Stunned by Portraiture

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.
Johann Zoffany
Title: Portrait of Sophia Dumergue
Oil Painting
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?

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