Friday, June 13, 2014

Another pair of Mules, among other things...

Found another mule in a period painting, though it is difficult to see in the full-sized painting, so a detail is shown below it.  While I was only going to post this for the mules, I started looking more carefully and found a couple of other treasures.

Susanna at Her Bath, 1526, Albrecht Altdorfer

Susanna at Her Bath Detail


It never occurred to me before now, but this painting has one of the few representations for a towel actually in the image.  It's draped over Susanna's shoulders while her hair is being brushed.  It also appears as if the lady filling Susanna's foot bath with water has a towel draped over her shoulder and laying in her lap.  While the towel around Susanna's shoulders appears somewhat plain, that is only because her hair and body obscures most of it.  The towel on the servants shoulder appears to indicate blue stitch work at one end, which would indicate that they were not plain.  Most extant towels I've been able to find are Italian, but they are not out of keeping with these in design and are all made of linen or a linen and cotton construction (most likely linen base with cotton stitching, though they could have also been linen-cotton blend, but I am uncertain of this practice in period).

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