In the 16th century the merchant republic of Venice was a sight to behold. Early-modern travel writers describe it with much flair, enchanted (or appalled) by its lavish extravagance. But this was, after all, the Renaissance, and lavish extravagance could be had anywhere. Venice owed much of its allure to her fabled ‘honest courtesans’, praised (and vilified) for their wit, refinement and elegance.
Venice wished itself to be perceived as a republic governed by just, modest men. The noble families had to uphold a certain image – and, sadly, most of the restrictions related to being a ‘paragon of duty’ were imposed on the wives and daughters. Upper class women were strictly monitored in their dress and habits, and utterly dependent on their husband and fathers – that is, if they could be depended on.
For those that lacked the financial means to lead this restricted but sheltered life, there was a different, darker path to follow. Many young girls were introduced to the world of courtesans simply because their families did not have the money to supply them with a dowry. The lucky few who had the brains and the charm to win the hearts of aristocratic patrons would quickly rise in rank, becoming the desired (or despised) jewels of Venice. Some amassed substantial wealth, but others, like Veronica Franco, were accused of witchcraft and lost all of their possessions, or worse.
The attire of the courtesan here is modelled after the famous sketch of a Venetian lady by Albrecht Dürer (arttattler.com/Images/NorthAme…), while the chopines and the garb of the gentleman were copied from Racinet’s Complete Costume History (oh, how i love the book!). The lettering is styled after this manuscript: www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwms…
No i pora na renesans. Tym razem niezbyt urzeczona kurtyzana i jej młody adorator. Tekst pod panią głosi: 'Przestań trąbić wszem i wobec, jaki to jesteś zauroczony, bo ktoś mnie w końcu oskarży o uprawianie czarów".
The other drawings in the series // Reszta serii:
I'm glad you like the cathedral, because you're partly responsible for its presence in the drawing (once again, thank you for the liner!). Next time i promise to be less lazy and actually use a ruler and compasses when drawing architecture
Venice *was* a little creepy even before the Renaissance (i share your dislike for creepy Mr. Dandolo). Apparently, it had a reputation of being more controlling than the other city states when it came to sumptuary laws, but i am yet to hear of a place where such restrictions were actually adhered to
The details on their clothes and the building in the background look amazing! This reminds me of the wood-block etchings
Haha, i got a bit carried away with the cathedral... I just wanted to draw some detail to make it obvious the scene takes place in Venice, but i had such a great thin line pen i ended up drawing the whole church... 0.03 liners are the best thing in the world
Haha, 0.03 liners...I had one once, and I pressed too hard and the tip fell off.