gold beyond material cost

Ahah! I’m following a line of thought in regards to the use of gold in Cologne and it appears I may be correct:

“The new valuation of craft, by contrast, implied a higher evaluation of how materials were transformed. Peter Martyr in 1521 thus praised the artistry of the people of Yucatan and Mexico by writing to his humanist friends: “I wonder not at all the gold and gemstones, but at the skill and workmanship which far exceeds the value of the materials. I am amazed.”

Renaissance Dress, Cultures of Making and the Period Eye, Ulinka Rublack, Cambridge University, 2016

The whole lecture is fascinating but this part here is very much what I have been seeing in the portraits of women of Cologne. It’s not just that gold was prized, it was also the craft that turned it into art. So it wasn’t enough to have gold it was important that it be worked in many ways, each requiring a different set of skills.

But I’m not just seeing this, I am also reading about the value of various items based on how they were recorded, and it shows a very similar pattern. In fact at least one garment has the pattern worked in pearls recorded which also then reflect the patterns in the Quentel Kunstlichbuch in particular.

I’m not just looking into the evidence as depicted in written and pictorial information but also understanding the mediums used so I am also reading about how gold was painted in art.

Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art; Gold-Brocaded Velvets in Paintings by Cornelis Engebrechtsz; by Esther van Duijn, Jessica Roeders

And until I am able to get my hands on a copy of his book I’ve also been reading Figured Riches: The Value of Gold Brocades in Fifteenth-Century Florentine Painting; Rembrandt Duits; Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes; Vol. 62 (1999), pp. 60-92 (33 pages); Published by: The Warburg Institute