Catégorie arts décoratifs

Mary of Guise’s Coat of Arms

The Mary of Guise-Lorraine article from this blog, recently republished on Celebrate Scotland, features amongst its illustrations the Queen regent’s Coat of Arms on stained glass. These Arms are situated in the middle window in the south wall of the Magdalen Chapel in Edinburgh. The Magdalen Chapel website states that it « was built [more likely […]

1683 : Rediscovery of the tombs of James V Stuart and his two sons by Mary of Guise

When I was visiting the ruins of Holyrood Abbey some years ago, in search of Renaissance tombstones or effigies (one can always dream), I stumbled upon this simple plaque. This was it then, the end of all my marble hopes. The tombs of king James V Stuart, of little James and Robert, his two sons by […]

« 1515: Marignan! » – François Ier secoue la Bibliothèque Nationale

Cette grande exposition du printemps 2015 à la Bibliothèque Nationale de France à Paris s’annonce iconoclaste, et ça fait du bien. Le roi François Ier retrouvera enfin son époque, le Seizième siècle, débarrassé de 500 ans de broderies historisantes. Car la BnF, vénérable institution française, veut « revenir à la source des représentations de ce roi […]

Appel aux dons à la BnF: la « Déscription des douze Césars » de François Ier

C’est le dernier de trois manuscrits quasi identiques, enluminés vers 1520 dans un atelier de Tours par Jean Bourdichon et très probablement commandés par le roi de France, François Ier. Les deux autres exemplaires de la Description des douze Césars avec leurs figures sont conservés à la Bibliothèque de Genève en Suisse et au Walters […]

More sexy fruit : The penis tree and the medieval nun

Maybe you’ve already read my article Sexy fruit from Renaissance Italy and seen the picture of a young woman putting a special kind of « fruit » in her basket. I saw this surprising scene on a Renaissance plate in the Louvre in Paris when strolling around the museum. Back home, I started researching the iconography of […]

Sexy fruit from Renaissance Italy

Museums sometimes have a curious – a chaste – way of hiding visible things with words. To see what’s really there, look at the object first, then read the image caption. Now, you might notice a funny and interesting difference between the two. This happened when I visited the Department of Decorative Arts of the […]

John Knox, the Hall of Heroes and the Yellowlees

Within The National Wallace Monument near Stirling in Scotland, I really didn’t expect him to be present. But there he was, amidst the white marble portraits of Sir Walter Scott, of young Robert Burns, of Livingstone and many other famous Scotsmen : John Knox, the 16th century reformer, pamphletist and gifted orator. A protestant minister of […]

L’histoire des cabinets de curiosités (exposition à Poitiers 2013-2014)

Le cabinet de curiosités naît au 16eme siècle, à une époque où l’homme s’intéresse de près aux objets, qu’ils soient d’origine naturelle ou artistique. D’abord simple accumulation de curiosités de tout genre – minéraux, animaux exotiques, coraux, objets précieux, plantes et fossiles -, ces objets sont par la suite classifiés et exposés. Le cabinet de […]

Scottish effigies in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Abbey in Paris

Since the end of the 13th century, the realms of France and Scotland were officially bound by mutual military aid contracts that laid the foundations of the famous Auld Alliance. Many Scotsmen came to France to make war as archers and soldiers in the service of the French kings, or to make business in the cities of […]

Unicorn hunt at Stirling castle

Stirling castle in Scotland has just received an all new and bright coloured tapestry, the sixth out of a series of medieval inspired hangings already decorating its Renaissance palace. These modern replicas are woven by West Dean Tapestry in a studio at Stirling castle and in the south of England and depict the « The Hunt […]