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Self-Portrait by Vigée-Lebrun, 1793
A gorgeous selfie by V-L, as usual - though it doesn’t look much like her! I adore the double ribbon closure around the neck of her chemise à la reine.
Marie-Antoinette by Vigée-Lebrun (of course), 1788
Le reine de mode! J’adore le bordure de fourrure.
Marie Antoinette en Chemise by Madame Vigée-Le Brun, 1783
My art history professor claims that Jacques-Louis David is responsible for the shift in fashion from the ornate, structured eighteenth century garments to classically-inspired, columnal gowns of the Regency period - but I, however, credit this woman right here. I daresay a woman in power and in the public spotlight had much more stylistic influence than a man painting Roman women on the sidelines of his history paintings, no matter how beautifully rendered his paintings or how popular he was!
Just as a kicker, this portrait predates David’s Oath of the Horatii, showing women in Roman garb, by one year.
EDIT: I meant my prof. is claiming David brought about the shift to EMPIRE/REGENCY style dresses, not that he caused the chemise/gaulle dress trend. My point is that M-A’s initial popularization of the gaulle dress gradually transformed into a more relaxed, simple, and classical mode of fashion that we see in the very late 18th century and first quarter of the 19th century. There were also other factors, like an adoration of classicism (history of the Roman republic, Latin and Greek language, Roman and Greek authors, etc.) in general, and of course the French Revolution’s condemnation of overtly gaudy representation as debased. I don’t know about you, but if my noble friends were being killed as disgustingly ornate examples of society’s downfall, I’d tone down my dress a little too!
Louise, reine de Prusse, d’après Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, par Marie Heuer, in 1802.