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Apes Dancing to Ring-around-a-Rosy
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Apes Dancing to Ring-around-a-Rosy


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The song "Ring-around-a-Rosy" is still popular today, often danced in a circle just as we see the monkeys doing here. Yet this seemingly lighthearted song has a dark past. The plague swept Europe during the 14th century, and the song's words actually refer to its terrible symptoms: a circular rose-colored rash, sneezing or coughing, and finally, death. Flower petals were worn in a pouch around the neck to keep the smell of death away. The song, then, seems very different in this context. Ring-a ring-o-rosies A pocket full of posies Achoo, Achoo, We all fall down.
Exhibitions
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Checkmate! Medieval People at Play. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, after 1894, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, after 1894

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Creator
Period
ca. 1315-25 (Gothic)
Medium
parchment with ink and paint
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.82.193R
Measurements
H: 6 5/16 x W: 4 5/16 in. (16 x 11 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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