Edmund Blair Leighton (1852-1922): Ribbons and Laces For8/26/2021, 11:25:43 AM
Edmund Blair Leighton (1852-1922): Ribbons and Laces For Very Pretty Faces, 1902, oil on canvas, 106.6 x 55.8 cm (42 x 22 in.), Private Collection Blair Leighton had an extensive collection of original eighteenth century costumes, instruments, and weaponry that he made good use of in his studio. In 'Ribbons and Laces for Very Pretty Faces' alone, Leighton utilizes nineteen different types of fabrics: from lace to silk, embroidery to velvet, some quilted and all painted with fine detail, skill, and dedication. It must be said that a key element in both his medieval and eighteenth century costume paintings was a careful representation of clothing styles and fabrics. If Leighton could not find an original piece that suited him, his wife would work with a seamstress in an upstairs room recreating a replica from original dress patterns. He must have found these costumes very beautiful and had a true passion for painting them. In the present work, three woman stand at a doorway dressed in the most magnificent of gowns examining a selection of beautiful textiles and ribbons. The brunette appears to be as taken with the seller as with the wares he offers, while the youngest leans on her sister's arm, gazing off, having lost interest in the finery she is too young to appreciate.