Round gown

Date: ca. 1798

Culture: British

Medium: cotton, wool

Credit Line: Purchase, Gifts from Various Donors, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.222.1


The round gown of the 1790s stands just before the complete renunciation of three-dimensional shaping and color in the First Empire, more or less imitating Greek sculpture bereft of polychromy (as it was often seen and envisioned in the eighteenth century). Delicate polychrome wool crewel embroidery saves this dress from the austerity of the later style and assures a date of about 1798; the piece fully anticipates the Empire style but retains one last vestige of rococo ornament and incident.