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European Upper Middle Class in the 1500’s
The very wealthy could afford to have their portraits painted and therefore, we know what they were wearing. There exist very few drawings of Middle Class people that were drawn in the 1500’s even fewer in color. These watercolors were taken from the corners of a series on maps published in the 1572 called “Civitates Orbis Terrarum” by G. Braun et Hogenberg. The colors are somewhat subdued due to aging. They are not very detailed, but with some study they could be great inspiration for designing middle class costumes. As a rule the middle class dressed in similar styles as the upper class but could not afford the same fine fabric and trims. The city names are in French. Click on the picture or the text below for a larger version of painting.