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!

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Food Fit for Kings

When you sit down to your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners you may not realise it but you are about to enjoy dishes once presented and eaten at the court of Henry VIII and his queen, Katharine of Aragon. In America, according to popular belief, the Thanksgiving Dinner celebrates the survival of the first year the… Continue reading Food Fit for Kings

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