Painting, portrait of Agathonike Ionides
George Frederick Watts OM, RA (1817-1904)
Museum no. CAI.1142
Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides
The sitter is Agathonike Fenerli (1845-1920). The wife of Constantine Ionides, a wealthy art patron and collector. She is shown in aesthetic dress.
Aesthetic dress was popular in the 1880s and 1890s, particularly within artistic and literary circles. Those who supported it repudiated tight corsetry and cumbersome petticoats in favour of less restrictive clothing. They did, however, favour luxurious trimmings such as lace, as shown here.