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Le lever du voile: Voir, être vue, se montrer: le costume féminin à Venise et Padoue (1575-1600)


de Riedmatten, Henri (2016). Le lever du voile: Voir, être vue, se montrer: le costume féminin à Venise et Padoue (1575-1600). In: Leone, Massimo; de Riedmatten, Henri; Stoichita, Victor I. Il sistema del velo: trasparenze e opacità nell'arte moderna e contemporanea = Système du voile: transparence et opacité dans l'art moderne et contemporain. Roma: Aracne editrice S.r.l., 155-194.

Abstract

This essay explores the cultural role played by women’s costume in Venice and Padua in the late 1500s, as portrayed in two alba amicorum — the Mores Italiae MS 457 and the Egerton MS 1191 — as well as in Cesare Vecellio’s costume book Degli habiti antichi, et moderni di diverse parti del mondo. The study of the illustrations in these works emphasizes the gaze dynamics likely to emerge between a male observer and a female figure veiling and unveiling herself. Both the veils themselves and the interplay they evoke compose various levels of opacity and transparency. This variation helps define feminine identity by fixing women’s social class and, above all, their civil status: maiden, lady, widow, and courtesan. Yet, among them, the courtesan, queen of disguise, constitutes a subversive figure, an element of transgression who takes advantage of this visual play without breaking away from it.

Abstract

This essay explores the cultural role played by women’s costume in Venice and Padua in the late 1500s, as portrayed in two alba amicorum — the Mores Italiae MS 457 and the Egerton MS 1191 — as well as in Cesare Vecellio’s costume book Degli habiti antichi, et moderni di diverse parti del mondo. The study of the illustrations in these works emphasizes the gaze dynamics likely to emerge between a male observer and a female figure veiling and unveiling herself. Both the veils themselves and the interplay they evoke compose various levels of opacity and transparency. This variation helps define feminine identity by fixing women’s social class and, above all, their civil status: maiden, lady, widow, and courtesan. Yet, among them, the courtesan, queen of disguise, constitutes a subversive figure, an element of transgression who takes advantage of this visual play without breaking away from it.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Lifting the veil: to see, to be seen, to show oneself: women’s costume in Venice and Padua (1575–1600)
Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Art History
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:French
Date:2016
Deposited On:31 Jan 2017 08:37
Last Modified:31 Jan 2017 08:37
Publisher:Aracne editrice S.r.l.
Series Name:I saggi di Lexia
Number:19
ISBN:978-88-548-8838-8
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4399/97888548883888
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ebi01_prod010609653 (Library Catalogue)

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