Thursday, 12 June 2014

Study of a Painting: James III - July 1747

A Study of a Painting:

James III and his Son Henry Benedict - Monaldi, Pubalacci and 'Silvestri' - July 1747
Hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, spanning a massive part of the wall is this incredible painting. The crowds in the background contain people from all walks of life: monks, soldiers, normal people looking on, the fashionable, the elite and the poor. It has people hanging out of windows, walking through the corridors and all in all containing some interesting costume details from the period.
The Old Pretender James III by Monaldi in July 1747, HandBound Costume research, Made to measure historical Costume, Jacobite clothing research, Eighteenth Century Historical Costume Research and bespoke garments, wide pannier dresses, robe a la francais and the wide side hoops, court wear for the mid 18th cent and 1747, Royalty and what they wore, close-up and details of paintings form the Georgian period, Costume in paintings from the eighteenth century, what the Georgians wore, Custom made 18th century costume, rococo dress,
The Painting depicts the meeting of James III (The old Pretender) and his second son Henry Benedict, celebrating his becoming the Cardinal Deacon. It is a massive painting and easy to just stand in front of and simply oggle.
- To our modern eye it seems strange that James III and Henry Benedict (who declared himself HenryIX in 1788 after his brother died) don't stand out more in the painting, neither their costume nor their size marks them out. I had trouble spotting them, even with the description supplied by the Musuem, as they are neither central nor clearer than those surrounding them. I admit that I am no Art Historian and certainly lack the very specific knowledge of being able to read a painting, but it is possible that the King and his son's apparent nondescript nature was purposeful. The plight of James III (The Old Pretender) and his sons was not always supported and could've been seen as weak and a bit of an embarrassment and hence the strangeness of the crowd and the seemingly undemanding state of these two important figures. We know, for example that Henry Benedict felt embarrassed when sent by his older Brother (Bonnie Prince Charlie) to France to drum up support and finances so it could be that the largeness of the building and some of the indifference of the crowd is reflecting this issue.

Close up Details:

Painted outside the Stuarts Palace in Rome, this painting appears to  show close up features of both general European fashion (based on English and French fashions) and also particular local fashion popular in Rome.
JamesIII - Monaldi 1747 - HandBound Costume Research, eighteenth century costume research from paintings, handbound costumes study in georgian cothing for made to measure historical garments, civil war re-enactment research, court wear for the mid 18th c, what the georgians wore, large side hooped robe a la francais,
Image no.1
Details of the above:
- The striped nature and tassled design of them suggests that this style of head dress be perhaps distinct to Italian trends and we've certainly not come across this look in English portraiture.
- Crosses were also, very rarely seen in English fashion as a form of neckwear for this period.
- These ladies jackets have a military style to them, not a far cry from our Riding habits and the front lady seems to have a long pocket opening in her skirt. This, though, could be just an attempt at painting a crease in the skirt that sits slightly wrong.
- They also have their neck cloths tucked in differently to what is normally seen in English paintings.
- Their skirts appear to have braiding trimmed on the edge and as decoration.
JamesIII by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research into eighteenth century wear, studied and replicated historical garments, resource images and close up details from paintings for studying georgian costume, bespoke re-enactment clothing
Image no.2
Details of the Above:
- The Pale Blue lady in the centre of this image is wearing a large side-hooped dress. Although it is unclear if she is sporting a Robe a l'Anglais or a Robe a la Francais, it does seem to be quite generously gathered at the CF. This style of skirt fades out of popularity in English and French fashions the further you get into the eighteenth century and is beginning to be less seen at this time, possibly a little earlier than this even if we're honest. There are many images  of ladies with full fronted skirts in around the 1730's - 40's and feature quite highly in Hogarth's paintings.
- She also has a large Separate Cuff Sleeve which again was popular about this time but this too begins to drop from fashionable about this date.
