Venetian Lady, 1570s

Alte Pinakothek, München


The identity of the lady is unknown, but her dress style is typical of Venetian upperclass ladies of the time. She appears to be of a mature ge and married (muted dress colours).

The style is easily recognisable by the long sleeves that sit low on the shoulder with a small, slashed puff, but most of all by the "bigbelly" aesthetic: the wearer stands with the upper torso leaning back, pushing forward the belly so that she appears voluminous even if she is slim.

Other features of the style are the neckerchief that covers the shoulders, a cartridge-pleated, voluminous skirt, and a relatively narrow stomacher with horizontal lines across that may be lacing.

See also the Venetian Bride by Tiziano (probably 1530s). Another painting of Venetian Ladies by Carpaccio, dating from before 1510, shows a completely different, high-waisted style combined with a peculiar hairstyle.