Faces peering out of the past entrance me. Whether or not this portrait is of Jane Austen interests me less than the delightful chapeau on this other young girl.
Title: Portrait of Sophia Dumergue
Production Date: c. 1780
Material(s): Oil paint
I lie, the Austen Portrait Mystery™ fascinates me. My instinct tells me it is not of wee Jane, that the dress style is of too late a date, but there is stiff argument (and half a million dollars) supporting that she is wearing an uncharacteristically fashionable french dress. But a muslin gown of 1788 would have been of very different cut to that of 1797. And even in Paris gowns didn’t become ridiculously high-waisted and grecian til 1795 or so.
Oh well. She’s adorable though. So feisty. We can dream, can’t we?