Luisa is the Innkeeper who opens the play. She is a very proud
widow of a Portuguese soldier. While very strict in terms
of the standards of cleanliness she also has some of the funniest lines
in the play. She is a very passionate, self-controlled woman who
hates the Spanish governor she is forced to serve. The costume
needed to reflect her strict self-control, her social class (upper
middle class) and yet convey her passion and earthiness.
Historical Model /Inspiration
The painting "Christ
in the house of Martha and Mary" by Diego Velazquez served as both
a model and an inspiration for this costume. Although the
painting was done over two decades after the time of the play the
simple doublet and the coloring of the young woman in Velazquez'
painting seemed to depict Luisa's basic personality of coping with
prolonged grief and stress through action. The final costume
promoted her from the kitchen to the Innkeeper with the addition of an
appropriate period hat, collar and cuffs.