- Her friend with his grey suit is a lovely example of what was fashionable in men's clothing for this date. His large black bow at his neck, his gathered lace ruffle and wide, almost held out Coat skirts are all prime examples of men's clothing and he ties in very closely with some of Hogarth's drawings for this period. What we've done is we've created a page especially for this Study that shows the examples of Full Skirted dresses and the Men's coats Painted by Hogarth. This can be used as Comparison Aid to see what was being depicted in English Fashion at about the same time and be able to get a better view of 1740's fashion. Please click on this link here: Hogarth: A Comparison Aid.
JamesIII by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research, close-up details of painting showing plebeian wear in 18th century, replica costumes, child's 1700's clothing, examples of long aprons, costume research for 1700's
Image no.3
- Considering that this lady in the above image, and those around her are just background characters, it's incredible at how much detail the artists have painted them with. We have a complete question mark over the man in green standing next to her, with his hair looking as if it's tied up in bun and his green clothing (perhaps if any of you out there are studying specific Italian local costume you might be able to help us here) which means we can't do much but just point him out to you.
- But the lady and her child are a bit more easy to define. She wears a long brown petticoat with a vague lighter colour Sleeved bodice/jacket/dress as the top section. the very full white section that is draped around her and tucked up could well be an apron. This fashion of draping either the top skirt or the apron like this is easy to confuse with the romantic style of paintings trying to imitate Grecian gods, but this is actually a fairly common style for working women. There are many images where working women have the same look and we get the impression that it was possibly easier to work in. We have some more images with ladies dressed similar to here in our Whalebone Stays: Who Wore Them article, please take a look.
- It's unclear as to if she's wearing a pair of stays but she does have a similar coloured neck cloth round her shoulders and a pale blue ribbon in her hair.
- Interestingly she is not wearing any form of headdress. The child looks to be in just a long shift, possibly a skirt of some kind (boys wore them too) and a pair of brown bodies.
- The child is also clasping a hoop of some kind.
James III by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research (6)
Image no.4
Here again you have several views of fashionable men and the details that were in particular fashion at the time. According to several fashion historians, men were almost trying to match their ladies wide dresses with the width and fullness of their coat skirts. These could even have wire in them to make the spring out sharply. Details that were in particular fashion were:
- Wide Deep Cuffs on the Sleeves
- The body of the jackets were still fairly baggy and had not reached the very fitted neatness of the coming decades
- Full skirts with heavily pleated vents - possible wire for shape.
- Thin, napier style swords, sticking out under the skirts of the coat.
- Tended to be collarless
- Long Waistcoats
- This is also the period when stockings start getting worn under the breeches, However the front left man seems to have his folded over the top, perhaps the fashion was a bit later in reaching Italy.
James III and Henry Benedict by Monaldi and Pubalacci - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research (7)
Image no.5
- Ok, well for starters there's another example of a Bag wig right at the bottom of the image and in the centre.
- We also have a lady in Pale blue wearing a style of cap very similar to Mary Edwards on the Hogarth: An Aid to Comparison page. We don't really know if this is a specific cap or just a specific way of wearing what looks like a Mob cap with lace on it which gives it this indentation at the CF of the head. Perhaps it's more deeply frilled than later examples.
- She is also sporting a fine pair of Wing cuffs and large lace ruffles.
- The gentleman with her is mostly hidden by the way but wears a slightly deeper blue and the same sort of wig featuring in other areas of this painting.
- The working men coming through the archway behind them are mostly in dull colours which is very typical for their status. The one bent over double with his carriage is wearing fairly light coloured Stockings and ironically appear to be tucked in. He was obviously a bit of a Dandy at heart or it was more of a practical arrangement for working men to have their stockings tucked in. he also appears to be in just a shirt and wears a long functional apron.
- His friend is dressed similar but with what looks like a round hat shaped to look like a Tri-corne.  We may be wrong in this.
- The ladies coming behind in the corridor, although blurred, are all in fashionable colours, yellow, light ivory and the pale to mid shade of Blue.
JamesIII by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research (9)
Image no.6
- The front two guards are both wearing their stockings folded over their breeches. They wear Tricorne hats and the blue and red uniform that features very highly in this painting. We wonder, is that because it is a Scottish colouring or Roman?
