The historic textile collections belonging to the Diocese of Novara and preserved within the ancient sacristies of its many churches, have inspired the volume Caravaggio: Fashion and fabrics. Caravaggio’s ability to capture in paint such precious garments, with their shimmering weaves, arabesque-like patterns and decorative motifs informs a new narrative, exploring how clothing may indicate much more than a mere fashion choice.
Using Caravaggio’s The Cardsharps as the focus, we may understand how the three figures depicted are set in contrast: by social class, age and appearance. These differences are underpinned by the clothing that they wear, and on closer examination, it is apparent that the fabrics described in paint are directly comparable to those of the historic collections of Novara.
In their insightful and detailed analysis, the authors of this volume present a comprehensive overview of the development of fashion and fabrics, from the XVI to the XVII century, when Italy’s textile industry was at its peak.
Texts by: Alan Borg, Flavia Fiori, Tom Foakes, Francesco Gonzales, Suzanne Marriott, Anna Murphy
London, Museum of the Order of St John, October 2016 - January 2017