Cascadonian Art History

The First Reign - The First Cascadon

   The early years of Cascadonian art are primarily influenced by the art of Mylar. Pottery, carving, and a little-known method of sculpting leather. There was little time for frivolous crafting, so most of the “art” of the first reign is in the form of functional items. The most numerous of the artifacts are ceramics, which were tossed in garbage heaps when they broke, later to become dig sites for the occasional archeologist from one of the universities. There are, however, traditional art works as well, ranging from mosaics and frescoes in the Castle Cascadon (constructed in the later half of The Cascadon’s reign) to early attempts at metal work jewelry.

Person of Note: Julang was the Master of Decor during the construction of Castle Cascadon. He commissioned countless works of art to be installed or hung in the castle. Julang was, himself, an accomplished leather sculptor, who instructed Cascadon’s son, Alain in the art.

Common Indicators of First Reign Art

  • 2 dimensional depictions

  • Simplistic forms

  • Lack of signature

  • Rudimentary materials (reeds or papyrus, not canvas or paper)

  • Unframed, typically designed to be hung like a tapestry

  • Simple wooden, stone and ceramic jewelry

  • Depictions of historical events and prophecy

 

 

The Second Reign - Alain Cascadon

  Alain, named after his uncle, is known as The King Of Coins. He pioneered the Cascadonian coin, and was a lover of leather sculpting. Most of the dragon hide bound books in Cascadon were hand bound by King Alain. He strongly encouraged the growth of art for artsake by popularizing art education amongst the nobles. Around this time the foundations for what would become the University of Vulpes were being formed. All of this was aided by the new Non-violence agreement Alain signed with Vestrea, which provided an influx of new styles, fashions, and art forms. This era marks the first use of perspective in Cascadonian art, and saw the rise of framed art works. Ceramics also saw a marked change in their construction with new glazing techniques imported from Vestrea. Early glass creation began as well.

  Person of Note: Matcheck was the royal painter of Cascadon. He was also the tutor to Alain’s heir, Speron. Excitingly, Matchek not only painted grand portraits of the royal family, popularizing noble family portraits, but he also painted the everyday actions of the people in the castle. It is rumored that he secreted away a collection of candid paintings of the royal family. These paintings were so intimate that King Alain’s advisors recommended they be destroyed, lest people lose respect for the royal family by seeing them as too human. Alain was allegedly distressed at the thought of destroying such excellent pieces of art and is said to have instructed Matcheck to hide these paintings throughout Cascadon, that they may one day be found.

Common Indicators of Second Reign Art

  • Early 3 dimensional depictions

  • More complex use of shadow and colors

  • Higher quality materials and the introduction of canvas

  • More effort put into the the decoration of everyday items, such as books

  • Painted and clear-glazed plates and bowls (still the hallmark of Cascadonian art)

  • First use of frames for display of paintings (Very elaborate frames)

  • Incorporation of shells into clothing, jewelry and sculptures

  • Lots of family portraits of nobility

  • Basic metal and stone jewelry


 

 

The Third Reign - Speron Cascadon

  Taking after his “father” in many ways, Speron was a passionate artist. It was a bit of a known secret that Alain and his wife had difficulty producing a child, and many suspect that the blue eyed Speron was actually the son of Alain’s younger brother, Vespero, who had a wife from Vestrea with blue eyes. But, nothing was said publicly, and Alain certainly loved Speron as his own. Alain actually stepped down from rule, and continued to advise Speron through the first decade of the King’s rule, making it one of the smoothest transitions to date. Speron is famous for his paintings, employing the Vestrean techniques he learned from his mothe-erm, Aunt; yes, totally his Aunt. In general, Cascadonian art took a turn for the grander, works becoming more detailed and elaborate. 

  Also, during the third reign, the first famous painters happened. The children who grew up learning art during the second reign became the first patrons of the arts during the third reign. By this time the University of Vulpes is churning out art at a neck break pace to a kingdom of eager buyers. Artists began to sign their works religiously, the work of some becoming more prized than others.

