Robe Volante

Date: ca. 1730

Culture: French

Medium: silk

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.148


This robe volante is an exceedingly rare example of a well-documented form of dress that marked the transition from the mantua of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries to the robe à la française, the dress style that became ubiquitous in the eighteenth century. The unstructured silhouette of the robe volante, with its unbroken expanses of cloth, made it particularly appropriate for the display of large-scale patterning.