A blog about vintage fashion, vintage jewels and art.....

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let's have a Lie-Down

" I shall retreat to my room and recline until teatime....."

If you just got up, and need extra get-up-and-go, this post is not for you. It's for those who can afford to 'recline' as the Victorians used to say, on the most fashionable French item of furniture that filled many boudoirs or dressing rooms - the chaise longue

The women of the gentle past made an art out of their reclining, so that artists used to portray women in all their lassitude and relaxed beauty, half sitting, half lying, nearly asleep but not quite. A good lie-down before supper, or after strenuous exertion or to emulate the Mediterranean siesta time when the weather got too warm for comfort. 

The chaise longue literally translates in 'long chair' for long chair it was. The women in the prostate posture have something faintly erotic about them and for the Victorian era and beyond, the female figure who allowed a peek at her ankle, was somewhat even more tantalising. I love the detail in these images. the bohemian, baroque, decadent air of dripping luxury or the simply flirtatious manner that is subdued to an extent.

Do you own such a long chair and would you want to have one?

Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) as Cleopatra - 1891

A Reclining Lady with a Fan - Eleuterio Pagliani (1826-1903) - 1876

Reclining Lady - Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta (1841-1920)


A Lady on her Day Bed - Francois Boucher (1703-1770) - 1743

Couch with Resting Lady - Ferdinand Max Bredt (1860-1921)

Dolce far Niente - John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) - 1880

I thought chaise longue elegance was a thing of the past, until I clapped my eyes on a modern day version that speaks for itself. Now that is one long chair I'd really take to reclining on without much of an effort! 

Patchwork Chaise Longue

1 comment:

Pearl Westwood said...

Oh I have always dreamed of having a chaise. The last hotel I stayed at had a beautiful soft grey one under the window, I would have happily never left! x