Carolyn shares details of this latest Vectis Decorative & Fine Arts Society (VDFAS) event. Ed
Vectis Decorative & Fine Arts Society (VDFAS) at Quay Arts continue their season of lectures on Thursday 20th April with a lecture ‘Romance, Pageantry, and…mud’: The Eglinton Tournament and Victorian Medievalism.
Interpretation of the ‘Age of Chivalry’
The greater part of the modern popular conception of the medieval knight comes not from the Middle Ages itself, but from the Victorian imagination n. 19th-century medieval-revivalist art, architecture and literature still influence the modern mind.
The Victorian medievalist, whilst taking some inspiration from the real Middle Ages, was perhaps more interested in his own ideas about what the ‘Age of Chivalry’ should have been, rather than what it actually was.
This process of historical reinvention cannot be better illustrated than through an exploration of the event that in many ways originated the Victorian obsession with chivalry.
Tobias Capwell The Eglinton Tournament of 1839, inspired by the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott and research of the armour antiquarian Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, attempted to recreate a full-scale medieval tournament, with prominent aristocrats of the day taking part as combatants.
The event, and indeed the preparations leading up to it, caused a media sensation.
Artistic and cultural movement
150,000 people made the journey to the Earl of Eglinton’s castle in southern Scotland to witness the spectacle, which was unfortunately spoiled by heavy rain on its first day. The tournament nevertheless proved to have been a historic event, its legacy an artistic and cultural movement that defined the age.
Where and when
The lectures at Quay Arts Centre, Newport begin at 8pm (running until 9.15pm), but the cafe is open from 6.30pm if anyone wants to take advantage of a meal or drinks before the lecture.
The cost to visitors is £8.
Find out more about the VDFAS by visiting the Website.