The Venetian Cesare Vecellio’s two books on the costumes of the known world were hugely popular and influential in their time, and their lively descriptions and vivid illustrations have captivated readers ever since. This is the first time that the entire first edition of 1590, along with the New World section from the 1598 second edition, have been translated and published with their original woodcuts.
Here we rediscover the world as seen in the sixteenth century. Beginning with the dress of the inhabitants of Venice—from the grandest doge to the humblest porter—Vecellio’s project quickly grew to include all of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Like his contemporaries, Vecellio assumed that clothing acted as an identifier of rank, yet he also realized, in a very modern way, that fashion was constantly changing, crossing borders, and transforming the way people lived.
All the woodcuts are reproduced full size and accompanied by Vecellio’s commentaries on each costume. An extensive, illustrated introduction by two of the world’s leading experts on Renaissance literature and culture offers the most thorough context possible, complete with additional color illustrations: portraits and sculptures, maps and cityscapes, and details of textiles.
A collector’s treasure and valuable library reference… Essential.
Ann Rosalind Jones
Margaret F. Rosenthal