By Esther Inglis-Arkell
Published Online (2012)
Introduction: Medieval art can sometimes surprise you, with its rich colors and expressive subjects. But sometimes, you’re also caught off guard by the shock of noticing the presence of a guy in a spaceship in a painting of the crucifixion. Find out why there are so many UFOs in paintings from hundreds of years ago.
So, you are wandering around the streets of Metohia, Yugoslavia, as one does, and decide to spend some time in the Visoki Decani Monastery. You take in the atmosphere slowly, looking at the thickness of the walls — built in 1330 and still standing — and the wooden sarcophagus of King Stefan. And gradually you come up to the altar, looking at the fresco above it. Reading the informational sign next to it, you see that it was completed in 1350, which, you think, is fine, but could someone explain to you why someone in 1350 was doodling space ships above the scene of the crucifixion?