The Lace and Fabrics Collection, Madama Palace

The lace and fabrics exhibition features 95 important pieces from the museum’s rich collection of laces: over 450 artifacts including numerous clothing accessories, fans, aprons, headphones, handkerchiefs, collars.

With precious Renaissance patterns, the fashionable gros points of Venice, the very light borders and barbes of the Flemish eighteenth century, the nineteenth-century lace made by machine, the selection traces the history of lace and offers insights on techniques, fashion and use, on its symbolic value in our life.

Focus on the theme of lace also in the Room, exhibit tailoring proposals, elaborated reflecting on the basic concepts of lace: the knot and the plot, the emptiness and the fullness, the transparency. The clothes on display are the result of a path that has seen the vistors engaged in the study of the Palazzo Madama artifacts, the techniques and the stylistic evolution of lace, to then devote themselves to the development of personal research and creative ideation paths.

The collection of fabrics
The costume collection of Palazzo Madama has over 350 items in the textile collection, including dresses, hats, bags, gloves, collars and lace shawls. In the collections of applied arts there are also fans in painted paper, shoes in leather and fabric, combs in ivory and tortoise, buckles and metal buttons, labels of beauty products, portraits in miniature and on canvas, accessories and essential documents for the study of clothing and fashion.

Lace and Fabrics
Collars, edges, handkerchiefs, geometric and light, or full, rich, grandiloquent. Since the 16th century, the laces have varied designs and textures, following the change in taste, clothing and use. At first they seek transparency, new with respect to embroidery decoration, curved lines, develop the third dimension with raised points. In the eighteenth century, the naturalism and fantasy of drawing grew, the refinement of the combinations of infinite varieties of background nets and fillers, of thick and thin threads.

Headphone (1590 – 1710)
Glove (1600 – 1625)
Lace collar (1640 – 1655)
The work is dated to 1640-50. The comparisons with the books of models of the same years also refer to those years, particularly the Book of different designs by Bartolomeo Danieli (Bologna 1630). v Look at the drawings in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum

the eighteenth century for women
In the mid-seventeenth century, the “robe à la française” is the most widespread model of dress between the nobility and the wealthy European bourgeoisie. Worn over fenced corsets, it was open at the front to show the rich skirts, and often closed by bibs richly decorated with ribbons, bows, jewels, or precious applications.

Robe à la française (1725 – 1749)
The definition of the dress was introduced into fashion around 1704. In that year Baron’s comedy Andienne was performed in Paris, and the actress Therèse Dancourt wore a dress that was very successful. From that moment the garment took the name of andrienne.

The dress is decorated with brocade and bobbin lace in silver yarn. The dress is in gris de Tours of liseré silk. Gros de Tours is a fabric characterized by a horizontal ribbed effect that takes its name from the French city of Tours, the main producer.

Harness (1725 – 1750)
Interior of the Teatro Regio in Turin (c. 1572)
by Giovanni Michele Graneri
Corset (1750 – 1770)
The simplicity of the corset, combined with the high quality of the embroidery, suggests that it was a garment for domestic use, a neglect for a wealthy woman.

Corset (1770 – 1780)
The eighteenth-century bodices and corsets compress the female bust unnaturally, pushing up the breasts left uncovered by large necklines. The Marquise Marie-Louise de Galliffet wore this bodice at the court of Louis XVI, in Versailles.

Finding of Moses (c. 1733)
by Giovanni Battista Crosato
Corsets and bibs, richly decorated, were part of the milliner’s work. While the seamstress cut the precious fabrics and prepared the model, the milliner was given the task of taking care of the “garnitures”

Men’s fashion
The tailcoat, worn with submarine and trousers, is the main garment of the eighteenth-century men’s suit. Over the course of the century it becomes less voluminous, the wide and flared flaps tend to become more adherent and elusive towards the back, the buttons disappear or remain on the chest for decorative purposes but are not fastened. In 1750, Lord Chesterfield wrote to his son, who had just arrived in Paris: “I hope that you dress well, or according to the common use of good society: this means that you will not have to be noticed neither by excess nor by defect, since a gentleman must must stand out for elegance, not for pomp ”

Doublet (1670 – 1680)
The fabric is embroidered with Savoy knots alternating with rosettes: they are the symbols of the Savoy house which attest to the origin of the giuppone from the ducal court of Turin.

