I’m not sure how many of you follow the debate over whether or not Venetian Renaissance women wore corsets or not, but it’s something I think about way too often. I just found an image that’s making me think! Look at the following images, all hosted at the fabulous Realm of Venus, showing women wearing ladder-laced bodices with decorative partlets tucked over or under the camicia/shift and into the bodice — sheer partlet, could be over or under, sheer tucked over, sheer, could be over or under. Okay, now look at this Bordone portrait at Sotheby’s and use the zoom to get a really, really detailed look at the center front bustline.
Call me crazy, but what I see is a decorative partlet tucked OVER the camicia/shift and into the bodice — but when I look at the center front opening (under the ladder lacing), it looks like the partlet is either VERY CAREFULLY measured, finished, and pinned/attached so that it EXACTLY aligns with the top row of lacing, or it is tucked OVER the camicia but BEHIND some kind of false-camicia-front. Or the artist decided to tidy things up. What do you think?