The Dormeuse

Pastel Profile


The dormeuse (or ‘French nightcaps’) was especially popular during the 1770s and featured rounded flaps over the ears and a soft crown trimmed with ribbon. This lady’s is a perfect example of a dormeuse. Her pale blue dress is worn with a buffon that appears to be tied or pinned at the back. Her hair at the back is looped in a fashionable chignon.

This delightful half-length profile is worked in pastel on paper and is housed in the original giltwood frame with an inner beaded border. The backing board retains a large part of the eighteenth century framer’s label that offers “the most elegant and fashionable … frames”. The pastel has suffered some water damage mostly confined to the bottom edge though this is largely covered by the giltwood mount. There is also a vertical score line behind her back. The frame has some wear and loss to the gilding on one side reveal. Nonetheless this remains a charming period piece that would grace any collection of Georgian portraiture.


Item Ref. 6642

Size: framed, 184 x 160mm (7¼ x 6¼")