Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3725
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Tilghman , Carla.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Giovanna Cenami's Veil: A Neglected Detail [The author analyzes the woman's veil in Van Eyck's "Wedding of Arnolfini." Evidence in other artworks suggests that this ruffled veil had its heyday in the mid-to-late fourteenth century. In 1434 Van Eyck may have used the old fashioned veil to signal a ceremonial occasion in which the betrothed young woman by her headress and clothing conveyed dignity and a prosperous social status. Tilghman wove some linen samples to determine the best methods for making ruffled edges. The veil would have had to be a single length without seams approximately six yards long. It would probably have been a specialty item and would have been costly. Tilghman speculates that it might have been a family treasure passed down to Giovanna Cenami. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Medieval clothing and textiles. Vol. 1.  Edited by Robin Netherton and Gale R Owen-Crocker.  Boydell Press, 2005.  Pages 155 - 172.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Clothing Jan van Eyck, Painter- Wedding of Arnolfini Linen Portraits Textiles Textiles- Production Veils Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: Low Countries
  • Century: 15
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  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Twelve Figures. Figure One Jan van Eyck, Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami Betrothal, 1434 (London, National Gallery). Figure Two Drawing of the head of a stone effigy on the Montacute-Despencer tomb, 1349-1350 (Gloucestershire, England, Tewkesbury Abbey). Figure Three Drawing of a brass effigy from the tomb of Lady Maud Foxley, 1378 (Bray, Berkshire, England). Figure Four Drawing of a manuscript illumination depicting dancers, from "Weltchronik," circa 1362 (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Cod. Germ. 5, 166v). Figure Five Drawings of three female figures from the tomb of Louis de Male (based on nineteenth century engravings by A.L. Millin). Figure Six Drawing of Countess Matilda as represented in the painting of the counts and countesses of Flanders, circa 1400 (Ghent, St. Peter's Abbey). Figure Seven Robert Campin, "Portrait of a Lady," oil with egg tempera on oak, circa 1430 (London, National Gallery). Figure Eight Drawing of Anne and Joachim from the wooden sculpture, The Meeting of Joachim and Anne, circa 1470 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). Figure Nine Drawing of a marriage brooch showing a couple holding hands, early Fifteenth century (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). Figure Ten Photograph of the back side of an eight-harness Norwood loom set up to weave linen with ruffled edges. The selvedge threads hang over the back-beam of the loom. Figure Eleven Photograph of the weaver pinning the ruffles. Figure Twelve Photograph of the weaver clearing the shed by passing a stick into the opened shed to make sure that the threads are not sticking together.
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  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: Johnson County Community College, Kansas City, Kansas
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2005.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 1843831236
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