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British 18th Century Transvestite Portrait

By Charlotte Robinson, June 06, 2012
The UK LGBT community has a reason to celebrate about a new acquisition at the prestigious National Portrait Gallery in London. It’s a oil painting portrait of a male transvestite. The subject dressed in women’s clothing was painted in 1792 & shows Britain’s first celebrated male cross-dresser. The painting which was lost since 1926 is of Chevalier d’Eon, an eighteenth century diplomat & it’s being shown at the Gallery for the first time starting today following its discovery by the gallery owner Philip Mould. Chevalier d’Eon lived in London from 1762-1777 as a man & from 1785-1810 as a woman. During both periods he enjoyed considerable fame in international politics, high society & popular culture. No transvestite or transsexual until the late twentieth century has enjoyed such public recognition, acceptance & popular affection. The portrait is seen as an unprecedented historic document of his identity & acceptance into British society at a time when men who were caught wearing women’s clothing were viciously persecuted. This fascinating & historic story came to us from Paul Robinson at Artlyst.com Read Full Story…

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