Friday, 14 September 2012

St. Anthony and the Funnel of Doom


Well, it’s been at least a couple weeks since we last explored artists’ efforts to tempt St. Anthony in the most bizarre ways possible.  This week’s offering was sent to me by the lovely person behind the pocket scroll, who gives it an insightful analysis in terms of spiritual temptation.  In contrast, I will give it an insightful analysis in terms of frog ships and funnel butts (TM – thanks Jen!).

First off: the National Gallery of Canada says that this work is attributed to Hieronymus Bosch, whose fantastic brain-spawn are a semi-regular feature around here.  However, I tried to find a higher-quality image or more information for it, and no matter the search string, this image didn’t come up in any internet searches for Bosch and the Temptation of St. Anthony.  Pro Tip: after several failed attempts, don’t try the keywords “funnel butt temptation” unless you like to feel your last shreds of innocence dissolving.

So anyway, here is the picture:
Mmm, nothing like a good dark, dystopian landscape for temptation.  Even the naked lady in the water looks a bit like a cross between Venus and a bearded man.  St Anthony in the center doesn’t look like he’s paying much attention, though.  This may be due to mind control rays being emitted by this satellite dish held by a stone gnome.
Meanwhile, in the background, a house is being demolished.  This is being accomplished by an army of lizards storming the walls.  
The one in the middle kind of looks like a land-going Manta Ray.  A Manta Ray conducting heavy artillery.  I would not mess.

South of the invading army there is a frog being used as a sailboat.  I guess it would be more like windsurfing than sailing.  Windfrogging?  I wonder what kind of distance you might get off of a frog leap backed with wind power?  
A single bound, and St Anthony’s unsuspecting attention is going to be torn from the Prince of Peace to the Frog Prince.

Other characters include this thing.  It appears to be the lower half of a fat lizard with a dude’s face poking out of its stomach.  
I mean, I’ve heard of navel gazing, but this is taking it a bit far.  He is also wearing a hat that features an emaciated armless imp doing a headstand.

Then there is the winged jewelry box with legs.  I think it may also be smirking.
This little guy is finally coming out of his shell.  No, literally.  Not equipped with a purpose-built beak, he has chipped his way out with his innate archery skills.   
But what poor creature is he aiming at now?
Oh.  A naked man with his head in a sack, a jar on his foot, and a funnel in his butt releasing butt-crows on an unsuspecting world. 

On second thought, you go get ‘im, hatchling archery demon!

20 comments:

  1. That funnel looks uncomfortable. I blame the frog, he looks like the sort to shove a funnel up some poor unsuspecting guys backside while he's rummaging around inside a sack.

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    1. It's true. It's possible he's been made more ill-tempered by being reigned in for wind sports.

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    2. I agree... though I imagine a murder of crows flapping about in the colon is less than pleasant. I can only imagine... actually, no. I can't. More to the point, I won't.

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    3. It might even be...murder? *hyuck*

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  2. What would you give to have a conversation with this artist?! Both terrifying and wonderful. I always come away from looking at his pieces shaking my head and wondering, "What was that??!!"

    Fabulous.

    "...releasing butt-crows on an unsuspecting world",

    Pearl

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    1. Thanks! I am betting he had some really amazing mushrooms. Or maybe he just drank a lot from the lead goblets. But I bet it would be an amazing conversation one way or another!

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  3. I would hope the archer in the egg shell is aiming at the little black birds, which look too small to be crows. The only other plausible target would imply an intention to commit the most devastating act of buggery since the Cretaceous period.

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    1. It's true they look a little small for crows. In any case, it looks like the archer's got some poor aim--if you look at the navel-face-creature, he's already got an arrow through his leg, but it hasn't stopped him...

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  4. Hahahahahaha! I can't wait for the weirdos who will find your blog now by googling "funnel butt temptation". I'm sure there's a bunch of religious things ol' Hironymous (however it's spelled) is referencing that would make this painting a less confusing jumble of madness, but as it stands, it's a confusing jumble of madness. Seriously, he wasn't content with just birds flying out of a funnel in the butt but the guy had to have his foot trapped in a jar and be stuck in a bag and there being something sticking out of the jar that his foot is in.

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    1. I read something suggesting that in another of his paintings, the wine jug a guy has his foot in symbolizes the wine of "the true vine" of Christianity. To me it just suggests that he was hitting the fruit of the vine a bit too much and started stumbling around til he got his foot caught.

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  5. Maybe they like a frog sailboat because it can be used for multiple terrains. You reach land and can just walk right on. It can replace your boat and your car.

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    1. That sounds quite plausible! I kind of want a frogboat now. You could replace your gas/petrol costs with flies, too.

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  6. Hey! I've decided to pass the Liebster Award on to you. You probably know about it already, but if you don't, it's bloggers showing appreciation for each other's work. I just was given this for my blog, The Travelin-gineer. So, if you're into it, check my post and link back on your page.

    http://thetravelin-gineer.blogspot.com/2012/09/liebster-award.html

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  7. So THAT'S where crows come from. It makes sense.

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    1. It's true. Babies come from wombs, chickens come from eggs, and crows come from demon-cursed anuses.

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  8. I have to say if I was breaking out of an egg, I wouldn't have gone with the bow and arrow, but ... to each his own.

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    1. Maybe it's egg-demon luck of the draw. Some get ice picks, some get swords, some get a bow and arrow set. He's just lucky he didn't get stuck with a pool noodle and starve in his shell.

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  9. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BLOG??? This is TOTALLY somewhere I'd hang out.
    Have I mentioned my love affair with Hieronymus Bosch? Figuratively speaking, of course.

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    1. Welcome to the blog; we're glad to have you! Hieronymus Bosch is a great person to have a figurative love affair with, although I suspect a literal one would have been awkward even before he was long-dead.

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