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Adam Bodorics
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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Crucifixion&martyrdom clothing theory, opinions requeste         Reply with quote

I have a possibly far-fetched theory about clothing (and armour) on such paintings, and I'd like to hear opinions about it to avoid the normal human behaviour of seeing what I want to see instead of what is really depicted. Happy
...
So, looking at paintings from about 1440 to 1510, it seems that three main categories existed in depicting these "martyrmakers":
1, mostly un-fashionable clothing, torn, dirty, ugly or simply old and used, with a mix of seemingly badly made or old armour.
2, somewhat old-fashioned clothing and armour, but all in surreally high quality, richly decorated, perfectly fitting.
3, "modern" clothing and armour, but more or less exaggerated, with very rich colours and decorations seemingly regardless of the depicted person's social class.

(This is where the theory begins, so I might be wrong in any or all parts of the following. Happy ) Some methods of construction, types of clothing and their wearing mode seem to be almost exclusive to these paintings. The Leibchen with wide and relatively long triangular "flaps", "Robin Hood-ish" hats with a phrygian-ish top, embroidered Hosen, knee or calf length boots on footman, doublet sleeves open at the armpit and/or open all the way from wrist to armpit, doublet sleeves reaching only to half of the forearm all seems like "trademarks" of these guys, just like going without gowns or jackets (the "white T-shirt idea" of Lafayatte C Curtis got me started in the first place), and sometimes wearing split hose even when joined hose would be more "appropriate" (in some cases it seems that the hose is rolled down mostly to show that it is a split hose instead of a more fashionable joined one).

Before expanding on this, I'd like some comments about the validity of my basic idea - there's no point in writing it all down if even the core idea is nonsense. Thanks in advance!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the truth might lie somewhere in between. It makes perfect sense that the artists wanted to portray the tormentors as ugly, cruel and of low social status (as indicated by the kind, amount, style and state of their clothing, armour, weapons, etc.). On the other hand, they likely looked to the world around them for examples of that kind of person. Otherwise, viewers might not get that point. If you want to depict para-military troops of the first century, paint para-military troops of the late 15th. I assume that we're seeing in these paintings a more or less realistic depiction of that class and occupation in the period of the painting. This is confirmed by non-religious artwork of the period.

It also is clearly true that in some cases typical medieval clothing, arms and armour were exoticized to create faux-ancient near eastern fashions as you described. That seems to be especially noticeable in depictions of the martyrdom of St. Barbara. Some stereotypical references to Turkish fashions can be seen in some artwork, I think.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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