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Point de Convention ("Absolutely no agreement")


a painting by Louis-Léopold Boilly showing some of the transient and ephemeral extremes that accompanied the adoption of strongly neo-classically influenced styles in Paris during the second half of the 1790s (ca. 1797). The woman has been interpreted as a prostitute (who is disdaining the inadequate coin proferred by the fashionable gentleman getting his shoes shined at left), so her outfit obviously should not be taken as typical of trendy Parisian women's attire of the time. On the other hand, 18th-century and 19th-century streetwalkers did not generally wear clothing that looks extra "sexy" in 21st-century eyes as compared with normal women's attire of the time (streetwalkers sported faded finery worn in an inappropriate context more often than excessively revealing attire -- see Image:1787-prostitutes-caricature.jpg, for example), and the idea that such an outfit could be worn on the streets of Paris tells its own story (it could never have been worn outdoors in London).


circa 1797(1797)





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