Thursday, April 12, 2018

Not Rudolf Ems, or, Some Problems with Internet Images

This images has been circulating on Tumblr attributed to Rudolf von Ems, who lived from 1200-1254. When I saw it I thought, hey, that's cool, but no way does it date to the 13th century. So I looked up Rudolf von Ems, and it turns that he was a writer, not a painter. This is an illustration from his Weltchronik, or world history. My daughter and I eventually tracked it back to a manuscript in the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, which indeed dates to the 14th century, not the 13th. Ha.

But seriously the number of misattributed, misdated, and mistitled works of art on the internet is just a tiny glimpse of the perils of believing what you read on the average site. Plus there are all the things I think are fake, as I have often noted here. So caveat lector. When in doubt, try a google image search; sometimes it will find another site with the right information. Then check wikipedia and the web sites of the big museums. If  you can't find what you want in those places, you may be in for a search, but when you solve the puzzle your satisfaction will be its own reward.

5 comments:

David said...

What clues indicated to you that this couldn't be 13th century? I have no idea how to date this stuff.

John said...

Doesn't it look a lot like the Luttrell Psalter? Especially in the faces and poses of the human figures?

David said...

Never heard of the Luttrell Psalter.

David said...

I really don't have a clue. We're talking blind ignorance seeking knowledge.

John said...

Then you have to start by looking at lots and lots of images of manuscript art, using some with dates. Do you have the Elizabeth Hallam books on medieval England? Good place to start.