I happened upon a treasure trove of art porn recently. The Met has released a stunning gallery of hundreds of thousands of artworks. Some of these include European nobility armor and Japanese samurai armor.
Check out their Armor Gallery here:
Now, I cannot leave you without imparting some philosophical thought. These artworks are preserved, some better than others. We are still able to view these magnificent specimens of knights’ armor. These examples of iron forging and leather tanning are viewable, namely because they were not lost to the fogs of war. The men that occupied these pieces more or less made it home. Henry II did not die on a battlefield; his men did. If they had armor, it was scavenged off by either side of the conflict. It didn’t matter. War stains your leather, tarnishes your steel. The golden boy may look splendid and heaven-sent. But, he’s far from a leader on the battlefield.
When I look at the knights’ armor, I imagine the men whose names we don’t remember. I find it odd that we revere these icons – the art. Yet stripped of nearly all historical context, one could argue the merits of retaining this art. And, once stripped of that context, there are more men to think of. The smiths and tanners who poured years of dedication and knowledge into single pieces of wartime propaganda art. Here at MING, we salute you men and women who got-shit-done.
These folks were able to accomplish that diligent workmanship while dealing with terrible conditions; without any modern conveniences, like glass for windows.
So, if you’re one to lead from the front, you are unlikely to save your battle-wear. Keep leading from the front. Fuck that battle-wear. While people 400 years from now might look at something from today with the same respect we pay to those pieces of yesteryear, the people around you today are your battle-wear. Knights in shining armor see no war. So, tarnish your steel and stain your leather.
Again, thank you for stopping by,