Posts tagged ‘bodice’

October 10, 2013

The Foure Complexions: Sanguine

Second of the set of prints by William Marshall published in 1637. Here the verse reads:

“I was not at my birth with beauty blest, But I as coy and proud am as the best.” and the text in the picture says (interestingly) “Black and Proud”

The sanguine lady standing in front of a set of musical instruments (that Salvador Dali would have been rather proud of) is wearing another boned bodice tied at the waist with a ribbon over a rather untidily gathered petticoat. Her collar is a multi layered one with the lower layer edged with lace. She is also wearing a rather amorphous black veil over her fave that is blown back in the wind.  © The Trustees of the British Museum

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This close up shows the decoration of her bodice and the slashing of the sleeves.

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September 25, 2013

Cornelianum Dolium

or Cornelius’s Tub, a comedy performed entirely in Latin from Cambridge and possibly written by Thomas Randolph in 1638. The subject was the quest for a cure for syphilis and the frontispiece by William Marshall shows Cornelius our hero in a sweating tub (which was one of the more popular treatments) being observed by three ladies, presumably his previous conquests. He is clad just in his drawers, and a speech bubble coming out of his mouth reads “Farewell O Venus and Cupids”, whilst the caption on the tub reads: “I sit on the throne of Venus, I suffer in the tub” The ladies are high class, dressed hair and fashionable bodices. The right hand Cupid has a collar ruff rather too, not necessarily a common item of neckwear for the period. Notice also the selection of instruments on the table. Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 08.37.13

July 9, 2013

The English Gentleman and Gentlewoman

The front page engraving by William Marshall to the third edition of Richard Braithwaite’s book published in 1641, basically a guide to what was acceptable behaviour. It wasn’t a small book. As the author said in his introduction:

“I had purposed that this work should have been digested into a portable volume, to the end it might bee more familiar with a Gentleman’s pocket, not to pick it, but that hee might picke some good from it: But since the Volume would not beare it, you must with patience beare with it, and with more trouble beare it, by inlarging your pocket to contain it.”

There are loads of details here worth looking at.

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The gentlewoman is wearing long skirts to her petticoat, a tabbed bodice, a fine layered kerchief and a ribbon in her dressed hair.

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The gentleman has a tall hat, wide falling band, short doublet and breeches with a splendid pair of boots. He is also sporting a fine coat with turned back cuffs in an off the shoulder manner, though notice that his falling band is arranged over the coat.

 

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This ragged fellow contemplating a tortoise in the garden is more modestly dressed in a plain doublet, breeches and shoes.

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Here is a selection of smartly dressed gentle-women, in petticoats, bodices and a variety of kerchief styles.

 

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And this lady is wearing what I can only describe as a “nursing smock”, split to the waist and pulled open for use. What it does reveal though, apart from the obvious is the pleats on her petticoat waistline.

 

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June 13, 2013

John Tradescant the Younger and Hester His Second Wife

Attributed to Emmanuel de Critz and painted around 1656 this double portrait is kind of a companion to the previous post of John the Elder and his wife, though notice the difference 20 years have made to the clothes Hester is wearing compared to John the Elder’s wife. There is more colour here and Hester’s bodice is much more boned and fitted to the wearer. The sleeves are made from quite a lot of fabric if you notice the gathers at the cuff. She also wears a double layer of linen around her neck, but the lines are softer, less severe somehow and there is an elaborate fastening across her chest. She also wears a black hood or chaperone on her head and is holding a sprig of myrtle which echoes John’s profession as a gardener but which also symbolises her fidelity. John the Younger on the other hand, apart from being bareheaded is dressed almost identically to his father in the earlier portrait, black doublet with a plain linen band. Note though how many buttons he has on his doublet front and cuffs. Yet again, thanks to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where the picture resides for allowing me to post it here.  © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

John Tradescant the Younger and Hester, his second Wife

May 29, 2013

Anne Babington of Rothley Temple

Painted as a companion piece to the previous post, this portrait is also thought to be by Daniel Muytens and from 1645. Anne was the wife of Matthew Babington the lawyer and was 29 when the picture was painted. She bore Matthew  twelve children of whom seven survived infancy and was finally buried in the parish church of Rothley where a memorial commemorates the pair in stone. Anne is wearing an light brown silk bodice and petticoat with the sleeves of her linen smock visible from the elbow. She is wearing what looks like a silk wrap over her shoulders and her hair is elaborately dressed. The two paintings were sold by Roy Precious as a pair. Thanks to Roy again for permission to use this image.

