you’re not going to be in Ottawa before the exhibit ends mid-November, you can see a fair number of the works online.
Hendrick Goltzius. The Dragon Devouring The Companions Of Cadmus
Jacques Callot. The Temptation of Saint Anthony
Andrea Mantegna. Battle of the Sea Gods
Unknown Italian artist. Grotesque Winged Head
Albrecht Dürer. The Beast with Lamb’s Horns
Beautiful Monsters @ National Gallery of Canada