Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Stuttgart Festival of 1616

I was loitering at the Wake Forest University Research Online link page (itself a portal to weeks of entertainment) when I came across the first image above (quite well known I think). That sent me over to the Folger Shakespeare Library searching for its origin, which in turn led me via google to the Wolfenbeüttel Digitale Bibliothek which has all the scans of Repraesentatio der furstlichen Aufzug und Ritterspiel. (And now I wonder if I should have looked around the renaissance festival digitized material at the British Library? Oh it goes. And talking too much today.)

It took me a long time to work out which of these images to post. I love the renaissance festival depictions. And with blogger having a capacity of something like 350Mb I'm perhaps helping to ensure an early end to this odyssey. I actually saved 25 of the 80 or so images before cropping, resizing and editing them down.

From the Royal Danish Library we learn..

"Allegorical entertainments during festivities held in Stuttgart in 1616 by Duke Johann Friedrich of Württemberg on the occasion of his son's baptism. Princely festivities with tournaments and carnival-like parades with imaginative tableaux served a ceremonial function and were attended by numerous invited guests from other princely courts. The festivities at Stuttgart lasted for eight days and resulted in a publication of 77 plates, most of them done by the engraver Matthæus Merian, who later became famous as a publisher of topographical works. It was published in 1616 by the artist Esaias van Hulsen with the title Repræsentatio der furstlichen Aufzug und Ritterspiel".

The URLs of each image here contain the associated german caption. If there is any text with this book, it isn't scanned at the Bibliothek site. A lot of the character labels on the engravings are Homeric, or at least, derived from the Greek pantheon - you can just make them out near the people in the chariot above and in the horsemen engraving2nd from the top.
Marvellous stuff.

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