Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Medieval Women Artists



Hi everyone!

So the release date of Seizing Heaven is getting closer – 3rd July. Yay!!!! Yes, you can tell I’m excited by my liberal use of exclamation marks.

As I have said before, Seizing Heaven is the follow up story to Capturing Bliss. It is the same family, the same house but about a century later.

 


Capturing Bliss first introduced Sir William Reynard who can be seen as the founder of the dynasty. For his loyalty to the crown and his valour on the battlefield he was given the estate of Foxwoods Hall and the heiress Lady Ivetta de Woodville in marriage.

However, Ivetta is in love with another. To protect her younger beloved sister, Blissot agrees to take Ivetta’s place and marry Lord Reynard in her stead.

But as the days go by and Bliss begins to fall in love with her husband, her new found happiness is threatened by her secret. How can she ever tell Lord Reynard that she lied and tricked him into marriage?

 


In Seizing Heaven the Reynard family has continued on along with their home, Foxwoods Hall. Lord Savaric Reynard is pragmatic and doesn’t believe in true love or that the family betrothal ring will always choose the right bride. He is about to arrange a marriage with the wealthy widow from the neighbouring estate when he is intercepted by a travelling artist, Rosamund.

While researching, finding copious amounts of information on medieval women artists was a little challenging. Much of the arts and crafts of the time were largely anonymous.


Medieval art was produced in many media, and the works that remain in large numbers include sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork and mosaics, all of which have had a higher survival rate than other media such as fresco wall-paintings, work in precious metals or textiles, including tapestry.
Especially in the early part of the period, works in the so-called "minor arts" or decorative arts, such as metalwork, ivory carving, enamel and embroidery using precious metals, were probably more highly valued than paintings or monumental sculpture.
 
 

Of course this is a huge area of study and one in which it is very easy to become lost in. However I did come across an interesting book by Daniel V. Thompson called – The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. It discusses the carriers and ground, binding media, pigments, colouring materials and metals used during that period.

 

There was also the rise of craft and merchant guilds during this period. Here’s a link to EH.net’s paper on it. http://eh.net/encyclopedia/medieval-guilds/


Middle Ages women artists are difficult to research. Medieval women during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages were dominated by men. Medieval women had few options in relation to their lives. They basically either married or entered a religious institution as a nun in a convent.
Early Middle Ages Art was initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. Both Monks and Nuns were the main artists during the Medieval times and era. The women who became nuns were responsible for many illuminated manuscripts.
 

The known names of Middle Ages women artists are included on the following list who were manuscript illuminators:
Claricia - German female artist and nun who illuminated manuscripts in the 12th century
Herrad of Landsberg (1125-1195) Abbess of Hohenburg
Ende - 11th century nun and illuminator
Guda or Guta - German 12th century nun and illuminator
Diemud or Diemudis (1057-1130) - 12th century Bavarian nun and illuminator
Abbess Hitda
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
 
 
Embroidery and Tapestry Art
Embroidery and tapestry art such as the Bayeux Tapestry was an accepted art form of Middle Ages women artist.
The names of the women who created the Bayeux tapestry are unknown but are believed to have worked in English convents or nunneries.
 
 
Where this may be true, there were women artists and crafts women working outside holy orders.
 


 
Snippet from Capturing Bliss
 
As Bliss lay on the soft bed with William surrounding her, she inhaled a breath
and wondered if her heart would ever beat at its normal rate again. She could still feel
him within her, their legs were tangled and his weight pressed her deeply into the
mattress, yet she did not want to move.
The room was still except for the muted crackling of the fire. A soft peacefulness enfolded them; it felt like the calm that comes after a great storm. And she for one did not want to break the spell, the connection she had just experienced with William. Ignoring his heaviness, she slowly rubbed his back. Yet all too soon he stirred by her side. Lifting his head, his eyes met hers, they were green and fathomless. He smiled and dropped a kiss upon her lips before rolling on his side and pulling Bliss into hard embrace.
Bliss laid her head on William’s shoulder, her hand lay over his heart and as the
minutes slipped she found herself being lulled to sleep. His heart beat beneath her
hand as she felt the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest, his body heat warmed her and
as she drifted off she felt safe within his embrace.
I must tell him the truth she thought as she snuggled closer to William. I must tell
him that I am Blissot and not Ivetta. This falsehood cannot continue another day. Tomorrow, I’ll tell him tomorrow. She reasoned as her eyes shut and she let out a sigh.  Aye tomorrow.
Just a little note – I’m redesigning my website so it will be off line for a few days – sorry for any inconvenience.

Thanks for stopping by.
 Nicóle  xx


 



 


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