Drawing, Design for a Jeweled Stomacher
This is a drawing. It is dated late 18th century and we acquired it in 1938. Its medium is pen and black ink, brush and gray wash on laid paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.
The stomacher, an important part of a women's fashion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was a triangular panel of fabric worn on the front of the body, attached to the bodice of a dress with ribbon tabs and pins. Gowns were constructed so that the ornamental stomacher panel could be changed for different occasions and styles. The overall effect was to emphasize a narrow feminine waist. Due to their prominent position, stomachers were often highly decorative and made of a material that contrasted with the dress’s main fabric. This extravagant design for a stomacher, with its rich visual pattern and profusion of jewels, could only have been actualized for the wealthiest of clients. Although many designs for stomachers are known, most are for embroidery. Embroiderers could use silk and metal threads to resemble jewels, however the exactitude of this carefully executed pen and ink drawing closely resembles Italian jewelry designs, particularly in the precise faceting of the densely arranged diamonds. The designer, while operating a distinctly separate trade from the embroiderer or jeweler, would require good knowledge of how the work would be executed. This accounts for the drawing’s extreme clarity and minute details.
It is credited
Museum purchase through gift of various donors and from Eleanor G. Hewitt Fund.
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Its dimensions are
34.3 x 21.1 cm (13 1/2 x 8 5/16 in.)
It has the following markings
Stamp, verso: Museum of the Arts of Decoration, Lugt suppl. 457d. Lowest part of watermark similar to the monogram that appears on 1938-88-866.
Cite this object as
Drawing, Design for a Jeweled Stomacher; Previously owned by Giovanni Piancastelli (Italian, 1845–1926); Italy; pen and black ink, brush and gray wash on laid paper; 34.3 x 21.1 cm (13 1/2 x 8 5/16 in.); Museum purchase through gift of various donors and from Eleanor G. Hewitt Fund; 1938-88-868
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Hewitt Sisters Collect.