A year without Codex Manesse… shame on me I guess… Anyway the theme of this modest update is – a sword. Not as a tool of war, but as a symbol of status. Browsing Codex Manesse miniatures you may notice that many images depicting knights during very “civilian” activities like reading a letter or contemplating a poem there is often a sword around hanging on the wall or simply standing somewhere (see Emperor Heinrich).From narrative point of view the sword adds nothing to the image and the narrator could just omit this detail (wchich he often does), however the presence of a sword underlines high status of the man depicted.
For a medieval man sword was not only a tool of murder or a portable shrine making an impromptu cross when stuck in the ground. A sword was a powerful symbol – it denoted knighthood, justice, virtue, authority, Christendom and possibly had many other now not entirely clear meanings.
Anyway a curious thing is that with exceptions of evident martial or traveling context swords in Codex Manesse (and many other manuscripts from XIII-XIV century) sword is not carried fastened to the side hanging on a belt (or other device) but rather carried in hand. There could have been many reasons for this, but for me two most obvious and plausible ones are:
- Practical – having something heavy (ok i know that original swords where not that heavy but still) and cumbersome dangling around your leg for a better part of a day could be annoying. There are accounts of II WW officers complaining on the weight and discomfort of carrying their sidearms on their hip – it could be the same with the sword.
- Informational/Symbolic. – When carried by the side, a sword is not always in sight, especially when the bearer was wearing a cloak. However it is hard to miss when guy you’re looking at carries it in hand or resting on his shoulder and regardless of many romantic or chivalric, symbolical meanings of a sword the most obvious one was – power. When a sword was in sight all people around immediately knew things just got more serious.
Today another (after the church) simple 3d model for Codex Manesse range. This time it is a knightly pavilion loosely inspired by Winli’s tent.
It is one of most commonly depicted (though not necessarily most common) kind of tent of high-to-late middle ages – round pavilion supported by a center pole. (As this model was to be as simple as can be, the center pole is not included :D. You can easily make one of paper roll or bamboo skewer). How the perimeter of the tent was erected is not entirely clear. Several concepts are used by re-enactment groups and experimental archaeologists with spoked wheel concept being most common.
As you can see the tent is actually almost as big as CM church. I tried to keep it’s relative size to characters, according to original miniature and Codex Manesse art canon, and that demands inconsistent scaling of “architecture” elements :).
Anyway the model is fairly simple to make. Simply cut out elements, fold togue tabs and insert them into slots marked with corresponding letters, then put the tent top on the walls, and that’s it. The tents should stand on its own with no glue required (depending on paper density), allowing easy assembly and disassembly for storage. You can always glue it together if you like. Click on the image below to download PDF file allowing you to make a closed or opened tent with 3 different scallop patterns (Use layers tab to turn desired options on or off ). To add size variety to your tent field you can cut out some segments of the tent to make narrower but taller tents. (The tent to the right on the photo above had 4 scallops and corresponding wall sections cut out).
Wow… Three months no update…shame on me…
Well, I’ve been extremely busy mostly with mundane things, also trying to dust off my drawing skills (perhaps I will show some of this in near future). But despite all that I finally managed to find some time to make another set of Manesse Minis.
The Frauenzimmer was a generic term used since XV century in Central European courts (under influence of German imperial court I guess) used to denote the female part of the court – both chambers used by females and their inhabitants themselves. In Poland the term (localized as Fraucymer) was used almost strictly to indicate the mistress of a major court (a Queen, Duchess or other lady of higher nobility), and her closest handmaidens often also of noble (although lesser) blood. The term was coined much later than Codex Manesse, but I think it is a good title for a miniatures set focused on noble ladies. Anyway, here they are.
According to medieval Christian tradition women wearing head scarves would be married women of respectable position and/or age (such as the lady of the court herself or her house-mistress – overseer and tutor of younger maidens and servants). Those wearing barbettes and fillets (these bonnet like things) would be maidens in age suitable for marriage, while servant maids, and young girls would go with their hair uncovered. Such rules were, however, not always and not everywhere respected and many women wore fillets even when married, at least until their beauty (and fashion) was more important for them than an image of a respectable matron. Anyway, just right click and “save target as” to ad the ladies of the court to your Codex Manesse collection :).
Obviously this set was intended for Valentines day, unfortunately I was too busy to finish it in time so here it is now. Meet the Codex Manesse lovers.
These miniatures are more like standees, than single miniatures as depicting whole scenes better suited the theme.
Being primarily a collection of love poems (Middle-High German Minnelied or Minnesang) Codex Manesse illustrations contain many depictions of different faces of medieval love. Many love scenes are pretty much similar to present day courtship. Knights taking their ladies for a forest walk, enjoying a picnic or dancing. Other are quite curious – like a Lady using a crane to pull her Knight to her tower, or lovers exchanging letters using crossbows (a medieval version of SMS), some are even more dramatic like Friedrich der Knecht fleeing with his beloved before an armed pursuit. For this set however I chose more benign images. Read more…
Silhouette cutfiles for Codex Manesse church are now available in the Models section, or directly here.
Again great thanks to M.Proteau for making the cutfiles and formatting pages for robocutter.
Finally I managed to steal some time for the hobby and here is the effect. The church is my first attempt at creating Codex Manesse architecture, or any CM 3D piece at all. I was not sure if the feel of a medieval manuscript could be maintained in a 3d model, especially that in original manuscripts architecture is always secondary to characters (or scene in general) and either greatly undersized or just symbolic. Especially choosing the right size comparing to Codex Manesse minis was quite tricky. Too small ant the model is getting useless as a potential gaming piece, to big and it’s loosing the manuscript feel dominating the miniatures to much. The end result of this little experiment you can see below
The model consists of 3 separate pieces that can be variously arranged: a Belltower, a Nave and a Choir with a polygonal apse. The layout above would be most common but the belltower in example could be aligned to the side of the Nave, two bell towers could flank the Nave, or it could be detached as a free standing campanila. The Nave itself works also on its own making a nice townhouse or a small Pfalz. As medieval architecture was generally additive in it’s nature, you can print multiple pieces and arrange them in many possible ways.
Thanks to Mike Proteau of Cardboard Warriors forum, all lucky owners of Silhouette studio operated robocutters can now push the whole (up to date) range of Codex Manesse miniatures through their clever machines.
Below you will find Codex Manesse Jousting Knights (Including the Fencers, the King, the bear and the maiden fair), and first two sets of The Court edited for the robocuter and zipped together with .studio cutfiles.
Codex Manesse: Jousting Knights
Codex Manesse: The Court