Mary of Burgundy – bewitched!

I wrote earlier before about Mary of Burgundy and what she used to wear, but her signature style was what is best described as the Burgundian take on a witch hat.

Portrait Mary of Burgundy (Brussel 1457, +Brugge 1482) Brugge, O.L. Vrouwekerk = Eglise Notre-Dame = Church of Our Lady

Portrait Mary of Burgundy (Brussel 1457, +Brugge 1482) Brugge, O.L. Vrouwekerk = Eglise Notre-Dame = Church of Our Lady

Mary of Burgundy with a hennin.

Mary of Burgundy with a hennin.

This type of hat is called a truncated hennin. Truncated means it ends in a flat top. It often was accompanied with a veil.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin.

This truncated hennin was really popular among rich ladies in Burgundy and France. They appeared from 1430 and onwards. It was also fashionable for those ladies to pluck or shave their forehead to raise their hairline.

Right wing diptych Mostaert - Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin.

Right wing diptych Mostaert – Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin.

close-up Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin.

close-up Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin.

It was important for women to show that they were decent, modest women of good virtue. The veils and hennins helped rich women to send the right signals to the general public.

There was often a cloth lappet in the front of the hennin sometimes falling on the shoulders to either side. This is Mary of Burgundy’s signature style often with a brooch on the black lappets.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin.

Mary of Burgundy 56

Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin.

Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin.

These are probably different portraits but copied from 1 original because the dress jewelry and neutral background are basically the same.

Mary of Burgundy also liked to wear green dresses.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin in a beautiful dress in front of an Italian landscape.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin in a beautiful dress in front of an Italian landscape.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin holding a letter.

Mary of Burgundy with a truncated hennin holding a letter.

Here the copy tried to improve a bit on the original by changing some details.

Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin. Painted ca 1490 so 8 years after her death.

Mary of Burgundy with truncated hennin. Painted ca 1490 so 8 years after her death.

This one is clearly a copy of the paintings before but focusing on her face and the red background. Interestingly enough this painting was painted about 8 years after her death and since Maximilian I was already remarried by then it was most likely painted for political reasons: to remind Mary of Burgundy’s subjects of their former leader as to strengthen his own and their children’s position as their new (future) rulers.

Niklas Reiser (fl 1498-1512) — Portrait of Mary of Burgundy, c.1500 : The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Austria (868x800)

Niklas Reiser (fl 1498-1512) — Portrait of Mary of Burgundy, c.1500 : The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Austria (868×800)

This painting was painted 18(!) years after Mary of Burgundy’s death and here the point is even more transparent. This hand gesture is seen in iconography as a blessing sign so this painting suggests quite clearly that Mary of Burgundy appointed Maximilian I to be in charge after her death and that he had her blessing to rule after her.

Bonsoir, mes amis, Hilde

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