ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

ELEANOR THEMES

STYLE

In the fabulous book, ‘Fashion’ by Dorling Kindersley, Eleanor of Aquitaine has her own section. To the shock of her world, Eleanor introduced the form-fitting bliaut, elaborate sleeves with ribbons, and patterned silks from Outremer made later in Sicily. Hair was never cut, and sometimes plaited.

Bliaut

Damansk Silk

Patterns

Sleeves

Make-up

LOVE

Eleanor introduced the innovations of love, romantic verse, and manners into her companion courts. Writing love letters, giving flowers and gifts, seating women, wearing stylish clothes rather than animal hides were part of her new style. The longest poem ever written, The Romance of Troy, was dedicated to her.

Love Songs

Book of Love

The Code

COOKING, FURNITURE, ARCHITECTURE

Trade brought spices. Eleanor developed wine for trade and wrote the first maritime treaties to ship it. She introduced lighter furniture and chose a style for building called Romanesque, a more human-scale plan for living. The style featured templed domes, and high ceiling vaults but not as drastic as the emerging Gothic style.

Roman Ovens

Spices

Capet Chairs

Romanesque 

FONTEVRAULT

Eleanor’s family contested the election of Popes. Rather than donate to the newly established Catholic religion, they invented their own church at Fontevrault, just as Abelard made the Paraclete for Heloise. The two religious houses communicated with one another. The Abbey had three other chapels, a grand refectory, school, and a reputable medical infirmary. 

Origins 

Dual Gender

School

Infirmary

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