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May 15, 2013

Catherine, Lady Brooke

Painted in or around 1643 this picture has been attributed to Theodore Russell. Catherine was the wife of Lord Brooke the prominent parliamentarian and general who was killed by a royalist sniper whilst directing the siege of Lichfield. This portrait must have been finished after his death as Catherine wears widows weeds and holds a posy of significant flowers. She is wearing a black bodice over a white linen smock with a doubled kerchief  which is tied at the throat with bandstrings and a gossamer-thin black linen  hood or chaperone on her head. She also wears a white linen coif tied with strings under her chin. Picture courtesy of Roy Precious Antiques and Fine Art. It’s still for sale as as the time of posting.

Catherine Lady Brooke

The posy included pink laurel which was associated with honour, triumph and eternal life. I think there may also be some rosemary here for remembrance. I’m not sure what forms the pinked black edge to the bodice. It looks like a very fine black linen but if it’s part of the bodice it’s tricky to tell. Notice how white and fine her linen is though. This was a wealthy lady.

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This close up shows the ties used to keep her coif and kerchief in place. Interestingly you can also see the top of her smock which is much lower than the neck line of her kerchief. Usually both are of about  the same height, but in this case the kerchief is tied very high up her throat.

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May 10, 2013

Hester Pooks

The wife of John Tradescant again, painted by an unknown british artist around 1645. No apologies for the repeat as there aren’t that many nice portraits of women from the 1640s and this is another good one. Hester is wearing a broad brimmed felt hat over a lace edged coif. You can only see the edging in the portrait, poking out from under the brim. She has a double layer linen kerchief over a black bodice and her smock has a high collar. Picture © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

Hester Pookes Ashmolean

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April 30, 2013

Hester Tradescant and her stepchildren John and Frances

So excited to have been granted permission from the Ashmolean to post some of their portraits. This one is lovely, painted around 1644 by an unnamed English artist. Hester was the wife of John the Younger Tradescant and the original keeper of what became the Ashmolean Museum. Hester sadly died by drowning in her own pond in 1678 at which point Elias Ashmole inherited the collection. John is wearing a dark grey doublet with smallish tabs at the waist and some nice, though not exceptional linen around his neck. It looks like the lace was tacked on as an afterthought, rather than having been bought for the purpose. Frances seems to be wearing a low-ish cut bodice with lace around the collar of her smock. Hester is wearing a matching bodice and petticoat which could be in brown velvet, edged with what looks like lace made from gilt thread. Her two-layer kerchief is lined with lace as is the coif she’s wearing under her wide brimmed hat. I like the magnifying glass hanging from the left hand point of her kerchief. It’s heavy enough to drag that side of the kerchief lower than the right. They do look very serious though I have to say. Picture is © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

Hester Tradescant and children

April 15, 2013

Florence Smyth and her Pageboy

Also thought to by by Gilbert Jackson and probably painted in the late 1630s, this is an arresting picture. Not just because of the black pageboy, (who probably has the honour of the earliest representation in English art of someone of African descent), but also because of the vibrant colours and the contrast between the two figures. The girl is thought to be Florence Smyth who lived at Ashton Court near Bristol with her mother Florence and father Thomas who payed a small part at the beginning of the war on the royalist side. She is dressed in a white satin bodice and petticoat. The sleeves are slashed and gathered with red ribbon which is also picked out in a ribbon across her waist and behind the lace of her coif. The lace of the coif and neckerchief is very high quality. The boy has a striped satin doublet and less (though not in quality) lace than his mistress on the falling band around his neck. The picture is on display in Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Why they are playing with a bird’s nest I have no idea. I suspect there is some symbolism involved.

A young girl thought to be Florence Smyth (b.1634), daughter of Thomas and Florence Smyth of Ashton Court, Somerset, with her black page

April 2, 2013

Dorothy and Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas was a physician who practiced in Norwich and a published author. His text Religio Medici was well respected and a bestseller.  Dorothy came from a Norfolk family and bore eleven children, six of whom survived to adulthood.  She is wearing a white or possibly pale blue bodice,  low cut to show the fine linen and lace edges of her smock. Her coif is also lace edged. Sir Thomas is wearing a smart black doublet and plain collar with a subtle set of strings to hold it together. They were painted by Joan Carlile sometime during the 1640s and the image is © National Portrait Gallery, London

 

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