|Published||[W. Hollar c.1640]|
|Dimensions||Image 122 x 72 mm, Sheet 140 x 88 mm|
Plate 13. from Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. The print shows a full length depiction of a lady turned slightly to the left, stepping forward on her left foot. Her face is half covered by a visard mask, a scalloped edged lace shawl draped over her shoulders. Her left hand is in a large fur muff, her right hangs behind her outer skirt.
A visard is a mask, normally made of velvet, which was worn by women in the 17th century. The masks, frequently worn while travelling, were worn to protect the wearer against the cold in the winter and the sun in the warmer months, to maintain a desirable pale complexion.
Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus or The Severall Habits of English Women from the Nobility to the country Woman, as they are in these times is an illustrated costume series produced by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1640. The illustrations depict the diversity of English women's apparel at that time, covering all aspects of society from the country woman to the noblewoman. Many of the illustrations were based on Hollar's eyewitness observations during his time in the Earl of Arundel's, his main patron, court making them an accurate source of fashion history.
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) left his native Prague in 1627. He spent several years travelling and working in Germany before his patron, the Earl of Arundel brought him to London in 1636. During the civil wars, Hollar fought on the Royalist side, after which he spent the years 1644-52 in Antwerp. Hollar's views of London form an important record of the city before the Great Fire of 1666. He was prolific and engraved a wide range of subjects, producing nearly 2,800 prints, numerous watercolours and many drawings.
Pennington 1790 ii/ii, New Hollstein (German) 306, ii/ii (Hollar)
Condition: Trimmed within the plate and laid to an album sheet, time toning and minor creasing to sheet.