Early Renaissance: ca. 1400 (1450)-1500
High Renaissance: ca. 1490-1520
Mannerism: ca. 1520-1600


Doublet belonging to Pandolfo III Malatesta (1370-1427). Pandolfo III was a condottiere and the lord of Fano and surroundings, and son of Galeotto Malatesta and Gentile Varano. He went to a crusade to the Holy Land, returning in 1402, and participated in various important battles. In the 1420s he lost Brescia and Bergamo, and later also Imola and Faenza. But he managed to keep Fano, and the latter years of his life was dedicated to humanistic studies. He died on October 3, 1427, 57 years old, soon after his third marriage to a woman who was 40 years younger. He was buried in San Francesco in Fano. The doublet was discovered in 1995, and carefully restored throughout many years, a work which ended in 2009. Both the restored doublet and a copy was presented at the Museo Civico in Fano, and a book about the restoration was also published, called "Redire 1427-2009. Ritorno alla luce : Il restauro del Farsetto di Pandolfo III Malatesti". The latter picture overneath shows the replica of the burial doublet.

Alas the graves were violated in ancient times, and all items of value except the doublet was stolen. So we do not know which other items of clothes which might have accompanied him to his grave. But the snug style of doublet with wide upper sleeves can be seen in Scheggia's depiction of two men involved in a game, from ca. 1450. They wear tights consisting of two separate legs tied or otherwise fastened around the hips. The open area was sometimes covered by a separate third piece, which eventually became the cod piece. Pandolfo III might have worn an outfit of similar style. By any accounts the doublet is made of "diapered velvet" in a motif called !a cammino", colured red by lacca red and cochineal. It's lined with hemp, and padded with cotton and wool. The doublet was made of four main parts - two panels for the front and two for the back. It also had a collar and a pair of sleeves, wide over the shoulders, and tight-fitting at the lower arm. The lower arm was button-closed; 10 small wooden buttons covered with crimson velvet.

The original doublet is today in the care of Museo Civico di Fano.


Galeotto Roberto Malatesta (ca. 1411-1432), born in Brescia, was the son of Pandolfo Malatesta, and lord of Rimini from 1429 to 1432. It was a title he had to fight for, as the bishop of Rimini also claimed it. So it took almost two years from his father's death until he was officially appointed so by Pope Martin V. He married Margaret d'Este at 16, and it's described as a courtly but cold marriage. The young Roberto dedicated much of his life to a Franciscan order, which probably corresponded badly with a marriage. He died in his early 20s. He was buried in Chiesa Corpus Domini in Ferrara. This tunica was donated to the same church as a relic, which might indicate he wore it as a penitential robe or in a holy battle. The tunica is made of two large panels, with smaller inserted triangles to make it wide. It also have sleeves with gussets under the ams, and it's bound with a silk fabric on the inside of the neck opening. The fabric is one place described as uncoloured goat hair, another place as horse hair. It's a thick and heavy tunic, weighing almost five pounds, and it's thought to be locally made. The colour range between brown and grey. This was a humble colour much preferred by monks, like the Franciscan Tertians order which Roberto was a part of.


Diego Cavaniglia was born in 1453, as the third son of Spanish Giovanni Garzia I and Italian Giula Caracciolo. His father died the year he was born, and the young boy was taken under the wings of king Ferdinand I of Naples. He married Margerita Orsini in 1477, and became count of Montella, Bagnoli and Cassano. He fought against the Turks in 1481, and was wounded. He died shortly after. His body was brought home to Montella and interred in the San Francesco a Folloni convent. His wife commissioned a splendid tomb, but it was not finished until many years later. In the mean time he was buried under the sacristy, and faith would have it that he was never placed in the destined tomb. Instead it was moved around several times, until one in 2004 examined the content of the unknown coffin. The remains has been examined, and showed a man of approximately 30 years of age, and a height of ca. 175 centimeters. Researchers were able to finally match him to the count Diego. The whole story was published in the book "Diego Cavaniglia - La rinascita di un conte" in 2010. The restoration of the garments has been lead by Dr. Lucia Portoghesi.

