RE: Bronzino partlets
- Okay, I had thought of the goffering idea with starch. The problem is that
some of the pleats are zigzag, some are swagged, and some are a combination
of the two. So how to deal with that. Has anyone out there duplicated one
of these partlets, and if so, do you have a photo of the results we could
And--we still have no evidence that any other painter of the time period
showed these partlets. One of my books clearly indicates (from contemporary
sources in the 16th century) that the Eleanor of Toledo portrait done by
Bronzino about the same time was done from a fabric sample not an actual
dress that Eleanor was wearing. If he could paint a whole made up dress,
why couldn't he fabricate a partlet in his mind and paint that too? I'd
really like to see a portrait from another 16th century artist showing
similar partlets to be convinced. We also must not forget the sociologic
and economic climate driving the commissioning of these portraits--they were
afterall designed to show the power and extravagance of the privileged class
which may or may not completely represent reality.
- Everything you state is true as far as interpreting the painting is
concerned, however, some thoughts-
*Having a reoccuring fashion unique to one painter is not unheard of.
Veronese did it as well with the cutwork sleeves. There are loads of
theories that postulate why they altered reality to fit some kind of
ideal at the time.
*There is extant evidence of running stitch pleated clothing in
history. It is Norse, and much earlier in time, however this proves
that it was possible with less technology available, thus the logic
suggests more complex designs could have evolved. It was however
apparently reserved for ceremonial dress because of the labour
involved each time it was washed.
*An SCA weaver has recently figured out how to weave a goffered veil,
so it is possible to weave rather than just stitch texture into
fabric. Who knows, it could also be a strange interpretation of
macreme style lace work.
*The partlet in question looks in many ways like he took the edge of
his palette knife and etched into the wet paint. It's random, and yet
not. This could simply be the case of a painter exploring his medium.