I've been staring at a painting of a gown I'd like to make for a while:
or in snipped form:
(X-post apologies) I've got a lot of rambling here, describing my thoughts
in trying to figure this gown out. However, if you want to skip it, here's
my main question: what does the rest of this gown look like, and what part
of the world might have other gowns in this style?
The sitter is Anne of Hungary and Bohemia, painted in 1519 by Hans Maler, a
Tyrolese painter. Anne was of a Polish royal family; her father ruled
Hungary and Bohemia, and she married Ferdinand of the Habsburgs in 1521.
Hungary and Bohemia was squeezed in between Austria, a zillion small
Germanic states of the Holy Empire, and the Turks, so there are all sorts of
interesting influences there, but.... Whether this is a Polish style, or a
Hungarian style, or a Bohemian style, or a Tyrolese style, or an Austrian
style or etcetcetc I do not know! I do know that it's not like anything
else I'm seeing at this time period and that before I can make it, I really
need to see at least one or two other vaguely similar things!
Based on her history, it would appear that she's most likely to be wearing
the styles of Hungary and Bohemia (which as far as I can tell, was regarded
as one nation at this time). So, I've been looking at Hungarian works from
this time, and the styles don't look one bit like Germanic styles--which was
the first widely-researched area I thought to check, even though apart from
the hat, nothing about this gown looks Germanic. At least, not c1520
Germanic. I'm not sure exactly whose styles I'd say the Hungarian stuff I've
seen DOES look like; perhaps a mix of French and German, but 10-30 years
behind the times. (For example, I'm seeing v-necked gowns in the 1510s, with
center front bust pleats like 1470s-90s German gowns!) However, most art
available from Hungary at this time is heavily religious and allegorical,
and to me looks like a bunch of not-so-great copies of noticeably earlier
Franco-Flemish art. In other words, not terribly helpful.
However, if the styles of the general area was as behind the times as the
paintings suggest, it wouldn't seem too odd to me if this was more of an
A-line dress, with no waist seam--my favorite style. And since it's my
favorite, I may be seeing it where it's not. However, in Hungarian art in
the early 16thC I am seeing my favorite no-waist-seam square-necked styles,
so it may not be impossible. My main confusion, of course, is what the gown
would have looked like from the waist down. On this gown, there are a few
hints about what might lie below the waist, and to me they spell no waist
seam. The waist curve on her side is not the sort of curve you see with a
waist seam; with a waist seam you don't see it curve out _above_ the waist,
at least not that high up. Also, the gold trim continues below her hands, in
a line with what's above, but not at the center front as though it were
trimming a split.
I know that fashionable German styles at this time had waist seams. But this
is not exactly a painting of a typical German fashion by a typical German
painter; you can tell that just by looking. It's nothing like the typical
Germanic fashions of 1519. Anne was Polish and grew up in Hungary and
Bohemia; she certainly wouldn't have looked like a Saxon princess. Maler,
however, was influenced by Durer, so perhaps Durer's paintings are worth
I'm not saying my mind is completely closed to anything involving waist
seams. By no means! I'm just saying that the typical German Ren styles, to
my eye, don't seem to apply to this particular gown, which is my problem in
the first place! Unfortunately, what it DOES most remind me of is styles
from western Europe in the 2nd half of the 16thC. Or perhaps early 16thC
Spain; Anne was engaged to Ferdinand at the time of the painting, and
Ferdinand was raised in Spain, and a similar neck treatment can be seen in
Spain at around the same time.
Enough rambling. Waist seam? No waist seam? Pointy bodice? Straight across?
Trim placement? Austrian influence? Spanish influence? Any ideas?
-E the dehydrated