[With] the advent of a more rustic style, infinitely easier to copy than a lavish robe a la francaise, women’s costume no longer transmitted reliable messages about background and class. Like Marie Antoinette’s playful adoption of menial roles on the stage at the Petit Trianon, this trend suggested an unsettling possibility for confusion between high and low, princess and peasant.
—Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber
Self-Portrait (1888). Thérèse Schwartze (Dutch, 1852-1918). Oil on canvas. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
Schwartz realistically displays herself in the act of painting. She wears her glasses and blocks the light from her eyes with her raised hand to better see her reflection in a mirror. She has unbuttoned her sleeves in readiness and pushed them part way up her arm to avoid the paint. The palette she holds is enormous as is the bunch of brushes in her hand.
Chipping Campden, England