Headwear in Art

Headwear in Art
Hats, scarves, turbans are accessories in fashion. Artists used them to embellish an outfit or to convey emotion and status (crown). I will discuss.

Beginning with the Egyptians, the nemes, a piece of striped head cloth was worn by the pharaohs. As seen worn by Tuthankhamen (King Tut).

Osiris, the god of the underworld wears an Atef, a crown with two (2) curling ostrich feathers.

Horus, the Egyptian god of the sky, moon, and sun wears a pschent, a red and white crown.

Real warriors, mythical heroes and gods were depicted on Greek pottery and in sculpture. Corinthian helmets were made from a single piece of bronze and protected a full-face. Some artifacts have been found in Italy.

During the Roman empire, helmets advanced, by maximizing protection, yet allowing for better vision and hearing.

Dring the Middle Ages, a hood was worn, attached to a small cape. A hat, or chaperon was worn in the mid-15th century.

Jacques-Louis David's painting "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" (1801) depicts the emperor wearing bicornes with a red, white, and blue cockade pinned to the hat. This represented the French Revolution and would become the colors of the French flag.

In Early Netherlandish artist Jan van Eyck's "Arnolfini Portrait" (1434) the man wears a hat of plaited straw dyed black, and the woman wears the white headwear of a married woman, discounting the theory that this may be a wedding scene.

Netherlandish artist Rogier van der Weyden exquisitely painted "Portrait of a Lady" (1460) where the sitter wears a headdress and veil. It can be seen at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli's "Primavera" (1477-1482) shows Flora, the goddess of spring, wearing flowers in her hair. Is she going to San Francisco? (Referencing 1967 song by Scott McKenzie).

Italian late Renaissance artist Titian painted "Flora" (1515-1517). However, it lacked the hat of flowers Rembrandt used in his painting of the same name, in 1654.

Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer painted "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" (1662) where the woman is wearing headgear and a cape.

French Neo-classical artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted "La Grande Odalisque" (1814). The concubine wears a head turbine. Lovely, despite the anatomical distortion by the artist.

The Impressionists were fond of including hats and headgear in their art as they conveyed a culture, status, and wealth.

Edgar Degas painted "The Millinery Shop" (1879-1886). It can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Vincent van Gogh painted "Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat" (1887-1888) from the Van Gogh Museum and "Self Portrait with Straw Hat" (1887) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party" (1881) shows both men and women wearing hats.

In Mary Cassatt's "The Boating Party" (1893), all three (3) subjects (woman, child, and rower) wear headgear.

In 1900, there was an estimated one thousand (1,000) milliners in Paris.

Henri Matisse, a pioneer of Fauvism, painted his wife Amelie in "Woman with a Hat" (1905), evoking emotion by demonstrating an unconventional use of color and brushstrokes.

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