Notes on Art History

Note: This statue of an Ancient Egyptian woman clearly shows the way of dressing in Ancient Egypt. This statue belongs to the New Kingdome period. Body: The woman is wearing a kalasiris, a typical ancient Egyptian dress. The length of the dress tells us that this woman probably belonged to the upper class, as working woman mostly wore a kalasiris in a shorter variant. The dress is made of linen, which was perfect for Egypt’s hot climate. The dress is undecorated, but does have a lot of pleats going in various directions, which must have been very labour intensive.
Head: The woman is wearing a wig, made of human hair or date palm fibres. The hair is curled and was kept together by wax. The wigs were only worn by wealthy people. Accessories: Jewellery was very popular in Ancient Egypt, no matter what you social status was. They were known for wearing lots of jewellery in turquoise metals like gold and silver and small beads. This woman is wearing a gorgerine, which was a typical Egyptian necklace, existing of metal discs, worn on the chest. Minoan Snake Goddess figurine, 1600 BC, Herraklion Archaeological Museum
Note: This is one of a series of figurines, showing a woman holding a snake in each hand. It was found during excavation of Minoan archaeological sites in Crete. It represents a goddess. Little is known about their identity, but it tells us a lot of the way the Minoan women dressed themselves. Body: The goddess is wearing a tight bodice, which leaves the breasts bare. She also wears a long skirt which is comprised of seven overlapping flounces, which are strips of cloth, gathered and sewed on by its upper edge only. The flounces appear to be thick and were probably made of wool, a popular fabric used by the Minoan.

Over the hips, she wears a double-apron, which is bordered with stripes and patterned with a simple diagonal grid of lines The skirt and apron are secured by a belt , which emphasizes the figure’s wasp-waist and accentuates the curve of the hips. Head: The headpiece , the goddess is wearing shows a series of three dark-painted, raised medallions. Accessories: The goddess is wearing a tiny bracelet on her right wrist. The Minoan were famous for their beautiful jewellery production. Note: This female Minoan figure is dressed in traditional Minoan clothing.
The Minoans were known to have a more advance and complexed culture, which is shown in the artistically designed and skilfully made clothing they wore. The figure of the Minoan woman, with large breasts and hips and a tiny waist, as very similar to that of the late 1800 woman, who wore tight corsets to make their waist small and hoops under their skirts to increase the size of their bottom. Body: The woman is wearing a colourful blouse and skirt that shape the body well. The skirt is tight at the waist and flares out towards the bottom in a bell shape. The skirt consists of several strips of fabric, sewn together.
The layers of fabric have a pointed shape in the centre, facing towards the floor. The blouse is close fitted to the body and has a low cut in the front to expose the breasts. Head: The woman has long dark hair, which hangs loose on her shoulders. Accessories: She wears ring shaped earrings and a belt, which was very common in the Minoan culture. Because a tiny waist was prized, some historians believe that Minoans would wear a heavy metal belt since their early childhood, forcing the waist to stop growing. Scene of Sacrifice, c. 540 B. C. Pitsa, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greese, painting, wood.
Note: This painting shows an animal sacrifice in Corinth. It is one of the 4 painted wood slabs of Pitsa that were found in 1934 near Sicyon in a cave above the village of Pitsa in Corinth. Body: The woman are wearing a blue peplos that is decorated with a pattern. It is a rectangular woollen fabric that is folded at the top, so that the top part falls over the body. The peplos is fastened at the shoulders with pins. Over the peplos, the woman are wearing a red cape, a chlaina. It is made up of a rectangular piece of fabric which is draped around the body.
The young men in the painting are wearing a blue, short chiton which reaches their knees and is fastened at their left shouder with pins. Head: The woman have their long hair tied back in a ponytail, while the men have short cut hair. Accesoires: The figures are all wearing a wreath, a headpiece made of goldon leaves. Briseis and Phoenix Painting on a cup, Brygos, ca 490 B. C. , Vulci, Louvre Museum, Paris, France Note: This attic red-figure cup shows Phoenix and Briseis. It is an ancient Greek art work from the Classical period. Body: The woman is wearing a long chiton with many folds and pleats.
The chiton is made of linen, a light fabric, suitable to the cimate and which makes it easier to form pleats with. The tunic is wrapped around her body and pinned along at the shoulders and arms, forming two loose fitted sleeves. The man is wearing a chiton as well, which reaches his feet. On top of the chiton he wears a himation, large piece of fabric, draped arount the body and used as a mantel. Both chitons are decorated with a playfull motif at the bottom. Head: The woman has her hair tight back into a bun, with some strings of hair falling loosy besides her face.
