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"1715 Doll" from the Gratitude Train

Marcel Rochas

1949

The inspiration for this dress came from the painting L’Enseigne de Gersaint by Watteau. Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) was best known for inventing the fete galante, a genre characterized by outdoor parties and bucolic scenes in idyllic settings. L’Enseigne de Gersaint was actually completed in 1720, five years after the date of the Rochas design. Watteau created this work for his friend and art dealer, Gersaint’s shop, where it is believed to have hung in the window as a sign. This painting, in addition to being an interesting study of everyday life in an art dealer’s shop, is an excellent example of the famous “Watteau pleats”. The fashionable women in Watteau’s fete gallants were so often depicted wearing this style, that they became known as Watteau pleats.

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