Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the right side, thigh and leg, exposed on the slightest movement. A later form was a sewnup cylinder, a long shirt in the modern sense. The stately maidens of the reliefs and the vase paintings often wear one of these two forms of chiton, and nothing else. To such a dress, even on occasions of great ceremony, there is nothing to be added, except perhaps a more splendid brooch on the shoulder, a broader and more brightly colored border to the chiton, perhaps an armlet, perhaps richer and more glittering earrings. Splendor in the more modern sense was hardly desired, and beauty was shown in the perfect taste with which these simple appliances were disposed. Other garments, however, are seen in the sculptures and vase paintings: the himation and a variety of it, the chlamys, were square or oblong pieces of woolen cloth, draped about the left shoulder and covering the body more or less as it might be adjusted; it was held sometimes by brooches. Statues show a garment arranged nearly as the Scotch plaid is, at times folded long and narrow, falling over one shoulder and passing around the waist; and this is thought to be a long and narrow himation. It is impossible to distinguish these garments from the epiblemata. The essential fact is that the Greeks, both women and men, wore a long shirt and a loose, square shawl over it, and nothing else on body or limbs.

in design, are yet inexpensive-they could be produced by any one who has a little skill in the use of the hands, and are, therefore, not a part of ceremonial or decorative costume. A few very beautiful weaves exist, as in the Solomon Islands, and especially in New Zealand, but still they are not of rare material, nor is the elaboration of the design very great. The skill in the working of metals which is great among the Indians of the continent is much smaller among the islanders, and so it happens that personal jewelry also is but little sought for by the chiefs. The result of all this is seen in the simple and tasteful use of natural productions, brilliant flowers, and richly colored fruits and seeds, which, strung as necklaces or worn as pendants, have especial significance and are attached each in its way to the traditional ceremonies of these curiously civilized peoples.

If now we turn to the race which of all peoples has had the most influence over modern intellectual life, we shall find that the Greeks of antiquity limited their desires in the way of textile fabrics to very simple patterns, as of stars or round spots arranged in a semé over all the surface of a stuff, and in somewhat more elaborate patterns of zigzags and frieze in the borders. Their costume, including their jewelry, was, in fact, marked throughout by extreme simplicity, which increases as our studies bring us to a later time. The statues discovered on the Acropolis at Athens since 1883 are certainly of the century before the Persian invasion of B.C. 480. They show a number of garments, certainly as many as three, worn one over the other by the priestesses represented in the statue; and each of these garments is made of a different stuff, all the stuffs, or all but the craped undershirt (the chiton of later dress), covered with elaborate patterns in several colors. There is nowhere a more interesting study of brilliant coloring in costume than were these statues when first discovered, and, fortunately, the finest of them have been reproduced in water-color painting, and these water-colors often multiplied in chromolithography, and published by the archological societies. It is clear that, immediately after the Persian War, during the period of the Athenian hegemony in Greece, beginning with B.C. 477, the use of these striped and spotted stuffs becomes much less common, at least in the mainland of Greece, and the use of plain materials, white, bordered with stripes, or of one rather subdued color perhaps striped at the edge, becomes the rule. Those admirable bronze statues which were discovered in the famous villa at Herculaneum and now stand in the Museum of Naples (the Room of the Greater Bronzes), show perfectly well-better than any bas-reliefs, however elaborately detailed-the true Greek sense of what was beauty in costume. The long chiton, which, left ungirdled, would sweep the floor, is belted up so far as to allow a foot or more of its length to hang over the girdle outside of the skirt or lower part, forming a sort of pocket, known as the kolpos. Outside of this is seen hanging what looks like a cape, and which generally reaches just the line of the girdle, or may fall a little below it. This, however, is not a cape nor a separate garment at all: it is the reverse or turning over of the chiton at the top. Of the chiton there were several forms. The earliest was not sewn at all, and therefore left

