Tag: medieval

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English Medieval Embroidery in the Norse World

Detail from the Butler-Bowden cope: St. Margaret standing on a writhing dragon, piercing it with a long-stemmed cross @  Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This post was written by Ingrid Lunnan Nødseth, a PhD student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim who recently completed a Visiting Research Fellowship in the V&A Research Department. With the upcoming exhibition Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery (opens Saturday 1 October 2016), the V&A has sparked renewed interest in the […]

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Where to put your lowly medieval bottom

MSL/1910/2385 folio 2 r, Book of Hours (the Margaret de Foix  Hours), France, ca. 1470. © V&A Museum.

In my previous blog we saw how chairs are used as signs of power and status. In this blog I will look at other types of seat on which to place on your (more lowly) medieval bottom Medieval houses were generally sparsely furnished so it is not surprising that very few examples of medieval furniture […]

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The Real Game of Thrones – Medieval Seats of Power

MSL/1902/1649 folio 78 r, Book of Hours, French, ca. 1425. © V&A Museum.

Fans of Games of Thrones know how impressive an important seat of power can be. This is also true in medieval manuscripts where images of thrones feature often when depicting earthly and heavenly rulers. You don’t, however, always need a fancy throne like the Iron Throne of Westeros to show your importance; any chair with […]

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Getting To The Point Of Medieval Shoes

9019b/1. Cutting from printed book of devotion. Initial O with three  youths and three ladies on a hillside with a town in the distance. Netherland, late 15th century. © V&A Museum

The V&A’s new Shoes exhibition showcases some of the craziest trends in footwear throughout history. One of my favourites is this extremely long-toed Medieval shoe from the Museum of London. In my previous post about ostentatious medieval headdresses I wrote about using manuscripts as a source for images of clothing, so couldn’t resist having a […]

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What to wear when you don’t have a halo

278:3, cutting from a choir book, initial D with a miniature of St. Agnes. Germany, 15th century. © V&A Museum.

Sometimes, when looking through medieval manuscripts, it seems that everyone is wearing a halo – page after page of holy families, saints and virgin martyrs! This beautiful image of Saint Agnes (with her lamb) has beautiful flowing hair, a shimmering halo, and a heavenly crown. But a mere mortal woman could not copy this look. […]

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Here be Dragons

244:3, Leaf from choir-book with initial S in red pen-work on green and blue ground depicting a dragon. Netherland. late 12th century, © V&A Museum.

When we think of the Middle Ages we often imagine a world full of knights, castles and, of course, dragons. Sightings of dragons appear periodically in medieval chronicles such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of AD.793 which mentions ‘dreadful fore-warnings…whirlwinds, and fiery dragons flying across the firmament”. This 15th century illustrated version of Pliny’s ‘Natural History’ […]

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The Early Music Movement and the V&A


In Britain the adoption of period instruments and historically informed practices (HIP) for the performance of ‘early music’ (generally understood to encompass music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods) dates to the 1970s, with some ensembles, such as the Deller Consort, blazing a trail earlier still. Looking through the concert files in the V&A […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 01


As promised I will be blogging a ‘Shop of the Day’ every day until the Tower opens.  I will endeavour to give you a bit of background to the shop if possible.  All these photographs that I will be putting up have been Photoshopped ready to make into ceramic transfers. Let me know your favourite shops… ©Barnaby […]

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Making Connections

Casket with saints and other figures, carved ivory on wood, painted and gilt, possibly Sicily or Southern Italy, c.1100-1200. Museum no. 603-1902 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

As a student at the Courtauld Institute of Art my perception of the V&A’s collections is often shaped by my art historical studies. Over the last couple of years I have experienced the museum both as a student and as a volunteer. I have been volunteering as a Welcoming Ambassador at the V&A for a […]

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Stained Glass on Paper: Medieval and Renaissance Designs

Design for a stained glass window, pen and ink and red chalk drawing by Hans Baldung Grun, German, ca. 1508.

If you’ve ever wandered the corridors of the V&A, you’ve probably come across the dazzling Sacred Silver and Stained Glass gallery (if not, I definitely recommend a visit!). This is one of my favourite rooms in the museum, both for the beautiful effects produced by the changing light at different times of day and year, […]

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