Monthly Archives: September 2013

Vlad de întunecare

Korean fashion – with a romanian name: Vlad de întunecare.



Negrul aristocratic:

In about the fourth decade of the 16th century, the aristocracy of the southern Netherlands set their sights on the fashions of the Spanish court. These were largely dominated by dark colours, especially black. The fact that nobles dressed in black resulted in the small circles around them doing so as well, and the fashion then cascaded its way across the wider society in the Spanish realm and eventually beyond. The reasons for wearing black were diverse. Black was no doubt the fashion, but it was certainly also valued and worn because of its formal character. At the start of the 16th century, the Italian Baldassare Castiglione, in Il Cortegiano, in which he described the rules governing the lives of courtiers, wrote that it was preferable to appear at court sober and in black, because black commands respect, while at the same time underscoring the wearer’s sense of duty. This official character of the colour black also helps explain why so many subjects of the portraits of the day were painted in black apparel. A portrait was a formal object that indicated the social position of the client who commissioned the painting. This association of black with formality continued throughout the 17th century. In 1690, the Frenchman Antoine Furetière noted in his Dictionnaire universel that women dressed in black whenever they went on official visits, in contrast to when they were at home or in informal situations, when they wore coloured clothing.

[from the catalog of this exhibition]

Omnes vulnerant, postuma necat

His attention was drawn to the huge, empty house, its bare walls, the paintings on the ceiling that were falling into shreds, eaten by mildew. […] They passed other rooms, which were empty or contained the remains of broken furniture thrown in a corner. Naked, dusty light bulbs hung from the ceilings.

The only rooms that seemed to be in use were two interconnecting reception rooms. There was a sliding door between them with coats of arms etched into the glass. It was open, revealing more bare walls, their ancient wallpaper marked by long-gone pictures, and furniture, rusty nails, and fixtures for nonexistent lamps. Above this gloomy scene was a ceiling painted to resemble a vault of clouds with the sacrifice of Isaac in the center.

Beneath the trompe-l’œil sky, dusty French windows, some of the panes replaced with cardboard, led to the terrace and, beyond that, to the garden.

At one end of the vast room was an enormous fireplace with logs piled up in it. There were a pair of unmatched armchairs, a table and sideboard, an oil lamp, two big candlesticks, a violin in its case, and little else. But on the floor, lined up neatly on old, faded, threadbare rugs, as far away as possible from the windows and the leaden light coming through them, lay a great many books; five hundred or more, he estimated, maybe even a thousand. Many codices and incunabula among them. Wonderful old books bound in leather or parchment. Ancient tomes,with studs in the covers, folios, Elzevirs, their bindings decorated with goffering, bosses, rosettes, locks, their spines and front edges covered with gilding and calligraphy done by medieval monks in the scriptoria of their monasteries.