- The lady and gentleman coming out of the archway both wear pale blue, although the gentleman is wearing his with a brown jacket and brown breeches. The lady has an Echelle detail (french for ladder and which describes that bows placed down over the stomacher in a ladder formation).
- the lady in the bottom front with the guards has her fan out and again it representing the fashionable colours of pale blue and white/ivory. She is also wearing that same cap with the CF indentation. As is the lady in the middle.
- The lady with her back turned to us at the back, in pale pink is also wearing a female version of a Bag Wig and is in a Robe a l'Anglais. She has deep Wing cuffs.
JamesIII by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research, fashions in the 1740's and images of them, mid 18th century costume, court wear for the 18th century, Middle class costume, poor people and what they wore in the goergian period, period and historical costume made to measure, 1700's Costume inspired by the paintings, Historical costume research, teh really wide side dresses, pannier dresses, examples of the wide side hip dresses, what colours wre fashionable in the  mind eighteenth century.
Image no.7
- Drum roll please because here stands before us the two key figures this whole painting is created for. James III stands in a pale blue silk 3 piece suit. He has fairly baggy sleeves and a large, broad cuff with wing detail at the side. The cuff has covered buttons along the top.
- The skirts of his jacket stand out sharply and have pleated vents.
- His waistcoat is long and broad and buttoned down to just above the pockets flaps. His breeches don't tell us much, the interesting bits are hidden by his stockings which are folded neatly and quite deeply over them. He has a pale blue garter round his left leg. He has full white lace ruffles sprouting beneath his cuffs and he wears the blue sash of the Garter and the Star. He wears black shoes with buckles. He also carries his black tricorne hat under his arm and wears a long white wig (Possibly a Full Bottom wig - but we're not too hot on wigs!)
- Henry Benedict is apparantly in an outfit that Cardinals often wore when not in their full robes. Interestingly he has red stockings and the cardinal's red cap.
- All the soldiers behind them have stockings over their breeches. and garters holding them up.
- There's a lady in the background holding up her fan who is wearing a pale blue sack with the wide hips. We love seeing these dresses in paintings, looking so contrastingly normal and yet so strange to our eye.
JamesIII by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research, images of the sackbakc gown with wide side hips, 18th c. robe a la francais, examples of the looser sacks of the mid eighteenth century, floral silks in the watteau pleat. light coloured silk suits of the mid 18th century, monk images, wing cuff details
Image no.8
- This is probably, for us at any rate, the most exciting close-up. We love this lady with her skirt all caught up.
- First off we love the fabric, secondly it's interesting how hard and stiff looking her petticoat looks and makes us wonder if this is less a 'caned underskirt Hoop' and more a caned actual petticoat - except for the fact that she has no lines going across the fabric but that could just be the painting's fault. We know from Norah Waugh's research that the boned underskirts could be made from dress materials and were designed to be part of the ensemble and not just a hidden canvas hoop, especially, it seems early on. However as we cannot tell it's nothing but an interesting point.
- She wears white stockings and light coloured shoes.
- Her sack is also of the really loose early versions, though it does not look too wide at the neckline it is certainly is less controlled than the later examples.
- The colour of the day it appears. The Cunningtons quote from an article written in 1744 that 'Her gown and petticoat which were yellow, the colour so much the mode in England at present.'
- She too appears to be in pannier (wide side hoops) but as she is facing us as a side angle it's a little harder to tell. It is a Robe a la Francais or a 'Sack Back'.
- She appears to have a white lace/furbelow/fabric twisted neck decoration which seemed to be quite a popular trend during this period. The lady to the left in 'A Taste of the High Life' is wearing one although we're sure we can find a better example than this black and white engraving - bare with us on this one.
- She also has cuffed sleeves that aren't too big, a hair decoration in blue adn her own hair colour.
- LADY IN BLUE (far left)
- Even though we only get a small glimpse of this lady, her gown is quite striking. It's quite a strong blue, it's an Anglais (Robe a l'Anglais) and is decorated over the front Stomacher with red bows in the 'Echelle' formation.
- She has fairly deep and prominent Cuffs and is wearing her own hair.
