Marginal Drawings Of The Thief Making An Offering Before The Cross, And The Man Who Blew On St. Bridget's Fire, In Gerald of Wales's 'History And Topography Of Ireland'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Gerald of Wales was born at Monorbier castle, in Pembrokeshire, in 1146. He was educated at Gloucester and Paris, and became Archdeacon of Brecon in 1175. He visited Ireland in 1183, 1185, 1199 and again for about two years from 1204. A version of his text--which is largely concerned with the marvellous things he saw or heard about there--is known to have been read publicly in 1188. This manuscript was written perhaps at Lincoln, probably before Gerald's death in 1223, and it has been suggested that he personally supervised its writing and decoration. This manuscript was later owned by St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury.
The first drawing shows a thief who tried to offer a stolen penny before a crucifix in Dublin, but the crucifix would not accept it. The second shows a man who blew on St. Brigid's fire and went mad, then drank from a stream until he burst.