Incroyable et Merveilleuse

Vernet, Horace Emile-Jean

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Incroyable et Merveilleuse was a set of 33 engravings, published in 1814 , depicting extremely fashionable French men and women. They were engraved by George-Jacques Gatine after drawings by Horace Vernet and Louis-Marie Lanté. Whilst most fashion plates were on a small scale, designed to fit in women's magazines such as the Journal des Dames (which Gatine contributed to), the Incroyable et Merveilleuse plates were on a grander scale, designed for print collectors. Gatine's fashion engravings, particularly the Incroyable et Merveilleuse series, are now considered some of the finest records of French fashion of this period.

The Incroyable et Merveilleuse plates are particularly valuable as a record of men's fashion. This image is particularly well-known because it is a rare early image of a fashionably dressed man carrying and using an umbrella. The caption indicates that the umbrella furls into a tight roll, enabling it to be carried as a cane when not required. Also interesting are the man's leather gaiters, which strap under the instep of his shoes and have tabs which fasten over the buttons securing his buff leather breeches. He wears a blue coat over a yellow waistcoat striped in blue, unbuttoned to reveal a ruffled shirt front and carefully arranged neck-cloth. At his waist is a fob-seal attached to a gold chain, and a telescope can be seen sticking out of his coat-pocket, while his hand is in the pocket of his breeches. His top-hat is a quite early example of its kind, as such hats only began being produced in the very late 18th century.

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  • Title: Incroyable et Merveilleuse
  • Creator: Vernet, Horace Emile-Jean
  • Date Created: 1814
  • Location: Paris
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 14.25 in, Width: 9.375 in

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