|Posted: Sun 08 Jul, 2012 10:41 am Post subject: Reproduction Medieval Artwork in Hong Kong
Today, my girlfriend and I were shopping in a Chinese department store in Hong Kong. This one is quite well known in Hong Kong as a place where you can buy all sorts of artwork, jade carvings, jewelry, china, Chinese robes, and the like. Inside the store and up several floors, we had been shopping for some time, and I noticed there was a flight of stairs leading up with various framed works of art on display. Curious, I told my girlfriend that I wanted to look at them.
The framed artwork was traditional Chinese style, with rural scenes, dragons, tigers, and the like. Most of it was made of thinly painted gold foil, meaning that with a frame and all, much of it was priced in the $500 to $1000 USD range. It was interesting, but not anything that I would purchase.
Then, as I looked to my right, I noticed a small, curious framed piece of art. It immediately caught my eye- even at a distance, I could tell stylistically that this was not Chinese art. Looking closer, I was astonished to discover that it was a reproduction of a piece of period art from the Middle Ages. There, in a Chinese department store known for its traditional style art and décor, was a piece of European medieval art. Whoever had made it had to have literally been working from an Internet picture of authentic medieval art, because the style was unmistakable. It had been made from wire used to form the outline of the figures, with the colours in the image composed from what appears to be coloured sand.
Even more surprising was the price. Unlike nearly everything else hanging around it, this piece was only around $65 USD, including the frame. While this is a far more typical price for artwork in Hong Kong (depending upon what you buy and whether you know where to look) it was quite unusual for this store. I decided to buy it, but my girlfriend generously bought it for me as a gift.
Inspecting the image, I could tell from certain stylistic details, particularly the clothing and the way the figures were drawn, placed the original piece of art in the late 13th century to early 14th century. Returning home and consulting The Medieval World: Complete, edited by Dr. Robert Bartlett (a wonderful collection of medieval art, artifacts, architecture), I discovered a stylistically similar image to mine.
Exploring further, I learned that this image had originally come from El Libro los Jugos (The Book of Games) by Alfonso X, who is known as Alfonso the Wise. The book was completed in 1282. My image replicas the one found on folio 7 Recto, which is chess problem #3 in Alfonso’s book: http://games.rengeekcentral.com/prblms/F7R.html
I am quite pleased with this image, and it makes a great addition to my collection.
(Click on the link for the full size photo)
Last edited by Craig Peters on Sun 08 Jul, 2012 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total