The man has a long beard and his hair cut short. You can clearly see that he is old, due to his undyed white hair colour. Accesoires: Both man and woman wear a hairband. Statue of august, national museum of rome, 100 AC Note: This Ancient Roman statue shows Augustus. A Roman emperor who ruled the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD. In that era, all men wore the same type of cloth, but the fabric and way it was worn, marked important social differences. Agustus, being an emperor is therefore a clear example of how people of higher social status would wear their clothes.
Body: Augustus is wearing a tunica, an essential garment in the warderobe of the ancient Roman man. It consists of two pieces of rectangular fabric, one set on top of the other. It was sewn together at the sides and the top wit holes left for the head and arms. This tunica has long and wide sleeves. On top of the tunica, Augustus wears a toga. A long cloak which is draped around the body. Head: Augustus has short cut hair and his toga is draped around his head to form a hood. Court of Emperor Justinian with Macimian and court officialsand Praetorian Guards, Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, 547 AC, Mosaik
Note: A clear example of clothing from the Byzantium era. Body: Justinian, in the centre, is wearing an imperial chlamys with a large lozenge shaped goldon panel (tablion) and an opulent brooch. Underneath that he wears a white silk tunic with tight sleeves (Divistion), which is decorated with god stripes and circular roundles and gold embroidered rd shoes. The Dignitaries wear a white chlamys with a purple tablion an an embroidered tunic. The archbishop Maximianus wears a goldon chasuble and a white dalmatic with very wide sleeves and purple stripes.
Head: The figures have slightly long hair at the back. Maximianus is somewhat bold and has a little beard and mustache, just like some other men portrayed. Accesoires: Justinian wears a two-tired gemstone encrusted crown on his head and an opulent brooch that is fastened at his rght shoulder. Maximianus wears a pallium around his neck, a white wool strip which is decorated with a cross. The bikini girls, mosaic, 4th century AD, Roman Villa of Casale, Italy. Note: This piece of art, dating from the Diocletian period (186-305 AD) is evidence that the Romans were one of the first to wear a bikini.
Although the woman depicted are wearing a bikini as sportswear and not as swimwear. Body: The female atheltes are wearing a two-piece swimsuit that resembles the bikini as we know it today. The top part covers the breasts and has no elastic bands tied around the arms, but is probably kept in place at the back. The bottom part, looks like it is a piece of fabric that is folded around the womans lower body. Head: The woman have different hairstyles. Most of them have their hair tied back, which is more comfortable when playing sports.
Others have long hair that falls on their shoulders. Accessories: One of the woman in the centre is wearing a headpiece made of flowers, she is probably wearing it because she won the competition. The consular diptych of Manlius Boetius, who was consul in 487 AD, Santa Giulia Museum, Brescia, Italy. Note: This artwork resembles the type of clothing worn by the Barberians and Nomads. Their clothing style was more practical than that of the Romans and consisted of loose and simple garments. Body: Boetius wears an embroidered woollen toga which reaches the ankles.
The toga has long sleeves, is draped around the body and wrapped around the right hip. Head/ Accesoires. : It looks like Boetius is wearing a diadem of goldon leaves on his head. This is a picture of Charlemagne is an example of how the fine linen and silk togas of the Romans disappeared and were replaced by the clothing of the less civilized people, the Romans had called Barbarians and Goths. Charlemagne always wore the traditional costume of the Frankish people. Body: He is wearing a blue silk cloak which is trimmed with bands of decoration. His legs are covered by a hose and he wears shoes at his feet.
On top of his cloak he wears a red/brownish mantel that is loosly draped around his shoulders and fastened with a brooche at his right shoulder. The mantel is deorated at the neckline. Head/ Accesoires: On his head he wears a golden crown, embellished ith jewels. This template from the Middle-Ages shows what the knights would wear. The knits are wering under clthes that consists of a linen under-shirt and linen under pants. These would prevent the armor from chafing the Knights skin. They woul also wear a padded garment, known as a Doublet, that consisted of a quilted coat which was either sewn or stuffed with linen .
It served as padding for additional armour worn over the top. Woollen stockings cover their legs and over their armour they wear a robe which is fastenedaround the waist, known as a Surcoat. The surcoat is emblazoned with the cote of arms or device of the Knight in order to identify the knight in the battle. On their head they were a helmetwhich is slightly pointed at the back. Nicephorus III and Officers, c. 1074-1081, Bibliotheque nationale de France Manuscript Coislin. This painting of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus iII, is a good example of Byzantine Imperial costume. The emperor is magnificently attired in Byzantine silk.
Over his blue and goldon tunic he wears a darker bue cloak, fastened by a gold-and-ruby brooch and decorated with a large tablion, woven of gold thread. On his head he wears a bejewelled crown and around his neck a superhumeral, which is a imperial decorative collar. The Arnolfini Portrait, Jan van Eyck, 1434, Oil on oak, National Gallery, London. This painting is believed to be a portrait of the Italian merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnofili and his wife. It is a very realistic painting and therefore a good example of Late Medieval costume. The two figures are richly dressed.
