• artwork analysis
  • garment analysis

1873 – Édouard Manet, The Railway

Édouard Manet's Railway depicts modern life in Paris during 1873; he chose to feature his favorite model, Victorine Meurent, assessing the viewer in a simple navy blue twill dress--book in hand and puppy in lap. She is seated alongside a little girl clad in a white springtime dress with an oversized blue sash whose back is turned to the viewer as she's observing the Gare Saint-Lazare on a warm day.

  • film analysis
  • thematic essays
  • year overview

The Red Craze

This essay investigates how the color red was perceived and produced through the centuries in Europe. After an analysis of the various dyeing techniques, it focuses on the evolution of the value attributed to red in fashion and in society and the consequent changes made in the market.

1855

Women’s fashion was ornate above all else in 1855, with the hoop skirt reigning prominently in conjunction with brightly colored silks and satins accessorized with all varieties of tasteful trimmings.

  • ancient
  • early Middle Ages
  • 14th century
  • 15th century
  • 16th century
  • 17th century
  • 18th century
  • 19th century
  • 20th century
  • 21st century

1866 – Auguste Toulmouche, The Hesitant Fiancée

In The Hesitant Fiancée, Auguste Toulmouche steps away from his usual depiction of beautiful yet idle women Emile Zola described as "Toulmouche's delicious dolls." He refines his style by painting a more complex subject--one of an arranged marriage that the bride clearly rebels against, as evidenced by the subject's direct gaze. Despite the shift of the subject matter, Toulmouche keeps to his standard of painting lavish gowns and luxurious backdrops.