Today is the 262nd birthday of Jacques-Louis David, the French painter best known for his austere Neoclassical paintings such as Oath of the Horatii. David was as political an artist as ever lived. He was a leader of the French… More»
That Natural Grace
In the late 1700s, “natural grace” was greatly admired. It meant strictly following etiquette while making it seem easy and effortless.
Thomas Gainsborough’s Lady Walking in a Garden is, among other things, about fashion’s pivotal role in this delicate social task. The more complicated the dress, the more impractical for walking, the more difficult it was to wear it with elegance and nonchalance—and the more admirable if one succeeded in displaying natural grace.