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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 340

PostPosted: Tue 12 Nov, 2019 7:21 pm    Post subject: Late Medieval 'Church' Armor?         Reply with quote

So, I read those threads about Battle, Jousting and Parade Armor, but it didn't clarify some of the points I was expecting, or at least, how to perceive some artistic evidence showing noblemen in armor outside action situations.

Dan Howard's mentioned that Faux Brigandines, or "false brigandines", were a thing used by some wealthy people to ostentate on some occasions. The retained bodyguards of the Howard family in England was also intended to have richly decorated brigandines with silk velvet and silver/gold rivets. So, there was an idea of show-off armor, but was noblemen's brigandine only a armor for ostentation purposes?

I find this 1500-1510's painting made by the Catalan Joan Pau Guardiola, it's called "The Miracle of the Virgin of the Rosary and the Knight of Colonia" that shows a couple of knights in a sort of lighter suits of armor on a sort of church or palace environment:


Textual Description

Their dresses are surprisingly similar to the sort of civilian-martial garment seen in the Portuguese Paineis de Sao Vicente, which shows armor from 1450-60's being dressed by the royal family, their noble court and some guardsmen. Besides the fact that Guardiola's and Sao Vicente are separated by almost half a century while still retaining the same armor, both of them mix a sort of civilian and lighter pieces of armor being used in non-martial context. I wonder if this was something actually common to the aristocracy of the Middle Ages to wear lighter harnesses in churches and at Court or if that's something unusual, purely personal and just an aspect of local culture. If you go to Froissart's Chronicles you often find kings wearing royal garments over armor:

King Fernando I of Portugal and King of Castile at Fernandine Wars

Famous German description of the Adoration of the Wizard Kings, showing a fully armoured man in german style and other with main and plate leggings

King Juan of Castile, at the Battle of Aljubarrota

Wat Tyler's Uprising

Afonso King of Leon and Castille

Maximilian I and his pony

So, how exactly the amount of armor or civilian garments were inteded to mix themselves at battles, at tournaments or at church/court service?

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Nov, 2019 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IMO in Western Europe it was pretty much all functional brigandines - even the most highly decorated ones. De Commines implies that he had never seen faux brigandine before the anecdote he recounts and seems to have been amused by it. I get the impression he considered it to be a "less than manly" thing to wear. Fully-functional, richly decorated armour was a fashionable thing to wear in court and it isn't particularly heavy. Some of the multi-layered clothing worn in court and to important functions actually weighed more than a suit of armour.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 563

PostPosted: Fri 15 Nov, 2019 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro, you have some misidentifications attached to your images. Your second image is of Sabothai bringing King David water from the well near Salem, and your last image is of Charles the Bold at the Battle of Nancy. There may be others.
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sat 16 Nov, 2019 4:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't recall any "false brigandine" in Iberian inventories I've read so far. Covered with colorful and expensive cloth, yes, dozens...

BTW, just saw the shield handle, this painting has so many details you can see new things each time you look!
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Nov, 2019 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are the gentlemen in the painting simply dressed in the jinete style (or genet style, as they are Catalan), rather than fully armed men-at-arms. The armour displayed seem very functional, yet stylish. I don't think we can read this as a light or "for show" armour for church - this is I think battlefield armour for a gentleman light cavalry leader.
Anthony Clipsom
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 340

PostPosted: Mon 16 Dec, 2019 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
Are the gentlemen in the painting simply dressed in the jinete style (or genet style, as they are Catalan), rather than fully armed men-at-arms. The armour displayed seem very functional, yet stylish. I don't think we can read this as a light or "for show" armour for church - this is I think battlefield armour for a gentleman light cavalry leader.


I don't remember any references of jinetes in Catalonia, I think it's because of the mountain terrain. Perhaps I'm wrong, though.

In any case, the suggestion of them might being represented as jinete light cavalry remembered me that some spanish kings have portraits as light cavalry, like:



The same armor but as pencil drawing:
https://cdn.britannica.com/59/166359-050-7F270741/Philip-II-engraving-Christopher-van-Sichem.jpg
Charles V (or 1st of Spain) at Muhlberg, in light cavalry armor (perhaps in german style):
https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/emperor-charles-v-at-muhlberg/e7c91aaa-b849-478c-a857-0bb58a6b6729

When I looked at English or western european pictures of kings or princes they were rather with or without armor in more cerimonial or casual occasions:

Capture of Charles de Blois:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/Capture_Charles_de_Blois.jpg

The arrest of Charles of Navarre by king Charles of France (the king his wearing a crowned hat and cloth over his harness):
https://c8.alamy.com/comp/J3T1AT/john-the-good-king-of-fra-ordering-the-arrest-of-charles-the-bad-king-J3T1AT.jpg

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
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