The Graces in a High Wind – a Scene taken from Nature in Kensington Gardens

James Gillray British
Publisher Hannah Humphrey British

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Caught in a strong wind during a stroll in Kensington Gardens, three young women wear fashionable neo-classically inspired dresses with high waists and tight sleeves, together with straw bonnets trimmed with ribbons. The weather flattens the fabric against their bodies and leave little to the imagination. The figures are beleived to represent the daughters of Sir William Manners–Catherine, Emily and Louisa, whose poses and implied nudity, together with the title, evoke sculptures of the Three Graces (such as a Roman 2nd century A.D. example at the Met, 2010.260) while also suggesting that classically styled gowns of this type were impractical choices for England's unpredictable summer weather.

The Graces in a High Wind – a Scene taken from Nature in Kensington Gardens, James Gillray (British, London 1756–1815 London), Hand-colored etching, engraving and aquatint

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