Period fashion dolls model renaissance clothes

In an article for Renaissance Quarterly, "Living Dolls: François Ier Dresses His Women," Yassana C. Croizat of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University looks at the practice of wealthy patrons during the Renaissance to use fashion dolls to study costumes.

The abstract from the article:

"In addition to portraits and diplomatic reports, Renaissance courts relied on fashion dolls to acquaint themselves with foreign dress. Unfortunately, literature on this subject is scarce and often disappointing. Overlooked by doll historians, a letter written by Federico Gonzaga (1500–40) in 1515 reveals that François Ier (1494–1547) requested a fashion doll from Isabella d'Este (1474–1539). After examining this document within the context of what is currently known about Renaissance fashion dolls, this essay explores what François Ier's interest in these objects suggests about his personality and his relationship to the women of his court."