His funeral clothes were very fashionable. The main garment was a doublet (farseto) of silk damask with button closing in front, and lacing in the lower waist and at the doublet skirts. The lacing holes are hand bound over metal rings. This is where the tights of breeches could be attached. The collar is so nicely stitched it seems machine sewn. The sleeves were made of two parts; from shoulder to elbow, and from elbow to wrist. The lower sleeve is tight, and has a 16 centimeter long slit where it's closed with out buttons. The pattern of the silk damask, a "flowered pine cone" pattern, does not match up on the left and right side. The pattern of the damask is similar to a surcoat which Ferdinand I of Aragon was buried in, in San Domenico Maggiore in nearby Naples. More rare is the overgown (giornea) found in his grave. It was made of crimson silk satin, padded with wool. The neckline is wide, and bound with the same red silk satin. It was almost knee length, and with straight panel over the shoulders and a skirt padded to make it look like thick pleats. There also seems to be some darker trim going around the whole edge. Diego's giornea is thought to originally have been of crimson satin with a gold trim around the edge, and with additional embroidery. Giorneas for men were usually sleeveless and worn over the doublet with a belt in the waist, as can be seen in Francesco del Cossa's depiction of "April". In the 16th century the giornea was largely replaced by the saio.


Maroon breeches with cod piece, slashed leather soled shoes, and guilt spurs probably belonging to Francesco Ferdinando d'Avalos, Marquis of Pescara (1489-1525). He was a condottiere of Aragonese origins, born in Naples. He married Vittoria Colonna in 1509, but participated in various battles in most of their marriage, and they never had any children. He was appointed commandor-in-chief by Charles V, and later also lieutnant of the emperor. He died in Milan in 1525, but was buried in Naples, his hometown. The breeches remind in style and construction of the ones seen in the Moroni portrait of a soldier from ca. 1559. The shoes reminds of those Ottavio Farnese is depicted wearing in the 1546 portrait Tiziano made of him and his clerical family members. On display in the Sala del Tesoro in San Domenico Maggiore, Naples.


Francesco Maria della Rovere (1490-1538) was the nephew of pope Julius II and became duke of Urbino in 1508. He was portrayed by Tiziano in 1536, only two years before he died (first picture). He was buried in a tight-fitting doublet and breeches with various trims and a cod piece. I've only seen poor pictures of the latter, but it appears to have been made of velvet, while the doublet was made of silk. The breeches are very similar to those worn by knight and govenor Ippolito da Porto in a portrait from ca. 1573. The vertical cording of the doublet, on the other hand, reminds of the one worn by Ranuccio Farnese in the 1542 portrait Tiziano made of him.

The funeral outfit is today in the care of the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino.


Ferdinando Orsini was the fifth Duke of Gravina in Southern Italy. When he died in 1549 he was buried in a black velvet saio. The saio is today disassembled; that is, the skirt is not attached to the bodice, because it seems to be a dispute on exactly how it was originally attached. The sleeves are also loose. They often were, and could be attached under the shoulder wings with metal hooks or ties. The upper part is lined with rust or red wool twill, while the skirt is lined with a black damask with a large pattern of a crown, two branches of heart shaped leaves and a large flower with pointed leaves. As pointed out by Roberta Orsi Landini, this fabric is almost identical to what's seen in the (assumed) 1537 portrait of Giovanni della Casa in Vienna. The upper part was buttoned in front, and the lower half curves to emphasize a rounded belly. The skirt was probably also open in front, to reveal a cod piece. It's shorter in front, to compensate for the longer cut of the bodice part. There's a slit in the right side for a pocket, which probably was in the breeches. The saio can have appeared similar to Brozino's 1550 portrait of a young man with a statue (last picture).

A pair of breeches were also found. They were made of black wool, and probably lined with red taffeta originally. There are vertical slits where the taffeta might have peaked out. Additionally, two knitted coifs, worn on top of eachother, were found. They were knitted of black silk; one with ear pieces and one without. The one without was put on inside-out. On top of those again were a beret of black uncut velvet, with pinked thin taffeta lining. The brim of the beret was stiffened with parchment, as was normal for various hats of the 16th century. All items are in the care of San Domenico Maggiore, Naples.


