SIA: Lace designs by Isabella Catanea Parasole

It’s time for another Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! This go-round, it’s my time to curate, and I started out exploring women artists in the Wikimedia Web Gallery of Art. That’s where I came across Isabella Catanea Parasole (1565-1625), and Italian lace designer and wood carver. She was the first lace designer to create a lace instruction manual for women, a manual called Il Teatro delle nobili et virtuose donne. (She published the manual under the name Elisabetta Catanea Parasole.) She was such a prominent artist that when she married printmaker Leonardo Norsini, he took her last name!

The inspiration:

Here are samples from her lace design manual:

Lace design sheet, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

Lace design sheet, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

Lace design closeup, Isabella Catanea Parasole

Lace design closeup, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

There’s not much known (or rather, remembered?) about her today, unfortunately, but there’s a brief bio and samples of her work here, plus many more pics of her lace instruction manual here at the Met website.

Lace design sheet, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

Lace design sheet, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

What I love most is how MODERN her lace designs look today, especially with the wood-carvings being dark and the open bits of the lace design white. (She pioneered that style of wood-carving for lace design.) Just stunningly beautiful and so striking.

I don’t have much lace in my wardrobe, so I really don’t know where I’ll go with this or where I’ll end up. You could go with lace, or you could also go with polka dots (like from the top design sheet), or geometric designs, or even just go for a black-and-white color combo.

How to participate in the SIA challenge

Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome to participate! Just send a pic of an outfit inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to me at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by 10 p.m. PST next Monday, Jan. 30th. I will then post the SIA round-up on my blog on Tuesday, Jan. 31st.

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7 thoughts on “SIA: Lace designs by Isabella Catanea Parasole

      1. Mike

        It’s okay Jen. I know you’re quite busy. 🙂 I always appreciate you taking the time to reply to responses.
        And I agree. It was a terrific round-up!

        Reply

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