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.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2000|