This website contains information on high platform shoes which were popularly worn in Venice by both courtesans and patrician women from ca. 1400-1700. The idea for this project stemmed from an initial analysis of a pair of chopines held at The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada. The pair of shoes led to many questions about the social climate of Venice, the origin of the shoe style, their connections with Chinese culture, why the shoes were fashionable in Venice, and what fashion meant for women in the West at this time. Conclusions will eventually be drawn on this site about similarities and differences between Venetian and Chinese women, and between the two types of women who wore these shoes in Venice, courtesans and aristocrats.
photo of 15th c. chopine held at the Civiche Raccolte di Arte Applicata (Milano)
photo of 16th c. chopine held at the Brooklyn Museum (New York)
Elizabeth Louise Bernhardt
Graduate Department of History
100 Saint George Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Earth
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special thanks to Claire Smith, Andrew White, and Sonja Hyde for help with the creation of this site!!!