Style Court

Eight Years of Textiles, History, Art, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

11.23.2009

When Textiles Ruled

Still reading A Perfect Red. Here's something to ponder the next time you find yourself gazing at an antique tapestry or a portrait of a Venetian doge.

With fortunes to be made and lost, rigid laws governing textile workers, and decrees controlling who could and could not wear bright colors, "...textiles were a matter of life and death in Renaissance Europe. In many ways, they were to the Renaissance what computing and biotech are to our own time; a high-stakes industry rife with intense rivalries and cutthroat competition -- an industry with the power to transform society." -- Amy Butler Greenfield.

Shown at top, images from silk manufacturer La Maison Georges Le Manach where equipment doesn't date to the Renaissance but nonetheless is centuries-old, via Selvedge, issue 29. Next, Suzanne Rheinstein's portraits of Venetian doges, cropped from Jeremy Samuelson's photo, House Beautiful, December 1993.

3 comments:

Jane said...

It sounds like a fascinating book. I think the Life and Death of textiles thing derived partly from the expense of dyes at that time. Only the wealthy could afford the herbs etc used to make those beautiful carmine or violet colours. Poor people made do with drab brown and grey. So different to today where dye is cheap (and often looks cheap) and comes in a myriad of colours - colour is no longer an indicator of class or poverty...

Mélanie said...

Love the pictures . I guess it is a wonderful book

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.