Tag: 18th century

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Adélaïde_Labille-Guiard_-_The_Sculptor_Augustin_Pajou_-_WGA12364

Born on This Day: Augustin Pajou

The celebrated French sculptor Augustin Pajou was a contemporary of Clodion, Houdon and Pigalle but is today (despite his obvious skill!) not as well known outside of France as he perhaps should be. Born on 19th September 1730, Pajou grew up in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, then one of the poorer sections of Paris, the son […]

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William Beckford

Out On Display #3: The Scandalous Collectors

  William Beckford T. A. Dean after Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. England (London), mezzotint engraving on paper, c.1800 E.2046-1919 On display in room 120   Cravat Grinling Gibbons England, carved limewood, c.1690 W.181-1928 On display in room 118A   Art collecting and ‘deviance’ were linked in the eighteenth-century imagination. Many of the leading collectors, most […]

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Steel buttons: Coup de Bouton, etching by William Humphrey, c. 1777. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

The Brown Suit: Coup de Bouton!

In my last post I mentioned how ‘Anglomania’ influenced the adoption of darker colours for men’s daytime clothing among the middle and upper classes in late 18th-century France. This move towards a more somber palette brought about a dependency on buttons to create the maximum sartorial impact. A basic rule often seeming to be ‘the […]

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The upper-body of the suit, shown as it would have been worn with a cravat around the neck.

The Brown Suit: Anglomania

As well as unintentionally illustrating David Bowie’s svelte Berlin-era figure (see previous post!), this wonderful brown suit also exemplifies staple day-wear fashions for the middle and upper classes in late 18th-century Europe. Its slim-fit, noticeably snug across the upper-body, and the height of the coat collar attest to the owner’s fashionable taste. The breeches reach over the […]

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Heroes album cover shoot, 1977, photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita, courtesy the David Bowie Archive

The Brown Suit: “Don’t you wonder sometimes, ’bout sound and vision?”

The other week I found myself in the Textile Conservation studios, a microphone in front of me, contemplating how much sweat may have soaked into a coat. I should quickly make it clear that it wasn’t a coat being worn by a perspiring colleague, but rather a very smart wool coat dating from the 1780s. […]

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Born on this Day: Charles-Louis Clérisseau

  Today our moment of ‘birthday-prompted’ attention is focused upon the artist, architectural draughtsman and antiquary Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721-180). Clérisseau has been described as creating a vital link in the chain of architectural excellence that prevailed in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. He was sent to study at the French Academy in Rome in 1749, where he worked with […]

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Researching & Writing a Gallery Book: The Pains of Editing

Today we have a second guest post from Kirsty, a student on placement from the University of Glasgow. Another aspect of my research for the gallery book concentrated on the shops and guilds which were a major aspect of commerce in the eighteenth century. I chose to look at a mixture of source material. One of the […]

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Meissen woodpecker, Johann Joachim Kändler, Meissen porcelain factory  Germany. ca. 1740-1745. V&A C.1-1984

Researching & Writing a Gallery Book: Luxury Goods & Eyewitness Reports

Guest Post from Kirsty:   A change of voice for the blog this time, I’m Kirsty, a student on placement from the University of Glasgow. I’ve been working on the Europe Galleries project for a month. My main interest is 18th-century history, and I’ve studied it at university, so it’s been a great opportunity to […]

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© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words’ Part III

To make sure that things run as smoothly as possible in the Photographic Studio, we need to clearly specify what shots need to be taken of each object. This means that the photographers are comfortable with what they need to capture and can just ‘get on’ with what they do best. It also means that […]

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The Storming of the Bastille, detail of T.63-1936 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Bastille Day

Today is Bastille Day! Bastille Day (formally called Fête Nationale in France) commemorates one of the most famous events of the French Revolution – the day when Parisian revolutionaries stormed the Bastille on July 14th, 1789. The Bastille was a royal fortress which commanded the eastern side of Paris and was considered to symbolise the monarch’s despotism. The […]

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