London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Refashioning Fashionability: Women’s Portraiture, Fashion Prints, and Allegory in France at the Turn of the 18th Century

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 (note date)
18.00, Seminar Room 3, Department of Art History, University College London, 20-21 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AG

Speaker(s): Kate Nicholson (University of Oregon)
Ticket/entry details:
Open to all, free admission
Organised by:
Rose Marie San Juan ( and Joanna Woodall (

In the period from c. 1690-1720 French portraits of women display a decisive shift from courtly formality to a more relaxed and socially nuanced representation — a change that tracks the increased personal freedoms and social reconfiguring that became possible at the end of Louis XIV’s reign. This paper will argue that the popular fashion print acted as the critical catalyst in this process, modernising in particular the high art tradition of allegorical portraiture through its appeal to contemporary mores, styles, and comportment.

This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.

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