The Intersection Of Art & Costume

It’s always a treat when we can view a dress that’s depicted in a painting and the same dress that the painting was based on. In this case, we have the dress that was work by Louise Pomeroy in a portrait that was painted by John Singer Sargent in 1887.  🙂 First, the portrait:

John Singer Sargent, Mrs. Charles E Inches (Louise Pomeroy), 1887

And now, the dress:

Evening Dress, c. 1887, Modified 1902; Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2013.1653.1-3)

According to the museum website, the dress was imitation of a Worth design and was reworked sometime in 1902 when the original bodice was replaced. The dress is constructed from  silk velvet and taffeta and appears to have a princess line. The dress was perfect for the portrait in that it nicely harmonizes with the sitter’s complexion and hair. Interestingly enough, Ms. Pomeroy was pregnant when the portrait was painted and extra panels had been installed in the dress to accommodate the pregnancy.  This dress and portrait was part of an exhibition that was put on by the Museum of Fine Arts in 2019 entitled “Sargent and Fashion.:

This would have been a fascinating exhibit to have seen, especially since we’re long-time John Singer Sargent fans. Well, maybe in the future we’ll have another chance. 🙂



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