Sunday, March 29, 2009

Analyzing and re-creating paintings, intro and 1400's

I've got a new project. It ties in with my business, but is really more about art history and re-interpreting paintings than it is about sewing or living history. There will be a lot of sewing... as if I need to sew more.

The general idea is that I will pick a painting, research the paintings & artist (many of which I already know), find the models, make the costumes, set the scene and photograph it. I may or may not leave it at that. I am NOT a photographer, and things may get sticky at this point, but I'll muddle through.

I've chosen about 50 paintings and some interest me more than others. I can do 10 right away, though I will need warm bodies to fill the clothes, and some accessories to complete the look.

So far, I've made a grocery list of clothing, props and possible locations. My painting inspirations go from 1400 to 1900, in lin e with my business (hey, why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone???).

((EDIT: 8/17/12 I'm heavily editing my assessments based on new information in the hopes that other beginners will not make my old mistakes.  I will be using a strike-through on the "don't do this" so you can see where my mistakes were, and an underline where I've added things in.))

Note: don't take any spelling here as accurate, I didn't spell check, and at this stage I'm not going to.

Belles Heures?
Cotton / linen / wool shift
Inside, red/pink bedspread. Support Post. slatted screens or shutters in natural wood as backdrop... or woven reeds on posts set in the ground.
I have no idea where this image came from. It's a nativity, you can see the leg in the corner, but I can't find the original manuscript or alter piece... it's driving me crazy.
I can do this one now.
Edit: 8/12. I made this shift years ago & have since used both a set-in sleeve & a diagonal sleeve-as-neckline format.  The binding on the neckline should be done with a straight band (or 4 bands stitched together) and further research has yielded no evidence of a drawstring, though I cannot discount the possibility.  Ties in front or on side-front were in use.  A note on the fabric: I've found several sources mentioning the use of hemp for rough undergarments, but due to an allergy I won't touch the stuff.

June Haymaking.
les tres riche heures, de duc de berry
Woman with rake
Shift, white linen
Cotehardie, blue linen / wool.
veil, white linen
Belt, cord (won't be seen)
Wooden rake.
Outside in yard or field raking hay.
I can do this one now.
Edit: 8/12.  I made a blue dress out of linen, but the results weren't very close to this.  Used the Greenland Bog Dress pattern, AKA the 12-gore dress from 1400's.  It's a nice dress, but I made plenty of mistakes.  The discovery of the German Bras has helped my outlook on this fashion, but if you want to know how to make a good one, you need both an assistant who knows how to fit you & CJ's fitting instructions will help immensely.  Her research is top-notch... just remember that as new info gets dug up, conclusions can change.
I've also made a semi-prototype out of brown linen that once I have someone to fit it a bit better will become this dress.  As of right now, it's just a kirtle.

Lady in Waiting in pink Houpe. April
Les Tres Riche Heures de Duc de Berry
Shift, white linen
Cotehardie: long sleeved dark blue or black
Houpe: pink lined with gray wool
Leather belt, metal rings
Medallion circlet.
Outside in the lawn picking flowers. Garden wall on the right.
This one may take me a while to finish. I've got to find enough material to make the houpe, and though I'm not 100% stickler for historic accuracy, I'd at least like to get the material right.

St. John Alterpiece
Roger Van der Weiden
Man: Shirt, white linen. Hose, piebald, red & yellow wool. Jerkin, leather. Garters, leather. Shoes, black leather poulaines. Sword.
Woman: Shift, sheer white linen. Cotehardie, long sleeved yellow/orange. Cotehardie, short sleeved dark blue, gold trim on hem. Sideless surcote, black wool, velvet with white fur trim. Tipettes, gold band with sheer green streamers. Veil, white linen may be part of the hat. Belt, red beads. Shoes, brown leather poulaines. Silver plate.
Church archway with human head on the plate.

Houndsman, December
Les tres riche heures, de duc de berry
Shirt, white linen
hoes, green wool
boots, black leather
cotehardie, red / brown wool, black & white check on sleeve caps.(EDIT: 8/12 I've since learned this can also be dyed leather, though I think that's unlikely in this case)
belt, black leather
cap, blue linen / wool/ silk
Hunting horn, cow's horn with leather shoulder strap
boar spear
dog on a leash
Clearing in the woods.

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