  Scientific advances in glass production also spurred the popularity of mirrors and windows. Many people had portraits painted by windows to show their wealth. Glass also began to be used on the doors of shelves to protect elaborate dishware collections

Person of Note: Paulo Dalvetchi was a Vestrean artist who moved to Cascadon to teach at the University of Vulpes. He was a painter of plates, but did not actually have much skill in plate making. As such, he had two dozen of his painting students trained in plate making, and when they graduated, the 25 of them opened the Dalvetchi plate studio. No single artist claimed credit for a plate, as they each had a specialization, such as flowers, or glazing, and for a set of plates, each would employ their talents to build upon the work of the previous artist. The Dalvetchi studio was not the first of its kind, but it was certainly the first to become famous for its works. This inspired many other studios to start up, greatly influencing the works of the following reign.

Common Indicators of Third Reign Art

  • Incredible detail

  • High quality materials including gold and silver leaf

  • Mass produced paintings with “standard” frame sizing

  • First landscapes and still life paintings

  • Notation of ownership on the back of a painting tracing it back to the original artist

  • Half paintings (When some famous paintings were willed to multiple children, they would simply cut the paintings in half and reframe them.)

  • Mass produced plates and artistry of silverware

  • Popularization of gems in jewelry and much more intricate jewelry

  • Artists began to do self portraits as mirrors became more easily accessible

  • Glasswork and colored glass became more popular, appearing in architecture

  • First use of porcelain 

The Fourth Reign - Magnar Cascadon

  The battle minded Magnar King rejected the soft ways of his predecessor Speron. The Fourth Reign is also of note because Magnar was not the son of Speron, but the young son of Alain. Shortly after Alain stepped down to allow Speron to take the throne, Alain’s first wife died of a bone condition. Alain then took a new wife, and they had a child during Speron’s reign. King Speron agreed to pass the title to Magnar, but Speron did break from tradition, reigning until he died rather than passing the crown on to the next king a prior. Magnar devoted himself to the defense of the Dunelainian border, often residing in the newfound city of Medius during the height of battle seasons, or on the front itself.

  This was a time of great innovation. Paper became more readily available, and the technology of woodblock printing made it so that a single page could be carved and stamped any number of times. This style of technologically minded art was popularized by the King, who encouraged invention and discovery. A university was founded by the Baron of Ferre thanks to the massive amount of money Mangar poured into the barony to buy metals and have weapons of war constructed. 

  Art for artsake was less popular in the fourth reign compared to previous reigns, due in part to the king’s interest in the practical. This is however an important time for the development of a standardized system of writing, and the first dedication to a recording of history. Inspired by Dalvetchi’s studio, many new studios sprang up to make mass produced works of art ranging from paintings to books.

Person of Note: The most famous artist of the third reign was made famous not by his original artwork, but by his forgeries. Balthazar Ofpique (likely a nom de plume) was so successful at creating forgeries, that he made a fortune as a dealer of “antiquities.” On his deathbed, he finally confessed, saying, “I never sold a painting I didn’t paint myself.” The art community went wild. Suddenly every noble went through their records to see if they, too, had been cheated. Sure enough, there wasn’t a single noble household in Cascadon that had not been swindled out of money by Ofpique . So, in true noble fashion, it became a badge of honor to own a Ofpique forgery.

Common Indicators of Fourth Reign Art

  • Historical depictions

  • Paintings of battles

  • Woodblock carving and printing

  • No signature, but a studio name

  • Fancier custom frames, and paintings in different sizes depending on their studio

  • Forgeries

  • Magnificent weapon crafting

  • Mass produced picture books for teaching reading

  • Architecture is used as an artistic expression in Aquila and Canis

  • Aperian woodworking becomes popular

 

The Fifth Reign - Nieman Cascadon

  Some say Nieman is cursed. While Magnar, Nieman’s father, sired four, Nieman was the only one to make it to adulthood. Two of his older siblings died of The Red Plague, a terrifying disease that causes sores and leaves the afflicted in perpetual agony, sensitive to light and touch. Only one out of a hundred survive the illness, and even those who survive are scarred physically and emotionally from the torturous ordeal. 

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