Thursday, March 4, 2010

V & A : The Medieval and Renaissance Galleries

I visited the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries after reading an article by Tim Richardson in the SGD journal. He described the grand opening gallery as a garden space stylised like an outdoor sculpture court, which was common in the Italian Renaissance's villas. It tempted me but not as much as the cultural richness of this period. I remember well from my day at school that the Middle Ages start in 476, with the falls of the Western Roman Empire. It ends in 1453, with the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire (more rightly called the Byzantine Empire). The sound of 'orient' and 'occident' - as used in my mother tongue - is much more pleasant to my hears. The Renaissance is the transition period between the Middle Ages and the Modern period, and is said to go from the end of the thirteenth century to 1600. These dates are controversial. There have always been periodization issues regarding the end of the Middle Ages, and there increasingly are issues in connection with the start of this period. It doesn't change anything to the diversity of events and cultures. I see it as the richest and most dense period of European History. There is a constant exchange between the West and East, that influences art, architecture, philosophy, science and technology. There are so many beautifully crafted objects, like this 'Large-pattern' Holbein Carpet, that was probably woven by a Muslim craftsman working in an increasingly Christian XV century Spain. The pattern reminds us the long-established Islamic society in Southern Spain, and the way it influenced the cultural development at the time. One could stop at every object and observe. Next time I won't forget my specs...

1 comment:

  1. Audeldk,
    Ages hooked, threaded together not by strife or calamity but by clever fingers. A magic carpet. I'm astonished by such things. Thanks.