16 December 2014

Tuesday is drawing day - armour at the Wallace Collection

Scoping out the Wallace Collection before last Tuesday's drawing day, I came across wonderful things -
the Bell of Saint Mura, Irish, 11th century; decoration, 14th-16th centuries

a 15th century Flemish tabernacle

chairs with worn upholstery, covered as they would be in unused rooms of a grand house
- H H stands for Hertford House
The rooms full of armour are fascinating, with wonderfully-crafted weapons of all shapes and sizes, and their unfamiliar names -
Two glaives and a halberd
Not to mention the good positions for drawing, right up close to the cases in some instances. In one of the rooms are two horses all kitted up in metal, and many suits of armour.

My first choice was this visored bascinet, from northern Italy around 1400. The pointed nose and skull made weapons slide off. The chain mail is made of several smaller pieces and was added centuries later.
My laborious drawing didn't quite capture him, so I went on to add several small quick vignettes from different angles.
Something different, now? how about a caseful of cinquedeas, ceremonial swords used in northern Italy between 1470 and 1520 - a bit of a passing fashion. "Typically quite broad at the quillons, the "five fingers" wide blade gives the cinquedea its name.... One of the appealing qualities of the cinquedea form is that the broad blade makes an excellent canvas for etching or engraving ... even the more plain examples usually bear attractive multiple fullers that could only be created on a blade of extreme width." (via)
 I set out to draw the whole caseful - a nice rhythmical pattern - but those fullers (the indented bits) nearly got the better of me (or maybe they actually did) - drawing several swords showed the similarities and differences -
Unfinished - in more ways than one!
On the way to Marylebone High St to get a coffee, we had to have a little look at the shop. Santa, please take note of my favourite thing there -
 We found a table at Natural Kitchen for the discussion of sketchbooks, and refreshment -
before lunch - lemonade in a jar
The prospect of coffee/lunch and discussion - and wanting to have something interesting to show - helps keep you focused, and helps you "finish" when really you'd rather move on to something else. 

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