|"The so-called Venetian coat in the National Museum of the Renaissance is one of the rare costumes from the end of the 16th century conserved in France. The fabric is composed of a network of small juxtaposed lozenges in brown silk on a rose colored base, similar to the small child’s garment preserved in the Landesmuseum in
The coat in Ecouen has a rigid collar that surrounds the head, and a part of the sleeves are artificial and provide an elongated look to the silhouette, similar to the engraving representing a Venetian woman in the book “Habits des diverses nations” by
Pierre Bertellis, edited in 1594. This type of sleeve without doubt came from the heritage or an occidental interpretation of an Ottoman caftan, where the long false sleeves were seen to provide the wearer with the illusion of great power.
This coat was worn over a gown and a portrait of Eleanor of Toledo painted by Bronzino, conserved at the Palazza Vecchio in Florence, shows the
grand Duchess wearing such a coat with a rigid collar, open over a red gown and features a fabric bearing the same network of lozenges.
These elements thus permit the coat to be attributed to Italy at the end of the 16th century."
From page 118 of Quand les Pricesses d'Europe Brodaient - Broderie au Petit Point, 1570 - 1610,
by Maria-Ann Privat-Savigny, a conservator at the Musee national de la Renaissance in
Ecouen. This excerpt provided and translated with many
thanks to Katherine Barich.