Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity (& Film!)

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Women in the Garden, 1866
Oil on canvas; 100 3/8 x 80 11/16 in. (255 x 205 cm)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Well, if you have been wondering why I haven't posted in a while, I have been in NYC on a business trip. I managed to get to a wonderful exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the museum set into the east side of Central Park) and wanted to share it with you.

Day Dress
American, 1862–64
White cotton piqué with black soutache
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Chauncey Stillman, 1960

I was in heaven, as I adore both Victorian dresses and impressionist art and it was such a wonderful change from the optometry lectures I have been attending. The combination of paintings, dresses, early photographs, fashion plates and various accessories such as fans, shoes and corsets was brilliant. Kudos to whoever thought up this dreamy exhibit.

Albert Bartholomé (French, 1848–1928)
In the Conservatory (Madame Bartholomé), ca. 1881
Oil on canvas; 91 3/4 x 56 1/8 in. (233 x 142.5 cm)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Gift of the Société des Amis du Musée d'Orsay, 1990

For some paintings they found similar dresses to exhibit nearby, but in the case of the painting above, they had the actual dress! And was it ever gorgeous!!! (see below, but way better to be able to steam up the glass case in person, not that my nose was pressed that close of course)

Summer Day Dress Worn by Madame Bartholomé in the Painting In the Conservatory
French, 1880
White cotton printed with purple dots and stripes
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Gift of the Galerie Charles and André Bailly, 1991

So if you would like to see this exhibit yourself, it is at The Met until May 27, 2013 and then moves to the Art Institute of Chicago from June 26- September 22 2013. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

James Tissot (French, 1836–1902)
The Shop Girl, from the series Women of Paris, 1883–85
Oil on canvas; 57 1/2 x 40 in. (146.1 x 101.6 cm)
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift from Corporations' Subscription Fund, 1968

If you would like some film recommendations, I was reminded of a few great films and miniseries today.

The Paradise is the new BBC series inspired by the 1883 Emile Zola novel The Ladies' Paradise. We have no word yet on when we will see this in North America, but some of my British readers are loving it! The BBC changed the setting from Paris to London but The Shop Girl above could easily be a character in the story anyway!

We however will soon see the ITV series Mr. Selfridge on PBS starting Sunday March 31. Although set a bit later in 1909, it gives a great feel of period shopping in London. And who wouldn't love to go shopping in London in 1909?

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Camille, 1866
Oil on canvas; 90 15/16 x 59 1/2 in. (231 x 151 cm)
Kunsthalle Bremen, Der Kunstverein in Bremen

And if you would like to see a fabulous story about some of the Impressionist painters (hey even Emile Zola the novelist is a character) The Impressionists is a wonderful miniseries. If you need any more coaxing, Richard Armitage plays Claude Monet and Amanda Root plays Alice Hoschedé, his second wife. When I get home tomorrow, I am digging out my DVD to see and hear my dear Richard as Monet again. And to see those gorgeous dresses of course!


  1. So glad I visited your site this morning! Our family is going to NYC for spring break and the Met Museum of Art is on the list but now that I know about this exhibition, it's never in pen and not pencil on the list!

    Looks absolutely...dreamy. Great description :)

    And yes, I agree, The Impressionists is wonderful too!

    1. Oh, you absolutely have to see this Jane. And I can recommend the accompanying book as well. I was torn as to whether to fork out the $40 for the huge softcover book, but I have been devouring it and my coworkers were drooling over the dress photos yesterday when I took it to work. Dreamy is right!

  2. I love these pictures. What a great experience! I wish I could go see this as well. You did great! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Suzan, glad you liked the photos. The Met website has a few more I didn't have room for. It was such a great girly exhibit, in the best possible sense.

  3. I would love to see the exhibit. It must have been lovely to see the paintings, Jenny. I love the photos.

    1. Hi Kate. I wonder if one of the museums in England would pick up the exhibit after it leaves Chicago. One of the dresses was from a museum in Manchester I think. Keep an eye out!




Related Posts with Thumbnails