15 Weird and Funny Drawings from Medieval Manuscripts

  • Art is often up to interpretation. Some works of art are more so than others.

During medieval times, people produced a lot of fantastic masterpieces in the areas of architecture and sculpting. But we don’t think anyone would argue they’d really figured out this painting thing yet.

Sure, there were some master painters here and there. But for the most part, medieval artwork was… Well, see for yourself.

Here are 15 weird and (intentionally or not) funny paintings, drawings, and doodles from ye olden times.

1) A Bat — France, 15th Century

Yes, this thing is supposed to be a bat. Looks more like some kind of alien moth.

And… Is it wearing a hat? It’s a bat in a hat. A hat bat.

At least the little fella looks pretty pumped about keeping his head warm.

2) Dying Soldier — France, 13th Century

We’re not sure what our reaction to taking an axe to the head would be. But this guy sure seems to take it in his stride.

Then again, look at his expression. That is the face of a man saying, “You call this an axe chop? I could’ve killed myself better than this in my sleep.”

3) Attacking Sea Monster — France, 16th Century

You’d think somebody getting attacked by a sea monster would be an exciting scene. But no one in this picture seems to have their heart in it.

Even the guy in the monster’s mouth seems to be saying, “Either pull me out or let me go, but I’m tired of hanging in here.” It’s almost like it’s the third time this week this happened or something.

4) Demon (with a Gun) — France, 15th Century

What’s scarier than a demon? A demon with a gun.

And the other demon seems to have some kind of a crowbar. Are these guys mugging the priest in the window?

They’re like two transient demon punks, causing havoc around the countryside.

5) Boar in Pants — France, 14th Century

Did you think cartoon animals in pants were a modern invention? Think again. Here we have a boar in what are clearly jeans.

He doesn’t look particularly happy about it though. Maybe his pants are too tight.

6) A Dog — Switzerland, 16th Century

Look, we get it — things can get pretty stylized in medieval art. But that is not a dog.

We’re fairly sure this artist has only heard vague descriptions of a dog before painting one. Why does it have a human face?

Is this the famed fur baby?

7) A Crab — Switzerland, 9th Century

Know what, we’re taking back everything about that dog. What the f*** is this thing?

We know it’s supposed to be crab… But how is this a crab? Again, why does it have a human face?

This artist definitely has never seen a crab before.

8) Something with a Bone — Netherlands, 14th Century

Here we have… A something. It does have a bone, though.

We doubt this creature is supposed to really represent anything. But he’s cute and he has a little snack.

You go, little guy.

9) Snails on a Ladder — France, 14th Century

These are supposed to be snails, we think. At least the curled lower body kind of looks like a snail’s shell. But the face really is more dog-like.

Oh well, at least they have their little ladder so they can get to the blue thing. Are they fetching a kite out of a tree? It sort of looks like it.

10) A Root Vegetable — Italy, 15th Century

Even with medieval artistic skills, you’d think you could make something as simple as a plant root look recognizable. But nope — they just had to give it a face.

And not just any face. This blue vegetable is clearly judging us.

Wait a minute. That’s a Pokémon! This is clearly an Oddish.

11) Doctor Dog — England, 15th Century

Now this is a heartwarming scene! The poor little cat is sick, so Doctor Dog has come to give her some medicine.

Look at the cat’s little hat! And the dog has his doctor’s gown! That’s just too cute.

Oh wait — this is medieval medicine. Oh yeah, that cat’s dead.

12) Fish Monk — Unknown

It’s a monk! It’s a fish! No, it’s a monkfish!

Or a fish monk. Is it a fish with a monk’s upper body, or a monk with a fishtail?

Wonder what he’s about to do with his fishy friend.

13) ‘Look at This Guy’ — France, 13th Century

Many soldiers go down in history for their heroics in battle. But then there’s Jacques, the soldier who couldn’t get his chainmail off.

Or maybe he’s trying to pull it on. Whichever the case, he’s making a clown out of himself right in front of the king.

How embarrassing.

14) Guy on a Fish — Netherlands, 16th Century

Dude, what are you doing to that fish? This big-bottomed pervert is molesting sea life in broad daylight.

Is this how the fish monk was born? Maybe we prefer thinking the fish is saving some poor chunky swimmer from drowning.

15) Axe Creature — Flanders, 14th Century

Just like the bone guy from earlier, we don’t think this creature is grounded in reality. At least we’ve never heard of a… Two-legged blue snake thing with an axe-wielding hand for a head?

The thing doesn’t even have eyes to see what it’s hitting. If this guy starts swinging, you’d better back off.

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