MAURIN, [Nicolas-Eustache]. ~ Le Travestissement. El Disfraz. Die Verkleidung. Paris, A. Bes et F. Dubreuil, [ 1847].
Lithograph print, c. 380 × 285 mm. Recently preserved in a period frame.
Cross-dressing was not uncommon in nineteenth-century Paris, with prominent women such as George Sand and painter Rosa Bonheur regularly adopting male clothing. But it was (at least in theory) subject to legal restriction, with cross-dressing women required by an ordonnance of 1800 to obtain a Permission de travestissement, and the topic was often discussed. This rare mid-century lithograph shows a young woman who has discarded the fussy trappings of contemporary women’s fashion (a bonnet and full length dress) in favour of shirt, trousers and stove-pipe hat. She considers herself in the mirror and a mask lies ready on her dressing table, suggesting she is dressing for a ball.