A well-bred 19th-century artist like John Singer Sargent would always wear a vested suit and tie while painting outdoors.

It’s amusing to compare today’s practical, comfortable plein air painting outfits with those worn by artists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Clearly, no self-respecting artist of the period would have painted outdoors without being properly attired in a jacket and tie, or a flowing white skirt.

Sir Alfred Munnings creates an oil portrait of his friend Dame Laura Knight while she paints horses in a field.

Ladies and gentlemen who took summer art classes in Old Lyme, Connecticut, would, of course, be properly attired.

The always stylish Louis Comfort Tiffany wears a vested white painting suit in this portrait by his friend Joaquin Sorolla.



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