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National Portrait Gallery – Edinburgh

National Portrait Gallery:


We had a Study Session booked at the National Collection Centre in Edinburgh last week. So off we set, across the country to have a look at some Eighteenth Century Stays, Shifts and Hoops. On arrival into Scotland we found we had a free half afternoon and straight away we went to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. Time well spent!

Here are some of the paintings we were allowed to take photos of:

Queen Charlotte -c.1763 - Ramsey - HandBound 18th C. Costume research, royal court wear for the eighteenth century, research into 18th c. costume, made to measure historical inspired costumes, Edinburgh National Portrait gallery, Scottish Collections, Allan Ramsey, Coronation Gown images of Queen Charlotte

Painted by Allan Ramsey in about 1763. Here stands Queen Charlotte, wife of George III in all her regalia. She wears a stiff bodied gown very much in the style of the previous century. This must have been incredibly heavy to wear,

George III by Ramsey c.1763 - HandBound Costume, national portarit gallery of scotland, costume research, a look into goergian court wear, made to measure eighteenth century costume

Here is the second in the matching pair of the Coronation of King George III. Again, painted by Ramsey in about 1763.
Details include really deep and wide Cuffs, Stockings under the breeches which come just below the knee – button fly.
– Waistcoat in matching fabric with the buttons all done up down to waist.
– Coat appears to be caped with a shoulder cape and trimmed with ermine.
– Cloak is pale blue with gold border and oodles of ermine.
– Pale Blue stockings.
Below is a close-up of his breeches with a Button Fly.

Button Fly - George III - HandBound Costumes, Royal Portraits and their costumes, Breeches with button flies mid eighteenth century, men's historical costume and georgian costume, mens breeches and how they were cut and sewn and worn, 18th century made to measure costume research

Earl of Morton and Family - Davison - 1740 - HandBound Costumes Research, family paintings from the 1700's, clothing worn by women and their children, an example of a child with a doll, a boy in skirts and the eldest breeched, georgian clothing researched into by handBound Costumes, custom made replica clothing for reenactments or theatre,

– This above painting is of the Earl of Morton with his Family. It is by Jeremiah Davidson and was painted in 1740.
– Some interesting features include an example of a boy in skirts before he was breeched ( a lady at the Scottish Collections Centre suggested this was about 4-6 years of age). He is the second in on the right and is handing his older brother an arrow. He also wears a kind of jacket over the top with elaborate frogging. His brother has a collarless jacket on and a nice example of a functional button-cuff.
– The middle girl is holding a sweet and rather clear example of a child’s doll and also has the top of a red shoes slipping out from beneath her gown.
– The Mother wears what looks like a Round Gown and a cap with lappets that are pinned under her chin. She has a treble pinched grown on cuff and rather plain ruffles.

James Boswell - Willison 1765 - HandBound Costumes - National Scottish gallery Boswell, eighteenth century costume research, men's historical costume made to measure georgian clothingJames Boswell – by George Willison 1765.

Interesting Details:
– Another example of this fashion of not fully buttoning up the waistcoat around the waistline area and having a tuft of shift sticking through it. This is visible on more than just one portrait and therefore less likely to be just an accident. However it could be a standard way for artist’s to show it as a relaxed portrait rather than a stiff, formal one.
– He has a Tricorn hat in his hand, a fur lined jacket and maroon breeches and matching waistcoat with gold trim and buttons.
– Black Cravat with a high-necked collar shirt.

The Old Pretender James III by Monaldi in July 1747, HandBound Costume research, Made to measure historical Costume, Jacobite clothing research, Eighteenth Century Historical Costume Research and bespoke garments, wide pannier dresses, robe a la francais and the wide side hoops, court wear for the mid 18th cent and 1747, Royalty and what they wore, close-up and details of paintings form the Georgian period, Costume in paintings from the eighteenth century, what the Georgians wore, Custom made 18th century costume, rococo dress,

–  James III Congratulating His Son Henry as Cardinal by Monaldi, Pubalacci, July 1747.
– We’ve actually done a whole page on this painting because, although it doesn’t look that big here, it’s actually massive and the crowd contains a whole realm of detail of costumes. Please click on this link here if you wanted to see the close-ups on ‘A Study of a Painting: James III by Monaldi – 1747‘ which is situated in our  Customer Library.
– Wide Pannier Robe a la Francais Dresses, Rome fashions with striped headdresses and examples of Plebeian costume, all within the crowd.

