tisdag 5 januari 2016

Some coloured and patterned veils in the 13th and early 14th century

For many years I have been fond of pattenred or coloured veils - fro insance I'm wearing a striped veil on this photo of me in my pink cotte, and that is one of my favourite veils.

While coloured veils are well documented for the periods before 1200 ( I wear coloured veils with all my 12th century gowns) they are not unusual in the High Middle Ages either, though they tend to be more white with a pattern, or in lighter colours, such as yellow. Literary sources from Germany complain that women were wearing saffron coloured veils in the 13th century, something that was both luxurious, given the price of saffron, and vain.

Decorated veils tended to arise the ire of men of the church, who claimed that it was given as a sign of humility and modesty, and a sign of Eve's guilt in the fall of man (don't ask me how they came to that conclusion) and that it was an offence to the christian god to make them into an item of vanity and seduction.

Well, I'm all for vanity and seduction, though I'm not sure that it works, so I have decided that in my renewed 13th-early 14th ceetury wardrobe I am going to wear even more decorated veils.

So, here are some images from the period.


This one is from 1214-1220, much like the 12th century veils. I love pink.

Emma wearing a red veil in the Vita of Edward the Confessor, from c 1260

Darker colours seems to be more popular in Spain. This one is lined with a contrasting colour as you can see.

13th century scupture from Navarre, again at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Another Spanish statue

Santa Maria de Vitoria, from Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain


French c.1275-1300, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Same time. Also the Metroplitan Museum of Art

Striped, or otherwise overall patterned
How much do I love these veils by Meister Heinrich von Konstanz, ca 1300? Too much for words,
Again, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Manuscript c 1325-30, from Bibliothèque Nationale deFrance

Santa Maria de Montserrat, statue from Montserrat Abbey in Barcelona, 
Wikimedia Commons. A detail photo can be found here.


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