Marsina and calzone (1780 – 1790)
Ring with Phoenix (1700 – 1799)
Workshop of the Regi Archives
Men’s fashion between the 17th and 18th centuries often focused on details, delegated to emphasize differences in class or contexts of everyday life.

Marsina (1775 – 1800)
“To be elegant you don’t have to be noticed, you have to proscribe perfumes, banish violent colors and look for neutral or cold harmonies, enhance the accessory because the general harmony of the dress depends on it.” George Brummel (London, 7 June 1778 – Caen, 30 March 1840)

Portrait of Giuseppe Antonio Petrolini ([1802] – [1804])
by Giuseppe Mazzola

Set of buttons (1790 – 1800)
In the eighteenth century the button became a fundamental accessory for men’s clothing. Often they were richly decorated with paintings, inlays, embossed, gilded and – in the case of the rare “à la buffon” buttons – with small insects and plants inserted under glass.

Embroidered male headdress (1745 – 1755)
In the domestic environment, gentlemen wore precious and comfortable garments and zuccotto, boat or turban headdresses.

Eight and twentieth centuries
With the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Empire style was established in Europe. For women’s clothes, a neoclassical revival, inspired by the Greek and Roman clothes depicted in the archaeological finds of the time, also taken up in the jewels. At the dawn of the new century, after the drama of the First World War, the style of a woman will change the dictates of fashion: Coco Chanel. “One world was ending, another was about to be born … simplicity, comfort, clarity were needed: I offered him all this”.

Empire style dress (1810 – 1815)
“I will need two new colored dresses for the summer … Anyway, I will ask you only to take one, which will have to be of simple brown cotton muslin, for a day dress; the other, which will have to be of a nice yellow streaked with white, I intend to buy it in Bath. ” Letter from Jane Austen, January 25, 1801

Tiara (1820 – 1840)
Portrait of a young woman (1808 – 1830) by Fanny Charrin

Parure of necklaces, earrings, and part of a bracelet
Francesco Tanadei Late 18th century – Early 19th century

Evening dress (1925)
Fashion is architecture: it’s a question of proportions. (Coco Chanel)
Hat (1928 – 1930)
Evening dress (1925)
Portrait of Miss Severini (1934) by Gino Severini

Madama Palace
Palazzo Madama and Casaforte degli Acaja is an architectural and historical complex located in the central Piazza Castello in Turin. Having played a leading role in its history from Roman times through to the present day, it was declared a World Heritage Site with the other Residences of the House of Savoy in 1997. Palazzo Madama, as part of the Savoy Residences serial site. The building houses the Civic Museum of Ancient Art.

It is a combination of two thousand years of Turin ‘s history, from the ancient eastern gate of the Roman colony of Julia Augusta Taurinorum to a defensive stronghold, then to a real castle, a symbol of Savoy power until at least the sixteenth century, when the current Royal Palace, as the seat of the Duke of Savoy.

The western part of the first medieval complex was later called Palazzo Madama because it was first inhabited by Madama Cristina of Bourbon-France, called the “first Royal Madama”, in the period around 1620 – 1663, then fromMaria Giovanna Battista di Savoia-Nemours, called the “second Royal Madama”, in the period 1666 – 1724. It was for the latter that the current facade was designed, in 1716 – 1718, by the court architect Filippo Juvarra.

The visit covers four floors, where the centuries-old story of its construction interacts with the collections of the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica, which have been here since 1934.

The early centuries of the Middle Ages are illustrated in the Mediaeval Stonework Collection on the moat level, with its sculptures, mosaics, and jewellery dating from the Later Antique period to the Romanesque. The fifteenth-century rooms on the ground floor contain paintings, sculptures, miniatures and precious objects from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, mainly from Piedmont. In the circular room in the Treasure Tower there is a selection of masterpieces, including the famous Portrait of a Man by Antonello da Messina. On the piano nobile, with its stunning array of Baroque stuccoes and frescoes, there is the modern picture gallery with works from the Savoy Collections and an important selection of furniture made by Piedmontese, Italian, and French master cabinetmakers. Lastly, the top floor houses the decorative arts collections, which are a key part of the museum’s assets, with majolica and porcelain, glasswork and ivories, fabrics and lace, jewellery and metals, as well as the stunning collection of gilded, painted and sgraffito glass, unrivalled in terms of its quantity and quality.