Long before fashion bloggers started building their careers by publishing outfits on the blog, German accountant documented his own clothes for 40 years in the 16th century and presented his daily combinations through watercolor portraits, leaving us the most unusual record of the Renaissance style in his Trachtenbuch (literally: Book of clothes).
Matthaus was born in Augsburg in 1497 and began to mark his tailor successes and failures when he was 23 years old. The collection of 137 miniature paintings (including 36 he drew per remembrance of outfits from the early days) is currently in Branswick, in northern Germany.
These pictures are very unusual for the period in which they were made. This type of portraits mostly had only the members of an elite society – kings and princes – so it’s amazing that we have a portrait of some ‘ordinary’ citizen from the Middle Ages.
Each image contains a title and description, and the occasion for which he wore that clothes: weddings, funerals, social events, work, hobbies, and even during his various diseases (including stroke).
The book will be published on October 20, and you can pre-order it for $46.