The Papal Ass and the Monk’s Calf were among the most popular caricatures of the Reformation era. They illustrate a satirical broadsheet edited by Luther and Melanchthon in 1523 that attacked the papacy and the excesses of the monks. Deformities were regarded as warnings from God and harbingers of approaching disaster. Illustrations of them satisfied the curiosity and sensationalism of the population. The authors took advantage of these when Melanchthon connected a monster supposedly found dead in the Tiber in 1496 to the pope, while Luther interpreted a calf born in Saxony with a tonsure-like malformation on its head as a member of an order, apparently after he had been denigrated himself by a similar depiction. Numerous reprints and copies of these woodcuts testify to the effectiveness of these designs.