[HNW] Medieval Virtures and Vices

Carol Thomas scbooks at mindspring.com
Tue Nov 6 16:21:29 PST 2007


At 07:11 PM 11/6/2007, you wrote:
>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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