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Isabelle de Borchgrave

We're back from our Scandinavian trip, and have loads of work to catch up with,
but we wanted to show you this amazing exhibit at the Kalmar castle in Sweden.

Kalmar Castle, Sweden

The castle is currently hosting Isabelle de Borchgrave's "Medici's Fashion" -
an art exhibit made entirely out of ordinary paper. 

Medici's Fashion art exhibit
"Welcome to a magical world of paper!"

It's a world renowned exhibit in paper, inspired by the Italian renaissance
most famous family - the Medici's from Florence.
Welcome to a world of extravagance, pomp, and magnificent creations!

Medici family
Lorenzo "the Magnificent" de Medici (1 Jan 1441 - 8 April 1492)

The Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave has created a
renaissance collection made entirely out of paper.

Medici's Fashion at Kalmar castle

Isabelle had a team of 24 seamstresses helping her make the collection.
It took them about 3 months to make each Medici member's outfit.

Anna Maria Luisa de Medici
Anna Maria Luisa de Medici (11 Aug 1667 – 18 Feb 1743)

Above is Borchgrave's rendition of Anna Maria Luisa,
she was the last lineal descent of the House of Medici.
A patron of the arts, she bequeathed the Medici's large art collection,
and her Palatine treasures to the Tuscan state (Italy).

Detail of paper dress
Jewels, lace, shoes, clothing, hair and mannequins - all of paper.

The costumes are elaborate, richly jeweled and with sumptuous shapes,
strong colors, lace and flounce. Really fabulous and impressive!

the Medici's

The Medici family's dramatical history comes to life through
Isabelle de Borchgrave's amazing paper creations.

Maria Maddalena of Austria
Maria Maddalena of Austria (7 Oct 1589 – 1 Nov 1631)

Maria Maddalena, archduchess, was the wife of Cosimo II de Medici -
the Grand Prince of Tuscany. They had eight children together.

an archduchess costume
The beautiful costume of an archduchess in the 1600's.

Seeing Isabelle de Borchgrave's paper creations in person and up close is 
absolutely fantastic! The details and colors are stunning!

fabulous paper creations by Isabelle de Borchgrave

Gold fleur-de-lis designs on a midnight blue renaissance dress.

Sumptuous renaissance costumes

Trompe l’oeil - visual illusion in art, a painting or design
intended to create the illusion of a three-dimensional object.
Isabelle de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper.
Painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces
of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting
or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world.

Eleanor of Toledo
Eleanor of Toledo (1522 – 17 Dec 1562)

Eleanor of Toledo was the wife of Cosimo I de Medici.
Born in Spain, Duchess of Florence and the Grand Duchess of Tuscany.
Eleanor and Cosimo had eleven children together.

Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X (11 Dec 1475 – 1 Dec 1521)

Pope Leo X was born Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici.
He was pope from 1513 until his death 8 years later.
He borrowed and spent heavily and was a significant patron of the arts. 
Upon election Leo is alleged to have said; 
"Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it".

Marie de Medici

Marie de Medici (26 April 1575 – 3 July 1642)

Marie de Medici was Queen of France as the second wife of 
King Henry IV of France (of the House of Bourbon).

renaissance paper costumes
Top left: Isabella de Medici. Bottom left: Cosimo I de Medici.

The Medici family, also known as the House of Medici,
first attained wealth and political power in Florence in the 13th century
through its success in commerce and banking.
Beginning in 1434 with the rise to power of Cosimo I de Medici,
the family’s support of the arts and humanities made Florence
into the center and heart of the Renaissance.
The Medici's produced four popes (Leo X, Clement VII, Pius IV and Leon XI),
and their genes have been mixed into many of Europe’s royal families.
The last Medici ruler died without a male heir in 1737,
ending the family dynasty after almost three centuries.

Isabelle de Borchgrave
An image of Isabelle de Borchgrave in the "Feel the Paper" section of the exhibit.

Isabelle de Borchgrave is a Belgian artist and sculptor, born in 1946.
She is a Countess born in Brussels. In 1975 she married 
Count Werner de Borchgrave d'Altena. They have two children together.
Isabelle dreamed up the concept of paper costumes after a visit
to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1994.

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