This is a publication of Rubens´s Costume Book, published here for the first time in its entirety, placing it in the context of the intellectual climate of the period, of Rubens´s copies in general and of his oeuvre.
The Costume Book is a sketch-book by Rubens in the British Museum. It contains drawings of figures in the late fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Flemish and Burgundian court fashion, in early sixteenth-century German costume and in late sixteenth-century Turkish, Persian and Arabic dress. All of the drawings are copies after ealier works of art, an important aspect of Rubens´s oeuvre. Although well known, the Costume Book has not previously been published in its entirety. This volume places it in the context of the intellectual climate of the period, of Rubens´s copies in general and of his oeuvre. The author discusses Rubens´s transformation of his models and offers a reconstruction of the original book. Furthermore, Rubens´s reasons for compiling the book are suggested and instances of its later use are presented, with particular emphasis on his concept of "historical correctness". The catalogue raisonné provides a detailed entry for each folio of the Costume Book, followed by entries for six related sheets no longer bound with it, but which are identified as probably having been part of the original sketch-book.