Online Dressing up: Costume in British portraits from the 18th century by Hugh Belsey

Mae McCourt

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Date(s) - December 8, 2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Dressing up: Costume in British portraits of the 18th century by Hugh Belsey

When posing for an artist, sitters gave special attention to the costume they wore. Some wore contemporary dress, some of their costumes and hairstyles were updated and other spurned fashionable dress and preferred to be shown in fancy dress or in something timeless and classical. Portraitist viewed complex costume as hard work and often simplified their sitter’s clothes. Costume often signifies status through the quality of the cloth and the jewelry. It might be a uniform or it might indicate a professional man. Costume can say much about the sitter and their aspirations and standing in the world.

Hugh Belsey, a graduate of the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham, is an experienced lecturer in Europe, Australia and the United States. For twenty-three years he curated Gainsbourough’s House in the UK where he formed one of the largest collections of the artist’s work. He has taught at the Universities of Melbourne and Buckingham and curated many exhibitions. He has also appeared as an expert witness in both the BBC series Fake or Fortune? and in BBC4’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces. In 2019 Yale University Press published his catalogue of portraits by Thomas Gainsborough; it was awarded the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History.

This event will not be recorded.

*This will be a Webinar event online. To register please click HERE. Webinar link and password will be sent to registered guests ONLY. A separate Virtual Stitch-In will also run in normal hours. 

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