25 Aug 2019

Now, That’s the Life!

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(click on image for larger version)

The Minnesinger Jakob von Warte, 1274-1331 (Codex Manesse, fol. 46v) is depicted grey-haired and balding, bathing in water filled with flowers, attended by a maidservant who is keeping his bathwater warm and by three virgins, one of whom is massaging his arm, while another is fetching him a goblet of wine, and a third is crowning him with roses.

Richard Moritz Meyer, in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, tells us that the image can be accorded “documentary weight,” but dismisses the poet as a “dilletante,” who “liked to use the most common forms.”

2 Feedbacks on "Now, That’s the Life!"


Love the tree leaves. Considering the date, they might just be an idiom of heradry or a hint that there is a further pay-out for those with rank (the cape and ornament) wealth (the “purse”), and a heroic reputation (the war shield), if you live long enough. Does anyone have a clue about the birds in the tree? Is the “hero’s” shoulder bruised from twisting the arms of lesser nobles?


What you see at the top right is his shield with his coat of arms on it. On the top left is his helmet with his crest (which essentially repeats his arms) and the red hanging thing is his lambrequin or mantling.

Mantling or lambrequin is a depiction of the protective cloth covering (often of linen) worn by knights from their helmets to stave off the elements, and, secondarily, to decrease the effects of sword-blows against the helmet in battle.


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