Though he stands in the shadows, Mr. I. N. Phelps Stokes’ suit sheds light on significant developments occurring in menswear at the end of the nineteenth century.
In this lively portrait of Carmencita, William Merritt Chase suggests the audience’s enthusiasm for her dancing by including a gold bracelet and flowers tossed at her feet. The celebrated dancer was painted by many other artists—usually wearing an extravagant dance costume—but none captured her exuberance quite like Chase did in this portrait.
Faustina appears to be the ideal woman of 1899 as her dress includes all of the most fashionable evening wear details, like short puffed sleeves, lace details, and a curvaceous silhouette. She embodies beauty and grace as the artist captures her during a private moment of reflection in her extravagant home.
John Singer Sargent’s Miss Elsie Palmer is an intriguing portrait of a young upper class girl who finds herself in a dichotomy of childhood and womanhood as well as mainstream fashionably and dress reform. Her dress rejects most common conventions of fashion in the late 1880s and early 1890s that brings to light a style that is unique and quite her own.
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