Please forward this error screen to web-wb-11. Probable self-portrait by Jan van Eyck, 1433. Western Europe in the Middle Ages. The LE PETIT CHAPERON ROUGE PDF form of chaperon, worn with the hood pulled back off the head.
Many were shorter than this example. Léal Souvenir by Jan van Eyck, 1432. A relatively simple wool chaperon, with bourrelet, and cornette hanging forward. The chaperon began before 1200 as a hood with a short cape, put on by pulling over the head, or fastening at the front. The hood could be pulled off the head to hang behind, leaving the short cape round the neck and shoulders. The edge of the cape was often trimmed, cut or scalloped for decorative effect.
There were wool ones, used in cold weather, and lighter ones for summer. The tail of the hood, often quite long, was called the tippit or liripipe in English, and liripipe or cornette in French. The cape element was a patte in French and in English cape, or sometimes cockscomb when fancily cut. But the word never appears in the Paston Letters, where there are many references to hats, hoods and bonnets for men. Little Red Riding Hood is Le Petit Chaperon rouge in the earliest published version, by Charles Perrault, and French depictions of the story naturally favour the chaperon over the long riding-hood of ones in English.
In French chaperon was also the term in falconry for the hood placed over a hawk’s head when held on the hand to stop it wanting to fly away. Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy after Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1450, has an unusually large bourrelet, surely hollow, worn in style D. This left the cornette tail and the cape or patte, hanging loose from the top of the head.
This became fashionable, and chaperons began to be made to be worn in this style. 1430s it was usually straight at the sides and square-ended. Especially in Italy, the cornette was sometimes dispensed with, leaving just an un-flared tubular patte fixed to the bourrelet all round and hanging down to one side of the head. By the 1430s most chaperons had become simpler in the treatment of the cloth, and the cornette is long and plain, although the patte may still be elaborately treated with dagging. The amount of cloth involved had become considerable, and although chaperons seem to have normally been of a single colour at this period, a silk or damask one would have been a conspicuous sign of affluence. This was suitable for cold or windy weather, especially when riding.
Which came forward and which went back varies considerably, but more often the bourrelet went behind. Possibly the chaperon was secured to the shoulder, as the assemblage often looks rather precarious. Examples of these styles are shown in the illustrations to the article and in the Gallery section below. The only surviving manuscript miniature by Rogier van der Weyden shows Philip the Good wearing a chaperon in style B.
Chaperons were used in France and Burgundy to denote, by their colour, allegiance to a political faction. The factions themselves were also sometimes known as chaperons. The chaperon was one of the items of male clothing that featured in the charges brought against Joan of Arc at her trial in 1431. An advisor to the Medici told them in 1516 that they should get as many young men to wear « the courtier’s cap » rather than the cappucci. Above: A mazzocchio, perhaps worn by himself, in the Louvre portion of The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, c.