Thursday, May 30, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 41e Cahier (bis), 1ere Figure


Négligé of a young Lady of quality, her gown is a type of chemise of thin silk stuff, round gauze cap, frilled kerchief and apron of muslin.  The child is dressed in a frock coat over his matelot. (1784)

"In the tenderest infancy, one inculcates, so to speak, women's love for vanity and lightness!  Everyone contributes to this: the papa, the mama, the nursemaid, and family friends; the dancing master who educates the young girl has precedence over the reading master, who must inspire in her the fear of God and love of her future duties.  The marchande des modes and the seamstress are beings whose importance she will evaluate before hearing of the existence of the shape which nourishes her and of the weaver who dresses her ...

"We deign to regard with reflection these marionettes that are seen in our promenades, to prelude with silliness the errors of the rest of their lives.  The little gentleman, in a cloth suit, and the little lady, coiffed in the manner of the great ladies, copying, under the auspices of a stupid nursemaid, the originals that they will be one day.  All the grimaces and the affectation of the petit maître are gathered together in the little gentleman.  He is applauded, caressed, admired in proportion to the contortions he makes.  The little lady receives a compliment for each simper which she advises herself to make and if her precocious address give her some power over the little husband, it augurs, with a stupid surprise, the interesting role that she will play in Society."

Sébastien MERCIER, Tableau de Paris, 1783



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