Turkish Woman with Slave, late 18th centuryJean-Etienne Liotard© Musée d'art et d'histoire, Ville de Genève
Turkish Woman with Slave, late 18th century
Jean-Etienne Liotard
© Musée d'art et d'histoire, Ville de Genève

East Meets West

The Rise of the Chopine

Throughout history, people all over the world have sought to elevate themselves using footwear. In Europe, chopines from the 16th and 17th centuries stand out as the most extravagant examples of early elevating shoes.

Thought to have been inspired by exotic footwear from distant lands, these impractical platforms were first embraced by the courtesans of Venice. Before long, fashionable women of wealth throughout Europe were seen struggling to walk in chopines while supported by servants or chivalrous men.
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