Sunday, June 5, 2016

The White Dress

From the National Gallery of Canada:
Looking at the images from a modern point of view, it can be difficult to see what all the fuss was about. In the new exhibition The White Dress: Masterpiece in Focus, opening May 27 at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), the once-scandalous white dress is on full display in a thoughtful selection of images, accessories, and two stunning white muslin dresses of the period.

“Clothing can be a wonderful entrée into any historical period,” exhibition curator Erika Dolphin told NGC Magazine. “In this case, it opens up all sorts of things about women in society, fashion, France, and the global trade in luxuries. I thought a Masterpiece in Focus exhibition about white muslin dresses and the fashion revolution they caused would be an interesting way to make the Vigée Le Brun exhibition even more accessible.”

At the time of Vigée Le Brun’s iconic portrait, Marie Antoinette was facing bad press of her own — in part for spending too much on lavish dresses. Seeking to appear more like a woman of the people, she had herself depicted in the infamous white muslin dress in Vigée Le Brun’s Marie Antoinette in a Chemise Dress (1783). The idea backfired, and the queen was not only scorned for appearing in a public portrait “wearing a chambermaid’s dust cloth,” but was also accused of mocking the dignity of the throne of France by appearing in such a downmarket outfit. (Read more.)
 The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa is currently hosting an exhibit of the art of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. More information, HERE. Share

1 comment:

Diamantina, aka Gentillylace said...

The exhibition seems to be not only beautiful, but thought-provoking. I hope that it travels throughout the US -- I want to see it, but cannot go to Ottawa this summer or early autumn.