SIA Inspiration: Belle

For this week’s SIA, Jen picked a painting I’m quite familiar with – the 1779 portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, by an unknown artist (formerly attributed to Johann Zoffany):

I have reviewed the movie about Dido’s life before, and the painting (slightly altered for the movie) is a pretty important plot point. It is one of the first European portraits to have a black subject on an equal eye-line to a white aristocrat, and as it features two women, one a woman of color, Jen thought it would be an appropriate pick for March, International Women’s Month. The movie “Belle” was also written and directed by two women of color, Misan Sagay (the writer) and Amma Asante (the director), so it’s all very fitting.

I’m still traveling now, but I will try to see if I can put together an outfit from my suitcase. I’m also traveling with a friend, so maybe I can persuade her to recreate the actual painting with me! That would be fun, wouldn’t it? We’ll see. In the meantime, don’t forget to put together an outfit of your own and send it to Jen ( by next Tuesday, March 6th!


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