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Costume in Period Art

Archers of Ravenwood / Costume in Period Art

Much of what we know of clothing from the past is from paintings that have survived time. While unlike a snapshot, a painting is the artist’s interpretation of an image and may not be completely reliable. In this (detail of) painting by Bonifacio Veronese b. 1487 “The Finding of Moses”, one can almost be assured that this was not the period of dress in 1450 BC. However, this artist does provide a glimpse of fashion from the fifteenth century AD, which is what the people of Ravenwood are interested in. Although this style of dress is Venetian, I am including the link to the full version of the painting as this web site is a fabulous resource and you can also use it to play period music while strolling through these pages. http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/b/bonifaci/findmose.html
To make this site easy for viewing by those using dial up, only thumbnail pictures will be used on this page. Click the thumbnail to take you to a larger picture if a link or a button like this is not provided. Some pictures that contain great detail must only be viewed in their best quality such as the works of Pieter Brueghel, please be patient. It will be well worth your while. All images are prepared for their fastest loading times.
What were they wearing back then? The paintings in this section are provided to portray attire for life in the middle Fifteenth century as the target year that the Archers of Ravenwood aim at portraying is 1450 AD. The styles have been selected that one would mayhap also see in England. Although 1450 is the beginning of the renaissance, corsets and bodices were not yet in vogue. Turbans, trailing dresses, codpieces, men in tights (those up to date with fashion were now wearing them with the legs sewn together) and pointed shoes were commonly seen basics. There is a wonderful must-see website: http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/15thc/hosen.html that has a multitude of images and information on men’s hose including how to make them.
Alas, where to start? The best shall surely be saved for last.
Men in turbans Note the pleating in the garments worn. Pleating such as this occurs frequently in art of this time.
A panel that originally formed part of an altarpiece depicts the two knights Sabobai and Benaiah. Together, Sabobai, Benaiah and Abishai are bringing David water from the Bethlehem cistern. This is a piece where the dress most likely fits the time of the artist’s life and not that of the time depicted.
This work by one of the Flemish artists, Jan Van Eyck, is familiar to most everyone. There has been much discourse over the subjects and symbolism in this wedding portrait, but one thing we know is that the woman is not with child. She is holding her skirts in the style fashionable for this period. It is suggested however, that women wearing this style of dress sometimes padded the front, in the area of the abdomen.
Petrus Christus created this work titled “St Eligius in His Workshop”, but it has also been called, “A Goldsmith in His Shop, Possibly Saint Eligius”. What they are doing is weighing wedding rings. In this painting we see a clear detail of a classic style of dress seen in the fifteenth century.
  French artist Jean Fouquet gives us a look at an uncommon type man’s sleeve and his purse in “Portrait of Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursinswho was the Chancellor of Charles VII.
Oil paintings have been evidenced since the twelfth century in Europe. But it was the virtuoso handling of the medium by early Flemish (also called Netherlandish) artists in the fifteenth century that created a turning point and the eventual adoption of oil as the major painting medium in Europe. Rogier van der Weyden was one of these wonderful artists and provides us with an array of attire painted in a whole new level of detail.

Archers

Piero Della Francesca

 A “typical” jester outfit from Hieronymus Bosch’s, “The ship of Fools” (detail).
 “The battle of Agincourt” (detail), Unknown
  “The Tower of Babel” from the Bedford Book of the Hours.
  Here is a picture of a man’s Chaperon (hat) with a liripipe. The liripipe was sometimes wound round the head turban style.
  Some women’s headdresses.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder. The Wedding Dance.

While this painter lived in the sixteenth century, he captured many images of plainfolk in the renaissance era. His compositions of peasant life, stress the absurd and vulgar, yet are full of the joys of life and look very much like some of the current day renaissance faires.

Please follow this link to see a lass’ site who has been to the museum to take some close up pictures with costuming in mind, and has made some reproductions. http://www.raveness.com/bruegel/

Pieter Brueghel the Elder- Netherlandish Proverbs called “Topsy-Turvy World”, given the number of globe like images within the painting.

There are purporteldy more than a hundred proverbs in this painting. Some are:

Bow and scrape if he is to get on in the world.

While one fellow lets the world dance upon his thumb, another is unable to stretch from one loaf of bread to another.

He hangs his cloak according to the wind.

If you would like to learn more about these proverbs, you can find more information at: http://www.nelepets.com/art/pictures/bruegel/contents.html

Pieter Brueghel the Elder- Kinderspiele Children’s Games

This painting shows a multitude of children’s games, some of which are still played today.Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Boerenkermis Peasant Fair

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The Archers of Ravenwood portray independent English Military Company known as a free-company in the year 1450. This is not to be confused with the term mercenary...

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