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Advantages of wearing muslin dresses!, James Gillray


Advantages of wearing muslin dresses!, James Gillray



After the title, "dedicated to the serious attention of the Fashionable Ladies of Great Britain." An enormously fat lady flings up arms, legs, and tea-cup in terror, as her flimsy gown catches fire from a red-hot poker falling from the grate (left). She, a stiff military officer, and a young woman sit at a round tea-table. The man sits paralyzed, alarmed and helpless, spilling his tea. The girl has added to the calamity by knocking over the tea-table so that urn and tea-pot spill their scalding contents, and crockery slides towards the floor. A loutish footman enters (right) but has stopped dead, dropping a dish of muffins. A frightened cat scampers from the hearth-rug. Over the chimney-piece is a picture of Vesuvius in eruption. The woman is a monstrous creature with bare arms and elaborately dressed hair (or wig), a patterned carpet completes the design (BM). / Muslin dresses had become very fashionable at the period when this caricature was published, and several disastrous results of accidental ignition gave to this print a peculiar air of truthfulness. It may be that those interested in the print trade encouraged the production of what was likely to remove prestige from its rival (Wright/Evans).
Courtesy of Boston Public Library





Boston Public Library

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james gillray 1756 1815 prints and drawings
james gillray 1756 1815 prints and drawings