MONUMENT DU СOSTUME

Moscow, Tsaritsyno Museum and Nature Reserve, Khlebny Dom (The House of bread)
December 18, 2019 - April 12, 2020
The central exhibit of a new exposition was the engravings of the series Monument du сostume physique et moral de la fin du dix-huitième siècle, ou Tableaux de la vie (fr. Memorial evidence of the way of life, material and moral, at the end of the 18th century, or Pictures of life), depicting scenes of high society life in the last third of the 18th century. They contain all the everyday life of a noble Parisian of that era, from morning dressing to dinner with friends, from home music making to visiting the opera, from children's upbringing to court ceremonies. Not only the situations, but their entire entourage are presented in a comprehensive manner. The greatest attention is paid to costumes: home and evening dresses, court attire, theatrical costumes, outfits for walking and riding, clothes of lackeys and maids. The art of dressing is not separated here from the art of interior design or the art of manners and appropriate behaviour – that is from the lifestyle, the façon de vivre. Attentively and even somewhat meticulously, the authors of Monument du costume try to capture all the components of bon ton — good manners: the most fashionable furniture, porcelain, bronze, musical instruments, dog breeds, places for walking, types of card games, types of needlework, kinds of hunting and ways of raising children. All of them are clearly regulated and organised, a certain situation corresponds to a certain place, costume, set of accessories, manners. Each scene is given special significance, a kind of monumentality, expressing the desire to perpetuate the elegant beauty of the life of aristocrats in the second half of the 18th century. The engravings of the series were created between 1775 and 1783, but were published only in 1789 – the year of the beginning of the French Revolution, which put an end to the era depicted in the Monument du costume.

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