ca. 1643 Spanlish noblewoman by Wenceslaus Hollar (Museum of London - London, UK)

From; removed spots in background and fixed the right edge with Photoshop.

ca. 1643 Spanlish noblewoman by Wenceslaus Hollar (Museum of London - London, UK) From depot bckgnd fix rt edge

The pragmatic costumer’s caption for this image:  "The Spanish, however, adored black for its severity, richness, and luster. This noblewoman wears a fashion that was popular a few decades earlier during the 1610s and 20s. Clearly its imposing beauty has not diminished, but it is far different from her neighbors in France! She is probably an older woman, but she may be a lady who just loves older fashion. Rich clothes were not wasted and were thus reworn many times, so this may be the robe of a mother, sister, or higher-up noble that was passed down. Yet another possibility is the time it took to publish Hollar’s book. Making plates for printing took a lot of time to do. If he had spend enough time working on this project, it is quite likely that this is actually a fashion from an earlier time, perhaps by years! Still, the Spanish nobility was famous for treasuring their ornate style longer than their contemporaries (as this painting of Isabel de Borbón from 1632 reveals (this one)) and the heavy style from the turn of the century lingered on the Iberian Peninsula longer than in other parts of the continent. The rear view of this gown reveals the decorative cut of her hanging sleeves and the pickadil/supportasse which props up her tall lace collar. We are also treated to a rare glimpse of what goes on behind those high hair rolls: artfully arranged braids accented with either jeweled ornaments or flowers."

This is a rare look at the back of a saya.

Keywords:  1643, Hollar, Spanish, straight coiffure, chignon, floral headdress, neckline ruff, tabbed hanging sleeves, long false sleeves, ruffled cuffs, full skirt, feather fan, saya

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