Andrew May's Forteana Blog, focusing on the weirder fringes of history (and other old-fashioned stuff)
Alien? Or representation on the Devil or a Demon, given the religous context? PJ
You may be right - I've no idea what it's really meant to be. It looks quite ape-like actually, although I don't know what that would symbolize in this context.
Strange... I'm trying to discern whether that "face" could be construed as anything but just that... a face! If not, what else could it be? It certainly looks anthropomorphic enough... but all the same, it's not really human looking, either. Again, I ask "if not human, then what is it?" -Micah Hanks
Thanks for the comment Micah. Yes, I'm sure it's a real face, and I expect there is a rational explanation for it in terms of 16th century symbolism -- but I have no idea what it is!
To me it looks a bit like a hirsuite freak (i.e. a "dog face boy") such as Jo Jo http://josefragoso.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/dogboy1.jpgWhere there any notable hirsuite freaks in that era?
P.S. Andrew the "Jo Jo" comment was from me!PJ
I saw this post yesterday and thought the aliens on the Startling Stories cover looked a bit like mine!
A little bit perhaps.Did you happen to notice the gold lingerie that the woman was wearing? Perhaps the inspiration for Princess Leia's outfit in The Return of the Jedi??PJ
Definitely - maybe not this exact picture, but it was drawn by Earle Bergey who is famous as the "inventor" of female metallic underwear. His wikipedia article says "His illustrations of scantily-clad women... served as an inspiration for Princess Leia's slave-girl outfit in Return of the Jedi".
A good guess by me then :-) PJ
And if you look really close just above the ape looking face it appears to be another smaller face more in detail like a little demon smirking.
It's almost surely the Barbary macaque (tailless, but a monkey rather than an ape) that Il Rosso owned. It may represent slander in this context.
Thanks - that's a brilliant suggestion, and I'm sure it's the right answer. It all hinges on knowing that he owned a pet monkey, which of course I didn't know. It's also confusing because the creature's head is at the same height as the humans (presumably sitting on someone's shoulder). But the face does look very like a Barbary macaque.
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