What goes into a concert poster? Four Weddings, a Funeral, and a Coronation

You might have noticed a new crop of imagery for this season’s concerts, designed by our friends at Sovereign State.

A great deal of research goes into the production of these, and often times the inspiration comes from baroque imagery. Choir director Ivars Taurins is an expert in this realm, and provided us with a cornucopia of options. We’re happy to share a few them here for our Four Weddings, a Funeral, and a Coronation concert – some that made the final cut, and others that didn’t but were still fascinating to see!

WEDDINGS

Here is the a painting of The Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox by William Hogarth. It was fashionable in Georgian England for men to wear wedding suits in pale greys and creams. Of note are the cupids with a horn of plenty.

The Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox by William Hogarth

Detail of The Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox by William Hogarth

A popular style of wedding ring in the 17th and 18th centuries was a gimmel ring — a ring with two hoops that fit together. They were used as betrothal rings: the engaged couple would wear one hoop each, and rejoin them to use as a wedding ring.

The use of two clasped hands in the design was a popular, going back the ancient Roman Fede ring: “fede” comes from the Italian phrase “mani in Fede,” meaning hands clasped in faith or trust.

Georgian (18th century) wedding rings were popular from Roman times right up to the Victorian age, and were known as Fede Gimmal or Gimmel rings. 2 or 3 hoops would fit together like a puzzle, with 2 clasping hands.

FUNERALS (inspiration)

The 17th and early 18th centuries were rife with “Vanitas” paintings — still-life paintings that depict the vain, futile nature of earthly pursuits and goods. They use symbolic objects such as skulls and rotting fruit to represent mortality, and the brevity of life and suddenness of death. Books symbolize human knowledge, and music and musical instruments (often with broken strings) suggest the pleasures of the senses. Flowers, butterflies, candles, and clocks or hourglasses allude to the ephemeral, transient nature of life.

Collier, Claesz, Vermeulen, and Boel are just a few painters who excelled in this art form. The painting below is by the French painter Simon Renard de Saint-André (1613–1677).

And here are some spine-tingling photos taken by Ivars Taurins at an exhibition at Versailles on Louis XIV’s funeral.

Exhibition at Versailles on Louis XIV’s funeral.

Note the wonderful silver skeletons with scythes and hour-glasses holding the giant crown!

CORONATIONS

Below is a portrait of James II, who was crowned King of England and Ireland (and James VII of Scotland) in 1685. John Blow composed the anthem “God spake sometime in visions” for this very coronation.

Portrait of James II, who was crowned King of England and Ireland (and James VII of Scotland) in 1685

And it wouldn’t be a coronation without a crown (or two). Here are a few, one of which made the final concert imagery. Below is an engraving of the Crown of State of James II. Underneath that image is an engraving of the Coronation Crown of St. Edward.

And so – the final product (note the baroque frame around the imagery)! This final image combines the three themes: the crown (coronation), the cut-out image (of a wedding), and the red shadow in the shape of a tombstone (funeral).

We look forward to seeing you at Four Weddings, a Funeral, and a Coronation, Nov 29-Dec 3, 2017 at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.

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