Wearing the colors… From the knight to the rider

What rider has not dreamed of one day wearing the blue jacket of the French team? What fan has not dressed in blue or put on a badge to show his commitment to the team? Wearing the colors has a simple purpose: colorful mark, visible from afar, can embody the ambitions of a group during a competition and those who support it, a strong sense of belonging. But it is not a recent practice. We can refer back to the Middle Ages, where the heraldic shields or colors of a family, a town or a corporation were painted on a shield, or a coat of arms. These colorful or figurative signs had to be distinctive and symbolic. The use of colored jackets that each rider used was to mark the belonging of his horse to an owner, and is probably a sign that has survived in time. It should be remembered that, originally, the jacket was a uniform that was placed on the armor.

One of the records of Armorial kept in the National Library of France is the oldest book currently registered in the World Horse Library. This is Armorial of Europe and the Golden Fleece . This great book of equestrian portraits is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful manuscripts of the late Middle Ages. The portraits of the gentlemen in bright colors are still in such a state of freshness, not even the gouache has aged. This colorful parade has nothing to envy of the festivals currently held at the racetracks.

More information:

BnF Grand Armorial de la Toison d'Or - feuilleter le fac-similé numérique du manuscrit Arsenal France et Reims
BnF Grand Armorial de la Toison d’Or – feuilleter le fac-similé numérique du manuscrit Arsenal France et Reims

Articles Middle Ages brief manuscript