Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Robe à la française, ca. 1770
    French
    Shell–pink faille, brocaded with polychrome floral bouquets
    Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1961 (C.I.61.34a,b)

    Gowns in the eighteenth century were supported by rounded side hoops of different extension and depth. A wider dress would have been narrower in profile. In the instance of a gown of less width, the depth of the hoops and the robe à la française construction would have consumed as much fabric as the planar version. In both instances, a woman so garbed had to pass sideways through a doorway. This gown has an ingenious drawstring arrangement at the sides that adjusts either to fit over a small pannier, or, when fully released, to accommodate one about four feet across, creating the illusion of a tiny waist.

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  • Robe à la française, ca. 1770
    French
    Shell-pink faille, brocaded with polychrome floral bouquets
    Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1961 (C.I.61.34a,b)

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