6. In European medieval paintings, Satan, the enemy of light, and his demons were equipped with bat wings ...
7. an catalog of gruesome creatures ...
bat-demons, dragons, and other flying creatures ...
a bat has intercepted one of the free-falling damned (somehow this is probably
a worse case than crashing directly into the rocks or dark waters below),
as with most the monsters, it has talon-ed, raptor claws, 8 prominent horns
La Chute des damnés
The Fall of the Damned
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille
12. During the civil war in Arezzo, St. Francis saw demons over the city.
He called upon a brother of his order, Sylvester, to drive them out.
The saint in deep prayer seems to pass his strength on to Brother Sylvester,
who raises his hand commandingly in the direction of the city of towers
and the demons flee, and the citizens can return to their business in peace.
Giotto di Bondone
Legend of St Francis, Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo
La légende de Saint-François, François d'Assise exorcisant les démons d'Arezzo
Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Assisi
Basilique supérieure Saint François, Assise
17. on the road to hell ...
the damned, are being seized by monsters and dragged into the hell
against a backdrop of smoke and fire;
the bat-winged devil tugs at the hand of the sinner sitting on the shore
in a pensive attitude, seemingly overwhelmed by remorse
Jheronimus Bosch, Jérôme Bosch
Polyptych Visions of the Hereafter, panel Hell
Polyptyque Visions de l'au-delà, anneau droit Enfer ou La Rivière vers l'enfer
Palazzo Ducale, Venice
22. “He wrestled an Indian monster larger than an elephant,
fought ants the size of foxes, and contested bats with human teeth” ...
Alexander the Great battling a large three-horned beast, rats and bats.
Le Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre
f. 51v, Alexander fighting a three-horned beast and other strange animals
F. 51v, Alexandre combattant une bête à trois cornes et d'autres animaux étranges
British Library, Royal 20 B XX, f. 51v, London
26. Truth, a lighted candle, a set of scales , a globe, a book
on her head a white dove
Deception, a stone with the image of a skull
on her head a bat ! ... an ugly volatile that never washes, ignoring the soap
... Crispin needed a “bird” of bad omen to match the dove of Truth
Crispin van den Broeck
An Allegory of Truth and Deception
Une allégorie de la Vérité et le Mensonge
30. A tournament of two bizarre combatants, cheered on by equally bizarre
the knight on the left has a letter attached to his lance which is written
by Emperor Rudolf II.,
his opponent rides on an empty barrel with a barking dog.
From his torso emerge symbols of vice: dice and playing cards, snakes,
a witch, a dragon
The meaning of this large, allegorical drawing still remains to be deciphered.
Unknown autor, Prague school, Auteur inconnu, école de Prague
Allegory of Emperor Rudolf II
Allégorie de l'empereur Rodolphe II
34. a fat and ugly bat above Saint Anthony's head ...
In a cave, the kneeling Anthony prays with folded hands for an open book
that rests on a skull.
The recluse is surrounded by all kinds of devils and monsters that try to
a devil in a monk's hood with a rosary,
in the sky a frog and a bird on flying fish hold a joust
a bat supporting the hellish going
David Teniers the Younger, David Teniers le Jeune
The temptation of St Anthony
La Tentation de saint Antoine
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam
38. a bat
Teniers' predilection: a witch with flying hair
David Teniers the Younger, David Teniers le Jeune, atelier de, studio of
Scène de sorcellerie
42. Urania, holding an armillary sphere, is accompanied by a cloud of birds
symbolizing the airy element.
Many different bird species can be seen in this painting,
but among the birds are also several bats.
In the early 17th century, bats were often not.
Jan Brueghel the Elder, Jan Brueghel l'Ancien
Allegory of Air
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon
46. In the middle of the night, a group of old witches practice their magic
upon a terrified man.
Flying over their heads, bats, owls and barn owls appear;
all of them, according to tradition, blood-sucking animals …
Francisco de Goya
The Spell or Witches
La Conjuration ou Les Sorcières
Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
50. a demonic ritual by the light of the moon ...
The devil, in the form of a he-goat and wearing a crown of vine leaves,
alluding to the iconography of Bacchus, presides over a circle of witches.
One of the women is offering him a sacrifice of a new-born baby whilst
an old hag presents him with a skeletal child
in the night sky, the moon shines and bats fly
Francisco de Goya
Le Sabbat des sorcières
Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
56. inspired by Shakespeare's Tempest …
Ariel, the magical spirit flying on a bat's back.
Velvety, the bat's pointed ears seem to gently brush the fairy's skin.
Ariel on a Bat's Back
Ariel sur le dos d'une chauve-souris
Tate Britain, London
60. the eighth circle of hell conveniently set aside for falsifiers and counterfeiters,
Dante and Virgil,
two humans tearing each other to shreds,
strange pile of bodies in the background
the smirking bat-demon creature flying above
William Adolphe Bouguereau
Dante et Virgile
Dante and Virgil
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
65. Hovering, shameless nudity, the male gaze with eyes full of fury,
arms raised in an incantation, this daughter of Dracula soars through
the night sky spreading its bat-like wings.
And we, the viewers are her target.
Albert Joseph Penot
La Femme Chauve-Souris
69. Under the obedience of the bat,
the witches fly in the brilliance of their nakedness,
ride their brooms and the Sabbath goat,
swirl and writhe
The witch at center stares at us and draws us into the scene, with both evil
and lust in her eyes.
Luis Ricardo Falero
Witches going to their Sabbath, Witches going to their Sabbath
or The departure of the witches, or The Vision of Faust
Sorcières allant à leur sabbat, Sorcières partant pour le sabbat,
Départ pour le Sabbat, La Vision de Faust
73. … in a cloud that conceals demons, evil creatures and bats, Eleanor, poison
stands in front of
Rosamund surrounded by winged cherubs and shadowy doves.
Rosamund stares at the flask of poison held by the Queen, recognizing
(Rosamund was the mistress of Henry II. Legends say that he tried to keep
her safe by installing her in a house called Labyrinthus, which was in effect
a maze. But Queen Eleanor found her way through by using a thread and
Evelyn De Morgan
Queen Eleanor and the Fair Rosamund
La reine Aliénor et la belle Rosemonde
The De Morgan Foundation, Wandsworth Museum, Compton
Bats in European Paintings
La chauve-souris dans les peintures européennes
images and text credit www.
Music The Piano Guys Code Name Vivaldi (Bourne Soundtrack-Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto)
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