|Early Tudor costume histories usually reference Holbein's depictions of the court of Henry VIII, but the Tudors claimed the throne almost forty years before Holbein set foot in England. Without the products of a prolific portrait painter or an active local industry in illuminated manuscripts, how can we learn what English women considered fashionable in 1485, 1500, or 1520? By studying what depictions they did commission: life size alabaster, stone, and wooden effigies to adorn their tombs in churches across the country.
This class will examine over 100 monuments, classifying bonnets and gowns into different types and then trying to establish patterns in which hats went with which dresses during which broad and often overlapping periods of time. Our primary focus will be 1485-1558 although photographs of some earlier and later monuments will be included.
The class will be broken into two roughly one hour sections: first a lecture, richly populated with hundreds of photographs taken by the teacher, and then another hour for an in-depth question and answer period in which we can return to the photographs, giving everyone a chance to look more closely and ask questions about the diverse fashions depicted on early sixteenth century English church monuments. In order to encourage student discussion this class will not be recorded.