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Diana the Huntress,

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Diana the Huntress

“Diana the Huntress,” (after Domenichino), Anonymous Italian Baroque artist, oil on canvas, c. 1675-1750.

Diana appears as if rushing across our field of vision. The painting is full of diagonals which convey movement, tension and emotion. This is characteristic of painting in Europe in the Baroque period (1650-1750) when this canvas was created. Diana’s fashionable costume is very impractical for a day in the forest chasing stags, but it tells us about the ideal of female beauty. The goddess has a jeweled headdress, pearls entwined in her hair, pearl drop earrings, and a jeweled band on her red bodice. Earrings came into fashion in the mid-sixteenth century, and in the seventeenth century pearls were considered the most telling sign of wealth and prestige. Pearls were entwined in the hair, hung from the ears, and set into elaborate jewels. In the sixteenth century a large jewel often hung in the center of the bust, but in the eighteenth century, a “stomacher,” or a triangular jeweled front on the bodice was the style. The jeweled band on Diana’s bodice is an intermediate stage between the two types. The rich jewelry tells a story by itself, complementing the idealized face of the goddess.

Question: Where can I find out about “stomachers” and the history of European jewelry design?

Answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomacher