Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|“The common extent of accomplishments"
Written by JulieW
(5/2/2007 9:38 a.m.)
"It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are."
"All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?"
"Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished."
I thought you might like to see some examples of the “accomplishments” which so bedazzled our dear Charles.
As Felice Hodges in her book, Period Pastimes explains:
The notion of the budding artist appealed greatly to the aristocracy and gentry of the late 18th early 19th centuries, whose daughters’ “polite” accomplishments would not have been complete without a smattering of French, a pianoforte on which to perform and a portfolio of their own drawings.
By the early 1800s the majority of girls finishing schools featured regular tutorials in drawing and painting in their “pretty arts” syllabuses. For those educated at home under the guidance of a governess or able parent, a drawing master could usually be found
Here is a picture of the trade card of the kind of fashionable (and expensive) seminary I always think the Misses Bingley might have attended:
Painting could be taught by masters, or sometimes be self-taught by reading one of the available ‘instructor books’ which proliferated in the early 19th century.
My copy of An Introduction to Perspective, Practical Geometry Drawing and Painting-Properly Adapted for the Instruction of Females (1816) by Charles Hayter gives this salient advice:
Take our advice, fair reader, keep your eyes open…the most trifling incident, chosen and treated with taste, makes a picture
FX OFF: Sound of Teeth grinding.
Here is a painted pole screen of 1799, of shield shape, which was painted “In Memory of John P. Brant 1799”.
Pole screens were used in rooms to protect delicate complexions from the effects of fires in rooms (more on these later in the GR).
Here is a rather spectacular painted table, which was painted by a very successful 18th century female artist: Angelica Kauffman
I’m sure not every painted table would have been of this high standard ;-)
Here is an illustration of some netting tools and a purse:
And here is a postI made recently on the L+T Board about netting in general.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.