Friar playing music

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  • Intro

    This tiny comical image comes from the margin of a Book of Hours - a type of medieval prayer book. It shows a Friar holding a pair of bellows like a violin, and scraping out a tune with a weaving tool. Next to him is a barefooted nun who has pulled up the skirt of her habit and flung her arms in the air to do a rude and inappropriate dance! The image reflects the Church's negative attitudes to non-religious music, and its belief that this kind of behaviour was sinful. 

     

    Shelfmark: Stowe 17 f. 38

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