Monday, June 8, 2015

Bulls and Beards

The trend in the Renaissance was toward dignity, and what could be more dignified than a beard?

Clive Owen, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Early styles were broad and square, à la Henry VIII, but as the sixteenth century progressed, a whole range of styles cropped up: the tiny, pointed Spanish beard; the pencil beard, nothing but tuft; the stiletto beard, a razored strip; the cathedral beard, an august mass of fluff; the spade beard; the fetching, double-pronged swallow's tail beard.

Ben Affleck, Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Colin Firth, Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Beards were powdered, waxed, and perfumed -- and, in a compliment to russet-haired Queen Elizabeth I, even dyed red. To preserve their hairy treasure overnight, men tied cloth bags around their beards or kept them clamped in iron presses.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger


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