- Her skirt also appears to be 'polonaised' slightly, although we use this term lightly: the true polonaise didn't come in til the 70s but dresses from way before this could be 'polonaised' or 'pulled up' by either drawing the end of the skirts through the pockets holes or having ties in the actual dress.
- We're only even mentioning this guy because it is such a clear example of how exaggerated men's jacket's skirts could get with the wire and stiffening made for them. It has been pointed out that they were trying to keep up with the women's wide dresses. - oh and he wears white stockings.
- This gentleman wears a white wig, has a white cravat and a matching suit by the look of things. It is possible that his waistcoat is a tad darker in colour
-He has a collarless jacket, deep-ish boot cuffs and lace/lawn ruffles at his wrists.
- The Soldiers beyond them all wear black tricorne hats with silver braiding, white stockings and pig tails wigs of various tones.
James III by Monaldi - 1747 - HandBound Costume Research, eighteenth century costume research for made to measure historical gowns, Robe a l'Anglais, early examples robe a la Francais, images of sack back gowns, militia uniforms in the 18th century, what colours were in fashion in the 1740's and mid 18th century, did the fashionable only wear wigs, wigs vs natural hair, bag wigs, examples of the origins of the word necklace, boot cuffs, echelle ribbons, wide side hip dresses, the jacobite royalty, who was the old pretender, was there an a james III of England, examples of plebeian clothing in the paintings for 18th century, what working people wore in the georgian times
Image no.9
- In this image we can see the lady in the mid blue dress again and a bit better and she appears to have some sort of white thing hanging down her back neck. She also wears a pearl necklace.
- The soldier holing the silver platter wears an example of the bag wig whose black ribbon also tied around to the front of the neck. Iris Brooke observes that this could have been the start of the bow tie.
- It's hard to tell sometimes if a cap is an Mob cap or a Pinner as the main difference was that the Pinner was less shaped about the crown whist the Mob had the 'puffed out crown' - Cunningtons. In their book: Handbook of English Costume in the 18th Century, the Cunningtons do mention that Pinners were narrow about the forehead. We could then class the frilled 'Head' (contemporary term for any form of head dress) on both Mary Edwards on the Hogarth page and seen above here in many of the images as Pinners as they have that centre indent, except the fact that one of Hogarth's servants wears a Mob Cap and she has a fairly narrow bit about the forehead that could be recognised as an 'indent'. It seems it's gonna have to be one of those 'more research needed' subjects. The lady in the very light pink could be wearing either of these. Where as both ladies in blue have some sort of small Pinner attached right at the top of the crown and both with a flower or a ribbon of colour.
- Both back ladies have frills about their neckline whilst the lady in the mid blue seems to have none.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Edinburgh National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery:


We had a Study Session booked at the National Collection Centre in Edinburgh last week. So off we set, across the country to have a look at some Eighteenth Century Stays, Shifts and Hoops. On arrival into Scotland we found we had a free half afternoon and straight away we went to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. Time well spent!
Here are some of the paintings we were allowed to take photos of:
Queen Charlotte -c.1763 - Ramsey - HandBound 18th C. Costume research, royal court wear for the eighteenth century, research into 18th c. costume, made to measure historical inspired costumes, Edinburgh National Portrait gallery, Scottish Collections, Allan Ramsey, Coronation Gown images of Queen Charlotte
Painted by Allan Ramsey in about 1763. Here stands Queen Charlotte, wife of George III in all her regalia. She wears a stiff bodied gown very much in the style of the previous century. This must have been incredibly heavy to wear,
George III by Ramsey c.1763 - HandBound Costume, national portarit gallery of scotland, costume research, a look into goergian court wear, made to measure eighteenth century costume
Here is the second in the matching pair of the Coronation of King George III. Again, painted by Ramsey in about 1763.
Details include really deep and wide Cuffs, Stockings under the breeches which come just below the knee.
- Waistcoat in matching fabric with the buttons all done up down to waist.
- Coat appears to be caped with a shoulder cape and trimmed with ermine.
