Le Viandier de Taillevent - Translation - Painted Subtleties


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202. [The Swan Knight.]

If you wish to make the Swan Knight in his right, have 12 pieces of light wood, with the 4 uprights stronger than the others. Assemble everything and nail it very strongly. Have some lead sheets 3 feet in length and as much in width (you will need at least 2 or 3 sheets of lead). Make it in the shape of a little chest about a foot deep that can hold two or 3 buckets of water. Make a little skiff of glued parchment in which will be put the image of the Swan Knight.

You need the likeness of a little swan made of glued parchment covered with fine vair or white down. You need a little chain resembling gold hung from the swan's neck and attached to the skiff within the lead box. For the box attach 4 wheels to 4 [inverted] chevrons attached here and there. You need some linen dyed like waves of water. Nail it to the top of the box so that one does not see the men who will be underneath.

203. A tower.

If you wish to make a tower covered with linen dyed as if it were masonry, have 4 windows at the 4 corners of the tower. Have a likeness of Saracens and Moors seeming to fire at a wild man who would assail them. To make the wild man have a handsome man, tall and upright, clothed in a linen robe, hose and shoes all joined together, with the robe covered with [strands of] painted hemp. In the tower you need the figure of a young valet disguised as a wild boy. He should have some leather balls full of wadding or carded wool, dyed to resemble stones, for throwing at the wild man.

204. To make the image of saint George and his virgin.

Make a large terrace of pastry or light wood (like that from which one makes pavises). Make the likeness of a saddled and bridled horse, with the image of saint George on the horse, a dragon under the feet of the horse, and the virgin holding the dragon tied by her girdle around its neck.




205. To make the image of saint Marthe.

Make the image of saint Marthe, the dragon at full length beside her, with a gold chain tied to the dragon's neck by which this saint will hold it, since she conquered it. You can make this image using two persons if you wish, or with a work of painting of such height and size as you wish.

206. Lighter subtleties.

Make terraces of brown bread, with a damsel sitting on the terrace, and with the terrace covered with green tin leaf strewn with herbs in a likeness of green grass. You need a lion who has his 2 forefeet and head in the damsel's lap. For him you can make a brass mouth and a thin brass tongue, with paper teeth glued to the mouth. Add some camphor and a little cotton, and when you would like to present it before the lords, touch the fire to it.

If you wish to make the likeness of a wolf, bear, striped donkey [zebra], serpent or some other beast, tame or wild, make counterparts to the lion, each one in its own manner.





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