The

The Etruscans, a people as devoid of refined taste as the Greeks were remarkable for it, bold and dashing designers of the coarser and more thoughtless kind, were still not more elaborately clothed than the Greeks. The later Etruscan work passes by insensible gradations into that Italian work of the centuries during which the Roman Republic and the early Empire controlled the whole peninsula, and introduced insensibly its own strongly Hellenic tendencies into the arts of the subject countries. The effect of this on the art of northern Italy was altogether fortunate, except in so far as the lover of strongly accentuated national peculiarities found reason to regret their partial disappearance. terra-cotta sarcophagi, with high reliefs and with what are almost statues wrought upon the covers; the bronze statues and groups, the jewelry of the fourth century B.C., and the following epoch, are almost Greek in their charm, while preserving a certain attractive local color. It is probably because of this constantly increasing influence of the Grecian artistic sense upon all the nations of Italy that the Roman dress from the earliest times known to us remains Greek in its simplicity, although very different in form. The toga and its relations to the outer cloak of the Greeks is discussed under DRESS. Here there must be some mention of the different ways of wearing it, some of which were connected with ceremonial occasions. Thus, when a statue or a bas-relief shows a Roman draped in a large and elaborately folded toga, one fold of which is brought over the head, he is assumed by modern students to be a person who is performing a sacrifice. The toga, as ordinarily worn, showed the tunica in front, from the throat nearly to the waist, but the long end could be thrown over the right shoulder so as to cover the tunica entirely, and in this way the toga would cover the whole person, from the neck to the ankles. Here, as among the Greeks, good taste dictated the utmost simplicity of effect, except in the mere

arrangement and careful disposition of the folds. There was no other garment of the men while in the city which in any way concerned their appearance, as the only leg-coverings known were bandages or wrappers, not unlike those worn to-day by the peasantry in some parts of Europe. On the other hand, the toga prætexta, which was worn by certain officials, and even by some priests, had a 'purple,' that is a dark crimson border, and the trabea seems to have been a sort of cloak with still more elaborate stripes, including perhaps one made entirely of red cloth, which generals were allowed to wear on the day of their triumph. It is probable, however, that in this last usage the military cloak of red was worn during the triumphal procession, that being the one occasion when the soldiers of the Republic were allowed to appear within the walls with their arms and military trappings. The women were dressed as simply as the men, wearing over the tunica merely a garment called the stola, which replaces for them the toga of the men, and when the woman of rank went abroad, usually in a litter, a shawllike garment called the palla might also be added. That which makes the peculiar stateliness of the dress seen in female statues of the early Empire is the contrast of the folds of the long tunica, reaching the floor, nearly covering the feet, and forming a strongly marked base, as it were, for the whole figure, while the more loosely folded stola above it seems to reinforce the lines of the

undergarment. A veil of more or less thin and floating material covered the head, and could be brought around to the front to hide the face at pleasure. It must be constantly kept in mind that the idea of beauty in dress was simply uniform whiteness and many skillfully contrived folds; the whiteness was kept up by the use for woolen garments of the most elaborate system of cleansing applied by the fullones, or cleansers, and, for the folds of the drapery, highly trained experts-body servants who knew their business --were employed. It is evident how great an effect these peculiarities of dress had upon the art of sculpture.

have its two outer edges folded over toward the middle, so that the two edges meet or nearly meet, and then two openings are made in the two outer folds where the stuff is actually creased, which serve as armholes, so that the square blanket resembles an overcoat. But in all this there is absolutely no fitting of the piece of stuff to the body. It is a heavy woolen blanket, which is adapted more or less to the shoulders so as not to slip off, but is not otherwise altered in any way, and might cover a man or a woman, and a person of any stature. What is curious about this costume is the enormously heavy woolen dress worn in the desert and under the semi-tropical sun. It is evident that nothing but a heavy material is expected to keep off the heat of the sun or the burning wind of the desert; and therefore a man who wears only the long shirt, and has the legs and feet, arms and neck absolutely naked, will pile two or three of these heavy woolen things upon his shoulders and head. The result of this arrangement is that the only decoration sought for is in the beauty of two or three colors arranged in stripes of different widths, and broken more or less by the carrying of threads of different colors across the stripes, in the way of counter-charging of heraldry. A much greater development of design by stripes alone is in the cotton dhurries of India. The aba may indeed be further adorned by very simple embroidery in woolen thread.

