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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: October ::
Paintings in Stratford
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0716  Sunday, 21 October 2007

[1] 	From:	Hannibal Hamlin <
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	Date:	Thursday, 18 Oct 2007 10:15:40 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0702 Paintings in Stratford

[2] 	From:	Arthur Lindley <
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	Date:	Thursday, 18 Oct 2007 20:34:45 +0000
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0702 Paintings in Stratford

[3] 	From: 	Hardy M. Cook <
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	Date: 	Sunday, October 21, 2007
	Subj: 	Paintings in Stratford


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date:		Thursday, 18 Oct 2007 10:15:40 -0400
Subject: 18.0702 Paintings in Stratford
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0702 Paintings in Stratford

David Evett very usefully points out that, despite the iconoclasm of 
radical Protestants, there was a good deal of Protestant religious 
imagery. As he notes, even the reputation of the Geneva Bible as 
rejecting images is exaggerated, but there were loads of books available 
chock full of images. Also, I don't have a reference at hand, but wall 
hangings were not restricted to the rich. Even London taverns would have 
painted cloths with scenes from the Bible, and there were biblical 
images on objects of all sorts (cushions, embroidered book bindings, 
swords, plates, furniture, etc.). None of this is necessarily Catholic. 
The problem with all this is that the objects, especially the cheap 
ones, are ephemeral. Does a single one of these painted cloths (as 
opposed to tapestry) survive? I haven't seen one.

P.S. The V&A has a wonderful website, with a great many online images 
from its collections.

http://www.vam.ac.uk/index.html

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Arthur Lindley <
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Date:		Thursday, 18 Oct 2007 20:34:45 +0000
Subject: 18.0702 Paintings in Stratford
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0702 Paintings in Stratford

Tara Hamling (English, Birmingham) gave a very interesting paper at the 
Shakespeare Institute today on domestic religious art in Protestant 
homes after the Reformation, indicating that there would have been a 
significant body of folk art even after the striping of the altars.

Regards,
Arthur Lindley

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Sunday, October 21, 2007
Subject: 	Paintings in Stratford

Such a painted cloth as the one Hannibal Hamlin refers to above hangs on 
Collatine's wall at Collatium.

Tarquin pauses by it on his way to Lucrece's chamber:

Who fears a sentence or an old man's saw
Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe. (ll. 245-256)

And Lucrece gazes at it after she has been raped (Stanzas 196 to 219):

At last she calls to mind where hangs a piece
Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy,
Before the which is drawn the power of Greece,
For Helen's rape, the city to destroy,
Threat'ning cloud-kissing Ilion with annoy,
   Which the conceited painter drew so proud
   As heaven, it seemed, to kiss the turrets bowed. (ll. 1366-1372)

My annotation for my Internet Shakespeare Editions to "a painted cloth" 
in line 245 is as follows:

<A>a painted cloth</A> "<I>painted cloth</I>: a hanging for a room 
painted or worked with figures, mottoes or texts; tapestry." (<I>OED</I> 
cloth n. 5.)</LEVEL> Prince best explains this reference: "Cloth or 
canvas painted with pictures and patterns in oil colours was commonly 
used for wall-hangings, as a cheap substitute for tapestry. The subjects 
were often Biblical or classical, and texts or proverbs were common in 
the designs. Hence the association in Tarquin's mind between 'saws' and 
'sentences' and this form of interior decoration." Cf. "Good traders in 
the flesh, set this in your painted / cloths:" (<I>Riverside</I> 
<I>Tro.</I> 5.10.45-46) and "Not so; but I answer you right painted / 
cloth, from whence you have studied your / questions." (<I>Riverside</I> 
<I>AYL</I> 3.2. 273-275)


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