Whenever anyone asks what breed of cat Sterling is, I just tell them “He’s a Hyperborean War Cat.”
(Photoshop by C. Wingate)
Totentanz fresco destroyed in the Strasbourg cathedral cloister
The idea that life is a chess game with death was familliar to the the people of the Middle Ages.
The most famous - though only archival detectable - testimony comes from the Strasbourg cathedral cloister. From 1480 to 1715 there was a mural
Front left sits the Emperor, who has already lost his chess game against Death, as the black knight, who was then allowed to move only one field diagonally, the white king offers matte. At the same time the angel holds the head of the table the past the hour glass. At the side we see worldly objects. Women and men of various ages are depicted as well as a child. There is also clergy - including the Pope and the Cardinal shown with dismay at the defeat of the regent. The bands of scripture relates to the soul and life. The Emperor turns to God to ask for assistance but death gives him no chance.
Georgian Manuscript, Jrutchi I Gospels (X century)
Until 1989, Georgian was the only written language among the South Caucasian languages. A unique Georgian alphabet was devised following the country’s conversion to Christianity in 337. The script does not differentiate between upper- and lower-case forms and consists of thirty-eight characters.
Rosary, ca. 1500–1525
German Ivory, silver, partially gilded mounts Overall: 24 11/16 x 2 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (62.7 x 5.4 x 4.5 cm) Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.306) Each bead of the rosary represents the bust of a well-fed burgher or maiden on one side, and a skeleton on the other. The terminals, even more graphically, show the head of a deceased man, with half the image eaten away from decay. Such images served as reminders that life is fleeting and that leading a virtuous life as a faithful Christian is key to salvation.
Giovanni da Modena, Inferno. 1408-1415.