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Don Garcia de Medici, Where are Thou?

Early in the Fall, I went to Philly with the fabulous duchessimone, akgnome and greta_k, and I managed to score a really nice cut of black wool, perfect for a 16th Century coat for ballistabob. At the time, I stashed it away, along with other treasures, in the cozy comfort of my sewing room.

Fast forward.

Three weeks ago, I decided to start plotting how I was going to cut said coat. My first thought was to make a scholar style coat, much in the style that was worn in Florence at the turn of the Century. After all, ballistabob's persona is Italian anyway, so why not? My other option was to cut it like a cassock, in the style worn later on in the century.

Then a thought struck. "Wait a minute! Why not a mantle like that of the Don Garcia de Medici burial? I know I have a picture and a pattern somewhere!"

The picture, of course, would be from the Galleria del Costume, at the Pitti palace, and the pattern, or at least a sketch of it, from Janet Arnold.

So I went on and opened my copy of Arnold's Patterns of Fashion and I found ... nothing, nada, zero, zip, zilch. You get the idea ...

Hmmmm .... Where had I seen it?

Next, I checked out my copy of Arnold's "Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd."

Again, nothing.

I tore the house (and my library) apart.


Was I going nuts? I knew that I had seen it somewhere, and that I had a copy.

Finally, the bulb lighted up, and I went to my laptop to check my pictures from the Florence Colloquium from last year. And bingo! There they were! And of course they would not be in any book, since the drawings (by Arnold, indeed), have not been published anywhere on account of her passing away before she finished the project.

EDIT: I was right and I was wrong. Arnold herself did not publish it, but Roberta Orsi Landini (of Moda a Firenze fame) did. It's in Italian, and I have not been able to find a copy. However, the fabulous realmofvenus did post some images from that publication. Thanks operafantomnet! Look in the comments to find the links to more information.

Sadly, I cannot share my images from Florence, as those were pictures we took of the slides from the presentations. The folks from the Colloquium were nice enough to allow us to snap away, but not to reproduce the images since they belong to the presenters. In this case, these particular ones were part of Mary Westerman Bulgarella's lecture.

The good news is that Dr. Bulgarella's presentation has been uploaded at the Colloquium website, and it can be accessed at there. And if you don't remember who Mary Westerman Bulgarella is, she was also a contributor for the book Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo's Ginevra de' Benci and Renaissance Portraits of Women

The page seems to be down today. Try again later, and then sign up for their list. You can access all of the lectures there. The other thing is that the lectures have not been uploaded as written papers, but as audio files. However, the files include a slide show of all the images. You cannot download the images, but you can see them. At one point, I realized that if I paused the sound, I was able to click and just look at the images. But if you have the time, the lectures are well worth listening to. Images can only tell you half the story.

At any rate, while I cannot share the images, I am thinking about teaching a class on the Medici burial clothes at June February University, including my notes on the mantle of Don Garcia de Medici, such as they are at this point. Would anyone be interested?



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Dec. 7th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
I assume you've seen this?

Someone made a version of this some time ago. The fabric she chose is different, butt he research is interesting and the final result very cool: http://katerina.purplefiles.net/Dafydd/DFL_Capotto1.html

I would definitely be interested in a class, but alas I'm on the wrong side of the pond...
Dec. 8th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm talking about. :-D

The lecture is quite interesting as it talks about the history of the restoration of that piece and others. Really cool.
Dec. 8th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Isaac will be wearing a silk damask version of Garcia's mantle at 12th night this year.
Dec. 8th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
Pictures! We'll need pictures! I am not making 12th Night, but I bet he's going to look fabulous!
Dec. 8th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
I'd even be happy to be your test audience for the class :-)
Dec. 8th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Dec. 8th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Dec. 8th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Definitely would be interested!
Dec. 8th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
I think I'm going to do it. :-)
Dec. 8th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Mary was also the conservator of the Medici grave clothes (IIRC) and Arnold worked with her when they were in the process of conserving the clothes.

I will never forget my silent squee at getting to see the grave clothes while she was there to answer questions.
Dec. 8th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
It was an awesome experience. We were so lucky, and I am glad to have made the trip :-D
Dec. 8th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely be interested in that class!

Ack! I go for several Universities with very few classes to interest me and suddenly, for February there are bunches! :-D
Dec. 8th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
For real! LOL. I will submit it them, and I'd better get cranking! :-D
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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