In all the above discussion of costume, one thing is very noticeable-the absence of anything like tailoring, except, perhaps, among the Chinese. The clothes of the Greeks and the Romans, like those of the people of the Pacific Islands, always approximated to the ideal of an uncut, unsewed, unaltered piece of textile fabric; square or oblong, as in the himation, chlamys, sagum, or paludamentum; semicircular or semi-oval in shape, or approximately so, as in the toga, or simply sewn down one side so as to make a tubular garment of one piece of stuff, as in the later chiton, and in the tunica. A curious reproduction of this characteristic of ancient costume exists among the wilder Arabs, the Bedouins of the desert, and the horsemen of the uplands. They wear a shirt, indeed, and this is of thicker stuff, and covers the body more completely than what we know by that name, but apart from this their covering is almost wholly a matter of unaltered or scarcely altered pieces of woolen. Perhaps two breadths of the narrower stuff are sewn together to make the haick, or, as in the north of Africa, a square of striped woolen stuff is caught up in the middle of one side so as to form a sort of hood, as in the burnous; or, as in the aba or abaych, the square of stuff may

The first appearance of any tendency to fit the garments to the person among nations more western than the Chinese is probably in the leg-coverings of the Persians and Syrians, as represented in Grecian and Greco-Roman art, and yet these garments are of extreme simplicity and there is no appearance of tailoring in any modern sense in connection with them. They are merely loose trousers, gathered at the ankles, or sleeved tunics; and their use seems to have come from the mountain regions of Asia Minor and the shores of the Caspian Sea. The barbarians of Europe, Gauls, Scandinavians, and Germans, made up suits of clothes in a not dissimilar way; but it does not seem that their example affected the Greco-Roman world very much.

The beginning of change is to be looked for in the Byzantine Imperial epoch. From a time as early as the seventh century A.D. there is a constant increase in the number of garments worn, and in the elaboration of their shape and their combination, while at the same time the costliness and splendor of the stuffs are in no way diminished, and the custom begins which was destined to have so much effect on the costume of later times in Europe, the sewing of jewels, mounted in slender rings, or chatons, of gold or silver gilt, to the material. Sometimes smaller fragments of glittering material of no value were used in this way, as in a later time pieces of mirror were used throughout the lands influenced by Persian decorative ideas. In the Byzantine Empire the dress of the officials shows a certain disposition to follow early Roman traditions, but only in the general shape of outer garments and to a certain extent in their names. The general aspect of a member of the Imperial family, or an officer of the Court, as it is seen in the mosaics of Ravenna, or in the illuminated manuscripts of the time, is altogether different from that of higher antiquity. The robes reached to the feet, they were closely sewed up, and not very loose

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

the ground, those robes are far more convenient than before; they are evidently capable of being tucked up, and the man is dressed beneath his skirt, which can either be removed or shortened up to nothing when the occasion of ceremony is passed. Finally, as early as the second decade of the fifteenth century, it disappears from the dress of men, and from that time on the shortskirted garment, called rochet, or corset, became the dress of business, while the name cotte was then and thereafter given to a very tight-fitting garment, laced or buttoned close to the body and having a skirt reaching only to mid-thigh. This last-named garment existed under the name of cotte d'armes as long as the complete suit of armor was worn by gentlemen, and in this case it was embroidered with the armorial bearings of the wearer. The French terms were commonly used in England as well, as Chaucer lets us know; and in modern study we can hardly find English equivalents. Under all these garments were worn the long, close-fitting stockings, serving as the only covering from the waist to the toes, except as the skirt covered the upper part of the thigh. These changes involved the complete establishment of tailoring as the main thing in elegant costume. From the middle of the fifteenth century on, the dress of nobles and courtiers, and of men who affected elegance, was a matter of cutting out and shaping, fitting in gores and gussets, and, in fact, adapting garments closely to the body in the first place, and then covering them with elaborate adornment. This might be applied in the way of passementerie, or by modifying the whole surface of the stuff by what we now call quilting and the like. A piece of brocade used for a doublet or the body of a gown would be gathered up into puffs and projecting rounded surfaces, the lines of sewing between those projections being themselves decorated and even including the setting of a pearl or of a jewel of some other kind set in a gold chaton at the junction of these two lines of stitching. The stockings were the only part of the dress that was not elaborately decorated; and these stockings were half concealed in the sixteenth century by the enormous hauts de chausses, which, in 1530 and the following years, are sometimes in two or three rings of puff's like rounded ridges, passing horizontally around the thigh, and which, in the closing years of Elizabeth's reign and the corresponding times in France, the reigns of Henry III. and Henry IV., are closer in their fit and resemble not distantly the knee-breeches of the eighteenth century. They are, however, made of costly stuff, and elaborately adorned almost in the style of the body-garment. Still again, in the time of James I. of England, the hauts de chausses were stuffed (bombasted), or held with springs in a single rounded projection, as if the man had been thrust feet foremost through a rather flat, oblate spheroid. This projected so much all around the hips that the sword had to be hung in a horizontal position and great pains taken to prevent its being entirely dislodged by the monstrous garment.

