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Saturday, June 29, 2013

How the Heck the Hennin Happened.

The hennin, a fifteenth century headdress seems to mirror the highly revered steeples, towers, spires and heavenward architecture of that period.  

  • Was popular reception of the hennin a phenomenon resulting from travel in distant lands during the Crusades? 
  • Did the hennin stem from a Byzantine influence? 
  • Was wearing the hennin a step toward looking more worldly and well-traveled... an effort to stand out and gain attention?  
  • Did hennin-wearers adopt the trend subconsciously or was there a conscious and well-defined reason for choosing to wear it?
  • Was the pointed hat a "trickle-down" trend - originating with holy men and women, then borrowed by society?
Though not on my head, the hennin has been on my mind

One thought:  During the Renaissance, arts and literature - even higher learning - were more accessible to members of the church and religious sects.  Simultaneously, much emphasis was placed on construction of very large and grand churches.  Perhaps the hennin was not only a subconscious reflection of steeples and spires - but also of the search for higher knowledge.  The hennin - a heavenward hat housing the divinity of the mind.

Another thought:  Why do we later see a similar hat shape worn by people associated with magical powers?
Albrecht Durer.

Collegiale Saint Quentin.

Domenico Quaglio die Kathedral Reims.
Albrecht Durer Innsbruck.
Albrecht Durer Aix La Chapelle.
Jean Fouquet Aix La Chapelle.
Rogier van der Weyden - for a Carthusian monastery near Brussels, 1445.
Leonardo da Vinci Ginevra Benci, 1474.
Maurice Quentin de la Tour - City of Saint-Quentin.
Jan van Eyck.

Fouquet - Charles IV and Marie Luxembourg.
Hans Holbein, 1500.

Hans Memling, 1480.
Hugo van der Goes - Maria Porinari, 1476.

Kaiser Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy.
Petrus Christus, 1450-60.
Margaret of York, Duchess Consort of Burgundy - 1468.
Rogier van der Weyden Seven Sacraments - detail.
Petrus Christus, 1470.
Vittore Carpaccio - St. Stephen.
Rogier van der Weyden.
Michael Pacher - Mary of Burgundy, 1490.
Rogier van der Weyden - Young Woman in a Pinned Hat, 1435.
Pisanello - Princess of the House of Este, 1449.