[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!
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