In Ingres’s 1856 portrait, Madame Moitessier wears a fashionable off-the-shoulder dress with a bertha collar trimmed with tassels. The evening dress reflects her elegant taste and features the essential elements of 1850s fashion–from its floral silk brocade fabric to its Renaissance-revival jewelry.
Jacques-Louis David painted famed scientist, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, and his wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, in 1788. This dual portrait was commissioned by Lavoisier and is executed in the neoclassical naturalism for which David is best known. Both are dressed in the latest fashions, embracing simplicity (in Paulze’s case) and somber restraint (in Lavoisier’s).
Vigée Le Brun’s infamous portrait of Marie Antoinette embodies the tension between fashion and politics in 18th-century France.
This portrait of Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliott (1754?-1823) by English portraitist Thomas Gainsborough was commissioned by Mrs. Elliott’s lover, the Earl of Cholmondeley. First exhibited at Royal Academy, London in 1778, the composition and treatment are reminiscent of Van Dyck.
Raimundo Madrazo often played with historical dress and aesthetics in his paintings. Masqueraders offers a luxurious look at late 1870s fancy dress, and later paintings of the woman’s costume give insight into the change in fashion.
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.
Two decades after premiering his most scandalous painting, Madame X, John Singer Sargent unveiled a portrait of another woman known for her unworldly beauty and charm – Lady Helen Vincent, Viscountess D’Abernon.
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.
Lady Meux relied on Whistler’s careful hand and international regard when crafting a new image for herself as an elegant woman who belonged to the elite class into which she had recently married.
The Genoese Noblewoman (1625-1627) painted by Anthony Van Dyck reflects dress trends of the early 17th century, particularly in the region of Genoa, such as rich silks ornamented with metallic lace, starched ruffs and the deep “V” shaped bodice.
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