Stories from the Closet

11 March – 19 November 2023 | Reinhart am Stadtgarten

Jacques Thouron
Aglaé de Polignac, duchesse de Guiche (1768–1803) (d’après Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun), 1784

Clothes tell stories, life stories. Based on portrait miniatures in the miniature collection, the biographies of four women from the second half of the 18th century and the early 19th century are told – based on their clothing. 
The story begins in the late Rococo period with a lady with a voluminously towering hairstyle; Aglaé de Polignac (1768-1803) wears the revolutionary fashion that followed; her clothing, staged as a shepherdess with a hood, symbolizes the aristocracy’s longing for peaceful rural life during the social upheavals of the time. The flowing chemise dress of Sophie Boissier (1792-1820) is representative of the fashion of the Directoire with its return to antiquity. And finally, the bodies in the Empire are literally hidden with heavy fabrics, demonstrated by a lady in red with a white hood. 
In her miniature portraits, the women are dressed differently: Their wardrobes reflect the influences of the Zeitgeist and the fashion sense of the respective generation – even then fashion was extremely short-lived. In addition, the portrayed express their individual style, even become other people through their clothing. 
Sometimes the fashionable wardrobe was supplemented with decorative portrait miniatures. Miniature portraits were luxurious gems and served as mementos, presentation objects or status symbols. 
The Winterthur artist Olga Titus (*1977) also deals with fashion trends in her work and complements the exhibition with a contemporary intervention. 

Curator: Sonja Remensberger

With kind support

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Kunst Museum Winterthur
Reinhart am Stadtgarten
8400 Winterthur


Tuesday to Sunday 10 – 17 Uhr
Thursday 10 – 20 Uhr
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