The Sultana’s Style

The Sultana’s Style


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Wed, 04/06/2022 – 17:23

This costume portrait typifies the turquerie taste that penetrated aspects of European art and culture during the eighteenth century. Jean-Baptiste Greuze has posed an unidentified sitter in an opulent ensemble, which contemporaneous audiences would recognize as à la sultane (“the sultana’s style”), referring to imperial consorts in the harem of an Ottoman sultan. The artist’s interpretation of Ottoman dress, including a fur-trimmed half-sleeved robe resembling the kurdee and feather-adorned turban, has been filtered through French fashion tastes and ideal body type. In Eye, McQueen’s irreverent fusion of Turkish and Middle Eastern dress with contemporary Western fashion harkens back to this European turquerie vogue.

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