All posts tagged: Manet

Remember the Nana corset?

I started it oh, more than a year and a half ago.  Here is what it looks like today: (hint: it’s the blue one) Yeah. It’s still not quite done. The problem is that I got it perfectly finished to the point of wearability, didn’t have an event to wear it to, and thus haven’t been really motivated to finish it. It is (obviously) inspired by Manet’s Nana, which rather amuses me, because I’m pretty much as far as you could get from Zola’s Nana as a person! So what does it need to be finished?  Sleeves straps.  That’s it. I’m hoping the ‘Wood, Metal, Bone’ challenge will motivate me to finish it, though in retrospect I should really have finished it for Literature! Still, even not-quite-done, I think it looks rather spiffy on me. It’s so, so,  so  comfortable!  1870s corsets with gussets really are amazing. Compare it to the original: And my favourite of this series of boring-white-wall timer shots:

Impressions of undergarments

Impressionism is famous for capturing the mood of scenes, and the nuances of everyday life, so it’s no surprise that many impressionist artists were inspired by the most ordinary, but intimate moments of life: the act of getting dressed. The most famous Impressionist painting depicting underwear doesn’t show quite such an ordinary scene.  Manet’s Nana looks sweet enough, but subtle clues in the painting reveal her identity as a courtesan. I love how you see the rounded stomach, and the flesh of her thighs bumping up below the corset.  It’s so realistic, despite the glamour of the setting. I wonder if ‘Before the Mirror’ shows the same model, and the same corset, as Nana?  It’s certainly a possibility. I love how this one echoes the garter tying in Boucher’s La Toilette   De Witte’s painting does a good job of showing an underbust corset, and the way the bust sits above it. Degas work is a great illustration of how you put on a corset.  The model must have had someone to help her with …

Jeanne Samary and the ballgown of 1878

‘Jeanne Samary Week’ (like ‘Shark Week’, but with cuter teeth) was inspired by a question about Jeanne Samary’s dress in Renoir’s full length portrait of her: I recreated the dress, and a reader wanted to know about the original gown. Who made it? What did it look like? Did it actually exist? This is my interpretation: Clearly I don’t have Samary’s enviable figure, but in all other ways I’m happy with my dress as a recreation of what Samary’s dress might have been. So, what do we know about Samary’s actual dress? Well, for one, it probably existed. Renoir was known to paint dresses that did exist, and did belong to the models he knew. The same frocks are repeated in various paintings in numerous paintings by Renoir and other Impressionist artists. Samary, for example, is shown in the same dress in The Swing and dancing in the Bal du moulin de la Galette, and Renoir and Monet both painted Monet’s wife Camille in a blue robe/tea gown. And, as seen in Tuesday’s ‘Rate the …