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Marie-Antoinette with Uncolored (!!!) Hair by François Dumond
There’s no date, but I’d say this is late 1770s, especially because she looks so young; it could also be early 1780s (zone fronts were popular in this period). Wasn’t she beautiful? I love her delicately arched eyebrows.
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.
Portrait of a Lady
This lovely portrait is unsigned and and undated, but the pastel medium leads me to believe that it was created by a female artist, since pastel was an easier and typically feminine medium (and hence was more “acceptable” for women to practice); if it is by a woman, I’m not surprised that there’s no artist’s name. After all, in France’s famous Académie alone,only four women were permitted to be academicians at once - not a very encouraging time to be a female artist!
As for the date, I’m far less certain since riding habits - and this one is glorious - remained relatively unchanged over the decades. If I was better at hats, I could date it from that! Oh, more and more things to learn..
Victoire Louise Marie Thérèse de France (Madame Victoire) by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, 1788
Stunning purple! What a delicious robe à la française. I also just realized that there is a fleur de lis in the upper left corner, and I can’t tell if that is painted on or if it was somehow added by someone on the internet.. I’ve never seen a symbol like that in the corner of a portrait, but it would make sense as the fleur de lis is the symbol of the ancien régime (and Mdm Victoire is the daughter of King Louis XV)!
Marie-Antoinette by Vigée-Lebrun (of course), 1788
Le reine de mode! J’adore le bordure de fourrure.
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and His Wife (Marie-Anne-Pierrette Paulze) by Jacques-Louis David, 1788
This is a flawless chemise dress - even if it was painted by David…
Portrait of a Lady with a Book, Next to a River Source, by Antoine Vestier, 1785
I just can’t resist the sheer stripey silk goodness of her gown. Brilliant.
Louise Augusta, Princess of Denmark, by Jens Juel, 1784
A favorite because the colors and fabrics of her gown are just like candy.
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!