This important painting of a Black Haitian deputy, once enslaved, commemorates his participation in the assembly that abolished slavery in France in 1794. He wears the tricolored uniform of a deputy of the French National Convention and only his gold earring speaks to his Colonial ties.
Diego Bemba’s 1643 portrait, along with those of Pedro Sunda and Miguel de Castro, represents an early example of cultural exchange in which African ambassadors donning European costume in order to project a carefully curated image of cultural capital.
The young man in this portrait, dressed in formal French aristocratic style, represents the final flourish (or last gasp?) of the ancien régime in the last years before the French Revolution.
The high-waisted neoclassical silhouette continued to define womenswear of the 1810s, as fashion remained inspired by classical antiquity. However, the purity of the line was increasingly broken by trim, colors, and a new angularity as tubular skirts were gradually replaced by triangular ones by the end of the decade. Menswear was led by British tailors, as a perfect fit was paramount. World events such as the Napoleonic Wars played a large role in shaping fashion of the period.
The Balcony is one Édouard Manet’s most popular paintings, but when it debuted it was the subject of much controversy. It is a study in contrasts: shadow and light, color, and types of fashionable dress in the late 1860s.
Fashion of the 1850s for both men and women was in a colorful, exuberant style with luxurious fabrics and relaxed cuts. Technological innovation had a large impact on clothing in this period, from the invention of the cage crinoline to the increasing availability of the sewing machine.
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.
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