Painting Costume Analysis: Pamela Series, Part Seven

Posted by muhammad nasrudin

VII: Pamela in the Bedroom with Mrs Jewkes and Mr B., Joseph Highmore, 1743-4; TC N03574
This scene is similar to Mr. B's last nighttime attack on Pamela's virtue.  However, while Mrs. Jervis was a somewhat unwitting participant - truly believing in her employer's good intentions - Mrs. Jewkes takes on a more active role.  She dresses Mr. B in a maid's clothing, has him pretend to be asleep in the corner, and then encourages Pamela to take her own clothes off so she can get in bed ... and be ravished by Mr. B.  (The attempt fails.)

Pamela's shift is arrayed artistically over her torso, but I believe she is still in an underpetticoat, as there is a tightness around her waist that indicates a waistband.  Her stockings are held up with pink garters, and there is a blue ribbon around her cap - the same cap she wore in part six, but with the ribbon in a different configuration.  Her black leather shoes fasten with buckles, rather than tying.  The blue silk gown on the nearby chair is probably hers.

Mrs. Jewkes's nightwear is mostly covered, but we can see that there are no ruffles at her elbows.  Her nightcap covers her hair, much more than the cap she wore during the day in part six.

Mr. B's costume resembles what Pamela wore in part four: a brown gown with white apron and kerchief, and ruffles on his shift sleeves.