Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yay or Nay? Anne-Germaine Larrivee de Vermenoux

Miss Ridge won us over last week and she gained a Yay for her simple yet unique gown.  But simplicity isn't the name of the game this week.


Jean-Étienne Liotard draws Anne-Germaine Larrivee (1764) in her very couture gown of blue and white and pearls.  Yay or Nay?

[Private Collection]

27 comments:

heidenkind said...

The pearls are just too much. It's a little gaudy for me. Nay!

Caramea said...

Definitely NAY! I like the fresh combo of white and blue, but the overall design of the dress is just weird and cheep looking. So nay.

Rebecca said...

I can't decide whether I hate it or not. So, I have to say, Meh

Laura said...

What is she doing? A tap dancing move? The colors are nice-you can't go wrong with blue and white_ but what an odd pose. I find it hard to believe she agreed to pose like that?! Perhaps the artist wanted to make her look ridiculous? Big NAY!

Vinery said...

Does the lady like snakes? The one she seems to reach out for resembles the pearl broach on her bodice. NAY.

Anonymous said...

I never really know whether to say yay or nay, but Heather, let me congratulate you on the selection of the Yay or Nay paintings, I don't know where you find them but it's made me discover many a beautiful painting! :)

*and happy bloggiversary!*

Avierra said...

The pearls are a bit over the top. I like the colors, and the blue suits her. I like the sash around that teeny little waist also, as well as the undersleeve... I don't think I have seen that before. on an 18th century dress. It's almost as if she was drawing inspiration from Renaissance gowns (which would make sense since she is posing with a Classical bust). But the pearls are one step beyond, even with the flamboyance of the 18th century, and shows a bit of tastelessness.

My verdict: NAY.

MmeHistoire said...

An odd portrait. She seems to be gesturing to the bust of the man and his snake. What does that say? Her dress is a mess. Misplaced pearl decorations, strange bows on the sleeves...the whole thing is just odd! Nay!

nightsmusic said...

I hate to say this, but at first glance (I didn't realize those were pearls) she looked like a washerwoman! So sorry, but 'nay'.

NightJohn said...

I say YAY! I know it looks a bit odd, but I think it's meant to be ironic. It's sort of a classic milkmaid dress, which is just funny on an wealthy woman, especially with the pearls (which I think is something that is very 'now'). She really brings the irony home with the rustic bust of Apollo.

Lana'sTea said...

She looks like a less pouffy version of a bridesmaid from 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding', or an elderly Alice in Wonderland. NAY.

fuchsias18thcdress said...

Never thought I'd say this about an 18th century outfit (they were so good at it during that time), but NAY NAY NAY!!!
Ever heard of "less is more"? Ok -sometimes "more is more", but even then it's a matter of combining all this "more" to make it look "less".
Take off those ghastly long sleeves, loose a pound or two of those pearls - then maybe yay. The colors are nice, but that's all!
Also, stop talking to busts - they are dead objects and cannot hear you!

Carrots said...

I don't know what it is that I dislike about this dress, but it's something! Nay.

Plum said...

nay, i want to like it because i love that vivid blue but its just...odd

Anonymous said...

Jeez we need a big old fat Art Historian to explain the significance of the relationship between the everly large pearls to the bust and the serpent. Thanks.
Retro

bookishmiss said...

Nay, definitely nay! It's, it's ... just an absolute MESS! And an excellent reminder that there are bad fashion choices in every era!

PvtSam75 said...

Hmmm...interesting. Love the color combo, and the pearls are nice-they aren't overpowering her. It's definitely different, but I have to give it a yay!

Can't See Sheep said...

LOL! Lana's Tea.


The colours are beautiful, but that's where my positives stop for this outfit. the brooch is very distracting & the rest of it doesn't sit right for some reason. It's like someone went crazy with a glue gun & pearl strands, gluing them to anything that was still long enough. I'm surprised the bust doesn't have a few. Speaking of the bust, it looks like the bust of Alexander the Great, either way, unless Anne-Germaine Larrivee is Greek or of Greek ancestry, I'm not getting it & I've been googling for an hour now looking up symbolism.

Katherine Louise said...

Nay. Maybe the whole outfit would look better if she was better posed--Laura is right, looks like the big finish of a tap dance routine. Any idea who the bust is of? Is she acknowledging the man's greatness? perhaps a relative?

Katherine Louise said...

". . . Anne-Marie Larrivée [was] born in Sedan in 1739, orphaned at an early age and had a difficult childhood. She married a Parisian, Baron Paul Girardot de Vermenoux with whom she had a son, Louis-Auguste, born around 1757. A great beauty but always sickly, Mme de Vermenoux travelled to Geneva in 1758 to consult the well-known doctor Théodore Tronchin to whom she later gave, as a token of appreciation for her cure, a portrait of herself bending towards a bust of Aesculapius [the Greek god of medicine and healing], an extremely unusual allegorical work executed by Liotard in 1764. . . . Mme de Vermenoux remained in Geneva until 1764 when she returned to Paris. Her husband died in 1765." From Sotheby's catalogue, on the sale of another portrait of her. Don't you love history's mysteries!

Madame Hamilton said...

This outfit had so much potential. If there were a just a little less blue and a touch more white it could be lovely. Unfortunately it just makes her look rather dowdy. So, sadly, a Nay from me.

The Dreamstress said...

Ye gods! That is hideous! It looks like a Project Runway designer (one of the bad ones with no taste) got told to do 18th century!

The pearls are too big, there are too many elements in the dress, the hair, the trimmings - everything.

The Dreamstress said...

Oh, that's a Nay, in case that wasn't obvious.

Katie said...

I love, love, love the color of the dress. Teal and white is lovely. It really complements her coloring. The brooch on the chest and the necklace are nice touches, I think. However, if she took the brooch away, the whole outfit would look 10x better.

HOWEVER, the bracelets and everything else is a bit...much. Truly.

It's hard to say because I see how she could have fixed it. Okay, IF she took the brooch on the bodice away, it would be a YAY (only because I think she would be able to pull it off). But, the brooch makes it costumey....so, nay?

Gosh, it's so hard!

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Ellen said...

I must say NAY. I agree with other commenters that the colours are beautiful, but the sleeves, pearls and the posing look just too awkward and ugly for me. Maybe, without the pearls, it would have been a yay.

janiceb said...

I will go against the grain here and say yay. I think the pose might be throwing off some of the elements of the gown, and I'm willing to squint and think I might like it if she was standing up. I like that her hair reflects the pattern of the broach. Also, sentimental points for the origin of the portrait puts it over the edge for me.