October 12, 2013
And the last print from William Marshall in 1637. I like this picture, there is more humour in it. Phlegmatic shows a rather vain lady staring out at us from the edge of a river in which a rather odd fish with a human face is watching her. The verse reads:
“In Beauty have I share of Rose and Lilly, But I lack Breeding and my wit is Silly”
She is wearing a tightly laced boned bodice with slashed balloon sleeves, a petticoat and a still lace edged collar. On top of the ensemble she has a gown with open sleeves that fasten around her elbows and reaches down to cover her petticoat skirts. © The Trustees of the British Museum
I also like the vacant look on her face and the flowers she has in her hair.
October 11, 2013
Continuing the series of prints executed by William Marshall in 1637-7, we now have Cholerick, a lady facing away from the artist, helpfully displaying to us the back of her clothes.
The verse gives away the choleric nature:
“Nature because Shee would not doe Mee wrong, Instead of Stature hath awarded Tongue”
She is wearing a tight waisted bodice with wide, though short sleeves and two petticoats, which we can see as she has helpfully hitched her over petticoat skirts so we can see the under petticoat. The detail is not good on this image, but it seems to me that the bodice and over petticoat have been slashed or pinked all over as a decoration. Follow this link to a pink silk bodice in the Victoria and Albert Museum that has a very similar pattern and form of decoration to this one. From the back you can also see the darts on her linen collar.
October 10, 2013
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
This close up shows the decoration of her bodice and the slashing of the sleeves.
October 10, 2013
One of a set of prints engraved by William Marshall and published in 1637, this image shows a high class woman, though seemingly (from her expression) not quite as sad as the title would suggest.
The verse below says:
“When I am forced to work my Shoulders droop, for I am tall and doe not like to stoope”
I can’t see anyone forcing this lady to work and anyway in the boned bodies she is wearing it would be almost impossible to bend very far. The tabbed bodies she is wearing are attached to a large set of slashed sleeves on top of which are some over-sleeves fastened at the elbow. Her cuffs and the rather old fashioned layered and stiffened collar are edged with wide lace. Her under petticoat is embroidered, certainly as far as we can see and she has a second petticoat open at the front and fastened around the waist with a tie, possibly a matching ribbon. © The Trustees of the British Museum
In this detail of her upper body, you can see how low the fashionable neckline was and notice the edge of her smock visible at the top of her bodies. This smock obviously doesn’t have a collar!