Pietro of Aragon III was the Duke of Montalto. He was buried in San Domenico Maggiore, Naples in 1552, in a slashed ivory silk doublet with horizontal ribbon decorations, and slashed velvet breeches with diagonal ribbon decorations. His outfit also included shoes and an ochre velvet beret, and the remains of a linen shirt. The cuffs of this shirt shows fine embroidery and a "segnaletto" tie of two different colours, creating a checquered effect. The horizontal ribbons between the vertical slashes on the doublet are twisted velvet ribbons, and the breeches were originally gathered at the knee. According to a paleontology report I stumbled across, he was between 12 and 14 years old when he died, hence the outfit was worn of a very young man. But similar decorations on breeches can be seen in Moroni's portrait of Gabriel Cueva from 1560, although these are paned and have more volume. On display in the Sala del Tesoro in San Domenico Maggiore, Naples.


The saio was a tunic like construction for men. It usually had detachable sleeves and a waist seam, with an additional skirt attached. It could be closed in front or in the sides, and often the skirt had a split to show off the cod piece. The saio was most popular in the first half of the 16th century. This saio, in thin taffeta, belonged to a boy of around two years of age. Here the skirt was open in the back, but overlapped. It has lacing holes in the waist, which suggests it was worn without a doublet underneath. The child probably wore tights or stockings instead of breeches. A similar outfit can be seen in the portrait of Giovanni de' Medici aged 1,5 years. The saio is in the care of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples.


Don Garzia de' Medici (1547-1562) was the sixth child and third son of Cosimo I de' Medici and Eleonora di Toledo. He was destined for a military career, and was appointed Vice Admiral. He was also rumoured to be Eleonora's favourite son. He died of malaria when he was 16 years old, only shortly before his mother and elder brother Giovanni. Garzia was buried in a trimmed doublet and paned breeches, along with a "cappotto" (a sleeved cloak in Dutch style) and a bonnet. The doublet is high necked, with a snipped trim around the opening. The doublet has a very short waist skirt, with lacing holes to attach the breeches. Gold cords - vergole - are applied horizontally on both doublet and sleeves. The breeches are rounded in shape, and made of panes of red velvet with gold cords similar to that of the doublet. The red sating lining originally peaked out through the panes. The outfit was well worn when it followed Garzia to the grave, as can be seen on a patch on one of the elbows.

His funeral attire is fully restored and is on display in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Roberta Orsi Landini has identified three such red outfits with gold cords in the Medici guardaroba around the time of his death. If it's not one of these Garzia's corpse was dressed in, it does at least show that the style was common for the Medici princes. His elder brother Francesco can also be seen wearing an outfit of a similar construction (but differently decorated) in a portrait from around 1570, and the same style can be seen in a Veronese portrait from the same time. The cappotto is similar to what is seen in a portrait of (probably) Lorenzino de' Medici (1514-1548). Lorenzino's style is a bit earlier, with puffed sleeves, but the general shape seems to be the same. Garzia was portrayed several times as a child, especially by court portraitist Bronzino. But only a posthumous portrait (now in Vienna) shows him as a teenager. The portrait was made some 18 years after his death, but is included in a series depicting all his siblings as well as parents. It may have been based on a now lost portrait, as is the case with the others. In that portrait he is dressed in a similarly styled doublet with horizontal gold trims, albeit the fabric is green and there seems to be pinking in between the gold cords.


Cosimo I de' Medici (-1574) was the duke of Florence and founder of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. When he died, his lit-de-parade showed him in the ceremonial grand duke attire, including a grand brocaded cloak with ermine collar and the grand ducal scepter and crown. However, this was removed from the corpse before he was buried, and instead he was buried in an outfit reflecting what he wore in civil. This included a red silk doublet and red wool breeches with codpiece, and also the grand cloak of the San Stefano order. The remains of his clothes has been restored as far as possible, though much is missing. The doublet has retained its original shape with some fill-ins, while very little survives of the tights. Only fragments also survives of the grand cloak, but it was enough to patch together the San Stefano cross in front, which enabled the restorers to identify the garment. They are now on display in Palazzo Pitti in Florence.

The silk satin doublet was originally red, and lined with linen. Stopping at the waist, it has 62 holes around the lower edge. This was where the breeches, or alternatively the stockings/tights, were laced to the doublet so they stayed in place. A few strings with oxidized metal tips still survives, in their original knotted shape. The front of the doublet have rust damages, because Cosimo's sword followed him to his grave, and was placed on top of the body. The restored doublet is basically placed on a crepeline fundament of the same size. This partly allows the doublet to retain its original shape, and it partly fills inn the missing parts. The breeches was of red wool with trims of taffeta and velvet. They also appear to have been lined with linen. 51 centimeter long, they reached just below the knee. They were tight, almost borderning tights, and were slightly curved around the waist and thighs. The braided, flat trims went horizontally around the waist and vertically down the leg. The breeches were made of two parts, one for each leg, and it was sewn together in the back and laced up in front. The front was covered by a codpiece, which had the same trim decorations as the breeches.


