Falling Leaves: the Ardes blog

Archives filed under "art history"

How We Used to Do It

Ray Drainville

Not that long ago—well within living memory, in fact—the only way to show people your design work was to cart around sheaves of paper, your fingers greasily smudging the edges. We likely forget how long this has been common practice.

The Creative Review blog recently had a brief photo essay showcasing a 16th-century artist’s portfolio—the Macclesfield Alphabet Book.

Books like this not only showed potential clients what your house could produce, but it also retained a “house style”—anyone in the workshop could reproduce these images.

It’s been a long while since the ink dried on my Art History MA, but the style doesn’t at all look circa 1500 to me. I think it’s likely to be about 1450 at the very latest—and even then, it’s retained imagery from a far older manuscript. Have a look again at the fashion in the second illustration above: the woman’s fashion looks about mid-15th century & the man’s significantly earlier.

In any event, give me a website any day :)