Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crown of Reccesuinth

This is a votive crown given to the Church by Reccesuinth, King of the Visigoths (649 – 672). It is gold filigree set with sapphires, pearls and other gems and is the best surviving piece of Visigothic metalwork. The letters hanging from the crown spell [R]"ECCESVINTUS REX OFFERET" (King Reccesuinth offers this.) The crown is at the National Archaeological Museum of Spain is Spain except for the "R" pendant from RECCESVINTUS, which is in the Musée de Cluny in Paris.

Images from Wikipedia.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Orion from Leiden Aratea

Orion the Hunter from the Leiden Aratea. This is one of the great works of the Carolingian Renaissance, which how shows how thoroughly classical art was revived. This is such a close copy of its late antique model that is it was at one time thought to be of late antique provenence itself. Note the use of shading to model Orion's musculature. This had not been done in a realistic way for centuries when this manuscript was made. The text in this manuscript is know as the Aratea is by Germanicus and is based on the Phainomena of Aratus and is an introduction to the constellations. Germanicus is best remembered as the popular adoptive grandson of Augustus and grandfather of Nero. In Graves I, Claudius he was poisoned by Livia and Caligula. The Leiden university library has posted a digital facsimile of the manuscript here.

Leiden Aratea Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Voss. lat. Q 79, f. 58v.

Back again

I have had high hopes for this blog, but have been unable to follow through. Right now I don't have the time or energy to write longish articles on a regular basis. I think I might have the time to get up images of single pages of manuscripts or other objects, with very short descriptions on an almost daily basis. This is my goal for now. Think of it as your almost daily medieval art image.