1652-1653 Mariana of Austria by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez (Museo Nacional del Prado - Madrid, Spain)

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This is the overall picture of Mariana of Austria painted by Velazquez in 1652. The next four images are taken from this image by cropping with Photoshop.

1652-1653 Mariana of Austria by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez (Museo Nacional del Prado - Madrid, Spain)

This and the next four images are of Velazquez' painting of Maria Anna of Austria. The next six images are enlargements of various parts of the portrait, possible due to the high resolution of images at the Prado.

Her dress is, in spite of the wide skirts, a saya with hanging sleeves and slashed false sleeves. Unfortunately, not much descriptive English-language literature is available about the spectacular court gowns in the Velázquez portraits, some of the most impressive ever worn. I have to fall back to Wilcox, "The Mode in Costume." Erica Hoelscher in her article "Splendor and Wit; Costume and Society in the Age of Louis XIV, The Sun King (1654 - 1715)" in "Clothesline the Online Journal of Costume and Dress (www.clotheslinejournal.com/splendor.htm )," offers this about Spanish style versus French style, "As France had been an enemy and a challenge to Hapsburg rule in Spain, Philip IV in 1623 had introduced his Capitulos de Reformacion banning French clothing and hairstyles in Spain. The heavily Catholic Spain was highly conservative both in manner and in dress, utilizing high, stiff collars and garments, heavy fabrics, dense ornamentation, geometric shapes and tension. Strict codes of conduct and of dress made these styles compulsory in Spain and throughout much of Catholic Europe. In contrast, the French court loved embroidery, display and frivolity. Louis XIV was twenty-one upon his marriage and wanted to shine so that the whole world would see Apollo in his splendor. He wanted his clothes to be fantastic and lively, the opposite of Spanish sobriety."

Keywords:  1652, Velazquez, Maria Ana of Austria, Queen, Habsburg family, Spanish, braided coiffure, jeweled feathered headdress, scoop neckline, ruff, bertha, lace, tabbed sleeves, full close sleeves, slashed sleeves, hanging sleeves, cuffs, vee waistline, farthingale, saya, over-skirt, bows, jeweled neckline, brooch, jeweled bodice ornament, bracelets, handkerchief


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