Monday, April 25th, 2022

The illuminated kyogen demon: a CSS animation

Yes, I know it’s a bit childish.

But there is a serious point to it (no, honest).

In days of old when knights were bold (etc) bibles and other important manuscripts were often illustrated. As well as being decorative, these illustrations conveyed warnings to the reader that behaviours or conduct were likely to lead to purgatory or hell. Demons could be found in the margins, or embedded in the text, acting in much the same way we use an icon in a textbook today.

This chap borrows from a form of demon sometimes found in illuminated manuscripts. I first encountered the style in the work of Hieronymus Bosch, a painter from the mid 1400s. A deeply religious man, he created nightmarish hellscapes that took the flat illustrations and merged them with Enlightenment concepts of perspective and depth. To some he is a precursor to the 20th Century surrealists, in the particularly the grand sweep of “Garden of Delights”.

Or course, with me being me, I couldn’t just take a medieval sketch. I had to infuse a little Japanese inspired kyogen humour.

The animation is done entirely in CSS and HTML. If you’d like to have a childish snigger at it again, double tap (or double click) the demon. 

My original plan was to create my own vision of hell. Whether I get around to creating and animating all the different elements involved remains to be seen. Shall we just say I have a few ideas?

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.