- Cloak is pale blue with gold border and oodles of ermine.
- Pale Blue stockings.
Below is a close-up of his breeches with a Button Fly.
Button Fly - George III - HandBound Costumes, Royal Portraits and their costumes, Breeches with button flies mid eighteenth century, men's historical costume and georgian costume, mens breeches and how they were cut and sewn and worn, 18th century made to measure costume research

Earl of Morton and Family - Davison - 1740 - HandBound Costumes Research, family paintings from the 1700's, clothing worn by women and their children, an example of a child with a doll, a boy in skirts and the eldest breeched, georgian clothing researched into by handBound Costumes, custom made replica clothing for reenactments or theatre,
- This above painting is of the Earl of Morton with his Family. It is by Jeremiah Davidson and was painted in 1740.
- Some interesting features include an example of a boy in skirts before he was breeched ( a lady at the Scottish Collections Centre suggested this was about 4-6 years of age). He is the second in on the right and is handing his older brother an arrow. He also wears a kind of jacket over the top with elaborate frogging. His brother has a collarless jacket on and a nice example of a functional button-cuff.
- The middle girl is holding a sweet and rather clear example of a child's doll and also has the top of a red shoes slipping out from beneath her gown.
- The Mother wears what looks like a Round Gown and a cap with lappets that are pinned under her chin. She has a treble pinched grown on cuff and rather plain ruffles.
- We have some close-up details of this painting coming in a future post or viewable on our website (it's not been done yet but we're getting there!)
James Boswell - Willison 1765 - HandBound Costumes - National Scottish gallery Boswell, eighteenth century costume research, men's historical costume made to measure georgian clothingJames Boswell - by George Willison 1765.
Interesting Details:
- Another example of this fashion of not fully buttoning up the waistcoat around the waistline area and having a tuft of shift sticking through it. This is visible on more than just one portrait and therefore less likely to be just an accident. However it could be a standard way for artist's to show it as a relaxed portrait rather than a stiff, formal one.
- He has a Tricorn hat in his hand, a fur lined jacket and maroon breeches and matching waistcoat with gold trim and buttons.
- Black Cravat with a high-necked collar shirt.
The Old Pretender James III by Monaldi in July 1747, HandBound Costume research, Made to measure historical Costume, Jacobite clothing research, Eighteenth Century Historical Costume Research and bespoke garments, wide pannier dresses, robe a la francais and the wide side hoops, court wear for the mid 18th cent and 1747, Royalty and what they wore, close-up and details of paintings form the Georgian period, Costume in paintings from the eighteenth century, what the Georgians wore, Custom made 18th century costume, rococo dress,
-  James III Congratulating His Son Henry as Cardinal by Monaldi, Pubalacci, July 1747.
- We've actually done a whole page on this painting because, although it doesn't look that big here, it's actually massive and the crowd contains a whole realm of detail of costumes. Please click on this link here if you wanted to see the close-ups on 'A Study of a Painting: James III by Monaldi - 1747' which is situated in our  Customer Library on our website at
- Wide Pannier Robe a la Francais Dresses, Rome fashions with striped headdresses and examples of Plebeian costume, all within the crowd.
Baptism of Charles Stuart - Antonio David - 1725 - HandBound, historical costume research into 18th century fashion, 1720's costume images, Bonnie Prince Charlie Stuart christening,  mob cap with lappets images from georgian headdresses,  clocked stockings and examples of ceremonial colours and fashionable colours for stockings,  examples of georgian mens costume in early 1720's, womens costume in early 1720's, made to measure period clothing, historical bespoke costume
The Baptism of Charles Stuart - Antonio David - 1725
- Here are some prime examples of caps with long, narrow and straight lappets. The only ladies that are wearing caps are on the left hand side of the painting, behind the Clergy. I don't know if there is any siginificance to this or if it is just chance but all the ladies here are wearing two-layered caps with two layers of lappets.
- We've got some close-up studies of this painting in our Customer library entitled A Study of a Painting: Baptism of Charles Stuart - please click on this link and take a look at our notes and the details of the costumes of the ladies behind.
