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Checkmate! Medieval People at Play: Images


Here you will find the images from the manuscript exhibition "Checkmate," which opened in the summer of 2010, and which is now accessible as a fully digital exhibition on the website: http://thewalters.org/exhibitions/checkmate/. The show focused on the often overlooked lighter side of the medieval era. Neither stodgy nor perpetually pious, medieval people found time for amusement in the margins of their lives and their manuscripts. From peasant boys shirking their winter duties in order to lob snowballs at each other to monkeys gleefully dancing to "Ring around the Rosie," their antics have come down to us in art.


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Apes Dancing to Ring-around-a-Rosy
Apes Dancing to Ring-around-a-Rosy Title
ca. 1315-25 (Gothic) Period
W.82.193R Accession
monkey, apes, animals, dancing, playful, drawign, drawing, creature, checkmate Tags
Book of Hours
Book of Hours Title
1525 (Renaissance) Period
92.82 Accession
checkmate, puzzle, cryptic Tags
Book of Italian Costumes
Book of Italian Costumes Title
ca. 1588 (High Renaissance) Period
W.477 Accession
Catching Butterflies
Catching Butterflies Title
late 13th century Period
W.109.27V Accession
butterflies, checkmate, butterfly Tags
Chess Piece of a Queen
Chess Piece of a Queen Title
12th century (Medieval) Period
71.145 Accession
checkmate, castle Tags
Corvey Gospel fragment
Corvey Gospel fragment Title
ca. 950-975 (Ottonian) Period
W.751 Accession
Game Piece with Enthroned Figure
Game Piece with Enthroned Figure Title
mid 12th century (Medieval) Period
71.141 Accession
checkmate Tags
Leaf from Book of Hours
Leaf from Book of Hours Title
ca. 1300 Period
W.37.20V Accession
checkmate Tags
Leaf from Book of Hours
Leaf from Book of Hours Title
ca. 1300 Period
W.37.21R Accession
music Tags
Mihr and Mushtari
Mihr and Mushtari Title
881 AH/AD 1476 Period
W.627 Accession
Mirror Cover with a Couple Playing Chess
Mirror Cover with a Couple Playing Chess Title
mid 14th century (Medieval) Period
71.268 Accession
chess Tags
Proverbes en rimes
Proverbes en rimes Title
ca. 1490 (Renaissance) Period
W.313 Accession
creature, savoy Tags
Snowball Fight
Snowball Fight Title
ca. 1510 Period
W.425.12R Accession
snow, holiday, winter Tags
Tender Embrace
Tender Embrace Title
ca. 1425-30 (Renaissance) Period
W.166.118R Accession
Toy Mounted Knight
Toy Mounted Knight Title
13th-14th century (Medieval) Period
54.2476 Accession
toy, soldier, creature Tags
Uncut Sheet of Printed Playing Cards
Uncut Sheet of Printed Playing Cards Title
1491-1524 Period
93.36 Accession
damaru Tags
Youth Swinging from a Tree
Youth Swinging from a Tree Title
ca. 1300 (Gothic) Period
W.88.76R Accession