Tag: Europe Galleries

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The Brown Suit: Coup de Bouton!

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

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 Brown Suit: Anglomania

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

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 […]

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The Brown Suit: Audio Recordings

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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

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  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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World Dog Day

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Given the attention I gave to ‘Museum Cat Day’ last month, I felt that it was necessary for me to even up the feline – canine representation on the blog as today is World Dog Day. The day’s title doesn’t include the word ‘museum’, I’ll grant you, but I do still have quite the pack […]

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

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

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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Born on This Day: ‘The Winter Queen’ Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

CIS:A.8-1967

This day in 1596 saw the birth of Princess Elizabeth Stuart. Daughter of Anne of Denmark and James VI of Scotland (later James I of England), Elizabeth was the sister of Charles I of England and later became Queen of Bohemia. Elizabeth will have a visible presence in the new Europe Galleries in the form […]

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Born on This Day: Napoleon Bonaparte

Relief portrait of Napoleon, wax on slate, Benedetto Pistrucci, France (Paris) or England (London), 1815. Bequeathed by Miss A.F. Long. V&A A.3-1940

This day in 1769 saw the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte. Born in Corsica to a family with Italian noble ancestry, Napoleon went on to make his name one of the most famous in European history. In France he took power in a coup d’état of 1799, installing himself as First Consul and later had himself crowned emperor in […]

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Grotesque Faces

Newly photographed, following the completion of conservation work © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

When visiting the Metalwork Conservation studios the other week I came across this familiar face in the midst of treatment. It is a gilt-bronze ‘mask’ which will feature in our display about the influence of Louis XIV’s court on European art and design. Referring to it just as a mask is perhaps slightly misleading as, measuring […]

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‘A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words’ Part III

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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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