Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sixteeth-Century Fashion Dolls

This morning I came across a fascinating on-line article by Yassana C. Croizat titled "'Living Dolls': François I Dresses His Women" (Renaissance Quarterly 60.1 (2007) 94-130). It discusses the exchange of exquisitely attired dolls between members of the courts of Europe as a way of disseminating new fashions. It also examines what motivated François I's custom of dressing the women of his court in splendid attire for which the crown paid. Croizat reveals, for example, that in 1538 François presented each of twenty-two ladies of his court with purple and crimson velvet to make dresses; each gift cost approximately 216 livres, the yearly salary of one of Fontainebleau's painters! The article is an engaging read and features several photographs of period dolls. Lots of material for my novel here.

1 comment:

Catherine Delors said...

Fascinating, Julianne!
I have never heard of those dolls, including the "live" ones.