Horn Iconography as Found in the Grand Medieval Bestiary

Horn Iconography as Found in the Grand Medieval Bestiary

Lecture by Karl Kemm

Given at the 47th International Horn Symposium, on August 4, 2015

Modern iconographic associations held by alphorns, hunting horns, and trumpets mostly originated from artistic renderings of the the middle ages. This lecture will show and elaborate upon the occurrence of certain brass-family instruments drawn in the periods between the 12th and 15th centuries as compiled within The Grand Medieval Bestiary by Christian Heck and Remy Cordonnier published in French in 2011 and English in 2012.

It is topically a collection of animals drawn in illumination but also contains a treasure of iconographic references interesting to music historians concerned primarily with lip-blown aerophones. Because the histories of man, beast, and horns are intertwined, we see several medieval depictions of historical trumpets and horns in a variety of contexts.


animal scene and horn player - British Library Harley 4751   f. 10