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Modes of Address: The Fashion Print as Passe-Partout

This essay proposes an approach to the genre of the seventeenth-century French fashion print that follows the rubric of the printmakers, which takes the basic physical and graphic format of the genre rather than the thematic content of the images as its essential characteristic. This allows for an examination of the many interrelated modes of address that an image or theme might traverse in the course of minor graphic adjustments, and of how these formed a language for more complex interventions into the genre of the fashion print, which brings to light the ways in which the pictorial and rhetorical ingenuity of the printmakers participated in a broader cultural discourse on fashion, fashionability, and social identity in the late seventeenth century.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Baroque