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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 […]

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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 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

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

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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Resource Planning at the V&A Museum

The V&A is an ambitious and inquisitive organization. It produces blockbuster exhibitions, like last year’s David Bowie Is and the forthcoming Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty  and has an exciting range of contemporary events as part of its monthly Friday Lates. Aside from its Public Programme of exhibitions and displays the V&A is also involved in […]

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

Grotesque Faces

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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© 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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