Italian garments fall in soft folds and generally use decoration in a restrained way. In this handsome black jerkin, the tiny tucks at the collar are the only decoration.
Male dress during the Reformation is balanced and virile. The silhouette is a large square box set on widely spaced legs. Horizontal and vertical borders divide the square areas into smaller boxes, placing the emphasis on the horizontal. The borders are of contrasting color in fur or geometric line decorations. Slashes and puffs, so essential to the Renaissance silhouette, are secondary features. They are arranged symmetrically in allover patterns. The elegant man dresses in layers. The bottom layer is the shirt. It is made of fine white linen or changeable taffeta. Colored embroidery in red, blue, black or gold radiates from the neck, creating spoke like patterns. At first the neckline is low, collarless, and finished in a shirred ruffle. As the period progresses, the ruffled edge moves up to the base of the neck. Wide, full sleeves are gathered into a wristband or finished in a ruffle. The second layer is the doublet, almost a prototype of the modern vest. Similar to the High Italian Renaissance version, it is skirtless and styled in a variety of ways: square necked, double breasted, or opened to a deep V and laced up the front. Usually it has sleeves which are tied into the armhole. Even when another layer goes on top of the doublet, the center front and lower part of the sleeves show through. The jerkin, a prototype of a jacket, is the third layer. Like the jerkin introduced during the High Renaissance, it has a pleated skirt which varies in length from the thigh to a little above the knee. Lapels are often faced in fur. Sleeves are deep puffs which end above the elbow. Retained is the shoulder roll or crescent, into which the sleeves are tied. The coat, an unbelted full gown, is the fourth layer. For indoors or out, it is knee length or longer. It has an important collar which is square across the back, wide at the shoulders, and tapers to the hem in front. Extra fullness is sometimes pleated into a yoke. Sleeves are optional. The most typical sleeve has very large puffs with attached pendants. Another popular sleeve, often lined in fur, is large, open, and hanging. The upper and nether stocks are new leg coverings. Upper stocks (haut-de-chausee) are fitted breeches which begin above the knee. Nether stocks (bas-de-chausee) are tights or hose. A codpiece is always visible. It is decorative, matches the fabric of the jerkin, and is attached with ties or buckles. Jewelry is of great importance. It includes wide chain necklaces which hang over the coat from shoulder to shoulder, medallions often placed decoratively on the beret, and rings. Shoes have a very square toe and are without heels. They are embroidered and/or slashed at the toe and often have ankle straps.
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC) Painting -- Italy -- 16th century -- (YVRC)
costume (mode of fashion) (AAT) paintings (AAT)
Clothing & Accessories Paintings & Drawings
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Related Exhibit or Resource:
Reformation (Men): 1500-1550: Italian Dress
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 3
New York, NY Theatre Arts Slide Presentations 1975
GT513 +B87 3 (LC)
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