Pierre-Auguste Cot: Portrait of a Lady. Mme H.S.
La Parisienne—the Parisian woman—was celebrated worldwide as the quintessence of feminine beauty, fashion, and taste. Consider the regal sitter here. Formally posed against a richly patterned, painted leather backdrop, she wears an elaborate, Elizabethan-style evening dress with a standing lace collar and quilted, pearl-studded sleeves. Coolly surveying the viewer, she is the ultimate French fashionista—the essence of high-style contemporary chic. [Chrysler Museum of Art]