In our lecture today we got to learn all about the Baroque period. How each art form screamed luxury and over-the-top wealth. How during this time not only religious texts were being printed, instead academic texts were also being spread around Europe. Knowledge hadn’t been shared on this level before. Through this you can assume that perhaps literacy and education increased. Probably still only a very select group of wealthy people though. The texts themselves had changed design-wise. There were these illustrations referred to as “spot illustrations” because they’re small, off to the side drawings. All colour in these new printed texts were still done by hand as they had not figured colour out quite yet. Also spoken about was the term “humanists”. These were people who believed in the achievement of man. In critical thinking and evidence based theory.
We also heavily focused on the different type faces that came out of this time. How a hybrid of Roman and Gothic type was referred to as “batarde” (means bastard). We spoke for a while about how each typeface has its own personality that it portrays which means each one has its place depending on what feeling you’re trying to convey.
During the time period 1450-1750 there was a global circulation of goods which was facilitated by the royal chartered European monopoly companies. There was a flow of silver trade from the Spanish in South America to purchase Asian goods for the Atlantic markets. Regional markets continued to prosper in Afro-Eurasia because they used all these new shipping services/practices developed by the merchants.
American foods started to become staples in the European, Asian, and African crops. There were also “cash crops” which were sugar and tobacco. These were highly sought after crops plus they weren’t expensive to produce due to the fact that these plantations were powered by slave and coerced labour.
Fruit trees, grains, sugar and domesticated animals were brought by the Europeans to the Americas along with many other foods brought by the slaves. Though this would benefit people nutritionally due to the variation of vitamins and minerals, it would also severely disrupt the ecosystems and bring new diseases. Turkeys and potatoes were introduced to England around 1525, apricots were introduced to southern Europe along with cauliflower.
The wealthy people of the 16th century ate incredibly better than the poor. The poor population would eat mainly bread, cheese and onions. All classes ate bread but the quality differed by wealth.
There was lots of pride in the people by their food. It was obviously dependant on the income of the family, but everyone made his or her own foods. For example, a farmer’s wife had a variety of talents when it came to food. She would cure the bacon, salt the meat to preserve it, ferment vegetables, and brew beer. A prosperous farmer might also keep bees since sugar was expensive, people would sweeten their food with honey. Essentially, a 16th century farmer’s wife is what every hipster in Vancouver aspires to be food-wise.