quality weird

Much as I love me some weird, I’m cautious about what I consume. I seldom have time to read up on the latest historic mysteries and odd sightings, and even less to winnow out the wheat from the chaff.

Internet to the rescue, and I don’t mean leaning on Wikipedia or [insert true believer or paranoid ranter here]:

Do you have anything I should check out? Please share in the comments!



Rudolf II supplementary materials

I was on a podcast!

I talked with Roejen and Lobo over at Project Archivist about one of Dee and Kelley’s great patrons, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.  He provided material support and political protection for alchemists, astrologers, scientists, and artists of all stripes. Perhaps not the most glittering court (he was a melancholic recluse who preferred the world to come to him), but he created a golden age of early modern science in Prague.

Here are some images of the Mad Emperor himself, some of the art he favored, and a disturbing family tree. All images Wikipedia Commons unless otherwise noted:

Portrait of Rudolf II
Rudolf II by Joseph Heinz the Elder, 1594, at the peak of his power as Holy Roman Emperor and art/science/occult studies patron.
Archduke Rudolf when he was about 15, by Spanish court painter Alonso Sánchez Coello, 1567. I’d love to know what’s up with the long red nails – some odd Spanish court fashion? Kids those days…
Habsburg family tree
An illustration of the Habsburg intermarriages and the end result. Anna of Austria was Rudolf II’s sister; they lived over 100 years before poor Charles II. From http://the-history-notes.blogspot.com/p/genealogy.html


Arcimboldo Librarian Stokholm
“The Librarian”, 1570 by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. His inventive portraits influenced Surrealist artists 400 years later.

Bartholomäus Springers Venus and Adonis
Bartholomäus Spranger’s “Venus and Adonis”, 1595-1597. An example of the mythological-themed art with bonus naked ladies of which Rudolf was so fond.
Selected Bibliography:

Evans, R. J. W. (1973). Rudolf II and His World: A Study in Intellectual History, 1576-1612. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fučíková, E. (1997). Rudolf II and Prague: The court and the city. Prague, New York, and London: Prague : Prague Castle Administration ; London ; New York : Thames and Hudson.

Marshall, P. (2006). The Magic Circle of Rudolf II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague. Walker & Company.

Nummedal, T. (2007). Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.