Friday, 21 September 2012

Variations of a theme, recurring masquerade costumes

Look at enough paintings and you will find that some costumes return again and again. Like the charming Harlequina in her patchwork clothes.

Minuet by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo 1758

Portrait of a lady. Circle of Antoine Pesne 
Of course, they may be paintings of the actual play. Still, it is easy to see how the costumes would work very well for a masque as well.
Hester Booth in stage costume, ca. 1722-1725
Pierrot and Harlequinby Philipe Mercier

Arlecchino und Colombina - Giovanni Domenico Ferretti

Costume design, Schwarzenberg Collection of Theatrical Items and Repertoire

This jacket may or may not be a masquerade costume, it is catalouged merely as a jacket, but it doesn't seem unlikely, don't you think?
Patchwork jacket in silk, 1770-1790, Nordiska museet, Sweden
And these charming figurines are a great inspiration!

Meissen porcelain Harlequine figure

Harlequina by Franz Anton Bustelli ca. 1763

Harlequine by Franz Anton Bustelli, ca. 1760

A black costume with red/pink details, slashed sleeves and, often, a little cape can be seen on several portraits. I am sure they are meant to portray something specific, but I don't know what. It is very pretty, though.

Countess Anna Elisabeth von der Schulenburg-Beetzendorf by Antoine Pesne. As the Countess only lived 1720-1741, the painting must be from late 1730s-1741
I commented on the tricorne hat in yesterday's post, but as there is another one below, I just had to do it again.

Henriette Sophie Christine von Lüderitzby Christian Friedrich Reinhold Lisiewski
Another one of unknown origin. Sorry!
By Dmitrij Levitskij

Lady in Waiting in the court of King Frederick II by Antoine Pesne

I'm not really sure if these are masquerade costumes or just meant so be allergorical or just something romantic for a painting, but they are not ordinary fashion and quite interesting as well. Especially if you consider that these three span over at least 50 years and three different artists.

1731 Unknown lady by John Vanderbank, 1731 and Charlotte, Lady Milnes by George Romney, 1788-1792

Lady Margaret Oxenden by Joseph Wright of Derby, ca. 1760

Portrait of unknown lady as Diana by Pompeo Batoni, 1776.
Lady so and so as Diana are perhaps more allegorical than anything else and very popular. Nattier for example, seems to have really liked to paint ladies with a bow.
Madame de Pompadour as Diana by Jean-Marc Nattier, 1752

Madame Bouret as Diana by Jean-Marc Nattier, 1745

Charlotte Du Rietz af Hedensberg by Jakob Björck
Madame de Maison Rouge as Diana by Jean Marc Nattier, 1756

However, if you consider that one evidently could go as a "Wild man" on a costume ball in the 1770's, then I'm sure you could go, dressed rather similary, as Diana.

I have a feeling that these three are really dance costumes and being painted by the same artist may very well be the reason that they look a bit similar. They are really lovely, though.

By Dmitrij Levitskij
By Dmitrij Levitskij

By Dmitrij Levitskij

Pictures found at:


Helen said...

What an awesome post! I just stumbled upon your blog & think these are wonderful. Thank-you for sharing your collection. I did a quick search of the mysterious "hard drive lady in black" and was pleased to link it to a French artist, Antoine Pesne (1683-1757). The subject of the portrait is
Anna Elisabeth von der Shulenburg-Beetzendorf. I was unable to locate where the portrait is currently housed, but that gives us at least a bit more information about it. I hope that helps someone else.

Isis said...

Helen: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Thank you for finding her! I tried to search, but I didn't manage to dig her up. And armed with the artist I could do a better search at Nationalmuseum and the painting is there, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Kendra said...

Thanks for this post! I had so much fun wearing my 1938 Marie Antoinette dress, that it's inspired me to look at 18th c. fancy dress for ideas.

And, the 3 ladies in black, including 1731 Unknown lady by John Vanderbank, 1731 and Charlotte, Lady Milnes by George Romney, 1788-1792 -- are all masquerade versions of a painting of Rembrandt's wife from the 17th c.

Isis said...

Kendra: Thank you! This painting, perhaps?

I love masquerade costumes- percent-wise, masquearde clothes have the highest when it comes to my 18th century clothes...

Rhissanna said...

I love the costumes in black with a coral-red. What a really glorious colour combination, and so right for Autumn. You do curate the most wonderful pictures, Isis. Thank you!

Isis said...

Rhisanna: Thank you! Actually, one of the very first 18th century costumes I ever made was that one! Only I used red for a reason I can't recall now (it was 11 years ago):

I had a very limited budget then, so the fabric wasn't the most suitable. One day I'd like to make a better one!

Rhissanna said...

Oh! Thank you for the link. What a lovely robe!

Isis said...

Rhissana: How sweet of you to say so!

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