Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diverse parti del mondo libri due . . . (Of Ancient and Modern Dress of Diverse Parts of the World in Two Books . . .), 1590
    Cesare Vecellio (Italian, 1521–1601)
    Published Venice: Damiano Zenaro
    Printed book with woodcuts by Christoph Krieger (Cristoforo Guerra); 6 9/16 x 4 15/16 x 2 1/16 in. (16.7 x 12.5 x 5.2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1906, transferred from The Library (21.36.146)

    Cesare Vecellio, who joined the workshop of his famous cousin Titian before 1548, was active as a publisher by 1570. This book contains 420 illustrations of costumes—exotic and domestic—by the woodcutter Christoph Krieger and marks the culmination of a trend that began in the mid-sixteenth century with a series of costume engravings by Enea Vico. The first section of his book covers European dress, including Ottoman Turkey, while the short section on Africa and Asia includes the costume of Persians, Moors, and Arabs. Here the book is open to Vecellio's engraving of La favorita del Turco. The elegantly dressed woman is probably meant to be Roxelane, a beautiful concubine who became the favorite wife and confidant of the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66).

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  • De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diverse parti del mondo libri due . . . (Of Ancient and Modern Dress of Diverse Parts of the World in Two Books . . .), 1590
    Cesare Vecellio (Italian, 1521–1601)
    Published Venice: Damiano Zenaro
    Printed book with woodcuts by Christoph Krieger (Cristoforo Guerra); 6 9/16 x 4 15/16 x 2 1/16 in. (16.7 x 12.5 x 5.2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1906, transferred from The Library (21.36.146)

    Vecellio chronicles each stage of a Venetian girl's life with a change of dress. The daughters of Venetian nobles were raised in such strict seclusion that between puberty and marriage not even their closest relatives saw them. Even those already betrothed had to wear short black veils.

    Here, we view the bride's dress, adopted from the signing of the marriage contract and then for nearly a year after the wedding. Her blonde hair hangs loosely over her shoulders, interlaced with gold filaments and adorned with a circlet of bejeweled gold. Curls were used to frame the face, and the bridal dress of white satin was furnished at the neck and shoulders with a few small ruffles. As these brides strode through the streets in their finery and with their attendants, Vecellio compared them to so many suns.


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