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Picturing a World

Drawing at the Louvre

At one point during my research, I became enamored of engraver and librarian François Courboin’s colored illustrations for Octave Uzanne’s Fashion in Paris: The Various Phases of Feminine Taste and Æsthetics from 1797 to 1897. I studied the pictures both for the clothes and their various settings in Paris. Here two women are researching fashion history at the Bibliothéque Nationale. When I sent Jeanette to meet Emily in the Louvre after she has been invited to show her portfolio to Carolus-Duran, I wrongly remembered this picture as being set in the Louvre's print room. No matter. The important thing was that the French government offered facilities for research and artistic practice, and women took advantage. Furthermore, my guess is that some of you also have a tale of a creatively mistaken memory—if so, share it below!

For an array of Courboin’s plates from Uzanne’s book, click here.
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