Alan Maley-The Promise

Ever since I came across that painting and determined to replicate the dress I have been searching for the artist. The quality of the picture I found was too faded and grainy to get a good look at the name on the bottom. I could tell that it started with an ‘M’ then something … ‘L’… and that there was a ‘Y’ in it.

Not much to go on. I tried various searches, ‘painting of Victorian woman in stripes,’ ‘Victorian artist woman in stripes,’ etc. I even googled lists of artist and scrolled through a billion names, clicking on all the ‘M’ names that looked close.  Sigh, no hits.

I can’t remember what next search I tried but this one got me a picture of a Victorian scene with the name ‘Maley’ clearly signed on the bottom. It had the three letters I was looking for so I plugged that name into google and searched through a gallery of his paintings. Boom, there was the painting of the woman in stripes.

The Promise, an intriguing name, surely having something to do with that rose she's holding.

The Promise, an intriguing name, surely having something to do with that rose she’s holding. Gotta admit though, that guy behind her looks like a serial killer.

Turns out Maley wasn’t actually a Victorian artist, he just excelled at painting the Victorian era. He was born in 1931 and died in 1995, not only was he a painter but he was also a visual effects artist for movies, even winning an academy award for his work on the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

I’m not usually captured by art but his works are enthralling, a lush romantic glimpse of a past era. If you like the painting above I highly suggest that you check out more of his work.

Regarding the sewing of this dress, I’m still trying to collect information and fabric. The shirtwaist in this painting is really baffling!


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