Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yay or Nay? Mary Turner Sargent

Dolce and Gabbana was right in taking a cue from Madame Adelaide who earned many Yays for her starry peach gown.  Of course many, like myself, wouldn't like the gown at all if not for the stars.  Perhaps if they were on this week's gown...


John Singleton Copley paints Mrs Sargent in a midnight blue robe a la francaise.  Yay or Nay?

[Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco]

32 comments:

  1. Yay, love the deep blue colour

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  2. I love the fabric, but that choker and her hair... No. So not a good look! It'd be a yay from neck down and a nay from neck up.

    Since there's more of bottom-Mary than of top-Mary, I guess the overall is a yay (but with some reservations - like 75% yay).

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  3. The gown is a HUGE yay! But again, a caveat...she looks like an ostrich! What ever is wrong with the man's perspective that he would paint her neck unnaturally long. With that choker, she looks like the women in that African tribe who keep adding rings to their neck to make it longer.

    And the hair is much too small for the outfit. She's bottom heavy.

    So, the dress is a yay, the lady is a nay.

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  4. I agree with nightsmusic- the gown is absolutely gorgeous, but the lady herself is rather ugly and out of proportion. I give it half a yay.

    His historical paintings were fabulous too (The Death of Major Pierson is my absolute favourite)!

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  5. Oh dear, blogger was crabby and would not display the picture,so I googled it and hope I got the correct picture; beautiful blue gown, dead butch looking lady. The artist could have at least painted out her faint mustach. Really. Retro.

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  6. SECOND TRY: I googled and reviewed the ENTIRE collection of Mr. Copley and discovered that the blue gown was equaly popular with Mary Tappen in 1763. I SWEAR it is the same gown. Still a very beautiful gown. Big YAY from Retro.

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  7. Oh my goodness Yay! I don't know what's up with her strange little I'm-trying-to-be-a-ruff-but-I-know-that's-not-in-right-now-so-I'm-a-choker, but the dress is GORGEOUS. I love it. My very favorite reenactment dress is actually quite similar. Yay, yay, yay.

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  8. Is she drowning a bird in the waterfall? What exactly is she doing?

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  9. That choker is a Nay! It reminds me of the kiddie urban legend about the girl with the ribbon around her neck! The dress is a nice color, the stomacher has nice details, but the gown is a bunch of messy details. The top half of the portrait has nothing going on to balance it. Nay.

    ~Lylassandra

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  10. It seems Blogger is being a prat and has decided not to let me see the photo. However, Google images is a wonderful thing as the first million (exaggerating here) photos are of a blue dress with a white ruff. From the comments, I'm assuming that's the photos you posted. (Of course, now that I go to see if it would work this time, the image appears. Blasted Blogger!)

    The colors of the dress, first off, are gorgeous. Dark blue with white, gold and silver accents. The intricacy of the accents what makes this dress beautiful and unique. I especially like the sleeves because of the delicate lace edges.

    Without looking at her proportions (i.e. looking at the outfit all together), the neck ruff doesn't work with the delicacy and Rococo fashion of the gown; it's too Elizabethan. I think she tried to make it Rococo by sticking a pink ribbon on it, but it doesn't work.

    The hair is a bit un-poofy for the era, I think, but I think it works to an extent. It would work if she got rid of the horn (yes, I'm calling it a horn!) with flowers or made the hair puffier. The horn makes no sense here.

    The overall outfit is a yay, I think.

    Now, proportion wise, her neck and neck are the only things not proportional, in my opinion. It looks as if he--in the sketching phase--worked from the bottom up. Working from the bottom up nearly always results in small heads and shoulders OR the opposite. Alternatively, he might have made the head and neck bigger intending to make her body in proportion with that, but decided against it. Who knows?

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  11. The gown itself is a yay. Copley did a fantastic job --- the use of color and the shine make the dress almost tangible. It comes close to walking right out of the picture!

    However, the choker and hairstyle (and, sadly, the lady herself) leave a lot to be desired. It's as if Copley put all his effort into the dress and skimped on the background and Mrs Sargent.

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  12. love the gown, but hate the ruff on her neck. Perhaps she is trying to draw attention to her long neck. but yay, anyway.

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  13. The dress is fair enough, but ol' giraffe neck? Blimey.

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  14. Yay from me. I love the colour and the shine on the gown!

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  15. I agree with many of the others here - lady herself and neck nay, but the gown, YAY! So, overall, I suppose it's a yay.

    (Love your blog, as always ^^)

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  16. I too, had problems seeing the pic til today. Awesome dress! and beautifully rendered. Not too sure what she is doing either with the waterfall thingy or that choker around her neck. At least she doesn't have that nasty gray fuzzy hair though, so I will give it a Yay.

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  17. Everything from the shoulders down gets a yay! from me, but I am not crazy about the choker---ah, let me be honest, I LOATHE it. Her hair is not great either. But the gown is fabulous enough to earn her a YAY from me!

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  18. I too couldn't see the dress until today. Glad I came back, because it's simply beautiful! Definitely a YAY!

    I'm not sure the problem is that her neck is too long. I think it may be the excessive slope of her shoulders that makes it look long. I don't know if that was reality or fashion.

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  19. Great dress, but she needs a stylist! I agree with Nightsmusic- I was also thinking ostrich. Yay for the dress, though!

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  20. Yes, thank you all who left comments about their difficulty. I changed the picture source and I am glad that solved the problem!

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  21. I love the dress! But the model doesn't look so impressing... she's rather lame. Boring hair, boring pose, and yuck that collar is ugly! But all in all, for the beautiful dress' sake, I'll give it a YAY!

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  22. Yay...on the dress..love the color. Love the depth and the shine of the blue but Nay on the over elongated neck...

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  23. I like the dress and her overall look BUT it seems as though it is doing a London Bridge and "falling down, falling down" . I mean, everything is drooping on her. Weird! and her neck couldn't have really been that long, right?

    I'm sorry to say that I have to say Nay.

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  24. I had to come back and agree with Lana's Tea- what is she doing? It really does look as though she is drowning a bird! Anyone know what is really going on?

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  25. Katherine LouiseJune 7, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    I say Yay. The proportions of her neck do seem a little odd, but perhaps emphasized to make her appear more elegant and swanlike. She is holding half of a scallop shell, perhaps a connection to her hometown of Salem, Mass., and her husband's family in Gloucester. Both families were merchants with strong connections to the sea.

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  26. Its big big huge YAY from me. Its such a dramatic colour and the gold compliments it so beautifully. The silver of the lace makes it look so delicate. I waaaaaant. Now. I think its beautiful. I don't mind the ruff/choker thing, but it doesn't really go with the rest of the outfit. Which is a pity really. Coz a nicer hairstyle and maybe a black velvet kinda choker would have looked lovely. Might have even improved the dear lady's looks somewhat. Though I'm just hoping she was painted from an unfortunate angle...

    What? It can happen sometimes!:D

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  27. Nay. Love the colour - one of my favs - but that collar is just plain distracting.

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  28. Yay, love the dress, especially the sleeves, love the colour, can't stand the choker or the hair!

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  29. Love the gown- the choker looks ridiculous!

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  30. YAY DRESS! Nay woman....her neck is kinda...scary? ditto with the chocker

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  31. Yay for the dress, but not for the lady.

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