The Florentine Persona
Compendium of Florentine Artists
It can be hard to find good source material for historical
garbmaking. Since most of us don't have access to the cool costuming
books, like Jacqueline Herald's "Dress in Renaissance Italy 1400-1500", or
to the cool museums and extant garb, we rely on art history.
Around 1450, a new school of art emerged in Italy called the
"Florentine School". It was marked by increased realism, perspective, and
a certain secularity. It's around this period that you start seeing a lot
more portraits being made, which is good news for us! Artists in the
Florentine school did not necessarily paint Florentine fashions, of
course. They were sent all over the world by their patrons as a status
symbol and as a sort of control measure over other rulers ("Don't tick me
off, or I'm calling my pet artist home!").
Here are some artists to keep your eyes open for. Unless noted, they
are all of the Florentine school. Be aware that most of these people
painted a lot of religious themes -- try to study portrait subjects
wearing "normal" clothes and avoid the togas.
- Sandro Botticelli, 1445-1510, one
of the Florentine School originators. Famous for "Birth of Venus" (yes,
-that- "Birth of Venus"), 1482.
- Domenico del Ghirlandaio, active
around 1475-1500. His portraits are not to be missed -- wonderful details
to feast upon.
- Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519
- Fra Filippo Lippi, 1406-1469
- Benozzo Gozzoli, 1420-1497. Famous for "Cavalcade of the Magi", which
is a great resource for men's
- Andrea del Verrocchio, 1435-1488. Born in Florence, died in Venice,
but worked mostly in Florence and taught art there.
- Antonio del Pollaiuolo 1431-1498.
- Andrea del Castagno, 1423-1457, also called Andrea di Bartolo. Painted
a series called "Illustrious Men".
- Pontormo, aka Jacopo Carucci, 1494-1556.
- Lorenzo Lotto, 1480-1556.
- Alessio Baldovinetti, 1425-1499. Famous for "Portrait of a Lady in
- Stefano di Giovanni, called
"Sassetta", 1394-1450. He was a Sienese painter famous for perspective
paintings. Siena was regarded as a fashion capital, and its
painters had some unique ways of doing things. Siene isn't far from
Florence, so I'm including a few Sienese painters
- Ucello, aka Paolo di Donno,
1397-1475. A stylistic Florentine painter. His work is hard to find, but
interesting -- such as the lady's dress in St. George and
- Matteo di Giovanni, 1430-1495. Sienese. Painted mostly
religious themes, but a few portraits can be found.
- Cosimo Tura
(sometimes called Cosme), 1430-1495. Ferrarese school, which is distinct
from Florentine or Venetian (Ferrara is almost exactly halfway between
those cities). He helped paint the Palazzo Schifanoia, which is just
jam-packed with interesting ideas. Florentine-only garbmakers would do
well to make sure they get support for ideas from Florentine sources, but
most of it seems applicable.
- Other Ferrarese painters: Francesco
del Cossa, 1435-1477; Dosso Dossi, 1490-1542.
Be aware that it can be dangerous to rely entirely on a portrait. The
general rule is the "rule of three", meaning that if you can find it in
three portraits, you can usually rely on it. But even then,
artists could be fanciful with things like seam placements, colors, and
other details. Don't take portraits as gospel, is all I'm saying.
Places to Hunt for Art
Art Renewal Center, featuring
thousands of high-quality paintings.
Artcyclopedia, a huge collection
of art and one of the first places I look for things.
The Artchive, another great
The Web Gallery of Art, which
also features historical notes.
CGFA, where you can find
historical notes and artist biographies.
Olga's Gallery. I like this site
because it also features hand-painted repros and prints for sale.
This page last updated: July 10, 2009
All text copyright Vangelista di Antonio Dellaluna, except
where otherwise noted. All portraits are understood to be copyright-
free and are presented as research aids only.