Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yay or Nay? Grace Peel

Does anyone have the craving for pink frosted cupcakes? I blame the Baroness de Neubourg-Cromiere who earned a Yay for her Queen Frostine meets Glinda gown.  After such a flouncy princess outfit I can't help but put forth a foil for our judging pleasure.


Benjamin West paints (allegedly) Grace Peel (1757/8) in her simple mustard gown and unique lace throwback to previous centuries accessories.  Yay or Nay?

[Winterthur Museum]
[Image source and great article]

30 comments:

  1. I don't think there's a single thing about this painting that I do like. She looks like a wooden peg-doll. A big NAY from me!

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  2. I really don't like the dress, nor her expression. Like she didn't enjoy being painted... NAY.

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  3. Actually, I quite like how tall and lean she looks. There is an elegance about her simplicity, but she should probably lose that lace necklace/cape combo. I bet she has a lovely decolletage under there!

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  4. Yikes, her torso looks like an pencil and she could have probably benefited from a softer hair style to detract from a....ahem... less than stellar visage. Sorry Grace, a big Nay for you.

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  5. Oh, nay! Was this a misguided attempt to bring back the Puritan look? Or was she just a fashion-clueless nerd? Either way she looks like she would bore you with talk about sinfulness. Sorry, no turning back the clock on the Restoration.

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  6. The only thing I like about this is the dress's simplicity and contrasting colors. The "lace throwback" ... *thing* ... just looks ridiculous. And where is her hair?? So I say nay.

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  7. oj, I have never seen unflattering painting as this one. Nay!!!!

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  8. I like the shape of the dress, the sleeves and skirt and all. But once you get to the bodice/bosom is where it get's all wrong. The lace is just weird, and overall the color and ambiance is too dark. Alas, I give this a nay.

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  9. It looks like a bad photoshop job by someone who is trying the program for the first time.

    UGH!

    Nay!

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  11. Takes your breath away - for all the wrong reasons. NAY!

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  12. I think this is a really interesting vision.
    The shadows emphasize a slimness that is currently appealing to our eyes but shows a lack of shoulders that we find offputting.

    The dress texture and lack of decoration is really modern. Her face too could be one seen in any European or North American city today. We wouldn't call her pretty and she doesn't fit the mold of pretty 18th century pulchritude. I wonder if this would be more appealing a style if she was.

    I expect seeing the flash through the capelette in real life was probably pretty alluring. Under the transparent fabric she appears naked from the nipple up, so this is a vision of the juxtaposition of prudery and licentiousness. Or should be.

    The grand paintings of a century before would have shown a dress that looked far less structured and more "robey", ready to fall open at the least effort on the part of the sitter or viewer (at least in his fantasy), so it is interesting to see West's interpretation is so highly structured. This dress can't come off with a shrug.
    I think as a look this painting fails to appeal because the model lacks both the looks and the sensuality to carry it off. She doesn't loll. She gazes squarely at the viewer but doesn't flirt and definitely wouldn't put out.

    Yay for the painting of the fabric.
    Nay for the rest.

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  13. I would say a definite 'Nay,' her head is way too small for the rest of her, at least in this painting.

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  14. Nay,the little cape thing around her neck looks just icky, and the color of the gown is too dark, also she looks ready to smack someone with the fan in her right hand, total Nay if I were the painter i would have posed her in less of a stiff position and said " smile madame" in a very french way

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  15. Sadly, and for oh so many reasons, NAY!

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  16. Awkward and unapeeling. The gold has potential but the neckline and wrap thing is too unflattering. Nay.

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  17. OMG, oh no, nay, nay, does that head really go on that body?!?!? Yikes, the woman looks all odd & disjointed, the painting itself dark & foreboding, it really doesn't help with the line painted downward from the corner of the mouth, reminids me of a ventriloquist figure, eep, nighmares!!! Very unflattering painting. Makes me wonder if the artist was paid for this.

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  18. Nay, the mantelet alone manages to ruin anything.

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  19. Manelet! Thank you Alisa I couldn't remember the proper name for it!

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  20. I love the color of her dress, but otherwise nay. Grace Peel -- isn't she servant to the original Mrs Rochester?

    I've gotten bogged down in Cecilia--she is reading Mortimer's letter explaining his *disrespectful* marriage proposal. Sometimes Burney's dialogue and description are vivid and amusing, but her love scenes can be excruciating. Now reading a bio of Abigail Adams (by Woody Holton)--same time period, but such a different life!

    Katherine Louise

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  21. A big Nay.


    I subscribe Comtesse Olympe words.

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  22. Nay, but perhaps not as emphatically as everyone else.

    Without the mantelet, and with a smile on her face, I imagine she might look quite nice.

    The fabric of the dress is certainly lovely and very beautifully rendered.

    I just wish she weren't scowling at me.

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  23. I know why it's by "Benjamin West (allegedly)," no one could possibly admit to painting this...sorry, I had to say that. It's just hideous! NAY!
    Au Revoir,
    ♥Danette

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  24. Nay. The lace whisk just looks terrible, like she's about to get her hair done, or something. It's really a shame, because the fabrics of her gown look delicious.

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  25. She does look rather unfortunate in so many ways. Nay!

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  26. Wow, people are quite vocal about this one. I have to agree with what most people have said. It is way too stiff and odd looking.
    Nay.

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  27. NAY! That looks horrid!

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