So, farewell, then, ‘The Tudors’, hello, ‘The Borgias’

One of the thing that always amuses me about my blog is the number of people who come to it through searching on ‘Tudors’.  They must be mighty disappointed when they click on that particular link.  My interest in The Tudors, other than Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s perplexingly more Irish accent as his Henry VIII gets older, is very much in the costumes and jewellery.  So, I was sad when it came to an end, but, what joy when I happened upon a box set of The Borgias in the DVD section of Sainsbury’s.  For some people inspiration comes from Nature, for others it is the National Gallery or Tate Modern, but for me, it seems, the Muse resides in Sainsbury’s entertainment aisle.  It seems strangely apt.  Be that as it may, The Borgias is quietly hilarious.  The Medieval Historian sits and fulminates at its historical inaccuracies, while I gently remind him that it isn’t a documentary.  Example: Lucrezia Borgia’s wedding dance began with a tune that had been out of date for a hundred years and ended with one not written at the time of the nuptials (imagine knowing that sort of thing, by the way).  But I watch it for the wonderful costumes, and in this case, set design.  It is sumptuous.  It is a feast for the eye.  It is gorgeous.

The Renaissance princess costumes are lovely:

And this is absolutely sumptuous:

And Joanne Whalley, playing the discarded mistress/matriarch looks fantastic:

A bit different from those of us who remember her from The Edge of Darkness and really wanted to look like her.  There are fantastic outfits for Jeremy Irons as the dodgy pope, and Cesare and the boys, but I really liked the episode with the moorish prince and all the orientalism that Edward Said could dream of, including Djem, the younger-brother prince, rather disappointingly bumped off with a very fetching gold brocade cushion (so disrespectful to the soft furnishings if nothing else):

The costumes have their own wiki as part of a bigger Borgias site (www.theborgias.wetpaint.com).  Well worth a look if, like me, there is nothing like a bit of beading to get you going.

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