[HNW] Medieval Virtures and Vices

Holly Compton widowelspet at sbcglobal.net
Tue Nov 6 16:11:53 PST 2007

Hi Carol,
  You might suggest that she talk to the Scribal Community.  As I have been doing research for my Altercloth project I have looked at a fair amount of 12th to 14th century art.
  You really need to know the legend or story of the image you are looking at to pick up the virtues and vices.  It's more of an imagery thing.
  For example I kept looking for images of the seven demons cast out of Mary Magdalen.  We hear seven demons, turns out that I was looking for the seven vices.  I actually found more inscriptions of the vices than illuminations with demons.  Although, there is one with 7 little red devils all around her.  
  Also, it's sometimes the action or lack of action of the figures that represent a vice.  So there is no object in a lot of cases.
  If I were her I would look two places. Books on Religious Symbolism in Art or she could easily find books about the Biblia Pauperum, (The mirrors Salvation).  I wasn't looking for Vices and Virtues but, the art would translate really well since there is a lot of woodcut work.
  Unless she is really attached to the idea of Medieval, late period (emblem books) would give her images that other people would understand.  Of course there are those of us that like the explanations.  If she wants to do figural work from an early figure she might think of the Wise and Foolish virgins instead.  They turn up all the time in 14th century and would make a great quilt.   She can find a bunch in Web Art Museums. OK, sorry to have gone on for so long.
  PS. I just got back from my trip to Germany.  I know someone is going.  The little Kestner Museum in Hanover was wonderful.  Seven Altercloths from the 14th and 15th century's.  (4 embroidery styles and a few more small ones in a pull out drawer case.  Very cool!
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