November 8, 2009, 1:17 am
Filed under: art

These are paintings by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, an old school French painter. Almost hard to believe these are not photographs, but are actually hand-painted. He seems to have had quite an eye for fabric. Well, not just an eye for it, but also an amazing ability to paint it. These paintings are just *sumptuous*. How in the heck do you paint sheer lace ruffles, capture the texture of silk taffeta, mesh veiling, velvet, and jewels so accurately that you can really get the hand and drape of the fabrics and the weight of the jewelry? I have no idea, but Jean did it. Pretty cool.

This one is my favorite. She is a princesse. Naturellement. I saw this at the Met and pointed out that her skirt is awfully wrinkled for a royal and was informed that painters of Jean’s ilk made the fabric look wrinkly on purpose to show their prowess in creating texture via brushstroke. And that gown had to have taken a zillion yards of silk taffeta to make, at least.

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I love the red hairbow in this one. Looks like Christmas wrapping. And the detail in her braided bun.

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Interesting accessories in this one. It’s almost like she was doing the ol’ move of punching up a simple black dress by piling on the ornaments. Floral hairpiece, brooch, long strand of pearls, several charm bracelets, fan, several rings and what may be a pair of golden gloves in the background.

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I feel like this one is super-amazingness because that is such a technically complicated dress, all draped, pleated, belted and such — and it all comes through in the painting. And that collar!. It looks to be made of something sheer and stiff, maybe some kind of mesh with wire boning in it?

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More textures! Looks like a fur stole and possibly some sort of suede on the gloves?

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This is one frothy cupcake of a gown. I betcha that if Jean were alive today, he’d be great pals with John Galliano.

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