As it’s the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens today, here’s a fantastic painting from the Lady Lever Art Gallery which features his daughter Kate as a model.
This emotional scene, ‘The Black Brunswicker’, was painted in 1860 by the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais. It shows a fictional incident highlighting a historical moment, when the Black Brunswickers troop left for the battle of Quatre Bras at Waterloo in 1815. The troops suffered severe losses at the battle.
Millais wished to be historically accurate in making the dress look quite antique. It is actually a compromise between the fashions of 1859 and 1815 when waists were still kept high.
The dress is painted in such a realistic way, capturing the shine of the fabric and the creases in perfect detail, that you could almost touch it.