March 01, 2022

Impudent Foppishness

Impudent Foppishness
“Nikita Pustosviat Disputing with Patriarch Joachim on the Confession of Faith.” Vasily Perov (1880).

In the 1720s, Tsar Peter I issued a decree with the following admonition:

It has come to our attention that on Nevsky Prospect and at assemblies [balls], the MINOR CHILDREN of in some way eminent fathers – dukes, counts, and barons – in violation of etiquette and the dictates of style have been with great impudence and foppishly flaunting Shpanish pantaloons and doublets:

The SAINT PETERSBURG Chief of Police IS COMMANDED: to apprehend any such fops with utmost fervor, take them to the foundry district, and beat them with cudgels until the exceedingly indecent appearance of Shpanish pantaloons and doublets is no more. No regard shall be paid to the rank and eminence of the fathers, nor shall attention be paid to the wails of the punished.

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