The Lure of Perfection: Fashion and Ballet, 1780-1830

By Judith Chazin Bennahum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1

Setting the Stage

Aristocratic Fashion and Baroque Body Politics before the French Revolution

The Baroque period began with the era of Louis XIV's reign (1661-1715) and extended beyond his death to the French Revolution in 1789. The period evoked images of great opulence, panoply, and sensuousness in which fashion and ballet followed a carefully coded vocabulary. The Baroque aesthetic had to change in order to yield to newer ways of conceiving women's clothing.

For more than four hundred years, the chief purpose of decorative clothing in Western Europe and colonial countries had been the differentiation and division of people according to birth and wealth, which the nobility between the fourteenth and the eighteenth centuries had secured by numerous sumptuary laws and edicts. Fashion rules the world, but who rules fashion? At every age there have been a few men and women who have stood out as the dictators in manners of fashion, and occasionally these were not the most outstanding leaders in other phases of life. Sumptuary laws, or codes that regulated how people dressed, created a fashion system assuring that only rulers, clergy, and court lieges could dress in certain kinds of clothing. It is important to realize that although the aristocracy represented a tiny portion of the population, this privileged group reigned supreme over taste and manners.

In the late eighteenth century, the aristocracy fancied itself at the center of the world, reviving the image of Louis XIV's Sun King, around whose glaring radiance everything revolved. The concept of the Sun King came from Louis XIV's early foray into ballet, when he danced the role of the sun in Le Ballet de la Nuit (1653). After all, from the king's bright light came

-9-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Lure of Perfection: Fashion and Ballet, 1780-1830
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 280

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.