1540-1541 Unknown woman, possibly Elizabeth Seymour-Cromwell by Hans Holbein the Younger (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) also called Catherine Howard

Elizabeth Symour's Wikipedia article is here.

A member of the Seymour family is portrayed here by Hans Holbein the Younger wearing a French hood and wonderful blackwork decorating her cuffs. According to Herbert Norris, Tudor Costume and Fashion, p.281 (Dover re-issue 1997) the sleeve follows a style set by Anne of Cleves. "Although this (Anne of Cleves style - gogm) style was not generally adopted by ladies in the few remaining years of Henry VIII's reign, it is to be found in effigies dating the second half of the sixteenth century.

The sleves on this portrait are very full, cut leg-of-mutton shape,gathered or pleated into the armhole. They are made of black velvet,widely open at the side from from shoulder to waist, and filled with gold embroidery with aiglettes at intervals. The open space is filled in with black satin, gathered transversely. The wrist frills are of beautiful Spanish work.*

The close fitting bodice is of black satin, with a yoke of black velvet, all in one with an upstanding collar, line with white satin,  worn half openeed and slightly turned back. The collar is the revival of a fashion, of Flemish origin, worn by ladies of Henry VII's reign."

The "Spanish work" Norris mentioned is also called "blackwork," where black thread is sewn onto a highly contrasting background, such as white here or silver, as in Mary Cornwallis' gown of around 1580, shown later in this album.

Keywords:  Seymour family, straight coiffure, vee neckline, long puffed sleeves, brooch ,French hood, cuffs, blackwork, rings, Holbein, English, Henry VIII


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