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Cesare Vecellio (1521–1601)
Degli habiti, antichi et moderni di diversi parti del mondo (Of Costumes, Ancient and Modern, of Different Parts of the World)
Printed by Damian Zenaro in Venice, 1590
Opening: Woman Blonding Her Hair
Purchased with the Toovey Collection, 1899; PML 9626
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Vecellio initially joined the workshop of his famous cousin Titian, but by 1570 was primarily active as a publisher. This book contains woodcut illustrations of costumes—exotic and domestic—and marks the culmination of a trend that began with the increase in travel during the mid-sixteenth century. Highly popular, this most famous example of costume books became a model of the genre.

The woman shown here is assiduously trying to make her hair a lighter shade of blonde with the help of different liquids. Her pianelle, high platform shoes, stand nearby.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.