In mid-nineteenth century Paris, following fashion was no longer merely an elite preoccupation and fashionable modern women took on a newfound prominence in the art exhibited at the annual Salon, in the city’s new public parks and on its broad boulevards. The rise of the department store, the advent of mass-produced clothing and the explosion of the fashion press had made the latest fashions and fashion knowledge more affordable and accessible to stylish Parisians of all classes. At the same time, the black-clad parisienne—whether housewife or harlot, widow or shopgirl—became a favored subject among modernist artists like Édouard Manet and John Singer Sargent and their academic contemporaries like Charles Marchal and Carolus-Duran. Women in black epitomized the ambiguity of life in modernity, when even mourning dress had become fashionable. I argue that artists’ embrace or rejection of fashion in painting was implicated and often actively participating in discourses of the time surrounding women and modernity.
Chapter 2 explores the rise of the modern fashion system—from fashion editors to advertising, from department stores to haute couture—and the new consumer culture it engendered. Chapter 3 investigates the new ambiguity of dress and the link, or lack thereof, between dress and morality, debates about which came to a head at the Paris Salon of 1868. Chapter 4 discusses the nineteenth-century depiction of widows and the rejection of fashion in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune (1870-71). Chapter 5 addresses the archetypal figure of the Parisienne, symbol of French sophistication and chic, before and after the war and the nationalist and commercial forces that drove her appearance.
An object-based, social historical study, the dissertation relies upon close visual analysis, contemporary Salon criticism, caricature and fashion writing to contextualize artworks within the society and culture of nineteenth-century Paris. Fundamentally, it aims to explain the prominence of fashion in the discourse of the 1860s and 70s, to situate artists’ representations of modern women within this discourse, and to position the woman in black in her ubiquity and multivalency as a key figure through which to understand the period.
|Advisor:||Clayson, Susan Hollis|
|Commitee:||Eisenman, Stephen F., Van Zanten, David T.|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||European history, Fine arts, Art history|
|Keywords:||Caricature, Carolus-Duran, Fashion, France, Franco-Prussian War, Manet, Edouard, Marchall, Charles, Modernism, Paris, Salon, Sargent, John Singer, Widows, Women|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be