Ghersaint's Shopsign III

by Antoine Watteau, c. 1720
Charlottenburg, Berlin

And here we have an example of French fashion in transition: It was the time of the régence, when Philipp of Orléans reigned for the infant Louis XV. Clothing became sloppier in the absence of a royal court.

The lady wears the newest fashion, a contouche with the distincive pleats in back that were named after the painter. The pleats give the garment the looseness that made it so popular as "undress." It is not fitted to the waist yet.

She slightly lifts her robe so that we see the hem of a jupe of the same colour underneath. The sleeves are peculiar in that they are closely pleated along the back of the arm, a technique often seen during the first decades of the century, but not later.

The man still wears the wig style of the old era, but a smaller version. The low waistline of the coat, the long opening above breast and belly, and the stockings being pulled over the breeches (rather than worn underneath) also belong to the ancien régime style.

The people can be assumed to be wealthy: The shop sign was painted for an art dealer and shows customers looking at his ware.