On the opening page of the Abbey Bible, the first image we encounter is this roundel containing a scene of the Nativity of Christ. According to Christian tradition, late in her pregnancy Mary traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem for a… 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.