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Joanna of Austria (1535-73)


RCIN 407223

Above Joanna’s black velvet bodice a fine linen shirt or partlet is used to conceal the sitter’s neck and shoulders – it is edged with a small frill which would later develop into the separate ruff. During the second half of the sixteenth century low-necked bodices like this became increasingly uncommon in Spain, although they continued to be worn in other European countries. Joanna’s hairstyle, which is frizzed and set on the sides of the head beneath her masculine style bonnet, is distinctively Spanish and was known as ‘toca de cabos’.

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