So last nights post about allegorical images hit a few pain points I had no idea even existed, or even that there was a lot confusion and hurt about the subject. In thinking more about it today, using the word “allegorical” to describe artwork with religious scenes is to me a problematic usage of the word, because the definition of allegory is to express a meaning or message through the artistic piece, and there are plenty of non-religious pieces which are allegorical, but have 100% documentable clothing.
For instance, this piece totally sends a message, and is thus allegorical by definition, but does not fit into the typical religious scene definition which that term is usually used by reenactors.
In this piece, we see the three sons of Johann Frederick kneeing on the ground in worship, with Jesus and God the Father in the clouds above. The Castle Torgau is shown in the background. This was created in the year after their father’s death, and symbolizes the peaceful division of the lands between the three, and the leadership of Johann Frederick II over the family. So, lots of allegory there! But the clothes are spot on, the styles can be documented through many other sources.
Going forward, I’m going to try and use different terms to describe art beside allegorical. I’m still figuring out which terms to use, so be patient.