Noahs Missing Puppy (Tapestry Tales Book 1)
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The bigger the tapestry the longer it took to create, and the more silk, silver-and gilt-metal thread that was used, the more expensive it was. They figured out ways to create a wide variety of subtle and deep tones, textures, highlights and shadows.
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They rose up to the challenge that the Renaissance painters set before them. Tapestry weavers had to match the level of technical virtuosity painters, miniaturists and book illustrators had achieved in order to satisfy their customers. Renaissance tapestries served a number of different purposes. They were symbols of rank, wealth and power and effective sources of propaganda; made to order for the religious and political elite.
They could cost as much as a warship and be more expensive than great paintings by acknowledged masters. Michelangelo was paid less money for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel than the designers of a series of tapestries commissioned by Leo X Acts of the Apostles were.
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Tapestries were taken along on campaigns and hung outdoors during festivals, as a way of uniting townspeople around their lord. They were colorful and lively backdrops in dark, dank, cold and windowless interiors. They were not always treated nicely. They had mirrors and paintings placed over them, were rolled up and forgotten for centuries and were burned in order to extract the metallic threads. Entering a room with a series of tapestries hung in it must have been awe inspiring or at least attention getting ; equivalent to the experience of seeing a film in a movie theater for the first time.
Even though some of the tapestries in this exhibit might have been kept in storage by the original owners, they were meant to impress the wealthy and the illiterate alike. Almost every tapestry in the exhibit has a busy border that is filled with complicated designs using putti, flowers, fruit, foliage, heraldic devices and inscriptions.
Art historians have used the heraldry to pinpoint chronology. The most popular subjects for tapestries were taken from historical, biblical and mythological sources. It is nice to see Jesus and an assortment of Pagan gods together in one composition The Miraculous Draft of Fishes, , although the Pagan gods have been allocated to the borders.
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I found myself marveling over meticulously rendered belts and scabbards, braided hair, folded textiles, unique human physiognomies, gorgeous flora and fauna, intricate pieces of jewelry, and animals of all sorts. This tapestry contains a small number of figures and the foreshortened forms are convincing.
The hachures coalesce in a way that is similar to the brushstrokes in an impressionist painting. It is pure pleasure to gaze at the variety of marine life piled up in the boat Jesus is seated in. The overcrowded and obsessive tapestry, The Death of Troilus, Achilles and Paris, , is a clear example of medieval concepts of space and composition.
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Depictions of violence have always been popular. The faces of the dying or murdering soldiers are Holbeinesque and the weavers created an array of flesh tones. Looking beyond the horror vacui, the heavy use of overlap to describe what form is in front of another does not muddle the whole. The viewer is curious about the chaos, the mass of flailing arms and legs and weapons. It is difficult to count the number of figures in this work.
They are piled on top of one another and foliage and architectural details are squeezed in between the horses and humans.
Would a personal dislike of what Rosebud finally is revealed to be, invalidate the whole body of Citizen Kane? But enough about such matters. Let us instead dwell on the shot in The Village that possibly offers its most refined beauty.
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Below is its start and end points, a work of art by master cinematographer Roger Deakins. A band of extras play villagers cowering in the safety of their basement during the creature invasion, with the camera tilting softly they are all linked by the colour green :. As the above has indicated, The Village is a rather spectacular film.
The rest of the current article will deal with more down-to-earth matters, the patient accumulation of details that quietly adds resonance to the characters and their relationships. The village boys play a game to see who dares stand longest at the border with the back to the sinister forest. When they return, their recent abject fear replaced by merriment within the safety of the village, Lucius too appears in the square above. This shot encourages comparisons in several ways. Later we learn that the fearless Lucius holds an unbeatable record at the game, so it is fitting that the champion should turn up at this precise point.
Lucius even echoes the game by walking out with his back to the danger. Her other escort is Christop Crane. Thus she ended up with two of the most wretched villagers as escorts. Before Finton leaves her, he even pleads with Ivy to follow him back to village border, to make him safer.
One more contrast between Lucius and Christop: a running gag with the latter is his obsession with avoiding wrinkles on his shirt. This is not particularly funny, but serves a useful purpose: while Christop is shown to be concerned with the silliest of details, Lucius is thinking big and bold thoughts.
Lucius Hunt is a loner who only thinks of his community. As the only villager without fear, it is natural that he should be an outsider as well. Lucius also comes across as highly introspective — he suffers from the loneliness of being special. It is worth noting that he was close to another child, Daniel Nicholson, who has just died at the start of the film, and this death becomes a driving force for his plans to go to the towns for medicine.
While most villagers are shown in harmonious companionship with others, often expressed through appearing in pairs and fours, he is almost always seen on his own, isolated. The earlier shot of the simultaneous appearance of Lucius and the four young men visualises individualism versus the collective. When all hell breaks loose during the creature invasion, he is seen, in that same square, standing out from the others milling about, through his purposeful entrance and as a shadow close to the lens.
Except when saving others during that sequence, he is never seen to touch anyone — until he saves Ivy from the creature by grasping her hand. This sets off a chain of touching: he again grabs her hand to protect her from the commotion of the interrupted wedding dance, then it culminates in the second porch scene, where he declares his love, before touching her face and kissing her for visuals: here and here.
The pervasive hand motif of the film is otherwise denied Lucius, the absence of touching anyone else an extension of his early refusal to touch Ivy paradoxically, because he loves her. While they are speaking in the Resting Rock scene — well, Ivy does almost all of it! The below slide show presents various strategies to set him apart.
There is always a gulf or a table between him and his mother. In the watchtower scene with Finton and the Kitty scene, he is confined to a markedly different plane of the shot. Before he ventures into the woods, he is visually separating from the community, represented by not just one companion, but a pair, a common way of expressing harmony in this film. The only person he is close to for some time — demonstratively so! In the second town hall meeting, after Lucius has admitted it was he who breached the border, he sits apart, far back in the hall, the others emphasised as being at a distance:.
But then an overwhelmingly sensitive moment is conjured out of thin air: a warm bonding between Edward and Lucius, leader and loner. As the spiritual head of the village, Edward is its father figure, also to Lucius, whose biological father died around the time of his birth.
Then the film cuts to the wedding between Kitty and Christop where everyone is together, Lucius too. Edward went down on his knee to address Lucius, marking the fourth Shyamalan film in a row when an older character does this to a person of a younger generation. It kneels before it in awe. Lucius is a man of few words. Both his mother and Ivy are pressing him to speak his mind, and this causes a tiny moment of between-the-lines humor in a rather serious-minded film.
Say something, Lucius. The observant Lucius could easily have picked up subconscious hints from the elders about the superior conditions in some respects of the towns, which could explain his urge to go there.