Quantcast

Gallery Five—The Dictates of Style

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

As the 1870s gave way to the 1880s, and the bustle yielded to the streamlined "princess style," fashion claimed the interest of an ever-widening circle of artists, from Camille Corot (Lady in Blue, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1874) to Paul Cézanne (The Promenade, private collection, 1871). Painters' interests shifted along with the changing trends: their attentions, once drawn to the details of embroidered hemlines and flounced underskirts, gradually turned to the dematerializing effect of radiant sunlight on fabric; from the transience of short-lived fashion to the changeability of the weather or the time of day.

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

In The Swing (1876), Renoir emphasized the play of dappled sunlight shining on the figure's beribboned dress. The painting is seen side-by-side with In the Conservatory (Madame Bartholomé) (ca. 1881, displayed with the sitter's gown), in which Bartholomé rendered his wife's dress with ardent exactitude (all Musée d'Orsay).

Purchase the exhibition catalogue and other related items in The Met Store.