Here you'll find illuminations showing different styles of overgowns either burgundian or of burgundian influence. What is generaly thought of the "typical" burgundian gown is often an "A" line dress with no waist-seam which is fitted in the breast area and spreads very widely in the skirt. It often bares a train and is topped with a "V" shape neckline that usually reaches to the tip or slightly disapears into a wide belt. The sleeves are generally adjusted with bell-turnover cuffs otherwise known as bombards. This "cliché" has become widely spread because people often only know this fashion from very few popular flemish paintings such as the one above.
On this page you will find many variations of this particular style and also unusual details to the gown itself that is often unknown to the modern world but was most probably commun in period, given millions of women wearing this type of gowns over more than 5 decades versus the very few exemples that have survived for us to study. I'm hoping that this page and the other related pages that I've published will finaly put an end to those everlasting "clichés" and shed some light onto this beautiful late medieval trend, so that we can all better understand it and hopefuly, recreate it :-)
Partlet-type of neckerchief follows the wide neckline, no placket is worn
Front of dress is flat to the ground, no placket nor partlet are being worn
Long collar-flap laying over the belt
The front opening goes below the belt, verry short dress
Yes contrary to what they teach you in history class, black was actualy worn for mourning prior to the 19th century!
Split on the side with a lovely brooch
Colored collar and cuffs. Apears to be wearing a trimmed round-neck kirtle
Front is so short that it lets the green underskirt show
Twin styles with different hennins (note the fleur-de-lys necklaces)
References for Burgundian costuming
(The typical "A" shape gown otherwise known as a "V" neck gown)
The Portinari triptych, right-wing detail of Maria Portinari by Hugo van der Goes (1479)
Colored colar and cuffs with trim. Simple trim at the hem, skirt doesn't seam to be lined
Below the knee lenght, worn over a kirtle. Neckline color differs from the cuffs
Low front opening, fitted gown without waistseam worn without a large belt. Sleeves aren't tightly fitted
Fitted gown without a waistseam, worn without a belt
Wide lacing over the placket. Collar, cuffs and hem are nicely embroided
Kirtle's guard matches the skirt's. Note the incredibly long hennin.
Big collar-flaps with roundish neckline
Short collar-flap with "V" back-neckline
Long collar-flap over a rather low waistline
Very narrow skirt with wide guard, the whole volume is in the train
No waistseam, apears to be intirely lined with fur
- Image one is from "Augustine, La Cité de Dieu", Illuminated by Maître François 1475-1480
- Image 2 is from the manuscript "Confessio amantis" (Lover's confession) by John Gower (1470)
- Image 3 is from "Augustine, La Cité de Dieu", Illuminated by Maître François 1475-1480
- Image 4 and 5 are from Christine de Pisan's "L'épître d'Othéa" 1450-1475
- Image 6 represents the death of Queen Isabella from a manuscript by Jean Chartier
- Image 7 is from Raoul Lefèvre's "Histoires de Troyes"
- Image 8 is from Guillaume de Lorris & Jean de Meung's "Le Roman de la Rose" (made for Louise of Savoy late15th)
- Image 9 is from a painting by Dierick Bouts "The Execution of the Innocent Count 1460
- Image 10 is from Raoul Lefèvre's "Histoires de Troyes"
- Image 11 is from Jehan de Wavrin's "Chroniques dEngleterre"
- Image 12 is from Valerius Maximus' "Des faits et des paroles memorables"
- Image 13 is from René d'Anjou "Le livre des tournois" 1488-89
- Image 14, I don't know at this time. If anyone does please let me know.
