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Happiest Day: Wedding Customs in Transition

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Bride from Zürich, from Theatrum Mulierum

1649
17th century
9.3 cm x 5.8 cm (3 11/16 in. x 2 5/16 in.)

Wenzel Hollar (aka Wenceslaus) (Prague, 1607 - 1677, London) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, Bohemian
Medium and Support: Etching
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of the Texas Medical Center Library, 1993
Accession Number: 1993.120

Hollar's etching is one in a large series recording all manners of dress throughout Europe. Gowns worn for weddings were finely made with rich velvets, satins, brocades, laces and elaborate embroidery, but they were rarely white. Traditional colors for gowns were blue, pink, or cream. Widows who remarried while still in bereavement wore lilac, mauve or gray. Attendants sometimes wore white. The "white wedding" with veil was an invention of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and was popularized by Queen Victoria when she wed Prince Albert in 1840.

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