The man’s tabard, a short sleeveless cape, and woman’s dress are both lined with fur, judging from this we can say that they are both wearing their outerwear. The woman’s dress has elaborate dagging (cloth folded and sewn together, then cut and frayed decoratively) on the sleeves and a long train. Underneath her green dress, she wears a blue underdress which is trimmed with white fur and has long tight sleeves. The man’s tabard is made from purple silk and has long full sleeves which are tight at the wrists. Head: The man wears a hat of plaited straw, dyed black, as often worn in the summer all the time.
The woman wears a white cotton wimple on her head. Accesoires: The woman wears a brown leather belt around her waist. The only other jewelry visible are the woman’s plain gold necklace and rings. Rogier van der Weyden, Portrait of a Lady, c. 1460, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. Van der Weyden portrayed this woman in high fashionable clothing. The woman wears an elegant low-cut black dress with dark bands of fur at the neck and wrists. This type of clothing resembles the then-fashionable Burgundian style, which emphasises on the tall and thin aesthetic of the Gothic ideal.
The dress is buckled with a bright red sash below her breasts. The buckle is gold. Head: On her head she wears a buff-coloured hennin headdress that is draped with a large transparent veil, which spills over her shoulders, reaching her upper arms. The veil forms a diamond shape and matches the transparent vest worn under her dress. Her hair is pulled backwards in a tight knot. Accessories: The woman wears a gold necklace and 2 rings around her fingers. Sant’Orsola e le compagne, miniatura, 1380 , Parigi, Biblioteca Nazionale Body: The women are wearing dresses with a low round neckline.
The top of the dresses fit closely to the body while the skirt hangs loose and has several pleats. The sleeves are long and wide at the cuffs. The underdress is of a different colour and visible at the wrists and its sleeves fit tightly around the arms. Some dresses have a simple print. Head: The woman wear a hat that consists of a frame of wirework, covered with embroidery or other trimmings. Titian, Portrait of Philip II of Spain (1527-1598), 16th century, oil on canvas. Body: Philip II is wearing a silk doublet in a gold/brown colour with a decorative print.
The pants, breeches, he is wearing, falls just above the knees and is of the same fabric as the doublet. Under the breeches he wears a white hose. Philip also wears a mandilion on top of his outfit, a loose hip-length coat that is decorated with a pattern. Head: Phillip has his hair cut very short and a tiny beard and pointed moustache. Accessories: Accessories were very important in the 16th century as they represented wealth. Phillip wears several bracelets and rings and a necklace. Shoes: Philip wears simple white silk flat shoes. Marcus Gheerraerts the Younger, Portrait of Elisabeth I, c. 592, National Portrait Gallery, London. Body: Elisabeth I wears a crimson gown that is barley visible on either side of her waist. The gown has a white satin lining that matches the petticoat, bodice and hanging sleeves. Her petticoat is pinned to a cartwheel farthingale. The bodice has a broad, low, square neckline and ends in a V-shape at the front of the waist. The shoulders are very wide and puffed. Head/ Accessories: Elisabeth I wears gloves and a van in her hands. Her jewellery consists of several necklaces of pearls reaching the waist, a flower shaped necklace and some beads in her hair.
She also has a high standing ruff around her neck of a transparent fabric and a crown on the back of her head. Giovanni Battista Moroni, An Italian Tailor, c. 1570, National Gallery London. Body: The Italian Tailor wears a light pink, tight fitted doublet over a heavily padded red hose. The doublet is fastened by a row of pearl buttons at the centre front. His white blouse, worn underneath the doublet, has some small ruffles at the cuffs and the neckline. Head: His hair is cut short and he has a small beard and moustache. Accessories: The man only wears a brown leather belt around his waist.
Manteau, ca. 1685-90, Contemporary fashion plate by Bonnard Body: The woman wears a mantua. Instead of a bodice and skirt cut separately, the mantua hung from the shoulders to the floor. This mantua is looped and draped over a contrasting petticoat. The dress has a low squared neckline and short puffed sleeves that reach just below the elbows. The petticoat is fastened at the centre front with decorative buckles. Both petticoat and mantua are embellished with a print. Head: The woman’s curly hair is worn swept up into a high pile. She also wears a scarf in her hair.
Accessories: She has some bracelets around her left wrist and wears a cross formed necklace. Portrait, c. 1660, France Body: The man wears a large simple dark coat that is embroidered on the left shoulder. Underneath this he wears a long-sleeved ruffled white shirt, which can only be seen at the wrists. A small falling collar with round edges, made of lace, hangs around his neck. Head: The man doesn’t wear a wig and shoes his natural long dark fuzzy hair. He has little facial hair around his lips. Fashion plate, Jean de St Jean, 1688, France Body:

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