- Image 15 is from the manuscript, Tristan de Léonois 1471
- Image 16 is from the manuscript "Le jardin d'agrement" book VIII by Pierre de Crescens
- Images 17 & 18 are from Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron 1485
- Image 19 is from Jean Wauquelin's "Histoire d'Alexandre le Grand"
- Image 20 is from Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron 1485
- Image 21 is from Margaret of York's book of hours
- Image 22 represents Cleopatra but I'm not sure of the manuscript
- Image 23 is from "Augustine, La Cité de Dieu", Illuminated by Maître François 1475-1480
- Image 24 is from Froissart's Chronicles "The death of anne of bohemia" 1470
- Image 25 represents the wedding of Hugues le Grand's son with the daughter of the duc of Bourgundy (BNF)
- Image 26 represents the Mariage of Chilperic and Galswinthe (BNF)
- Image 27 is from Boccace's "Decameron" (trad-Laurent de Premierfait) 1425-50
- Image 28 is from Boccace's "de Casibus" 1440
- Image 29 is from Jean Wauquelin's "Histoire d'Alexandre" 1440-1460
- Image 30 is called "Fire at a masked dance in Paris" from Froissard's chronicles
- Image 31 is from Evrard de Conty's "Les échecs amoureux" 1496-98
- Image 32 is from Boccace's "Decameron" (trad-Laurent de Premierfait) 1425-50
- Image 33 is from Valerius Maximus "facta et dicta memorabilia" 1475-1495
- Image 34 is from Boccace's "de mulieribus claris" around 1490 (Virginia)
- Image 35 is from Valerius Maximus "facta et dicta memorabilia" 1475-1495
- Image 36 is from Boccace's "de mulieribus claris" around 1490 (Faustine the young)
- Image 37 is from Jehan de Wavrin's "Chroniques dEngleterre"
White weddings ; I actualy found quite a few exemples of these
Gowns intirely lined with fur
This is quite commun but many of you were sceptical about hoods being worn with this type of gown so I thought that I'd throw in a few of the very many exemples I have.
"V" neck gown on the ground, no waistseam
Beautiful "V" neckline and sleeves. Note the white wimple and black kirtle
Large round colar worn with a plack partlet, obviously not a gollar
Prostitutes. Note that they're still wearing decent partlets and neckerchief
I love this type of representation where they show you the same people in various scenes. We get a front and back view in the same deal !
Ooooo! I just love those ornamental pinch-seams ! Note that she apears to be wearing a partlet tucked in the placket and a scafkerchief tucked in the gown's collar.
Bliss' No Right Clicking
Color of the collar matches the gown
Very fitted gown. The lacing apears to finish at the waist, probably due to a waistseam like on image 2. The lacing rings are hidden on the inside.
This gown has a waistseam and contrasting cuffs. The lacing-rings are apparent.
Low roundish opening. Worn with a beautiful girdle
Triangular type of opening. The lacing-rings are apparent.
This type of gown seams to have been worn only by maidens or relatively young women.
The skirt is nicely pleated on a waistseam. The volume seams to be directed only from the side to the back.
Roundish opening, not that low. The gowns are very fitted and the volume is intirely set in the gore of the train.
The trimming doesn't go all the way down the opening. Worn with a girdle
Nicely trimmed. It's worn over a "V" neck smock. The bombards have slits. Note the huge lacing-rings and that it doesn't lace all the way up..
These apear to be regular gowns but without a collar. The second one is slightly rolled over a belt to lift the skirt.
Triangular type of opening. The lacing rings are apparent. The gown is intirely lined with fur.
Short triangular opening with contrasting cuffs. The lacing-rings are apparent.
- Image one is from a painting by Hans Memling called "Diptych of the Allegory of True Love" 1485-90
- Image 2 is a portrait of Margaret of York 1480
- Image 3 is from a painting called "The legend of St-Lucy" By the master of the legend of St-Lucy 1480
- Image 4 is from a painting by Hand Memling called "The Donne triptych" (triptych of Sir Donne of Kidwelly) 1475
- Image 5 is a painting by thhe Master of the St-Lucy legend called "Virgin of the rose garden" 1480
- Image 6 is from Margaret of York's book of hours
- Image 7 is called "The Portinari triptych" (right-wing detail of Marguerita Portinari) by Hugo van der Goes 1479
- Image 8 is a portrait of Marie de Bourgogne 1482
- Image 9 is from the manuscript "Compilation des chroniques & histoires des bretons" by Pierre le Baud 1480
- Image 10 is from a painting by Hans Memling called "Triptych of Adriaan of Reins"
- Image 11 is by the Master of St-Ursula's legend (Scenes from the life of St-Ursula) 1474-75
- Image 12 is from Boccace's "de mulieribus claris" around 1490 (Lucrecia)
THis is only a kirtle and not an actaul gown, but still, it's very interesting