Habiti delle Donne Venetiane (Dress of Venetian Women)

Giacomo Franco Italian
Publisher Giacomo Franco Italian

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This book consists of twenty numbered plates of ornately dressed women engraved by Giacomo Franco, each accompanied by a description in Latin and Italian. The work serves as a compendium of Venetian beauties, in which courtesans and respectable women are represented interchangeably, a juxtaposition that may explain why Franco never received a printing privilege for the book. Two plates describe aspects of Venetian wedding ceremonies. In plate 7, Franco depicts the parentado, or the ritual presentation of a bride to her relations. Here, a bride in a richly embroidered dress wearing pearls and a bejeweled crown is presented by her ballerino, a dance instructor who prevented the woman from toppling over in her chopines, or platform shoes. A following engraving illustrates the custom by which a bride would travel by gondola to visit her relatives in convents, a very public display that made the entire city seem a witness to the marriage.

Habiti delle Donne Venetiane (Dress of Venetian Women), Giacomo Franco (Italian, Venice 1550–1620 Venice), Engraving and woodcut

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