Friday, September 14, 2018

Medieval Europe

Medieval Europe is a current temporary exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History, running until January 20th, 2019. I took the exhibit in one day. Many of the artifacts are on loan from the British Museum, with other sources here and there such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as Canadian institutions. The exhibit explores the history and culture of the continent between the fall of the Roman empire and the Reformation era. The first item one sees is this Spanish processional cross, circa 1330-1350. 

An introductory panel on the era is beside the entrance.

Within, thematic panels introduce the visitor to specific areas that include artifacts from across the continent.

These are Anglo-Saxon brooches, made of materials like copper, silver, and glass, found in various parts of England and dating back to between 400 and 600 AD.

This is a replica of the original seal impression, for England's King Henry III. The replica was done in the 19th century, many hundreds of years after Henry's tumultuous reign.

The emerging European states around the year 1500 can be seen here. Things have changed considerably over time.

These are papal rings, not of popes themselves, but of advisors. Both date to the 15th century, and are thought to belong to close advisors of Pope Eugene IV and Pope Pius II. 

Here we have a hand coloured woodcut from France, done at some point in the 15th century. It depicts the departure of the Roman Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus from Jerusalem after the destruction of the city in 70 AD. 

This is an engraving from the Netherlands, dating circa 1475-1488. It depicts the Old Testament King Solomon making his ruling in the case of two women claiming one baby, while presenting the Biblical story in period Dutch clothing.

This 1813 sketch on paper depicts an effigy of King John at Worcester Cathedral. When the king died in 1216, he had wished to be buried there. The tomb effigy itself was completed sixteen years later. I have more from this visit to come over the next few days.


  1. That's funny, for the moment in lots of little towns or villages here around there are Medievial festivals !

  2. ...a time that I would not enjoy living in.

  3. There is so much to learn from the exhibit.

  4. Hello, looks like a great exhibit. Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

  5. @Linda: it was!

    @Gattina: we have some of that too.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Tom: no indoor plumbing.

    @Nancy: I found it enlightening.

    @Beth: thanks!

    @Marie: true!

    @Eileen: you're welcome.

  6. That map of early Europe sure is fascinating. I look forward to seeing more of this exhibit. :-)

  7. Another quite interesting exhibit, William!

  8. I always enjoy your trips to the museum. You show us the most fascinating exhibits. Thanks William!

  9. Things happened rapidly in medieval Europe. Interesting how little bits of England changed hands over and over again. they spent all their time fighting.

  10. I too enjoy this type of exhibition - history is very important.
    Have a great weekend William

  11. @DJan: I quite enjoyed it. I'll have to go back again before it's done.

    @RedPat: this museum tends to put on quite a rich variety in these exhibits.

    @Denise: you're welcome!

    @Red: it was quite a time of change. We tend to think of the first half of that as the Dark Ages, but that's not quite the case.

    @Sami: it definitely is.

  12. Exhibitions like this are absolutely fascinating.. it's just the age of some of these artifacts, and the fact that they've survived all this time, incroyable! Happy weekend William ✨

  13. I would have enjoyed seeing this one in person. The last time I was in London I spent one whole day at the British Museum and still didn't see it all.

  14. That looks great exhibit! My husband would enjoy - he likes medieval era :-)

  15. An interesting exhibit. I would love to see this in person.

  16. @Karl: it was indeed.

    @Cloudia: I loved it too.

    @Grace: the exhibit made note of the fact that very little in the way of clothing of the period survives, because clothing generally doesn't last.

    @Sharon: I would love to see the British Museum someday, and the Victoria & Albert.

    @Tamago: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    @Lois: I certainly did. I'll have to check it out again.

  17. This looks like a great exhibit...
    Looking forward to more.

    All the best Jan

  18. Makes me appreciate the present more (except for politicians).

  19. There are some interesting pieces here. I haven't explored the Middle Ages much.

  20. Of all the items I think I'd like to see the papal rings the most.

  21. Not my favorite history era ~ still see the effects of that age ~ neat photos, though, ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  22. The Medieval period just fascinates me. I love everything about it, though I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have wanted to live then! I think I would be in seventh heaven with this museum exhibit.

  23. Time passes and everything changes.

  24. @Eve: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    @Bill: it is!

    @Jan: I hope you enjoyed my tour of it.

    @Norma: that I can see.

    @Kay: my areas of expertise tend to be more recent.

    @Felicia: they certainly are!

    @Kate: they fascinated me.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Jennifer: if you get the chance, you should see it.

    @Jeanie: indoor plumbing is kind of a thing for me, so I agree.

    @Klara: it was!

    @Sandi: true!