Wednesday Series: Art in Context

Painted Ladies in Casanova’s Time
Jessica L. Fripp, assistant professor of art history, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 12:30 PM

Casanova claimed that the French portraitist Jean-Marc Nattier could paint a woman who was ugly, yet make her appear beautiful, deeming the artist’s skills “magic.” While Nattier was certainly a talented artist, his portraits—and the opinions of Casanova, who had his own ideas about beauty—should be considered within constructions of femininity of their time. This talk addresses portraits of women by Nattier and others alongside societal expectations of dress, make-up and behavior of women in 18th-century France.  

Dr. Jessica Fripp, who joined the faculty of TCU in 2016, teaches courses on European art and visual culture from 1700 to 1945, as well courses on the art, fashion and decorative arts of 18th-century France. Her research explores social relationships and the production of visual and material culture in the 18th century. She co-edited the volume Artistes, Savants et Amateurs: Art et sociabilité au 18e siècle (2016). Her current book project investigates how artists’ portraits relate to changing and often-contradictory ideas of friendship, and she has written an essay about portraits of menopausal women for the forthcoming book Making Ideas Visible in the Eighteenth Century.

These free lectures introduce works in the permanent collection and selected exhibitions on view at the Kimbell. Kahn Auditorium