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Busts showing Hairstyles of the 18th and early 19th Century at The V&A | History of Fashion Design

Busts showing Hairstyles of the 18th and early 19th Century at The V&A

The V&A Photos have been removed at the request of the Manager of the Picture Library of the V&A

Bust of a man in a nightcap and Church of England type Ecclesiastical gown, signed by Michael Rysbrack, terracotta, Feb. 1724 Under the edges of his hat it looks as though he has either cut his hair short for ease of wigging, and or gone bald. Considering that the expected uniform of an religious in this time included a “bob” wig similar to the one shown below, this likely would make it’s daily wearing more comfortable.

bob wig from Diderot.

Jean Francois de Troy (Painter, and Director of the French Academy at Rome, 1679-1752) by Pierre L’Estache (1687-1774), c. 1745, marble, French.
A Young Girl, copy of a bust originally made by Jacques Saly of the daughter of Jean Francois de Troy in 1750, c. 1770-1790, marble, French, .
A Boy, c. 1760, Terra cotta, French.

Duke Phillip of Bourbon-Parma (1720-1765) by Jean Baptiste Boudard (1715-1773), 1765, marble, French. In tightly coiled formal wig and full dress armor, this man is clearly portrayed as a provincial ruler and general.

Thomas Mansell Talbot (wealthy Welsh Landowner 1747-1813) by Christopher Hewetson (Irish sculptor living in Italy 1739-1796) 1773, marble. Talbot went on the “Grand Tour” to Italy 3 times in five years around the time this classical style bust was made, it shows him with his natural hair undressed. Given the length of his hair and it’s stylish cut (short over the ears) it is probable he was not much in the habit of wearing wigs, but did as many British and Americans of even high class did, wore his own hair dressed, and powdered it for formal occasions.

Marquis de Miromesnil (1723-1796), by Jean Antoine Houdon, (1741-1823), 1775, Marble, France. The sitter was appointed Minister of Justice around this time and his robes and wig are those of a magistrate of this era.

Michel-Jean Sedaine (Poet-Playwright 1719–1797) by Augustin Pajou (1730-1809), 1775, Terracotta, France. Note he is wearing “at home” wear of an open shirt and soft Banyan, which was a popular way for intellectuals to have their portraits done in this era.

Mlle. Guimard (an actress) by Gaetano Merchi (1747-1823), 1779, Marble, French.

Unknown Man, possibly Dr. Edward Archer, by Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), 1781, marble, English. Shown wearing a nightgown (banyan) and nightcap over natural hair.
Sir George Savile (1726-1784), 1784. The sitter is in classical robes with his natural hair showing, rather than a wig, illustrating what might be usual under a wig in this era. Savile was a member of Parliament with notably liberal views, and being portrayed in classical garments suggestive of Ancient democracies and republics was a popular portrait code for a leftist politician in this era.

Jean-Robolphe Perronet (an engineer, 1708-1793) by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, (1714-1785), 1785, Bronze, French. (Sorry, but the color of the bust gave my camera focus problems) Note he also has an open shirt and banyan (robe) not a coat=code for “I’m a prosperous intellectual”.

An unknown man, by Pierre Merard, June 1786, France.
Lady Belhaven (?-1873) by Samuel Joseph (1791-1850) 1827, marble, English.
Catherine, Lady Stepney (?-1845) as Cleopatra, by Richard Cockle Lucas, (1800-1883), c. 1836, Marble, English.


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