Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Beach Scenes of the 1800's

I usually provide the name of the painting and the artist but today I did not have time to add those details. On some computers when you right-click and save to your pictures the title and artist will appear. The above painting is by a contemporary artist, but the other ones are by artists from the 1800's to 1914.
The beach we visited last week was quite cold and the wind was up, so the tourists were staying indoors.  I found these beach scenes at to get an idea of how people enjoyed the seacoast in days gone by. Being a seamstress I naturally looked at the clothing details.  I read in some of the Victorian clothing construction books that they had types of dress for various activities: beach clothes, town clothes, travel clothes, house clothing, church clothing, and so on. 
These paintings are part of my "painting inspired sewing" for this year.  I am going to consider making at least one of these garments, with slight changes to fit today's needs: the skirts will be less full and long   without taking away the graceful style, ams the sleeves a little different. I like the above dress with the tucked bodice and collar, as well as the contrast of the sash.

Notice in this old photograph the picnic table apparently created by packed sand in the foreground, complete with cups and beverage severs. The ladies are dressed up for the beach!  I prefer a more private cove with no one else around, but it appears the Victorians enjoyed the crowds.

I found these two pictures at a dress shop online called Aliexpress when searching for beach clothing. The aqua one is a lot like the ocean, and the colors of both dresses are not discordant with the natural surroundings. One reason I like the calicoes and cotton fabrics is the colors look like something in nature.

Artists of the 1800's recorded ladies "Promenade" which was the way they walked together along the shoreline in their graceful dresses.  

Below are paintings by the Danish artist Michael Ancher, who painted scenes at Skagen.

The above dresses look like like some of the Victorian revival patterns from the 1980's.  I notice the pattern companies feature quite a few vintage patterns, but mostly from the 1940s and 50's. They are not providing any Victorian looks.

I hope you have a lovely day and besides all the things you MUST do, I hope you do something you would like to do.  



Anonymous said...

How lovely!
I can't help but wonder how the Victorians beach goers would react if a modern day woman came running down the beach dressed in beach attire from today.
How things have changed for the worse. I wish we could go back to days when modesty was the norm:)

Unknown said...

Stunning... I think the aqua blue with lace would be an amazing outdoor wedding dress! Your blog is very inspiring. I am single and middle aged with no children but your thoughts and ideas resonate with me.

Unknown said...

I love the portraits of victorian times. They cheer my soul. I so wish we would see fully clothed people at the beaches...I am sure if the Victorians saw what we allow for clothing they would be absolutely AGHAST. I know I am no matter how long I have lived in this current culture.

Lydia said...

Just like today, there were good and bad elements of the Victorian life, but the immodest ones were not so public in daylight!

Lydia said...

There was a strong opposition to the immodesty of those times, and a woman was not considered a lady if she dressed indecently. A lady was anyone who conducted herself with good manners, and it was not considered mannerly to be improperly dressed.