The fashion of Matthaeus Schwarz

Matthaeus Schwarz was a 16th century accountant - but an accountant with fashion sense. For over 40 years, the Augsburg, Germany resident commissioned watercolor paintings of himself, documenting his wardrobe and accessories, and revealing as much about his personality and ambition as his clothing choices. (photos and video)

"The book changes our sense of looking at the past," said Ulinka Rublack, author of Dressing Up: Cultural identity in Renaissance Europe. "It shows that fashion cannot be considered a modern phenomenon and spread down from the top social elites as early as the Renaissance."

Schwarz's book chronicles his closet from age 23 until age 67, and includes two nude paintings, showing his body proportions. The book is in the collection of the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig.

A short video shows how an outfit was put on and worn.