Illustrations in medieval manuscripts are always just a bit off. A mysterious group of Czech cosplaying students at the ruins of Hrad Pořešín in South Bohemia did their best to re-create 15 illuminations from obscure hand-copied books.
The now-viral photos took off from the website Designyoutrust.com, which oddly linked them to legalized marijuana, without any further explanation. Marijuana possession for personal use is in fact decriminalized but not fully legal in the Czech Republic. Designyoutrust did not credit the authors.
Lithuanian humor and entertainment website Bored Panda attributed the photos to someone named Lukrecius, but the link now leads to a deleted page.
Since then, they have been reproduced on other sites in Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Montenegro, China and other countries, racking up thousands of views and many scratched heads.
Bored Panda praised the authors’ creativity: “Those of us who went to college can remember the amazingly fun times we had with our coursemates. However, I doubt that, in our spare time, any of us did anything as weird as one band of students from the Czech Republic. … A group of Czech students has the weirdest understanding of leisure we’ve seen so far.”
The idea is not new, however. The “tableau vivant” was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, and was often a way of getting around laws concerning nudity as the posed scenes were considered artistic interpretations. The movement can still be seen today with street entertainers making living statues.