Strój i grzech — w świetle barokowych egzemplów

Renata Ryba


The essay discusses the process of formulating negative opinions on women’s clothing by baroque moralist writers (mainly priests and preachers), such as Bazyli Rychlewicz, Antoni Węgrzynowicz and Piotr Kwiatkowski. These authors eagerly expressed their views on fashion by means of an exemplum, a genre attractive from a didactical point of view.
According to religious criteria, decking oneself out was perceived as belonging to the realm of sin. Writers connected with the Church regarded sumptuous dresses as the eff ect (and also the cause) of such deadly sins as pride, envy or lust. The authors of exempla sought for artistic ideas, and above all, moral guidelines, in the Bible. The analyzed texts are characterized by a farreaching severity towards various fashion phenomena. In the eyes of baroque moralists, the ‘sin of fashion’ deserved punishment: suff ering and illnesses in the earthly life and eternal damnation after death.

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