Funeral outfit of cardinal Giulio Feltrio della Rovere (1532-1578). Giulio Feltrio della Rovere was the second son of Francesco Maria I della Rovere and Eleonora Gonzaga. He was appointed cardinal by Pope Paul III Farnese in 1547 only 14 years old, and lived to see many popes follow Paul III. He had two sons, Ippolito and Giuliano. The cardinal was buried in the monastery of Santa Chiara in 1578, but the funeral clothes are today in the care of Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino.The clothes are described as "Doublet, breeches a la Sevilla, stockings and cassock" made of tabby silk. The breeches have a cod piece, and they were tied to the doublet at the waist. The doublet was buttoned in front, and has a small collar. The style of his doublet reminds of Moroni's "Tailor" from ca. 1570.


Flavio Orsini was born in Rome in 1532, to Ferrante Ferrillo Orsini and Beatrice. The Orsinis were one of the oldest and most prominent of the Roman families, with 2 popes and 34 cardinals, and a history going back to at least the 12th century. Flavio Orsini studied law and literature, and headed for a career in the church. He became bishop of Spoleto in 1560, and was made cardinal by Pope Pius IV in 1565. He acted for Pope Pius V abroad, exerted pressure on King Charles IX to counter both hugenots and Turks. He became ill in 1581, and seeked out spa treatment in Puzzoli in Naples. He died there the same year. His burial clothes included a pair of breeches made of a small patterned damask in diamond shape. They were lined with thin taffeta, and fastened beneath the knee with buttons. The original colour of the fabrics are distorted, but it's assumed the damask was originally brown. The funeral clothes are today in the care of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples.


Don Filippo de' Medici was the youngest son of Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici and Giovanna of Austria. The little boy was born i 1577, and allegedly named after Spanish king Phillip II. His birth was most welcome, as it secured the grand ducal succession. But the boy only lived to be four years old. He had a rare disease called hydrocephalus, which made his skull fill with water. He was buried in the Medici chapel in Florence. His funeral outfit was a red satin doublet and breeches, pinked in a harlequin squared pattern. It was buttoned in front, and the doublet had a short skirt. The clothes were badly damaged in the 1966 flood, and is today brittle and almost colourless. But the pinking can still be seen clearly, as can the buttoned front.

He was portrayed in a posthumous portrait of him and his mother Giovanna, painted by Bizzelli in 1586. The portrait outfit seems to be made of white or grey satin silk, with vertical pinking, buttons in front and at the cuffs, and a short skirt. He wears a white shirt with pleated collar and cuffs underneath, and a belt in the waist. The style was probably very similar to the one he was buried in. His funeral outfit is in the care of the Cappella Medicee in Florence.


This doublet is attributed to Antonello Petrucci the younger. It's made of various types of linen, with vertical pinking on torso and arms. The collar is very high and it has a double layer of fabric, and both layers are snipped at regular intervals. The doublet has a rounded cut over the belly, and is closed in front with buttons. The buttons were cut off when the mummy was undresses. The doublet has the typical waist skirt with lacing holes, where breeches or tights could be attached. Black hose-trunk hoses of small-patterned black ciselé velvet was also found in the tomb, but in very poor condition. In style the doublet reminds of the one Moroni depicted in 1570, in his "The Tailor". The very short doublet skirt, the rounded belly, the vertical pinking, the high collar and the shoulder tips are similar features, as is the colour.

The funeral clothes of Antonello Petrucci is today in the care of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples.


The jerkin is believed to derive from a similar military garment worn underneath the armour to protect the body. It gained popularity in civil clothes from the 1540s on.This leather jerkin (colletto) is dated to the late 16th century, and is in the care of Museo Stibbert in Florence. It's made of suede leather, probably deerskin. The leather is embroidered with silk and filé gold; the main torso with ornamental scrolls, while the shoulders, wings and tabs have ribs. The doublet is laced in front with spiral lacing, but has mock buttons for decorations. It is padded with cotton and wool, and the inside is lined with thin taffeta. The patterning of the leather in the back echoes that of the front.


