44 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

It sounds like you are talking about the transition from Romanesque/Gothic painting styles to Renaissance styles. This is a big topic in Art History (or at least was when I took it back in the '80's). ...
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28 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

Anything other than photo-realism makes you 'angry and confused'? That's sad. You're missing out on enjoying a whole lot of good stuff! Early pictorial art was often allegorical rather than strictly ...
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28 votes
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Were there Muslims in 12th century England?

There is almost no direct historical evidence that openly-practicing Muslims were LIVING in the British Isles in the decades and centuries after the Norman Invasion. But I guess I'll start this post ...
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23 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

There's been some perspective around for a long time. Look at this ceiling, from "The Vergilius Vaticanus" dated around 400 C.E. And here's a Chinese painting from around 1000 CE showing a ...
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  • 331
14 votes
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What does it mean to grant a church to a priory?

The quick answer (If there is one) is that Simon didn't control those churches(which were essentially the homes/estates of secular canons), he just set aside and funded the construction of the new ...
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11 votes
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Baldwin IV, the Leper King

How leprosy was considered in the Middle-Ages is an interesting story, because it evolved quite rapidly at the end of the 12th century, but differently depending on the place, and Baldwin IV was used ...
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6 votes

Were there buttons in the Holy Land?

As you have noticed, buttons did not become popular as fasteners until around 1300. This is because before then clothing tended to consist of cloaks, robes, tunics and other loosely fitting garments ...
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5 votes

Why did Saladin show kindness to Richard I?

I believe Saladin showed kindness to Richard the Lionheart not because of religion or to spy, though that is a distinct possibility, but because of Saladin's respect towards Richard, even though they ...
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  • 59
5 votes
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What evidence is there relating to Matilda of Scotland as a wife (to Henry I) and mother (to Empress Matilda and William the Adelin)?

I wrote a biographical study of Matilda of Scotland some years back, and in that book I discuss all the evidence from the primary sources about Matilda's relationship with her son and her role in ...
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4 votes

Names of articles worn by men of ~11th century European nobility

A nobleman may wear silk with opportunities for sable and ermine, not just vair. Fur is always a lining, not the outer fabric, until the 1800s. Underwear (sherte or chainse and loincloth or drawers/...
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  • 2,202
4 votes
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What were the Jurchen tribes/confederations in the 11th-12th centuries?

I don't think there was any tribal organisation as such. Starting with Wanyan Wugunai circa mid-11th century, the Wanyan Tribe became dominant among the Jurchens. Successive Wanyan chieftains ...
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4 votes

What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century?

Here are the official titles of Catholic European kings in the 13th century. Lithuania 1261: Mindowe, Dei gratia rex Littowie Hungary and Croatia 1270: Stephanus dei gracia Hungarie, Dalmacie,...
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3 votes

Why did really old paintings use such bizarre, unnatural perspective/proportions?

Not all "really old" art has no perspective. True, it's not usually seen, but good examples of it show up wherever there's a culture that was rich enough to have full-time, professional ...
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2 votes

Were there Muslims in 12th century England?

Since the background of the Robin Hood legend is, in most cases, based on the events surrounding the Third Crusade (1189–1192), the intoduction of the Saracen (as Muslims were called then) character ...
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