Why did the Renaissance armourer Filippo Negroli fashion helmets and armour that were as beautiful as they were functional?

That emperors, monarchs and aristocrats in positions of power chose to be painted with their armour on reveals just how much the image of power takes precedency over any real interest in preserving personhood. People do not want to be remembered for the people they were, but for the grand ideals that they claimed to stand for- personal mottos, insignia borrowed from ancient mythology, imagery inspired by classical heroes and gods- things that resist time, that resist death and weakness, and emblemize the immortality that is denied to human beings. One might go so far as to say that the function of armour was not merely to protect the body, but to bolster, enhance, and elevate its wearer to godly status.

I have always found it interesting how difficult it is sometimes to distinguish between clothes, fashion, costume, and armour. We may be past the ages where men wore metal to battle, but in so far as corporate and social spaces are still battlegrounds of sorts, what one chooses to wear out into the world can be seen as a kind of armour. Nakedness is vulnerability on so many levels.






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