Proportional: Full Length Views of Ladies Wearing Chopines
It occurs to me that it might be good to say a word or two about what I am up to on this page. I am intrigued by the way wearing chopiens would change the apparent proportions of the human figure and the possible attempt of fashionable clothing to visually and or physically reshape the figure to make the unnatural length of the lower part of the figure coherent and pleasing. Was there a design language that developed in response to tall shoes?
In order to investigate this question I am collecting images that appear to me to be women wearing chopiens. Since women's footwear is very rarely seen in period portraits I am relying on a basic artists convention of the proportional representation of the adult human figure--we are generally eight heads high. Based on that scale the following ladies 'measure up!'
The Marriage of Caterina de' Medici and Enrico II di Francia
Jacopo Chimenti after Empoli (attributed) 1600
Uffizi, Florence, Inventory of 1890, Item #5470
Portrait of a Woman
Unknown Artist, 1580-1590
Uffizi, Florence, Inventory of 1890, Item #5161
Dirck de Vries, Netherlandish, active in Venice c1600
Portrait of Marchesa Elena Grimaldi, wife of Marchese Nicola Cattaneo
Anthony van Dyck, 1623
Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washingon, DC, USA