--- In email@example.com
, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
> Those who were involved in last month's discussion of Gnosticism might be interested in April DeConick's recent blog entries on the subject.
I immediately recognized the fresco of Plaincourault posted on April DeConick's blog and went to the shelf to retrieve R. Gordon Wasson's Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality and thought this might be of some interest.
"The mycologists would have done well to consult art historians.
Here is an extract from a letter that Erwin Panofsky wrote me in 1952:
'...the plant in this fresco has nothing whatever to do with mushrooms.... and the similarity with Amanita Muscaria is purely fortuitous. The Plaincouralt fresco is only one example - and since the style is provincial, a particularly deceptive one - of a conventionalized tree type, prevalent in Romanesque and early Gothic art, which art historians actually refer to as a "mushroom tree' or in German, Pilzbaum. It comes about by the gradual schematization of the impressionistically rendered Italian pine tree in Roman and early Christian painting, and there are hundreds of instances exemplifying this development - unknown of course to mycologists... what the mycologists have overlooked is that the medieval artists hadly ever worked from nature but from classical prototypes, which in the course of repeated copying became quite unrecognizable.'
Professor Panofsky gave expression to what I have found is the unanimous view of those competent in Romanesque art."
R. Gordon Wasson, mycologist and author of Soma Divine Mushroom of Immortality
Wasson was trying to identify the Vedic Soma.