Baptism of Charles Stuart - Antonio David - 1725 - HandBound, historical costume research into 18th century fashion, 1720's costume images, Bonnie Prince Charlie Stuart christening,  mob cap with lappets images from georgian headdresses,  clocked stockings and examples of ceremonial colours and fashionable colours for stockings,  examples of georgian mens costume in early 1720's, womens costume in early 1720's, made to measure period clothing, historical bespoke costume

The Baptism of Charles Stuart – Antonio David – 1725

– Here are some prime examples of caps with long, narrow and straight lappets. The only ladies that are wearing caps are on the left hand side of the painting, behind the Clergy. I don’t know if there is any siginificance to this or if it is just chance but all the ladies here are wearing two-layered caps with two layers of lappets.
– We’ve got some close-up studies of this painting in our Customer library entitled A Study of a Painting: Baptism of Charles Stuart – please click on this link and take a look at our notes and the details of the costumes of the ladies behind.

Alexander Murray of Elibank - Ramsey - 1742 - HandBound Costume, Mens georgian costume research and images, mens styles of fashion throughout the eighteenth century, historical tailored costume, Bespoke Tailored Georgian Clothing

Ramsey – 1742 – Alexander Murray of Elibank

– High neck cravat wkith frill hanging down.
– Possibly natural hair styled similarly to a wig.
– Black Jacket with Red Fcaed collar and gold braid/embroidery.

John Campbell - 4th Earl of Loudoun - Ramsey - 1747 - HandBound Eighteenth Century Costume Research, Close-up study of painting, mens fashion in the 1700's, mid-eighteenth century mens costume, bespoke historical and period costumes for men

John Campbell – Ramsey – 1747

– Nice example of the looser sleeves that tightened as the years went on.
– Finer braid, white wig and with a hat tucked up under his arm. Also wears high-necked white cravat with frill.

Maria Clementina - by or after Trevisani - 1719 - HandBound Costumes, 18th century court fashion and royal portraiture, Stiff bodied gown and early 18th century costume, court mantua with stones,

Maria Clementina – Trevisani – 1719

– Floral silk Soft-Bodied Mantua Gown over Stiff stomacher beaded with stones. Belt round waist is also set with stones.
– In these dresses you can easily see the development of the Anglais and Francais robes, the robings and the skirt sections are all incredibly similar to later on in the century.
– She has two layers of lace ruffles under her sleeves and the gem on the indent of her elbow is possible a broach that holds the pinch-pleated cuff together.
– Museum’s notes say powdered hair not wig and there appear to be ermine tails on the edge as a tassle of her cloak.
– This tree of dripping stones, as a way of describing it appears in a few portraits and in fact include another image in the same museum. We wonder if it is more of a catholic country fashion as the Scottish were closely catholic at this point and England were following more Dutch fashions at this particular point of time.

Sir Alistair MacDonald - attr Chalmers - 1772 - HandBound, late 18th century example of Scottish plaid in historical costume, mens historical costume, history of the kilt,

Sir Alistair MacDonald – attributed to Chalmers – 1772

– These are great images. It was a real pleasure to be able to see such large portraits showing kilted suits. Here is one of those images and this portrait was atleast 1.5 mts in height.
– Here the jacket takes on the more cut-away look of the late eighteenth century.
– We’re not too au fait with kilts and the particulars worn with them and dates of when such items came into popular use are unknown to us, but here he wears a Sporran, has either plaid stockings or strapped up looking laces.
– Ruffle-less shirt sleeves, high cravat and frill, short waistcoat trimmed with red (what looks like) piping.Red Faced jackets which at this stage is kind of the beginning of the lapel.
– He carries a hat in tartan and a gun in his right hand and a ‘no idea what’ in his left.

Ann Forbes - David Allan 1781 - HandBound Costume, womens eighteenth century costume research, portraits of fashion for the 1700's, 1780's fashion

Anne Forbes (1745-1834) by David Allan – 1781

– Anne Forbes, according to the museum’s notes was a painter who studied in Rome but on returning didn’t quite make it in setting herself up as a portrait painter. She settles for being a drawing teacher which was considered a more appropriate role for a woman.
– Here’s she’s depicted wearing quite a distinctive shawl. It has a fringing edge – probably long fur and liens of decorative trim.
– Her hair is also quite clear and distinctive – with the large plait coming up from the bottom – and natural.

james Hutton - Raeburn - 1785-90 - HandBound Costumes

James Hutton by Sir Henry Raeburn – 1785-90

– James Hutton is considered to be the founder of the study of  Geology. His portrait here shows some of his Naturalistic interests.
– His three piece suit appears to be all the same fabric and colour with his breeches buttoning uite high with fairly small buttons and a narrow leg.
– His jacket has a Collar and no cuffs and the sleeves are also quite narrow.
– Again we have this buttoning up of the top part of the waistcoat and then down below the waist and with the shirt showing through the middle.
– He wears no wig but as the notes say; this derives from a relaxed portrait with him in his study and as he would be.

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