Beechey’s Decolletage

May 26, 2013 at 11:17 am (fashion, history, people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , )


Images are EVERYTHING in a project of this sort. The stress of KNOWING items were painted, drawn, sketched… But “Where are they NOW?” is THE question. On Memoirture, Calista asked me if I had an image of Mary. Maybe? was the best answer I could give. For the famous Beechey portrait of Mary and Margaret Elizabeth Gosling seems found – and, yet, how can it be so?

The dilemma stems from the 1958 sale at auction (sold to “Leger”) of the Suttons portrait, and the acquisition of the known-Beechey by the Huntington Museum (West Virginia) occurred prior to that date.

Beechey-MaryAnd yet…

The Gosling girls are said to be 3/4-length, seated at a piano, with music in the hand of the elder and a frill painted (for modesty, it was painted years later by that same elder sister!) along the neckline of the younger sister. All those elements are there. You can view the Early Music magazine cover here. (It’s a PDF).

*

Read my two earlier posts about this Beechey, “The Sisters,” Portrait:

Calista’s inquiry, however, had me looking at other Beechey female portraits; were their decolletage all that ‘on view’? I’ll leave it to you to judge for yourself that Elizabeth Christie could have had more to cover up on other Beechey portraits!

beechey_portrait girl

Portrait of a Girl, c1790

beechey_MissHarrietBeechey

Harriet Beechey (undated)

beechey_ElizabethBeresford

Miss Elizabeth Beresford (undated)

Beechey-LadyClintonWalters

Lady Clinton Walters (c1810)

beechey_lady_elizabeth_cole

Lady Elizabeth Cole (undated)

beechey_portrait lady

Portrait of a Lady (1825)

beechey_frances addington

Frances Addington (c1805)

beechey-AnnLee

Miss Ann Lee (undated)

beechey_Miss Abernathy

this last might have made Victorian-era Elizabeth Christie blush:
Miss Abernathy (undated)

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