Artists of Northern Europe, Flemish primitives, Illuminated manuscripts, Original Documents, Portraiture, Renaissance, Royal Portraits, Tudor portraiture

The difficulty identifying 16th portraits of ‘Unknown Ladies & Gentlemen’

In the 19th century the Swiss historian Jacob Burkhardt (1818-1897) pioneered academic scholarship of art and cultural history, demonstrating how a knowledge of the art, literature, architecture and sculpture, politics and the social minutiae of any period would better inform students, and the public's knowledge of the past.  Even today there are many who think that art… Continue reading The difficulty identifying 16th portraits of ‘Unknown Ladies & Gentlemen’

Artists of Northern Europe, Illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance, The Hapsburgs

Of Parrots, kings and other things!

Parrots first became european symbols of status, wealth and power when Alexander the Great is said to have brought the Indian ring necked parakeet back from India in the second century B.C. Legend has it that wild green parakeets in gardens of an Indian temple repeated the prayers chanted by the monks leading to the… Continue reading Of Parrots, kings and other things!

Illuminated manuscripts, portrait miniature, Portraiture, Renaissance, Subjects for discussion, Tudor portraiture

Monkey business at 16th century royal courts

In 1492 Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) sailed under the Spanish flag and discovered a whole new land. Six years later the Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama (1460 – 1524) reached India’s Malabar coast, which had been a centre of trade between Arab and far eastern merchants for at least fifteen hundred years.  Columbus’s voyage west… Continue reading Monkey business at 16th century royal courts

Artists of Northern Europe, Illuminated manuscripts, Illumination of legal documents, portrait miniature, Portraiture, Renaissance, Royal Portraits, Symbols and emblems, Tudor portraiture

The origins of the Tudor portrait miniature

For those not familiar with the genre of the portrait miniature, let us first consider why and when these portraits became popular in England, and the various artists creating these images for the Tudor court. The half millennium saw a marked change from the religious themes of the medieval period to secular subjects inspired by… Continue reading The origins of the Tudor portrait miniature

Artists of Northern Europe, Flemish primitives, Illuminated manuscripts, Illumination of legal documents, portrait miniature, Portraiture, Royal Portraits, short stories, Tudor portraiture

Another Execution! – MV Taylor

This is a work of fiction, but the images referred to all exist as did all the characters and the executions to which they refer. Like other writers of historical fiction, I have taken events as my skeleton and dressed it with the clothes of a possible event, placing imagined words into the mouths of… Continue reading Another Execution! – MV Taylor