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: The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor
(): Helmut Nickel
: Metropolitan Museum of Art
: 2013
ISBN: 978-0300199413
: 181
: English
: PDF
: 29 MB

In most cultures owning and bearing arms was considered the right and privilege of the free man. Naturally the greatest care and skill had to be given to their technical manufacture because this was literally a matter upon which life and death depended. In addition, beauty of functional form and often precious decoration of weapons combined to make them the jewelry of the free man. Sixteenth-century parade armor was indeed the most extensiveand expensivebody jewelry ever designed. Because of this interaction of emotional, historical, and aesthetic values, arms have long been coveted objects of collecting, as shown for instance in the Tale of the Fight for the Arms of Achilles.
The weapon as such is neither good not evil but a document and indispensable part of the history of mankind. Aside from their importance in cultural history, arms have a considerable role in art history too. Many outstanding artists such as Hand Holbein, Albrech D?rer, and Leonardo da Vinci made designs for arms that were functional as well as decorative. As a work of art, a complete armor of the fifteenth or sixteenth century is a moving sculpture, and at the same time it often represents the corporeal image of a historically important person.












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