mercredi 1 avril 2009

Visite à Londres

Une exposition très réussie à Londres autour de la figure du répulsif Henri VIII et de son amour des armes.

Pourquoi ne pas organiser une échappée à Londres ? Non seulement la livre rend la capitale anglaise très accueillante pour les Continentaux, mais une nouvelle exposition devrait inciter les amateurs d'histoire à s'y rendre.

Le sinistre Henri VIII, l'homme qui fit exécuter Thomas Moore, avait une passion pour les gadgets militaires. Il adorait revêtir des armures extravagantes et incitait ses artisans à imaginer les armes les plus meurtrières.
Imaginée pour Henri VIII pour la rencontre du Drap d'or avec le roi de France, cette armure ne fut pas achevée en raison d'un changement des règles des tournois.

Les plus belles pièces ont été exposées à la tour de Londres dans ce qui est un remarquable exemple de mise en scène documentaire sous le titre inspiré de Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill («Henri VIII, habillé pour tuer».

Le quotidien The Guardian consacre un bon article à cette exposition, ainsi que The Independent.  

Le site du musée offre toutes les informations pratiques pour s'y rendre.

Un superbe exemple d'armure articulée, réalisée pour Henri VIII.

Voici ce que publie à ce sujet The Daily Telegraph :

Exhibition charting Henry VIII's progress starts at Tower of London

The display of armour, weapons and military equipment from all over the world is the largest collection of Henry VIII artefacts ever seen in the UK. It was put together to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne in 1509.

Project manager Karen Whitting said: "I would certainly say this is the biggest exhibition we have ever staged.
"The logistics of it all have been unbelievable. We have flown in suits of armour from New York, Vienna and France and had to carry them up the stairs of the Tower as obviously there aren't lifts inside.
"We started planning this five years ago and began moving everything in in January. I wouldn't like to go near estimating the value of this all - but it's safe to say it's priceless."
The exhibition, which opens on Friday and runs until January next year, includes three floors of displays dedicated to the infamous king.
Visitors begin viewing Henry as a young athletic sportsman, with his slender suits of armour and sporting paraphernalia including bows and arrows and jousting lances.
The world's oldest football, thought to date from the 1540s and made from an inflated pig's bladder, is also displayed alongside Henry's own sporting equipment.
The exhibition shows Henry as a warrior and charts his transformation into "elderly monster".
It shows the vast suits of armour he wore as an obese and ailing man shortly before his death.
Mrs Whitting said: "This exhibition really shows Henry the man - as portraits can't quite capture the transformation from thin, fit sportsman to elderly monster.
"Everybody is fascinated by Henry as he really was one of the first modern kings, changing the world from medieval to modern and being a renaissance man.
"Hosting such an exhibition here at the Tower, which was so central to his life, is truly extraordinary."

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