In this lesson, students will explore color and pattern, using only isosceles right triangles to create a paper quilt square design. This lesson hones students’ skills in measurement. Students mu
Visigothic, Spain, Migration Period, 6th century
Bronze with garnets, glass, mother of pearl, gold foil, traces of gilding; bronze and glass, Overall: 7.1 x 2.7 cm (2 13/16 x 1 1/16 in.). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2001.119
The art of the European Migration Period (3rd-7th centuries AD) is almost exclusively one of personal adornment-a portable art that followed men and women to their graves. Belt buckles with large rectangular attachment plates have been discovered in cemeteries across the Iberian Peninsula-now occupied by Spain and Portugal-from the period of Visigothic occupation (about AD 412-711). Their decoration varies. Finer examples, like this one, are distinguished by brilliantly inlaid semi-precious stones and colored glass. Garnets were especially prized in Visigothic society for use in cloisonné jewelry. The technique involved the fitting of carefully cut pieces of polished garnet into an intricate grid of compartments, or cloisons. This buckle is so densely inlaid with garnets that it presents a virtual "carpet" of red to the eye. These large Visigothic buckles are strikingly uniform in shape yet endlessly varied in surface design, perhaps a sign that they expressed the personal identities of their original owners. Grave excavations have shown that belt buckles of this type were made for women.
Bavarian Nationalmuseum, Munich (5/10/2007 - 9/16/2007), the J. Paul Getty Musuem, Los Angeles (10/30/2007 - 1/20/2008) and Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN (2/13/2009 - 6/7/2009): "Sacred Gifts and Worldly Treasures: Medieval Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art"
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