Alexander Murray of Elibank - Ramsey - 1742 - HandBound Costume, Mens georgian costume research and images, mens styles of fashion throughout the eighteenth century, historical tailored costume, Bespoke Tailored Georgian Clothing
Ramsey - 1742 - Alexander Murray of Elibank
- High neck cravat wkith frill hanging down.
- Possibly natural hair styled similarly to a wig.
- Black Jacket with Red Fcaed collar and gold braid/embroidery.
John Campbell - 4th Earl of Loudoun - Ramsey - 1747 - HandBound Eighteenth Century Costume Research, Close-up study of painting, mens fashion in the 1700's, mid-eighteenth century mens costume, bespoke historical and period costumes for men
John Campbell - Ramsey - 1747
- Nice example of the looser sleeves that tightened as the years went on.
- Finer braid, white wig and with a hat tucked up under his arm. Also wears high-necked white cravat with frill.
Maria Clementina - by or after Trevisani - 1719 - HandBound Costumes, 18th century court fashion and royal portraiture, Stiff bodied gown and early 18th century costume, court mantua with stones,
Maria Clementina - Trevisani - 1719
- Floral silk Soft-Bodied Mantua Gown over Stiff stomacher beaded with stones. Belt round waist is also set with stones.
- In these dresses you can easily see the development of the Anglais and Francais robes, the robings and the skirt sections are all incredibly similar to later on in the century.
- She has two layers of lace ruffles under her sleeves and the gem on the indent of her elbow is possible a broach that holds the pinch-pleated cuff together.
- Museum's notes say powdered hair not wig and there appear to be ermine tails on the edge as a tassle of her cloak.
- This tree of dripping stones, as a way of describing it appears in a few portraits and in fact include another image in the same museum. We wonder if it is more of a catholic country fashion as the Scottish were closely catholic at this point and England were following more Dutch fashions at this particular point of time.
Sir Alistair MacDonald - attr Chalmers - 1772 - HandBound, late 18th century example of Scottish plaid in historical costume, mens historical costume, history of the kilt,
Sir Alistair MacDonald - attributed to Chalmers - 1772
- These are great images. It was a real pleasure to be able to see such large portraits showing kilted suits. Here is one of those images and this portrait was atleast 1.5 mts in height.
- Here the jacket takes on the more cut-away look of the late eighteenth century.
- We're not too of-fay with kilts and the particulars worn with them and dates of when such items came into popular use are unknown to us, but here he wears a Sporran, has either plaid stockings or strapped up looking laces.
- Ruffle-less shirt sleeves, high cravat and frill, short waistcoat trimmed with red (what looks like) piping.Red Faced jackets which at this stage is kind of the beginning of the lapel.
- He carries a hat in tartan and a gun in his right hand and a 'no idea what' in his left.
Ann Forbes - David Allan 1781 - HandBound Costume, womens eighteenth century costume research, portraits of fashion for the 1700's, 1780's fashion
Anne Forbes (1745-1834) by David Allan - 1781
- Anne Forbes, according to the museum's notes was a painter who studied in Rome but on returning didn't quite make it in setting herself up as a portrait painter. She settles for being a drawing teacher which was considered a more appropriate role for a woman.
- Here's she's depicted wearing quite a distinctive shawl. It has a fringing edge - probably long fur and liens of decorative trim.
- Her hair is also quite clear and distinctive - with the large plait coming up from the bottom - and natural.
james Hutton - Raeburn - 1785-90 - HandBound Costumes
James Hutton by Sir Henry Raeburn - 1785-90
- James Hutton is considered to be the founder of the study of  Geology. His portrait here shows some of his Naturalistic interests.
- His three piece suit appears to be all the same fabric and colour with his breeches buttoning uite high with fairly small buttons and a narrow leg.
- His jacket has a Collar and no cuffs and the sleeves are also quite narrow.
- Again we have this buttoning up of the top part of the waistcoat and then down below the waist and with the shirt showing through the middle.
- He wears no wig but as the notes say; this derives from a relaxed portrait with him in his study and as he would be.