The Magical Calendar is one of the most amazing pieces of art and information available in Western Hermeticism.
Published in 1620, the Magical Calendar contains tables of correspondences arranged by number from one to twelve. They are based in part on extensive tables in Agrippa, book 2, chapters 4-14 but go well beyond anything in Agrippa, especially sigils. The engraving was executed by the brilliant Johannes Theodorus de Bry who illustrated other important occult works such as those of Robert Fludd. The author was Johann Baptista Großchedel. Carlos Gilly has identified the original manuscript on which the printed Magical Calendar was based as British Library manuscript Harley 3420.
Adam McLean published a wonderful study of it in The Magical Calendar: A Synthesis of Magical Symbolism from the Seventeenth-Century Renaissance of Medieval Occultism (available via amazon.com)
First panel from Bernard Notke’s “Dance of Death” (Danse macabre) from the remaining panels viewable at St Nicolas’ Church, Tallinn, Estonia.
His “Danse macabre” painting in St. Mary’s Church, Lubeck, was destroyed in the bombing of Lubeck in WWII.
The verson in St. Nicolas’s church is sadly incomplete, but is still 7.5 metres long (complete it would have been 30 metres long).
Danse macabre paintings were common in late medieval times, up to the 16th Century as plagues such as the Black Death spread across Europe. The pictures served to show that death would come for anyone regardless of their position in life. No one was safe, from the youngest and the poorest to the rich and important. In the paintings Death is depicted as a skeletal figure, leading people away from this life to the next.
in this first panel of the picture the preacher tells us the meaning behind the painting, while Death apparently serenades us with bagpipe music…
Jan Matejko, Astronomer Copernicus, conversation with God, 1872
Silver; gilded and wire filigree, applied enamel and pearls
Metropolitan Museum of Art artifact database
The Aldrevandini Beaker, 1330
This beaker is a particularly well preserved example of Venetian medieval glassware. It is not believed that this glass was made for a particular family, as there are three different heraldic shields on the glass. The Latin inscription on the beaker translates as ‘Master Aldrevandin made me’.
John William Waterhouse : Consulting the oracle