Thursday, 5 October 2017

Local Gentry

It's museum time again . The new season's exhibitions are beginning and the one I went to yesterday was  simply titled  , "Rich In Groningen" .

 It was a collection of locally held treasures  , some  from attics , some from country churches and a lot from the museum's vaults .
 Lots of crests , uncomfortable furniture

family portraits by the barrow load , silver goblets , gorgeous wall paper copied from odd scraps of the eighteenth century originals in the city archives , even the odd angel .

Since the city , in an attempt to avoid corruption , had a complicated system involving having four mayors , electing two at a time every two years there were lots of portraits of tubby chaps in black and splendid lace jabots ... and a definite family look to them .
In fact , there was a certain family look to most of the portraits and the same names pop up again and again .

But the occasional parvenue pushed forward and , since anyone could , would design himself a crest .

The Reverend Rudolphus Kuen and his wife Elizabeth had a particularly nice one .

I left , designing mine as I went . Aubergine with a bay leaf wreath and soup ladle rampant ?


Joanne Noragon said...

Parvenues be heard! Mine will feature rampant easy chairs.

Colette said...

It is hard to imagine living in a time before cameras, when families documented their lines via paintings and crests. I wonder about the artists who made their livings this way.

rachel said...

I wonder when furniture actually became comfortable? Perhaps when clothing became less padded out, so that the sitter could feel the hardness of their seating?

love those cupcakes said...

Looks like there are some wonderful family portraits in the exhibition (with so many stories behind them). But that is one grumpy cherub/angel.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You can see the angel's point ... hís arm's fallen off , there's a snake wrapped round him and he's been replaced on the tomb by a tidier looking angel .

Liz Hinds said...

My word, that is one grumpy angel! It's a snake, is it? I thought maybe he was a little devil and that was his tail. Beautiful wallpaper though.

colleen said...

I suppose all that ornateness is the equivalent of bling in a way showing that they could afford to pat someone to design and make stuff just for them. Let's all give thanks for IKEA!

Cro Magnon said...

I love that type of exhibition; I would also loved to have taken a lot of it home with me!

Jenny Woolf said...

Four mayors - well, that's an original idea.