Title

Recreating Fashion: A dress in 1530

Document Type

Presentation

Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

Publication Date

4-2014

Faculty Mentor

Alexa Sand

Abstract

Standing against a dark background, a woman holds a platter containing the grotesque, dismembered head of a man. Less disturbing are the opulent velvet dress and heavy gold jewelry she wears. In the painting Salome with the head of John the Baptist by Lucas Cranach the Elder, the woman's clothing says more about her implied social status than it does about the biblical figure she portrays. Northern Renaissance paintings such as this provide a unique insight into regional fashions not seen or understood from the rare extant garments from the period. However, it is unclear to what extent Salome's dress reflects contemporary fashion versus how much Cranach invented in his pursuit to portray the biblical anti-heroines in a fantastical setting. In addition to determining the degree to which Salome's fantastical costume represents a three-dimensional, cut and tailored garment, the project of reproducing this dress will help illuminate the way women's clothing expressed and helped shape feminine social roles in the sixteenth century. In reconstructing the fantastical style of dress depicted in Cranach's paintings, I aim to understand the relationships between fashion, clothing, women's bodies, and Cranach's style of depicting biblical events in contemporary court culture.

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