Surviving Medieval Pictures of Tents and Pavilions
I'm in the process of reorganizing all these pictures into an
easily-scannable, tabular form; for the work in progress, see this page. Until that's finished,...
- A bunch of tent pictures from the British Library's
"Images Online" project.
A bunch of photos of a surviving 16th-century Spanish
or Portuguese tent (thanks to Marianne Perdomo Machin, who took the
photographs and sent them to me).
- A picture of several getelds, from an Anglo-Catalan Psalter; the
picture dates from southern England, c. 1200 AD.
Several miscellaneous 13th- and 14th-century tent pictures
from Bob Charrette.
Several pictures of French historical events
from a 14th-century ms. of the Grandes Chroniques de France. (This
directory isn't fully set up yet; use at your own risk.)
Several pictures from a late 14th-century Catalan
atlas. There's not much on tents in this source, but there's at least
one decent picture, and the source itself is nifty.
A whole bunch of pictures of tents from a c. 1340
manuscript (Bodley 264) of the Romance of
(There are also some non-tent pictures
from the same ms. that I just thought were nifty....)
medieval picture with tents. Someone told me
that this comes from the Romance of Alexander, but it doesn't
look anything like the c. 1340 manuscript mentioned above; the style
looks maybe 50 years later to me.
The tents in this picture
are basically white, with elaborate painted designs.
Thanks to Mary Hall for finding me this picture.
Pictures from King Rene d'Anjou's Le Coueur Empris,
a 15th-century allegorical story in which the protagonist goes on a quest
to rescue his heart from its imprisonment. On the way, he passes a lot
of pretty tents.
LOTS of pictures of French historical events from
a 15th-century Flanders ms. of Froissart's Chronicles.
Piero della Francesca's "The Dream of Constantine"
(1454-58). This one really drives home how Italy was in the Renaissance
while England and France were still solidly in the Middle Ages. Thanks
to Yvonne Korshak for suggesting this picture to me.
A military camp scene from Paolo
Santini's 15th-century engineering treatise De Machinis.
This picture, although of similar vintage to the della Francesca above,
was painted by an engineer, not an artist, so it has a more technical,
less dramatic feel.
Several frescoes by Simone Martini (1284-1344).
A 15th-c. Italian copy of Donatus's Treatise on Grammar, showing
in front of a small round tent. Note the dome-shaped roof.
Thanks to Marcele for the pointer, and the
Library of the
Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame for the scan.
picture from the early 14th-century Manesse
Codex, showing a round tent with its doorway held open by hooks or
of Samaria from a 15th-century French "historical bible", Francais
9, Fol. 172, Guiard des Moulins, at the BNF. Note the Gothic
tracery patterns and the vertical-walled "cabin tent".
- The tent picture from the "Lady and the Unicorn"
Details from the bronze doors of Castel Nuovo in
Naples, built in 1475.
A photo of a surviving Spanish royal tent
from 1517, set up in a museum.
- The earliest picture I know of that shows a double-bell wedge tent, from the late 15th
Guptill's vast collection of medieval and Renaissance tent pictures.
(I used to have links to many of the individual pictures in her
collection on this list, but as she keeps adding pictures, it makes more
sense to just link to her list.)
- Ted Reichardt's collection of tent pictures, mostly
13th-15th centuries. (This collection is completely broken as of 2011,
so the above link is to a 2004 archive of it on web.archive.org.
Some of the links are still broken because apparently not all the pictures
were archived at the time, but many of them are present.)
of a surviving 17th-century (?) pavilion in a museum in Basel,
Switzerland. Note the studded-leather
roof cap, with iron rings for the
If you have, or know the whereabouts of, other good surviving pictures
of medieval tents and pavilions, please
Stephen Bloch / firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to Stephen Bloch's medieval-tents page
Back to Stephen Bloch's personal page