Medieval Manuscript Illuminations and Fashion Change: Connecting Everyday Life to Stylistic Change in Art

By Marie Botkin.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Looking at the history of dress through the centuries, the pace of change in clothing styles shows a slow evolutionary development that is influenced by technology, human creativity, and the expansion of trade. However, dress and art historians agree that the middle of the fourteenth century represents a pivotal moment in the development of fashion in the Western world, frequently calling it “the beginning of fashion” because of the significance of its change. In the same historic period, representation in manuscript painting likewise undergoes drastic stylistic development. Manuscript illuminations rapidly transform, changing from two dimensional line drawings to fully rendered sketches which include contouring and spatial depth on the figure and in the background settings. In this paper, I will discuss and compare the changes in fashion and art in the fourteenth century in France to reveal a formal and conceptual connection between the arts of everyday life and the development of pictorial art in the medieval era.

Keywords: Fashion, Manuscript Illuminations, Medieval

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.33-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 557.881KB).

Dr. Marie Botkin

Assistant Professor, Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, USA