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Questions about 12th C artwork

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  • Karen Tricomo
    Does anyone know if art in the 12th Century EVER looked like an actual person?  As in, a life-like attempt at a portrait?  Or was it all that blocky,
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 24, 2009
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      Does anyone know if art in the 12th Century EVER looked like an actual person?  As in, a life-like attempt at a portrait?  Or was it all that blocky, out-of-proportion stuff you see in the stained glass works and tapestries?
       
      Lady Catherine Holcombe of Arden
      Mists, West Kingdom

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tiffany Brown
      2009/8/25 Karen Tricomo ... Well, I may not be the best person to ask, because I ve spent so long looking at 12th C western european
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 24, 2009
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        2009/8/25 Karen Tricomo <piccolopwr@...>

        > Does anyone know if art in the 12th Century EVER looked like an actual
        > person? As in, a life-like attempt at a portrait? Or was it all that
        > blocky, out-of-proportion stuff you see in the stained glass works and
        > tapestries?
        >

        Well, I may not be the best person to ask, because I've spent so long
        looking at 12th C western european artwork that I feel I can read it fairly
        naturally. But, I'd say good (there's plenty of bad stuff) 12th C art isn't
        totally out of proportion (except the anglo saxon elongation in england till
        1150), just using a different astehetic and proportion rules, but if by
        blocky you mean a comic book like style, then I'd definately agree. And just
        as with comics, if an individual is to be identified, their traits are
        exagerated.

        Some of the most naturalistic 12thC work to my mind is in germany in the
        late 12th C. The manuscripts are more rounded and with more care to
        proportion, but the real acknowledeged leader in artwork at this time-plkace
        was metalwork. You can find both 3D sculptures, as well as low releif and
        2D inscriptions (or whatever technique they use).
        http://www.bildindex.de/is a good site to search to find examples
        (there will be bad examples too).
        I think the german metalwork really came into it's own in realism around
        1215, but you should be able to find some examples earlier.


        Teffania



        --
        . ___
        {o,o} The blog you are not looking for
        |)__) is definitely not at
        -"-"- http://teffania.blogspot.com


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      • Chris Laning
        ... Complicating this picture, of course, is that before approximately the 15th century, a lot of people were depicted more as idealizations of their roles
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 26, 2009
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          On Aug 24, 2009, at 12:40 PM, Karen Tricomo wrote:

          > Does anyone know if art in the 12th Century EVER looked like an
          > actual person? As in, a life-like attempt at a portrait? Or was it
          > all that blocky, out-of-proportion stuff you see in the stained
          > glass works and tapestries?


          Complicating this picture, of course, is that before approximately the
          15th century, a lot of people were depicted more as idealizations of
          their roles than as actual "portraits" or what we would consider
          "likenesses." The characters in a tapestry are usually identified by
          name labels, for instance, because in most cases there really wasn't
          an effort made to make King Henry look like the real King Henry (who
          few people would ever see in person anyway). So the designers/weavers/
          embroiderers would draw a picture of an Ideal Kingly Person and label
          it "Henricus."

          Looking at portraits of the Kings of England, for instance, the
          earliest ones that look like they were meant to show a true likeness
          might be in the range of Henry IV through VI (1400-1450 or so).

          (Corrections welcome, this is off the top of my head...)
          ____________________________________________________________

          O (Dame) Christian de Holacombe, OL - Shire of Windy Meads
          + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
          http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
          ____________________________________________________________
        • Folo Watkins
          ... I had been told that the first to have a realistic portrait was Richard II in the late 14C; portraits that I ve seen of him certainly looks realistic.
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 26, 2009
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            >Looking at portraits of the Kings of England, for instance, the
            >earliest ones that look like they were meant to show a true likeness
            >might be in the range of Henry IV through VI (1400-1450 or so).

            I had been told that the first to have a realistic portrait was
            Richard II in the late 14C; portraits that I've seen of him certainly
            looks realistic.

            Cheers, Folo
          • Donata Bonacorsi
            ... Unless you look outside of England. The donor portrait in the Arena Chapel by Giotto, it dates to 1305. It can be argued that the Renaissance started with
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 27, 2009
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              On Aug 27, 2009, at 6:14 AM, Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com wrote:

              > Complicating this picture, of course, is that before approximately the
              > 15th century, a lot of people were depicted more as idealizations of
              > their roles than as actual "portraits" or what we would consider
              > "likenesses." The characters in a tapestry are usually identified by
              > name labels, for instance, because in most cases there really wasn't
              > an effort made to make King Henry look like the real King Henry (who
              > few people would ever see in person anyway). So the designers/weavers/
              > embroiderers would draw a picture of an Ideal Kingly Person and label
              > it "Henricus."


              Unless you look outside of England.

              The donor portrait in the Arena Chapel by Giotto, it dates to 1305. It
              can be argued that the Renaissance started with Giotto, Dante, and
              Petrach for some in Florence and other city-states in what is now the
              country of Italy. (there are more examples, but Giotto is what came to
              mind)

              Maestra Donata Bonacorsi,
              West



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            • Ann Franchi
              MODERATOR NOTE: As a courtesy to those members who receive their list mail in digest form, we request that you do not top post. Please trim portions of
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 29, 2009
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                MODERATOR NOTE: As a courtesy to those members who receive their list mail in digest form, we request that you do not top post. Please trim portions of previous posts that do not require repetition. Thank you.
                Jehanne de Wodeford, Pacific Time Zone Moderator.

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                I recently acquired a book on the hsitory of Caricature.
                Interestingly, early caricatures were also labeled with the name of
                the person being caricatured, even when it was an extremely realistic
                depiction. This was because, in the absence of TV, most people would
                not be familiar with the persons enough to recognise them.

                Anitra
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