The 16th century cook and his attire

Everything started with me searching different depictions of the female apron during the 16th century. And it ended up with me finding a lot of depictions of 16th century male cooks. Why not collect these, I realized.

On these depictions we see that there is a fashionable difference between an apron for a male or a female. The male apron seem to be extremely simple – just a squared piece of linnen fastened with a knot, and quite short.

I also would like you to note that quite a few of the depictions of our culinary artists portray them with fashionable clothes – it is slashed and well fitting, many with the hypermodern “kuhmaulschuhe”, the cow mouth shoe. I would like to point out that these cooks are most probably some sort of court cooks, or working for lords with a more lavish taste in food.

Also we see quite a few not only stylish, but also hygienic, hair nets and hair gears on our male chefs.

The Cook and His Wife Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)

The Cook and His Wife Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)

"Kuechenmeisterei" by Peter Wagner, Nuremberg, 1486.

German Cookbook “Kuchenmeistery”, 1485

German Cookbook "Kuchenmeistery" 1485

German Cookbook “Kuchenmeistery”, 1485

"Das Buch Granatapfel im Latin Genant Malogranatus", 1510, Hans Burgkmair I.

“Das Buch Granatapfel im Latin Genant Malogranatus”, 1510, Hans Burgkmair I.

"Der Weisskunig" (The White King Learning to Conduct a Kitchen), 1514-1516, Burgkmair d. Ä.

“Der Weisskunig” (The White King Learning to Conduct a Kitchen), 1514-1516, Burgkmair d. Ä.

From a german manuscript namned "Frau untreue (Untrue woman). Artist unknown. Made first half of 16th century. 320 [118v] - Frau Untreue

From a german manuscript namned “Frau untreue” (Untrue woman). Artist unknown. Made first half of 16th century.

Die Hausbucher der Nurnberger Zwolfbruderstiftungen 1527

“Die Hausbucher der Nurnberger Zwolfbruderstiftungen”, 1527

MEDIEVAL-KITCHEN

Unknown artist and date

"Zeltlager Kaiser Karls V. vor Lauingen", 1546.

“Zeltlager Kaiser Karls V. vor Lauingen”, 1546.

 

Interior of an Italian kitchen, after woodcut in 'Banchetti compositioni di Vivende' by Christoforo di Messisburgo, published 1549

Interior of an Italian kitchen, after woodcut in ‘Banchetti compositioni di Vivende’ by Christoforo di Messisburgo, published 1549

cook

“The chief”, woodcut by Jost Amman, in the cookbook “Ein new Kochbuch” by Marx Rupolt, 1581.

Marx Rumpolt, Ein new Kochbuch, 1581.

From the the cookbook “Ein new Kochbuch” by Marx Rupolt, 1581.

Bartolomeo Scappi Trattato di cucina 1570

Unknown artist and date

Bartolomeo Scappi Trattato di cucina 1570 kitchen

Unknown artist and date

 

Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592) Baker Preparing Pies

“Baker Preparing Pies”. by Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592)

I will end this little entry with a far older picture – it seems the manly square apron have been in fashion for quite some time:

Psalter. Flemish c. 1320-30.

Psalter. Flemish c. 1320-30.

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Horror & gore! Hidden killers in early modern times

Its Recommend a Documentary time again!

This time it a sneak peak into the everyday lives of the tudor homes, and secret hidden dangers that effected the normal lives of people.

HEEMSKERCK, Maerten van Family Portrait c. 1530.

“Family Portrait” by Maerten van Heemskerck c. 1530.

The beautiful Dr Suzannah Lipscomb with BBC 4 takes us back to early modern times in search of the household killers of the era in the documentary series “Hidden killers“:

“It was a great age of exploration and science where adventurers returned from the New World with exotic goods previously unknown in Europe. An era in which the newly emergent middle classes had, for the first time, money for luxuries and early consumer goods, many of which contained hidden dangers.

The period also saw a radical evolution in the very idea of ‘home’. For the likes of Tudor merchants, their houses became multi-room structures instead of the single-room habitations that had been the norm (aristocracy excepted). This forced the homebuilders of the day to engineer radical new design solutions and technologies, some of which were lethal.”

I can tell you that there are some surprising finds that truly entertained and horrified me in this documentary. Like why drowning was a common reason of death for young women at the time. Or why teeth hygien suddenly horribly declined during the Tudor period.

I highly recommend it!

Suggested reading: “Tudor dining: a guide to food and status in the 16th century”

lordcobhamandfamily

LORD COBHAM AND HIS FAMILY DINING C. 1567

A interesting little article about eating habits in the 16th century England, that might interest – it covers dining, social structures around food, cutlery used, popular food, and off course the social rules around dining:
In Tudor England, maintaining the difference between ranks was so important to the concept of a well-ordered society that efforts were made to enshrine the distinctions between the classes in ‘sumptuary’ laws. These laws tried to control what you ate and wore, according to your position in the God-given hierarchy, which stretched from the king at the top, down through the numerous grades of nobility and clergy, to the gentry, yeomen and finally the labourers at the bottom of the heap.

To read this charming tidbit, click on this link: http://www.historyextra.com/feature/tudors/tudor-dining-guide-food-and-status-16th-century