Spanish Fashion in the Age of Velasquez: A Tailor at the Court of Philip IV

  • April 4, 2024
  • Dallas, TX


In this lecture, Amanda Wunder will discuss her new book Spanish Fashion in the Age of Velázquez (Yale, 2024), the first archival study of dress at the court of Philip IV, as told through the life and work of royal tailor Mateo Aguado.

Tailor to the queens of Spain from 1630 to 1672, Mateo Aguado designed the striking dresses that gave the Spanish court its distinctive look in the Baroque era. The most influential dress designer in the seventeenth-century Spanish world, Aguado was responsible for creating the iconic dresses that appear in some of Diego Velázquez’s most famous court portraits.

Based on new research, this book brings to life the world of Aguado and his colleagues at court. The long-lost garments and accessories that the court artisans made for their royal employers are reconstructed here for the first time. Aguado’s creations played a crucial role in domestic and international politics by shaping the royal image, and his dresses took center-stage in major political events during Philip IV’s reign. Richly illustrated with well-known masterpieces along with surviving textiles and garments, the book explores how Aguado’s dress designs shaped a new vision of Spanish style, and Spanishness, that defined Golden-Age Spain.

Amanda Wunder is Associate Professor of History at the City University of New York’s Lehman College in the Bronx. She is also on the faculty of the Art History department and the Global Early Modern Studies program at the CUNY Graduate Center, which she directs. Wunder teaches graduate seminars on early modern Iberian art and material culture and on early modern European fashions and textiles. She is the author of Baroque Seville: Sacred Art in a Century of Crisis, published by Penn State Press in 2017.

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Registration is free.