Text over image in paintings

Friday, November 30, 2007

England 11th century, Bayeux tapestry, annotated images of English history

The Bayeux Tapestry (French: Tapisserie de Bayeux) is a 50 cm by 70 m (20in by 230ft) long embroidered cloth which depicts scenes commemorating the Battle of Hastings in 1066, with annotations in Latin. It is presently exhibited in a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy, France. From: Wikipedia.org










Sources for images:
first image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bayeuxtap1.jpg
second image: http://www.battle1066.com/pics/spears.jpg

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Byzantium, 12th century, Pantocrator, Church in Monreale, Palermo - naming in religious painting

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Byzantium, 12th century, Pantocrator, Church in Monreale, Palermo - naming in religious painting Name Jesus represented in Greek spelling as IC with tilde (sign over this letters) to show abbreviation and first part of the word Pantocrator (ruler of all - Greek) - Opanto Name Christ in Greek spelling XC with tilde and second part of the word Pantocrator - Krator Each saint painted here has a name written next to his image

Byzantium, 12th century, Pantocrator, Church in Monreale, Palermo - naming in religious painting
What is image annotation?


For religious paintings naming is very important and tradition of Christian Orthodox Church requires names written next to images of saints and others.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey, late 12th century - text glorifying sultan over image

“Stucco relief from Ravvy, late 12th century. It depicts enthronement Saljuq sultan Tughril surrounded by his officers. Directly beneath his feet is written ‘the victorious, just king’ and in the panel above are his title, interrupted atypically by the sultan’s personal name placed directly over his head”
Source of this image and text has been lost, sorry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dialog in painting, 1333: words in an air - Simone Martini \"The Angel and the Annanciation\",

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Dialog in painting: Simone Martini The Angel and the Annanciation, 1333 - detail One can see text going from the Angel toward Virgin Mary written just over paintingLater this functionality will be implemented by scroll, and in comics with balloons

Dialog in painting: Simone Martini The Angel and the Annanciation, 1333 - detail
What is image annotation?


One can see text going from the Angel toward Virgin Mary written just over painting. Later this 'functionality' will be implemented by scroll, and in comics with balloons.
See next post for example of scrolls to represent dialog in painting in 15 century

Dialog in painting, 1425 - text on a scroll: Miniature \'The Dead Man Before His

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Representing dialog in painting: Miniature The Dead Man Before His Judge(manuscript The Rohan Hours), France, 1425 St. Micheal fighting for mans soul Dead mans soul represented by an adolescent nude Comment source: History of paintings by Sister Wendy Becket The dead mans prayer is in Latin: Into Thy hands I command my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of the truth Lord replied in French: For your sins you shall do penance. On judgment day you shall be with Me

Representing dialog in painting: Miniature \'The Dead Man Before
His Judge\'(manuscript The Rohan Hours), France, 1425

What is image annotation?


This medieval paining is precursor of representing dialogs in comics literature with balloons.
Here painter uses curling scrolls for texts repressing dialog.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Russia, 15th century icon: obligatory text over image


Icon in Orthodox Christianity is conceded to be not finished if Jesus, Virgin Mary or saints are not named.

Traditionally text over image is placed above or around the head stating the name of a saint.

Names are written in Greek or Church-Slavic language with very special style of writing and unique conventions about writing, making texts looking very different from mundane writings.

One of such conventions is the use of so called titlo (see more at wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titlo), which is used deliberately to write names of saints.

This Russian icon has been painted at the end of 15th century, and it clearly demonstrates described approach to naming.

Modern tags help to make the text more understandable.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

China 1667 - poetry over image



Chinese paintings very often use text over image, typically poetry
This is portrait of the scholar Tseng Ch'ing 1667

Friday, November 09, 2007

India Thakur Suratsinghji, 1725 - names over heads - immortality promised them

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Thakur Suratsinghji, Southern Rajastan, 1725 Name of a vistor Name of a king Characteristically servant has no name

Thakur Suratsinghji, Southern Rajastan, 1725
What is image annotation?

Style of writing names over heads of important persons is very similar as in ancient Greece or Orthodox Christianity icons

Related to this picture is my favorite quote in the history of art:

Akbar was the ruler of the
Mughal Empire from the time of his accession in 1556 until 1605. He is widely considered the greatest of the Mughal emperors.

It is sometimes suggested that prior to the Mughals there was no tradition of portraits in India. This of course is unacceptable, but what is true is that due largely to Akbar's desire to recognize those portrayed and the introduction of European portraits, Mughal artists developed a tradition of portrait painting that was a curious admixture of fact and fancy.
While the faces of the sitters were rendered with remarkable accuracy and expressiveness, the rest of the picture, including even the figure, especially of grandees and nobles, often followed certain established conventions that were meant to proclaim the stature of the dignitary.

That Akbar himself was directly responsible in encouraging his artists to draw faithful likenesses is evident from the following observation of Abul Fazal:
"His Majesty himself sat for his likeness, and also ordered to have the likenesses taken of all the grandees of the realm. An immense album was thus formed: those that have passed away have received a new life, and those who are still alive have immortality promised them."
(Source: Court Paintings of India 16th-19th Centuries by Pratapaditya Pal)

Russian Lubok (folk painting), early 17 c. 'The Barber Wants to Cut Off an Old Believer’s Beard'

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The Barber Wants to Cut Off an Old Believer’s Beard Source:  Russian text: Раскольник говорит Слушай цирюльник, я бороды стричь не хочу, вот гляди я на тебя скоро караул закричу Russian text:Цирюльник хочет раскольнику бороду стричь

The Barber Wants to Cut Off an Old Believer’s Beard
What is image annotation?


This is example of Russian Lubok (folk painting) at early 17th century.
Titled 'The Barber Wants to Cut Off an Old Believer's Beard' Painting is anonymous as most Lubok.
This lubok shows hot political issue of the period - Order of Russian Tsar Peter I to cut off beards which he saw as a symbol of Russian backwardness, while old believers (religious group inside Orthodox church) conceder beard as symbol of piety.

Text is extremely important and often part of many folk paintings, and paintings for mass users