Saturday, 17 November 2012

A few 18th century paintings of interest

Here's a little collection of 18th century paintings that depicts clothes that are a bit unusual and interesting. First of is this wonderful portrait. Isn't it amazing? An old woman portrayed with dignity and beauty. I also find her cap interesting. I can't recall any other 18th century portrait with such a peak down the forehead.

Portrait of An Old Woman
by Balthasar Denner (or possibly Christian Seybold),
probably the first half of the 18th century

Plaid isn't all that common on 18th century portraits, but they crop up from time to time. I really like the kitchen maid's plaid apron, but her spotted caracao even more. Not to mention the colour combination. I think I need this outfit!

Plucking the Turkey by Henry Walton, 1776

This girl was a member of the Moravian church. Click on the link for more paintings of Moravian women, they have a rather distinct front-laced bodice that you can't see here because of the neckerchief. This girl is the only one in plaid, though.

Young Moravian Girl
by Johann Valentin Haidt , painted before 1780


A Scottish lady of a Jacobite inclination, so her choice of fabric for her riding habit is not so surprising.

Portrait of a Jacobite Lady
by Cosmo Alexander, 1745-50s

This fabric in her brunswick is just gorgeous! I wouldn't mind getting my mitts on something like that.

Princess Frederika Sophia Wilhelmina of Orange by Johann Georg Ziesenis, 1768-69
After plaids it feels natural to progress to stripes.


Maria Luisa de Parma, later Queen of Spain by Laurent Pecheux, 1765

A very clever use of the fabric here, I think.

Infanta Maria Josefa de Borbon by Giusseppe Bonito, 1758-59
 And last of fabric patterns; flowers. Foliage crazy, anyone?

Victoire of France by Jean-Marc Nattier, mid-18th century
I scanned this picture several years ago from a book and I'm sorry that the quality is so bad. I have never seen this kind of buttoned shirt on an 18th century woman anywhere else. The painting belong to Nationalmuseum in Sweden, but the catalouge entry is without picture.


Brita Christina Appelbom by Georg Desmarées, painted before 1757
This is clearly a regional costume, Strasbourg to be exact. The hat is truly in a category in itself and the stays are interesting in itself.

La Belle Strasbourgeoise by Nicolas de Largillière, 1703

Does anyone know anything more about this rather curious layering? To me it looks like a chemise, probably stays, a (padded?) jacket with another jacket, or gown, laced over it. I think it is pretty and it ought to add warmth. I know I have seen more paintings than the two here and I think all have been French. Seems to me to be a bit too practical to be just an artist's imaginatiopn so I am apt to think it was an actual fashion, but perhaps a rather regional one.

Portrait of Mlle Lavergne, the niece of the artist
 by Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1746
Portrait of a young lady with a courtly letter in hand
by Jean-Baptiste Mallet
This one is interesting just because ot the complete dissarray of hair and clothes. Especially the hair as it gives a glimpse on how hair was arranged.

The Broken Mirror by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1763

There are several extant examples of stays with tie-on sleeves. Here is a somewhat rarer example on them in a painting.

Detail from Women Working on Pillow Lace by Giacomo Ceruti, 1720s

3 comments:

thepragmaticcostumer said...

Wonderful collection! I love finding unusual historical examples. There is so much variety! I especially love the lace-fronted bodices. The laces were threaded through eyelet loops or decorative metal hooks, like on this example: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/C.I.39.13.211

A traveller in time said...

Absolutely love this post. And that first picture is just amazing. It gets promoted to my favourite portraits list immediately.
Thankyou!

Isis said...

Pragmatic Costumer: I agree, I love finding new pictures!

A traveller in time: Glad you enjoyed them!

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