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Shoes

Date:
1690–1700
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, leather
Dimensions:
Length: 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
06.1344a, b
Not on view
The French Court championed excessively ornamented clothing and accessories, perhaps as a manifestation of the romantically exuberant decorative arts, or as a reflection of the gross superficiality of social custom. In the same fashion that the formal women's robe à la francaise was designed to showcase the luxurious embroideries and silk damask fabrics of the century, so too did the impossibly tight breeches, skirted waistcoats, and shapely shoes of menswear provide an adequate canvas for the period's woven artistry. Men's adornment was every bit imbued with the elegance, tactile variance, and ostentation that marked women's clothing of the era. The fashionable eighteenth–century man was expected to convey a certain grace, and was required to enjoy the fine arts, music, and dancing. The romantic curviture of these shoes encourages the voyeuristic eye, each arc paralleled by the sensuality of the male arch and calf.
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