ca. 1785 Princess Joséphine of Lorraine by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun

Her full name was Marie Joséphine Thérèse of Lorraine and married into the Carignano family, ancestors of the Kings of unified Italy. The batguano site has an image of this portrait, but does not list the portrait's location. Her Wikipedia article is here.

Princess Joséphine wears a good specimen of a pre-revolutionary sheath dress with a full skirt, square neckline, and a bouffant coiffure. Her dress appears to be a sheath dress, by the definition of "sheath" prevailing at the time. According to Boucher in 20,000 Years of Fashion, p. 310, pl. 765 (1986), "The sheath, borrowed from little girls' costume, has a back-laced bodice; a brightly-colored ribbon sash tied over it; it was greatly in fashion at the beginning of the Revolutionary period, because of its simplicity. It has no bust bodice and no panniers. Its novelty was that it was a closed gown, and it was called a 'false gown,' the term 'gown' meaning a dress that opened over an underskirt."

Keywords:  1785, Vigée-Lebrun, Princess, Lorraine family, Carignano family, French, bouffant coiffure, ribbon headdress, square neckline, modesty piece, ruching, long tight sleeves, waist band, vee waistline, full skirt, over-skirt, sheath


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