Working out reconstructions


BBC – A Stitch In Time

(iPlayer link)

“Fusing biography, art and the history of fashion, Amber Butchart explores the lives of historical figures through their clothes.”

In last week’s programme the suit of clothes worn by Charles II in what I think is often called the Pineapple portrait was investigated, and this week it was the turn of the Arnolfinis.

I have a particular liking for this painting and used it as the forma as it were for one of the bedrooms in Hogepotche Hall, bringing it a little further forward and into the early 1600s while keeping as many of the furnishings and as much of the colour scheme as I could.  It became a full room with four-poster bed, fireplace etc but I made the main viewing angle/opening only as wide as the view you get in the original painting.  There is a second angle to view from in Hogepotche as you can go round the corner and look in and across the room through the window shown in the painting.  Then, taking further liberties with the room, I added a second window opposite the foot of the bed.

If you’re interested in more detail of my imagined version of the painting see From Mirror to Room and the subsequent pages cover the figures too.

Back to “A Stitch In Time”

In the programmes we find out about the history of a particular painting and get to visit a gloriously fascinating workshop, in this case to see the making of a reconstruction of the Arnolfini green dress, the fabrics used, methods of construction, the version of the dress achieved and the opportunity to view it in motion on the human figure.

If you are at all interested in history, or the history of art and/or costume these short programmes are a treat.

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