Saturday, June 2, 2012

Detail of "Annunciation" by Van DerWedenn Ca.1450

How I deciphered this painting...

While I am just now learning how to blog, I have loved houses all my life. So, I thought that I would give a little detail on how I get some of my information from paintings. And, to use one of the paintings that I featured yesterday, I will be able to break it down just a little bit.

When I look at paintings, I look at clothing, hairstyles and also the setting. During the middle ages, religious painting held supreme. But what is so important for a house historian is that they were set in contemporary settings. Most of these settings were of houses of the patrons, who were generally well to do. This tells me how the houses were set up, and how they were decorated.

Here is Van DerWedenn's painting "Annunciation" painted in Ca. 1450.
(Oil on Canvas)

The main focus of course is on Gabriel and Mary.
As a side note, look at their clothing. Long and sumptuous.
Mary is neeling near a stool where a beautiful fabric covers the possibly plane bench.
It looks like a silk damask.

There's so many things that I want to look at, but where do I start to tell you?
The next thing, may be the biggest. The red covered bed takes up most of the room. There is a canopy and the portion in the back is completely covered by the same material to create a full headboard. There is something hanging, a portrait perhaps?  Or, most probably an icon considering the time and church.

What I also want to point out is the roping that holds the canopy to the ceiling. It was not nailed, but literally strung up.
See how they are attached to the inside of the beams, and how there are many locations to make sure that it was hung in an aesthetically pleasing, and meticulously precise manner?

And, look at the very long cord that connects the bed canopy to the opposing wall by the use of a metal hook. This too shows that the interiors were very well thought out.

I love the fact that there is a beautifully ornate bedside chair and chest right next to the bed. The chair is very narrow, but beautifully carved. The Cabinet may be a commode because of the water basin and pitcher sitting on top. What ever it was, this too had carvings and detailed metal work.

If we go directly up we find an incredibly beautiful chandelier complete with candles. It looks like it may have been pewter, but I cannot be certain. It certainly was held to the ceiling securely.

And, more lighting was above the fireplace. This was a swivel candelabra Again, it looks like it may have been pewter. And, look at the detail. This definitely looks Victorian to me!

Now this part I found very interesting. There is a long, very ornately carved Gothic bench right in front of the fireplace. The carvings are absolutely phenomenal. I wonder if they moved it in front of the bed, facing the fire, during the winter months!

Just look at the detail. An intricate foiled archway on the bottom side, with two un-detailed above. All along the bottom front there are beautiful detailed circles within square panels. There are even diamond quatrefoils carved in the back.
But also, look at the pillows. You can buy these today! Plain red plumped with the karate chop in the top center of each.

I think that I will do the architectural details on another day because I feel like they are very important, in and of, themselves. The interior decorations were plainly not boring. They made sure that they had beautiful things just like we do today. Some styling was a bit different perhaps, but not all! No boars heads, no swords or shields. I think that our ideas of medieval interiors actually came from the Romantic and/or Victorian ideals of their times, and it has just continued through in the  idealism of most people today.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Paintings used for the paper of "Middle Ages Decorative Interiors"

Pictures that I used as primary sources for my paper on Medieval interiors.

You can read the entire paper here...Middle Ages Decorative Interiors.

There was not a lot of informative sources, so I used paintings. I have to say, that it really was a lot of fun studying them to detail!.

This one isn't from the time, but it is representative. And, I love it!

Artwork Bibliography:

Campin, Robert. Annunciation Triptych. http://learnearnandreturn.files. (accessed March 20, 2012).
Christine de Pisan Presents her Work to Isabeau of Bavaria. C. 1420. Oil on Canvas. (accessed February 14, 2012).
DerWedenn, Van. 1450 Oil on canvas.
weyden/annunc.jpg. (accessed February 14, 2012).
Donor. C. 1400.In “Patronage and the Status of the Artist”. N.d. (accessed February 28, 2012).
German Feast, The. 1400’s. (accessed
February 15, 2012).
van Eyck, Jan . The Arnolfini Portrait. 1434. Oil on canvas. In “Daily Artist”. (accessed March 25, 2012).
Van derWeden. 1450 Oil on canvas.
weyden/annunc.jpg. (accessed February 14, 2012).

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