An era of growing recognition for female artists

We have not been doing much dressing up recently – unless you count wearing your onesies! But in the 19th century, there was a lot of dressing up for fun, giving a playful, almost theatrical, quality to the portraits we admire today.

The painting we have pictured of a lady at the opera, which I valued at a property on the outskirts of Chesterfield, shows her dressed as a Spanish maiden. But that wasn’t all
the story, because the artist himself – Joseph Middleton Jopling (1831-1884) – also enjoyed dressing up, as you can see in the photograph by Wynfield that shows Joseph wearing a bevor-armour to protect the neck…