[personal profile] tudorlady
So I blew the whole day looking at Clouet and now I really don't want to go to the DMV. Screw it, I'm taking the day off.

The Clouet is fascinating. It has great detail pictures, plus enough relatively unpretentious art history stuff in the text for an art history wonk like me to be satisfied. I may not have been looking in the right places until now, but the spectrum of Clouet images I've come across (until now) has been fairly narrow. While the sketches might frustrate someone who's looking for an exact detail of a costume (many of them have the decorative elements only roughed in, but Holbein did that, too), the detail that is present in the later drawings is to. die. for. But even the preliminary sketches reveal a great deal.

I've also discovered that yes, it is possible to wear earrings and a French hood.

So, I now have partlets and French hoods on the brain, and - well.

Was there a truly French style? Only in the details, really. I'm now somewhat more convinced that in many 16thC portraits, we're seeing a mostly international style which is a melange of French, Spanish and Italian, with some elements dominating more at one time than another. I think the reason that the clothing in the portraiture of those countries (and England) may appear to have more differences than similarities, I honestly think that's mostly due to stylistic differences in the painters' rendering rather than differences in the garments themselves. Keeping in mind that just about every fashion quirk eventually dies a lingering death in Spain (and yay for that - I honestly love how they evolve into weirder and weirder forms), I'd say you'd still be safe buying clothes from a tailor in London and then travelling to Vienna or Milan. You wouldn't look out of place. A bit dorky and provincial, perhaps, but not out of place.

So, I've got more material to chew on for a prospective class on how to read portraiture and similar sources, and actually seeing what's there. Most people understand about the allegorical or religious aspects of paintings at the time, but - and out comes the art history wonk here - I've discovered that people sometimes don't know what they're looking at, nor how to dissect it. Which is understandable, because that's a pretty obscure process. Perhaps I've found a use for art history wonks at last.

Side note: So help me, my mother is SO impossibly French. I saw her looking out from half those sketches. Good thing I've got some detachment, and thank god I didn't inheiret that nose ;}

Lastly for now: If you'll be at AnTir A&S this coming weekend, stop by my room for cake Saturday!

Date: 2008-03-11 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rectangularcat
happy birthday!!!!!!!

wish I were going to KA&S *pouts* The arctic is a lovely place to be at this time of year... *snerk*

Happy Birthday!!!

Date: 2008-03-11 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] culturevulture7.livejournal.com
and damn right you don't have to face the DMV today :-)

Date: 2008-03-12 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sstormwatch.livejournal.com
"yes, it is possible to wear earrings and a French hood."

Oh? I would love to see this image. I've yet to find one that shows earrings, and not just the extension of an upper billiment hanging down near the ears.

So which details would you say is prominently "French"?

Date: 2008-03-12 03:39 pm (UTC)
ext_41593: (jane reading)
From: [identity profile] tudorlady.livejournal.com
I'm not sure how well it will reproduce here, but it's this one:

Isabelle De Hauteville

Isabelle deHauteville, dated between 1540-45. I had to look at this for a long time before I realized that they really were earrings and not the ends of the biliment. However, this is the only example I've found so far. So, it's apparently possible to wear earrings, but not particularly common.

As to the details I'd see as 'typically French' (although I hesitate to classify anything like that), I believe it is a certain set in combination, more than any one thing that jumps out. So, off the top of my head (here at work and without any references): Slightly bowed shape of the upper edge of the bodice, beautiful, fragile-looking underpartlets, a characteristic pattern of trim and jewelry on the bodice, sleeve rolls considerably lower on the arm - the cap of the sleeve rather than shoulder rolls as we tend to think of them.

Now, any one or combination of those things can be present in Italian, Spanish, German or English dress - which is why I find this so frustrating to try to pin down. In fact, about the only thing I can't reliably interchange with any of those countries are the fact that it appears that sleeve rolls, based on the evidence I've seen so far, tended to be larger, stiffer, and placed further up on the crest of the armscye on Spanish and German clothing. And that is yet written in water. So... I'm not saying that there is no such thing as a French dress/style, simply that it may not be as strictly codified as people tend to think.

Date: 2008-03-13 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sstormwatch.livejournal.com
Very nice image. Thank you for sharing this. And I think I see what you mean for the French details, especially the lower sleeve rolls.

It does get confusing as to what is from where originally. I think of Marie de Medici, and wonder what of her garments are actually Italian in origin, and how it changed the French styles.

Date: 2008-03-12 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danabren.livejournal.com

Date: 2008-03-12 03:43 pm (UTC)
ext_41593: (Elenora partlet)
From: [identity profile] tudorlady.livejournal.com
Thanks. I geeked out with books, cats, and embroidery all day.

And Thin Mints. Definitely the Thin Mints :)



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