Procurator's toga of damask with stola of velvet, from 17th century Venice. The procurator's main job was to attend to the administration of San Marco basilica in Venice. Originally there were only one procurator, but this number was later increased to nine. It was the second highest office in Venice, next to the Doge, which is reflected in the clothes. The procurator's outfit is on permanent display in Museo Correr in Venice.

There are two reasons why this 17th century outfit is included here. One is that the same kind of toga was worn by procurators and senators of the 16th century. The other is that the fabric of the stola is a speciality of Venice, an "alto e basso" crimson velvet, dating to the second half of the 16th century. The "alto e basso" refers to the velvet being cut at two heights, creating a sort of relief effect. The pattern was usually a pomegranate inside a leafy frame, surrounded by friar's knots and crowns. Sometimes the crown is more prominent. This type of velvet seems to always have been woven in crimson, and was highly expensive. The large pattern was also easy to recognize. Towards the end of the 16th century it became synonymous with the Venetian senators and procurators. In later centuries the velvet was not used for the toga itself, but it was still in use in the stola worn over one shoulder - as seen in the 17th century extant example. The fabric of the toga is also a speciality from the 16th century. The two rows of pomegranates surrounded by stems of leafs and/or crowns and diamond rings dates to the early 16th century - it first appears in a painting from 1515, and it can also be seen in Isabella of Aragon's funeral dress (1524), Holbein's "The Ambassador's" (1533) and in Don Garcia de Medici's funeral cloak (1562). It was another expensive fabric reserved for Europe's nobility.

The "alto e basso" velvet can be found in full robes in paintings - for example in Veronese's "Epiphany", in Tintoretto's portrait of procurator Vincenzo Morosini (1511 - 1588), and in Giovanni Grevembroch's 1754 illustration of a knight of the Stola d'oro. Morosini was also a member of this order, as can be seen in his golden stola worn over his right shoulder. The Stola d'oro was a Venetian knighthood which outlived the Venetian republic.


1. Tights, belonging to Ferdinand II of Aragon (buried 1516).
2. Boy's stockings, knitted, mid 16th century (San Domenico Maggiore, Naples).
3. Man's stockings, knitted, mid 16th century (San Domenico Maggiore, Naples).
4. Footless linen boothoses embroidered with silk, labeled "Donne San Teodoro", ca. 1600 (The Met, New York)
5. Camiciuola, mid 16th century, from the Museo Stibbert i Florence.
6. Leather hat, leather with embroideries of black silk and gold cord, mid 16th century (Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Milan).
7. Shoes of Italian style, brown leather embroidered with silk and metal, lined with pale red silk, ca. 1570-90. From "Modelejon".


*Photos removed at the request of the Textile Museum in Prato*
Man's shirt, linen with blue silk embroidery and bobbin lace. Knee-length, late 16th century. From The Textile Museum in Prato.

*Photos removed at the request of the Textile Museum in Prato*
Boy's linen shirt with red and gilt embroidery, with a gathered high collar. The inside of the collar is also embroidered, so it could be worn open. The sleeves has an S motif, while the front chest has the monogram of Christ. Ca. 1560-80. From The Textile Museum in Prato.

*Photos removed at the request of the Textile Museum in Prato*
Boy's linen shirt with red embroidery on the sleeves and around the hem. The neckline is low, and the sleeves have a floral pattern. Ca. 1560-80. From The Textile Museum in Prato.


Arnold, Janet (2009), "Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women C1560-1620", MacMillan
dal Poggetto, Paolo (editor) (2004), "I della Rovere, Piero della Francesco, Raffaello, TIziano", Electa publishing
Landini, Roberta Orsi and Bruna Niccoli (2004), "Moda a Firenze, Lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e sua influenza", Pagliai/Polistampa, Florence
Landini, Roberta Orsi (2011), "Moda a Firenze, Lo stile di Cosimo I de' Medici", Mauro Pagliai/Polistampa, Florence
Monnas, Lisa (2008) "Merchants, Princes and Painters. Silk Fabrics in Italian and Northern Paintings 1300-1550", Yale University Press

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