or flowing, not greatly tending toward elaboration of folds or to what we commonly call drapery; and over them are worn dalmatics, maniples, and stoles, not merely by the clergy, but by the laity as well, and showing plainly where the peculiar clerical dress took its origin. See COSTUME, ECCLESIASTICAL.

The Eastern influence was still strong, and all costume which was at all splendid was a matter of long and ample robes, made of stuff's of almost incredible richness, and more or less richly decorated by embroidery. Western dress was at this early time very different from any thing in common use in the Byzantine Empire, except in so far as that the poorer people, and those engaged in out-of-door work, would naturally dress in almost the same careless fashion east and west. For one thing, it was more nearly classical Roman in character. If the costume of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in the lands which are now France and Germany and England, be studied in the sculptures of Romanesque and Gothic buildings, or in the rare illuminations of manuscripts of that time, it will be seen that a certain antique or early Roman character obtains in the garments worn by persons presented as kings and princes, which had already been lost in the Eastern Empire. The robed figures of the porch of Chartres, or the doorways of Le Mans, do not seem to record much that was splendid in the way of stuffs or of jewelry, loose or applied to the garment. Their robes are still simply falling in loose folds, girded at the waist and differing from the garments of antiquity mainly in this, that the arms are always covered by sleeves. Men and women alike wore a gown, that garment which in the French archæological vocabulary is called the robe. This garment, which is treated under DRESS, served for people of every rank and of both sexes, but its fashion changed very much, and in like manner the resulting appearance of the clothed figure in the sculptures changed greatly between the twelfth and the fourteenth centuries. In the fourteenth century it grew more and more into that stately but most inconvenient garment, well known to us from the paintings in manuscripts of the time of Richard II. of England, and his immediate successor, and Charles VI. of France. This garment swept the floor. It was girded around the waist with the military belt, or some modification of it; it had sleeves, which also reached the floor, and were of fullness equal to that of the skirts, covering the hands also when the arms hung down. The collar covered the neck completely in a solid cylinder, and rose on the sides nearly to the ears. How this rich and grandiose dress could be used at all in summer, and how it could be girded and shortened in any way, in time of necessity, does not appear, nor is it known whether the men wore complete leg-coverings of some kind beneath this long and completely closed skirt. The dress of elegant women of the same epoch was less elaborately conceived; the same habit of long sleeves prevailed, but the upper part of the sleeve was pierced with a slit through which the forearm could be extended. The result of this was that the robe, as a garment for women, hardly changed during the next two centuries, whereas the use of it for men went out very soon, and while there are still representations of gentlemen of the first half of the fifteenth century dressed in robes reaching

At no time during the Middle Ages and the epoch of the Renaissance was the tailoring and mantua-making more rich and fantastic than during the French religious wars, and the succeeding reign of Henry IV. Painted portraits, prints from famous engravings, carved ivories,

« AnteriorContinuar »