Author: Rose Chiarello

1888 – William Merritt Chase, Lady in Black

William Merritt Chase captures the style and youth of his art student, Mariette Benedict Cotton, in this portrait. She wears a black day dress made in the traditional bustle silhouette of the period with puffed sleeves that were rising in popularity at the time. Chase’s use of light adds depth to the piece, emphasizing folds in the fabric and the glittering of Cotton’s eyes and jewelry.

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1876

1876 was a year that abided by the rule of “more is more”, as the most fashionable styles at the time included dramatic bustle silhouettes, combinations of multiple fabrics on a single garment, and extravagant trimmings.

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