The Dress is Everything

Federico Zuccari – Margherita of Savoy Duchess of Mantova c.1605

Today’s Featured Image:

Our inaugural gown is a portrait of “Margherita of Savoy, Duchess of Mantova” by Federico Zuccari, c.1605. Holy Smokes, the gold brocade fabric, and pearl encrusted jewels are impressive. I love the sleeves too. I can’t help thinking about how they constructed this garment.

At first, I was going to call this section “Say Yes to the Dress,” but I decided not to co-opt the name from the TLC TV show. I like the title because, for this category, the dress is everything. The portraits I plan on presenting may lack definition and character, but some element of the dress sends me singing, “Beep-beep, beep-beep. Oh, bop.”

The painter, Federico Zuccari, also known as Federico Zuccaro, (c. 1540/1541 – August 6, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad.

Here’s what the J. Paul Getty Museum says about him:
“After Titian’s death in 1576, Federico Zuccaro may have been the most famous painter in Europe as well as the most influential, traveling widely and creating a huge number of works, largely of religious subjects. The son of a painter in Urbino, he absorbed Mannerism in Rome under his brother Taddeo, who was a dozen years his senior. When Taddeo died in 1566, Federico took over his flourishing practice while continuing to travel. Zuccaro worked in the Netherlands, England, Spain, and throughout Italy for the most prominent patrons. England’s Queen Elizabeth sat for a portrait; the Spanish king hired him to work extensively on his palace El Escorial. He completed Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes in the dome of the Florence Cathedral, and he worked in the Vatican.”

Information about this portrait can be found here. (Far more than you will ever want to know.):

The song which comes to mind:


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