Tagged medieval art databases
November 12, 2014 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Manuscript Miniatures, Effigies & Brasses, Armour in Art, and Aquamanilia are four online databases of medieval art. Together they comprise some 19,506 images.

Despite the generic title, Manuscript Miniatures is actually focused on "miniatures depicting armoured figures from the medieval period [i.e. pre-1450 Europe]". However, extensive list of tags includes many non-armor related tags (e.g. lantern, popular in depictions of Jesus' betrayal, or dice). Most of the images involve arms or armor in some way, however. Happily, information about the source of each image, including links to the full-resolution original, are included. Some of the tags are in Polish, but most are in English.

Effigies & Brasses is a collection of images and links of medieval monumental tombs. Such effigies were often much more accurate depictions of armor and clothing than other forms of medieval art, and so they are an important resource for understanding the clothing and armor of the period, as well as what specific individuals looked like. As with Manuscript Miniatures, the entries at Effigies & Brasses are tagged and searchable.

Armour in Art is catch-all for representations of arms and armor in medieval European art other than manuscripts and effigies & brasses (e.g. frescos, altars, stained glass, and reliefs).

Aquamanilia (sing. aquamanile) are highly ornamental pitchers, primarily used for ritual hand cleaning before meals. Although the database is not searchable or tagged, the site includes a large gallery and some nice statistical analyses of the popularity of various forms over time.

Although there are a tremendous and growing number of digitized medieval manuscripts available online, most have little or no searchability or tagging, which makes it very difficult to find depictions of a particular thing or activity. These sites are a very useful jumping-off point for research.
posted by jedicus (6 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
(Effigies & Brasses was previously mentioned on MetaFilter in early 2010, but I don't think the other three sites existed yet. They certainly were not discussed in that post or its comments.)
posted by jedicus at 10:46 AM on November 12, 2014

Man, I love effigies. English churches were a revelation for me. I want my own effigy when I die.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:41 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Not as much Aquaman as I was expecting before I read beyond the fold..
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:53 AM on November 12, 2014

Man, I was just poring over the Effigies & Brasses site this morning for depictions of scabbards on German men in the 13th-14th century. The tagging is really useful. Helps in drawing knights with accurate equipment, or at least not pure fantasy equipment...
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:58 AM on November 12, 2014

I have not dived into any of these yet, but seeing these resources available online makes my inner medievalist grin with delight. Thanks for posting them!
posted by immlass at 12:57 PM on November 12, 2014

Excellent sources. Thank You.
posted by Galeflower at 4:54 PM on November 12, 2014

« Older Are Democrats elitist?   |   He was not originally a rapper by trade Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments