Friday, March 11, 2011

Dürer's Triumphal Procession

A modern presidential motorcade is a public demonstration of glory and power. Aside from the flags, the look is black, austere, and vaguely ominous, like a fast-paced funeral procession.

In the Renaissance they had a different notion of how to do a motorcade. Their style was extravagant, ornate, and full of symbolism, more like a float in the Rose Parade.

In 1518, Albrecht Durer worked with other wood engravers to portray a procession of the imperial family. Victory descends to the emperor with a laurel wreath, accompanied by cardinal virtues: Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, and Prudence. Feathers on angels’ wings list the victorious battles.


Scorchfield said...

very good information

Unknown said...

And many Renaissance artists themselves were the designers of the pageantry--floats, tableaux vivants, costumes, etc--especially in places where artists were employed by the courts. There was little distinction between "high" art and "low" art.

David Still said...

They didn't have snipers back then.