Queen Elizabeth I’s striking ensemble in The Ditchley Portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger embodied the height and extremity of 1590s court fashion.
Arthur Devis’s 1747 portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Bull seems to depict a quite fashionable couple in the year of their marriage in what we presume to be their home. But closer analysis reveals that much of the work is likely a fiction, though the clothes they’re sporting–whether their own or imagined–remain fashionable.
A highly successful artist in Amsterdam, Ferdinand Bol, much like Rembrandt, became known for the detailed characterization of his sitters–in particular his portraits of women. As is typical of a betrothal portraits, this image displays the sitter’s wealth through her lavish textiles and jewelry.
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