Monday, February 18, 2008

Renaissance Portraits

Ever wonder what the Renaissance women you read about looked like? Now it’s easy to find out. A wonderful Webshots album entitled Grand Ladies of the 1500s displays a stunning collection of portraits of famous women of the sixteenth century. Even if the women's identities are not familiar to you, the album is worth a view for the fashions alone. Heartfelt thanks to the compiler!


Catherine Delors said...

Beautiful pictures, but this seems a rather limited view of the female image during the Renaissance.
The compiler has unfortunately left out the splendid nude portraits of Gabrielle d'Estrees and her sister at the Louvre, and of Diane de Poitiers (the Clouet at the National Gallery of Art, among several others.)
A pity. You have a wonderful opportunity to set the record straight in your second novel.

Julianne Douglas said...

I'm sure it wasn't meant to be exhaustive and probably is limited to what the compiler can copy or link to legally. Still, I always find it fascinating to put faces to the names we read about so often.

It's a pity portaits were only painted of the upper class. I would love to see how women of the middle and lower classes looked.

Catherine Delors said...

Maybe genre paintings of the Dutch school? It would be fascinating to compare the faces and body language.

Julianne Douglas said...


It would be a fascinating exercise.

Speaking of Gabrielle d'Estrees and Diane de Poitiers, yesterday I ran across a reference to a dissertation on the portraits from the School of Fontainebleau. If I remember correctly, the abstract claims that there is no concrete evidence that the nude portraits purported to be of these women (royal mistresses), actually were of them. I'd love to read the dissertation, but it required a pretty steep fee to access. I'll have to decide if it would be worth it, as that's a little bit past the time frame of my novel.