Princely Wardrobes Of Three Centuries
Precious textiles have always played an important role as a medium of representation and as a means of expressing high social rank. Only an elite segment of the public could afford exquisite textiles and dress in the latest fashion. Portraits in which personalities of standing had themselves depicted in expensive clothing give us today insightful information about the original condition of these wardrobes. Their ingenuity and the exquisite materials used continue to captivate viewers.
A selection of paintings by renowned artists from the Habsburg Portrait Gallery kept at Ambras Castle, from Giuseppe Arcimboldo to Diego Velázquez, is placed at the centre of an exhibition, focusing on fashions from the Renaissance to the Baroque period. What are the sitters in these portraits wearing, how are their clothes obtained, and what do they communicate to the viewer? The show is enriched by characteristic, original items of clothing, of which only a few are preserved due to their fragility, as well as jewellery and accessories.
The special exhibition Fashion Show displays around 130 objects from the collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum at Vienna and at Ambras Castle, as well as from those of both Austrian and international lenders. Numerous events such as lectures, curator tours, workshops etc. accompany the show.
(Detail) Archduchess Maria Magdalena (1589–1631).
Frans Pourbus The Younger, C.1603/1604
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Picture Gallery, Inv. No. 3385
(Schloss Ambras Innsbruck)