The very first fashion blogger

25.04.2017 — by Victoria Ventonni


Nowadays it is quite popular to post fashion looks on Instagram, showing not only the clothes, but also, more important, the unique (hopefully) way to combine them, expressing your true self. Fashion bloggers have mastered this skill of mixing different brands, textures, which resulted in them creating the style of their own, developing the fashion industry and creating trends. However, shall we consider this as a modern thing?

Doubtfully. I am sure that history can teach us a great and quite expansive lesson if we let it to do so. Moreover, it never fails to repeat itself. Let me present the very first fashion blogger, Matthäus Schwarz, born in 1497. As there was obviously no Instagram back then, he created a book, which consisted of his looks painted in watercolors.

During this time, fashion was strictly regulated. The social rank specified the textiles and the styles which person was allowed to wear. Nevertheless, what was left to the ordinary burghers, who wanted to look stylish and modern as a noble?

Matthäus Schwarz was one of them and he found his way. For example, he wore fancy sleeves if a fancy hose was forbidden. More importantly, he was obsessed with fashion, spending almost all his income on clothes, creating wonderful looks. Let me show you some of them.
For example, here he is portrayed with his new employer. It is easy to distinguish them through their manner of dressing. Matthäus Schwarz, 19 years old on this watercolor, having obviously lower social rank than his employer, looks better and more fashionable than him. He looks almost if he were an aristocrat. However, only almost: he was careful not to break strict dressing law. It is also important how he presents himself. It is clear that he is very proud of his style, and clothes he is wearing make him feel comfortable, allowing him to be himself. I think, it is one of the main things that fashion can do: to reveal your true self, make you feel confident. It is not the clothes that make you look great and fashionable, it is the feeling you get from wearing them.
Now, a little gallery of looks from the book. I hope, it will amuse you, how little has changed through centuries.




If interested, you can download the book here:

Trachtenbuch des Matthaus Schwarz

Victoria Ventonni

Historian of Art&Fashion


Calvary of the Russian Autocracy by Pavel Ryzhenko

30.03.2017 — by Kris Kaem


I try to encourage people to think about their creativity – everyone must make a choice of himself, where he should go, in what direction. Pavel Ryzhenko

IMG_2988  This is a small hall that Imbued with big meaning. Walking around the room, you seem to be immersed in that era. Every picture is filled with Russian spirit, historian.
This exhibition is dedicated to that Russia, about which we began to forget.
The time is running out , periods is changing , but the past remains the past. Every canvas telling about how people are going through hard times of their country.

I invite people to look again at our ambiguous past, full of tragic events, in which the great spirit of our people has manifested in full.

Its too hard to realizing that moments , but it was. We must to know ! Because its our diary, diary of our mother Russia. Adhering to the traditions of the Russian school of historical painting, Pavel Ryzhenko recreates the most significant , the most tragic moments of our past.


The artist has a lot of small etudes with natural. All colors are very natural and close to reality. A lot of etudes he was drawing at the cottage . Where it was very difficult to drag him, because he worked a lot.

The graphic expressiveness of the historical paintings of Pavel Ryzhenko gives his work a special importance in the context of modern Russian history. All hIMG_2987is works reflect the reality of those events that took place on our Russian territory.

Since 1917, a whole century has passed, but before our people there is still the question of whether we will accept Tsarist Golgotha as the fulcrum that can chaIMG_2989nge us and our national history, or pass by, calming the conscience with a lot of false facts …

Will our historic “resurrection” come to pass through heartfelt repentance, or will all end in moral death? The way of St. Longinus or the Sanhedrin? The choice is ours.



The Medieval Variegation

07.12.2016 — by Victoria Ventonni


Nowadays more and more people are getting interested in medieval period of our history. One of the brightest example of that is The Game of Thrones, built on medieval history, its customs and, of course, costumes.

Interesting is, during Renaissance and Classicism, Middle Ages were despised, considered to be the dark time with the reign of people who destroyed the great Roman Empire. They used the term “gothic” to describe everything barbaric, as goths were one of the tribes that destroyed Rome. Middle Ages became popular in the beginning of 19th century, when evolving Romantics found its basis in medieval heritage, enriching it with mystics, fantasies and depth of the emotional experience of the soul.

Overall, Middle Ages is indeed very vivid and different time, when the world changed constantly. Exactly then nations, which we have now, were formed, as well as there have been laid a basis for our modern languages, even modern customs were determined. It was the time, when the nations found themselves, established their borders, languages, fashions and mentality, some countries were founded and some, even very powerful once, disappeared for good.

It was also the time of mysteries, as the church had a great influence on people, on their routine and thoughts. One of the most famous and mystical works is a series of six tapestries woven in Flanders from wool and silk, from designs drawn in Paris around 1500 called Lady with the Unicorn. The public attention was drawn to them by a well-known novelist George Sand, who saw them in 1844. All were woven in wool and silk, showing a richly dressed lady flanked by a lion on her right and a unicorn on her left both bearing a banner, with a mille fleurs (thousand flowers) background containing animals and birds. Five of them depict senses: taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth is called “À mon seul désir” (my only desire), and it is still unknown what it means.


” mon seul désir”

As a reaction to the cooling temperatures of the Little Ice Age, in 1500s clothes were usually voluminous and worn in several layers. In the tapestries, lady often shows us the different layers of clothing (forming the newly brought into the fashion the hourglass silhouette), all of them, however, of obviously very rich materials, including beautiful embroidery and wide use of jewels and gold. These times, clothes were seen as the mark of a status of a person, they were elaborated carefully in each detail, showing sometimes the craftsmanship of the woman of the house herself. You might read “The song of Nibelungs” (German epic poem), which is outstanding in showing medieval life, including this part of it.



The hair of the lady is always covered, as an opposite one was considered to be a mark of sin. Her headgears consist as well of rich fabrics and precious gems. Vivid and rich clothes, worn in multiple layers by the beautiful melancholic virgin lady (legend tells that only a virgin can tame a unicorn) with many real and fantastic animals and flowers around her, all of this enriched with allegorical meaning… Not surprisingly, they are provoking a mass interest, which forms many hypothesizes and tales about this piece.



These tapestries were mentioned a lot in books and movies, many people were charmed by their mystery, enriched with bright colors and excellent craftsmanship. Perhaps, almost everyone has seen the Harry Potter movies. At least, my generation rose on them. Have you ever noticed what hangs on the walls of the Gryffindor tower?


Eager to hear your questions and suggestions,

Victoria Ventonni

Historic of Art and Fashion


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