Mlle Ferrand Contemplates Newton

by Maurice Quentin de la Tour, 1752
Alte Pinakothek, München


Nothing is known about Mademoiselle Ferrand, but at least we know that she was unmarried at the time the portrait was painted.

Obviously she hasn't completely dressed yet: Her contouche of plain white satin hangs open instead of being pinned onto a stomacher. Lace runs down the whole front edge - it can't be the chemise (which has no front edge) and it can't be the contouche (which is never trimmed with lace), so it must be part of a bed jacket.

Under that she wears a corset decorated with blue ribbon bows. The cap is also a typical moring garment: Caps worn during daytime are smaller and not bound under the chin. The sleeves of her contouche have the large cuffs typical of the early 18th century.