lately i've been feeling a strong urge to learn about the 18th, 19th and very early 20th centuries. more so to do with art and fashion and culture than anything else. i went to hear a speaker at the art museum talk about female artisits in the 18th century and the gender discrimination in the art world of the time. it was very interesting, and of course i fell in love with some of the paintings. especially because of the attire painted in the artwork. the elegant, fluffy dresses and exaggerated amounts of cloth. even if i would never wear it, i still admire how graceful women are depicted. i was most inspired by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun, for her courage and her work. side note, she was supported by Marie Antoinette who loved her work. the painting above, Self-portrait with two pupils (1785) is by a contemporary of Vigee-Le Brun, Adelaide Labille-Guiard whom was also mentioned in the talk. her dress drew me in the moment i saw it.
when i started to think about these paintings, i remembered how much i love Renoir and his time period. even though he is from late 19th century and early 20th century, i remembered the dresses of the women he painted. he painted many couples dancing and the dresses the women wore always were beautiful to me. much more simple than 18th century, but equally elegant. this Renoir painting, City Dance (1883) is something i came across while looking for Dance at Bougival (1883). i love to dance, i love this dress and i love Renoir. enough said.
and my last thought, i realized the other day that i love cursive. i love the idea of penmanship and of a time when people cared so much about how they wrote and wrote letters to their loved ones. when it was the only means of communication. i have always been fascinated by the idea of coming up with new ways of writing certain letters and making my handwriting unique. i wish people still wrote in cursive. this realization made my interest of olden times even more intense. i started imagining myself in a victorian home, wearing a flowy and ruffly dress and writing in beautiful penmanship a letter to a loved one, while drinking tea of course lol. these daydreams get me through the piles of work i have to do. and i hope they inspire you too.