Illuminating Fashion

USD $95.00

Out of stock



ISBN: 978-1-904832-90-4

448 Pages

305 x 229 mm (9 x 12 in)

340 colour illustrations

In association with the Morgan Library & Museum

September 2011


A long-awaited, in-depth study of dress in northern Europe from the early 14th century to the dawn of the Renaissance.

Read More

This is the first history of fashion to be based exclusively on firmly dated or datable art. Drawing mainly upon illuminated manuscripts, this book also features panel painting, tapestry, sculpture, and early printed books produced in France and the duchy of Burgundy during the late medieval period—a time of rapid change in dress.

This publication examines fashion’s relationship to social customs, culture, and politics. It also demonstrates the rich symbolism in late medieval art: how artists used clothing and costume as a kind of code that reflected the wearer’s identity, occupation, and moral character. Analysing the visual representation of garments—real and fanciful—Illuminating Fashion provides invaluable assistance to the modern viewer in interpreting a work of art through fashion. In addition, van Buren’s astute observations on the evolution of dress can be used in dating a work of art.

At the heart of the work is a pictorial history of fashion from 1325 to 1515, a suite of more than three hundred colour illustrations. This is followed by a comprehensive, annotated glossary of medieval clothing terms and a detailed list of dated and datable artworks that portray contemporaneous civilian dress. The index of clothing terms enables the reader to follow the development and evolution of particular garments.

About the Author

Anne Hagopian van Buren (1927–2008) was an art historian who studied 14th and 15th century Netherlandish art.

Roger S. Wieck is the Melvin R. Seiden Curator and Department Head of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Director’s Foreword by William M. Griswold
  3. Tribute to Anne H. van Buren by Gregory T. Clark
  4. Introduction: Dress in Late Medieval Art
  5. The Historical Conditions
  6. Chronology and Geography
    Emblematics of Medieval Dress
    The Archival Record
    The Literary Record
    The Visual Record
    Surviving Remnants
    Past Uses of the Images
    The Nature of the Images
    The Principles
    The Teacher of Life
    A New Sense of History
    Using the Images Today
    The Instruments
    For a History of Fashion
    Dating a Work of Art
    Interpreting a Picture
  7. Album: A Pictorial History of Fashion, 1325–1515
  8. Glossary
  9. Appendix: Dated and Datable Works of Art
    F. France
    B. The Burgundian Realm
    H. Northern Netherlands and Adjacent German Territories
  10. Abbreviations
  11. Bibliography: Works Cited in Abbreviated Form
  12. Index of Art
  13. Index of Clothing Terms