MS M.81, fols. 61v–62r

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Worksop Bestiary

England, possibly in Lincoln or York
ca. 1185
215 x 155 mm

Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) in 1902

MS M.81, fols. 61v–62r

Pelican (left)
Moving counter-clockwise, this illumination represents the mother pelican as a symbol for Christ: first, she is attacked by her chicks (top left), then slays them, and finally revives them by piercing her breast and feeding them her own blood.

Night Raven or Night Owl (right)

The night raven shown here betrays the bestiary’s anti-Semitism when it equates the bird with Jews who reject the light of Christ—though it also connects the bird to Christ, who wants to redeem sinners associated with darkness.