Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thinking about Two Paintings

Two paintings from my last post - I have no real conclusions on them, but I find that writing as though I'm talking to someone else sometimes helps me understand things.

Mrs. Bryan Cooke, George Romney, 1787-1791

- Amadis sleeves
- Heavyish muslin used
- Double ruffle around the neckline recalls the original construction of the chemise gown (which I should really have done a post on)
- Kerchief tucked into the neckline
- Some gathering in the front, but the back seems to be fitted
- Round waistline, at or the slightest bit higher than the natural waist


Comtesse de la Châtre, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1789

- Amadis sleeves again!  More shaped than the last ones, I think, but Mrs. Cooke's painting is brushier and it could just be about that
- Kerchief is on the outside
- Muslin embroidered with white spots?
- Open robe over a matching petticoat
- Slightly low-waisted
- And the most confusing thing: the waistline of the dress itself is a little high, you can see it above the sash.  I don't understand it at all.  A countess wouldn't have a dress made in a style she didn't want to wear.  No idea, no idea at all.


And looking at these - there's a third painting I should take into account:

Portrait of Madame Emilie Seriziat and her Son, Jacques-Louis David, 1795

- Long, shaped sleeves without the ruffle
- No ruffles at all, much cleaner
- Very solid cotton fabric
- Bib-front opening
- Round gown
- Kerchief worn inside neckline, less voluminous

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