Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Marie Antoinette (1755–1793), Queen of France, in a Court Dress by François Hubert Drouais, 1773 France, the Victoria & Albert Museum
François Hubert Drouais (1727-1775) was born in Paris. He trained with his father, Hubert Drouais (1699-1767) and then with Donat Nonotte (1708-1785), Carle van Loo (1705-1765), Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-1777) and François Boucher (1703-1770). He became a member of the Académie Royale in 1755 and achieved quickly a great success as a portrait painter, receiving prestigious commissions, especially from the court.
This painting is a portrait of the Dauphine Marie-Antoinette, consort of the future king of France, Louis XVI, at the age of 17. It depicts the princess in a lavish court dress adorned with sumptuous jewels. This portrait was used as a model for a tapestry made in the Royal manufactory of the Gobelins by the Cozette father and son in 1775. This portrait is a good example of French state portraits of the 18th century and the representation of an almighty royalty about to fail in a few years time.
Henrietta, Lady Jenkinson by Philippe Mercier, 1742, the Temple Newsam House
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Mourning band for George Washington, 1799 Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Mourning band for George Washington (d. 12/14/1799), white ribbon with painted design of urn inscribed “GW” in wreath, edged with black silk and covered with black silk crepe
Written in ink of fabric label sewn to object: “Mourning Badge for George Washington. G.W. on urn. Probably worn by Wm. H. Sumner [1780-1861] 1799, son of Gov. [Increase] Sumner [1746-6/7/1799]”
Brooch, 1754 England, the Victoria & Albert Museum
Hair had long been important in sentimental jewellery, but during the 18th century it took on a new prominence. It could now form the centrepiece of a jewel, arranged in complicated motifs or as plain, woven sections. Tiny fragments of hair could even be incorporated into delicate paintings. Some designs were made by professionals, but many women chose to work the hair of loved ones themselves, using gum to secure their creations.
Hair jewels were worn to cherish the living as well as to remember the dead. The survival of many pieces celebrating love and friendship indicate their great social importance
Mourning ring, ca 1787 England, the Victoria & Albert Museum
This ring and its pair are inscribed ‘Cease thy tears, religion points on high/ CS ob.25 Jan 1787 aet 70/ IS ob. 18 Sep 1792 aet 72’. They are mourning rings, possibly for a couple with the initials CS and IS who died aged 70 and 72. On the front of the ring, a vase of drooping gem-set flowers symbolises mourning.
Une Tapissiere. Eine Tapesierin. (Upholsterer) by Martin Engelbrecht and Johann J Stelzer, 1700-56 (ca 1730’s?) Germany (Augsburg), Winterthur Museum