And for my next trick, we dial back the clock a hundred and fifty or so years, and travel to Italy. For a new project concerning famous swordswomen through the ages, I’ll be presenting about the life, times, and possible combat style of Caterina Sforza (1463-1509) of Forli and Imola.
I want to make clear up front, I am not dressing as Caterina Sforza, or recreating a dress from one of her portraits with any precision. But I am going to make a dress representative of the fashions of her time, place, and approximate status. (Mine will not be made of such nice materials, I’m sure.) So, to start, here are some portraits of Sforza wearing non-mythological attire. This is sort of tricky, as there are a lot of mythological portraits known or suspected to be of her, and amateur and professional art historians seem fond of guessing that all kinds of portraits are of her, and sometimes portraits are labeled of her apparently just because they have a sword in them or a woman named Caterina.