OVERVIEW

Womenswear

Wikipedia summarizes fashion of the 1630s, writing,

“Fashion in the period 1600–1650 in Western European clothing is characterized by the disappearance of the ruff in favour of broad lace or linen collars. Waistlines rose through the period for both men and women. Other notable fashions included full, slashed sleeves and tall or broad hats with brims. For men, hose disappeared in favour of breeches.

Spanish fashions remained very conservative. The ruff lingered longest in Spain and the Netherlands, but disappeared first for men and later for women in France and England.The silhouette, which was essentially close to the body with tight sleeves and a low, pointed waist to around 1615, gradually softened and broadened. Sleeves became very full, and in the 1620s and 1630s were often paned or slashed to show the voluminous sleeves of the shirt or chemise beneath.

The social tensions leading to the English Civil War were reflected in English fashion, with the elaborate French styles popular at the courts of James I and his son Charles I contrasting with the sober styles in sad or somber colours favoured by Puritans and exported to the early settlements of New England.

In the early decades of the century, a trend among poets and artists to adopt a fashionable pose of melancholia is reflected in fashion, where the characteristic touches are dark colours, open collars, unbuttoned robes or doublets, and a generally disheveled appearance, accompanied in portraits by world-weary poses and sad expressions.”

Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans

Fig. 1 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640). Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans, 1635. Oil on wood; 203.8 x 158.1 cm (80 1/4 x 62 1/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981.238. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, in honor of Sir John Pope-Hennessy, 1981. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Maria of Austria, Queen of Hungary, detail

Fig. 2 - Frans Luycks (Flemish, 1604-1668). Maria of Austria, Queen of Hungary, detail, c. 1635. Oil on canvas; 215 x 147 cm. Madrid: Prado Museum, P01272. Royal Collection. Source: Pinterest

Portrait of a Young Woman as Flora

Fig. 3 - Paulus Moreelse (Dutch, 1571–1638). Portrait of a Young Woman as Flora, 1633. Oil on panel; 74.3 x 59.4 cm (29 1/4 x 23 3/8 in). Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 46.559. Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge in memory of Delia Spencer Field. Source: MFA

Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes (previously known as Artemisia), detail

Fig. 4 - Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes (previously known as Artemisia), detail, 1634. Oil on canvas; 143 x 154.7 cm. Madrid: Prado Museum, P02132. Royal Collection. Source: Pinterest

Portrait of a Woman

Fig. 5 - Jan van Ravesteyn (Dutch, 1572–1657). Portrait of a Woman, 1635. Oil on wood; 68.3 x 58.1 cm (26 7/8 x 22 7/8 in). New York: The Met, 12.202. Gift of Henry Goldman, 1912. Source: The Met

Menswear

[To come…]

Self-Portrait

Fig. 1 - Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Self-Portrait, c. 1636-38. Oil on panel; 63.2 x 50.5 cm (24 7/8 x 19 7/8 in). Pasadena: The Norton Simon Museum, F.1969.18.P. The Norton Simon Foundation. Source: Pinterest

Louis XIII

Fig. 2 - Jan van Belcamp (Flemish, 1610-1653). Louis XIII, 1636. Oil on canvas; 201.6 x 122.6 cm. London: Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 404098. Source: Pinterest

Portrait of a Man, probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family

Fig. 3 - Rembrandt (1606–1669). Portrait of a Man, probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family, 1632. Oil on canvas; 111.8 x 88.9 cm (44 x 35 in). New York: The Met, 29.100.3. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929. Source: The Met

CHILDREN’S WEAR

Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans

Fig. 1 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640). Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans, 1635. Oil on wood; 203.8 x 158.1 cm (80 1/4 x 62 1/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981.238. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, in honor of Sir John Pope-Hennessy, 1981. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

portrait of a two-year-old girl

Fig. 2 - Jan Cornelisz (1577–1640). portrait of a two-year-old girl, 1636. Oil on panel; 560 mm x 450 mm cm (22.05 in x 17.72 in). Switzerland: Hallwyl Museum, 1981.238. Source: pinterest

References:

Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1630-1639
Rulers:

Carte de l’Europe. Source: Wikimedia

Events:
  • 1637 – René Descartes’ Geometry
  • 1630s – The “bucket-top” boot for men makes an appearance, strings of pearls become fashionable for England
  • Primary/Period Sources

    Resources for Fashion History Research

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    Primary/Period Sources

    Secondary Sources

    Also see the 17th-century overview page for more research sources… or browse our Zotero library.

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    Pinterest