Eduard Wagner's Medieval Costume, Armour And Weapons

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In order to trace some of the most noticeable developments of the transitional period, let us turn to an excellent example put forward by Eduard Wagner within his seminal Medieval Costume, Armour and Weapons. Here, Wagner compares how two master painters - the Master of Vyšší Brod, from about the middle of the century (c.1350), and the Master of Třeboň (c.1380), about thirty years later - depicted knights in their paintings of the same scene, namely the Resurrection. Thus we can clearly see the developments across three highly innovative decades. Firstly, within the altar of Vyšší Brod [fig.6] we can see three chainmail clad knights underneath Christ, the far-right figure is adorned with a hauberk in which the sleeves and gauntlets are in one piece; he has mail stockings or chausses with plate poleyns and leg coverings or greaves, probably made of leather and over his chain armour he wears a sleeveless tunic reaching to his knees; his neck is protected by a mail gorget, or collar of some sort. Wagner provides an invaluable recreated illustration of this figure along with his description [fig.7]. In his picture of the same theme, The Master of the Třeboň altar-piece, dating from about 1380, depicted a richly-dressed soldier, also at the feet of Christ, in a fundamentally different manner [fig.8]. We see a marked increase in the artistic quality of armour over the previous thirty years as the knight here is wearing a lattice-shaped visor and mail aventail, or neck protection.

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