After Jean Bérain

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After Jean Bérain
1640-1711
Costume for Court Ballet
ca. 1720
Watercolor, metallic watercolor and white opaque watercolor over graphite on laid paper.
9 11/16 x 6 7/16 inches (246 x 163 mm)
Gift of Mrs. Donald M. Oenslager, 1982.
1982.75:686
Inscription: 

Numbered on verso, "8".

Provenance: 
Donald M. Oenslager (1902-1975), New York; by descent to his wife, Mary P. Oenslager (1897-1995), New York.
Notes: 

Watermark: crown surmounting a shield (partial).
Donald Oenslager attributed this sheet to Jean I Berain, the famed designer of courtly entertainments under Louis XIV. It is more likely the work of a designer from the generation following Berain the Elder. By 1710 the French stage adopted short breeches worn under flared coattails widened by hoops. The touches of silver in the costume serve to exploit the soft candlelight of interior performances. The dancer's cape and ostrich feather headdress reflect the continuing tradition of the baroque stage well into the eighteenth century.

Associated names: 

Oenslager, Donald, 1902-1975, former owner.

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