Tag: 18th century

Back to the blog front page

2013GV4068

‘little meat and a great deal of cabbage and turnips have driven us out of Würzburg … This 22nd day of October in the year 1716′

Large writing cabinets, such as the impressive example below, were often important indicators of a gentleman’s status in the 18th century. This cabinet is a fine example of the best craftsmanship of the period and its large size and intricate detailing indicates the importance of the person for whom it was made. The cabinet was made for Johannes Gallus Jacob […]

Keep reading
Portrait of François Boucher, reception piece by Gustaf Lundberg for the Académie Royale de Peinture presented on January 28, 1741. Musée du Louvre

Born on this Day: François Boucher

Having caught the autumnal lurgy which seems to be making its way around the city at the moment, I was off work yesterday. This meant that I’ve been pipped to the post by the V&A’s Facebook page in marking the birthday of the French court painter, draughtsman and etcher François Boucher. I’ve refrained from changing […]

Keep reading
Width 5cm each, with various lengths, ca. 1945/1950; V&A Archive of Art and Design GC10/1

A vintage fashion mystery

Dress trimmings for Rosalinde Gilbert Models Sometimes even with our combined efforts, the V&A’s curatorial team can only get marginally closer to solving the mysteries posed by even the most intriguing pieces. This is very much the case with four petite ornaments made of vibrant red resin, a light faux turquoise and faux pearls. The […]

Keep reading
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 […]

Keep reading
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 […]

Keep reading
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 […]

Keep reading
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 illustrating a svelte figure, 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 knees and are a tighter fit than […]

Keep reading
Feline Christening Bowl

A Royal Christening Gift comes home

Visitors to Goodwood House this summer will be surprised to see in the Card Room, nestling amongst the 3rd Duke of Richmond’s collection of Sèvres porcelain, a spectacular silver two handled bowl and cover, framed by Royal heraldic supporters, a rearing lion and unicorn, the cover crowned with the Royal heraldic crest, a standing lion. […]

Keep reading
tour-09-02-gross

The Brown Suit: Audio Recordings

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. […]

Keep reading
2007BM2806

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 […]

Keep reading