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John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Study of Mrs. Hugh Hammersly, ca. 1892
Oil on canvas
Charles and Elizabeth Buchanan Collection
1989.41

Costumes by French designers, particularly those designed by Charles Frederick Worth, could be seen on the pages of fashion magazines like Harper's Bazaar. Made from satins, velvets, and silks, and richly decorated with embroidery and beading, French designs appealed to women in the moneyed classes. Such a dress is worn by Mrs. Hugh Hammersly in her portrait by John Singer Sargent. The wife of a London banker, the wealthy young matron probably had access to the best of couturiers, any one of whom could have created the velvet rose and magenta gown in this study.