The monkeys' funeral in the Pilgrimage Window, York Minster

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Abstract

The ‘monkeys' funeral’ in the lower border of the Pilgrimage Window, York Minster, has long been recognized as a ‘parody’ of the funeral of the Virgin, enacted by apes. Whilst it is frequently commented upon as a curiosity, it has not hitherto been the subject of detailed iconographic inquiry. The present article addresses the image in the context of other marginalia, both in the Minster and elsewhere, along with late medieval apocryphal and literary texts, in order to explore the possibility of iconographic meaning beyond mere decoration. It is concluded that the image may provide a pictorial gloss upon the main iconography of the window, aiding the viewer to position himself within the devotional hierarchy depicted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-299
Number of pages10
JournalArt History
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

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