fredag 21 januari 2011

Erik XIV

In the 16th century the style of dress for men and then especially that of the noble men are very far from what we see today, but the principles still stand. They dressed to show off their social standing and their wealth, which we still do today more or less. We have always dressed to keep warm but the most important fact of clothes is that we have and always will signal certain aspects of ourselves through the way we dress.
There was a fierce rivalry between the courts of France and England during the reigns of Henry VIII and Francis I where the battle was which court was the most stylish and opulent. Fur, luxurious materials, ruffles and tons of jewelry were a must.
The three portraits above are of my ancestor, Erik XIV, who was king over Sweden between the years 1560-1568. He was born in 1533 to the king Gustav Vasa and the German princess Katarina af Sachsen-Lauenburg. Erik was their only child because Katarina died shortly after his birth and Gustav Vasa remarried with a Swedish noble woman. Erik was a bit cruel towards his siblings because he considered himself to be the only of true royal blood.
Early in his reign he showed signs of mental instability and was thought to be a shizophrenic. Some historians today suspect that it could have been slander and a useful tool when Erik's brothers overthrew him, imprisoned and posioned him.
Erik was considered a stylish and handsome man brought up on the theories by Machiavelli and the belief that he had been put on the throne through God's will (just as any other king of the time).

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