Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Painters of Costume 

I'm a strange visitor in an art museum. I peer with great concentration at portraits to see if the artist (in my humble opinion) has captured the fabrics, the embroidery, the lace correctly.

It is seldom we have examples of a portrait and the costume worn by the sitter displayed together so we can take a critical look at them in tandem.

One modern example has come to my attention.

The Harris Art Museum and Gallery, Preston England has in its collection a portrait of Marie Pauline Miller. "Pauline in the Yellow Dress was painted by Sir James Gunn and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1944, where it was bought by the Harris and has been on show in Preston ever since. "

"The painting features the artist’s second wife as the subject and the bright mustard yellow dress worn by her has remained with the Gunn family until their recent generous donation to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. "

A much earlier example of course is the jacket of Margaret Laton held by the Victoria and Albert where it is displayed with her portrait.

I would be most interested to learn of other examples of museums with portraits and the costume of the sitter exhibited together.

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