Have you seen how bewilderingly realistic marble sculptures of humans can be? How can stone, chiselled steadily away, be able to mimic the give of flesh? Accurately portray the rigidity of muscles or the softness of hips? And yet, it exists. Just like these impossibly realistic paintings of couture that capture details far more intimately than any DSLR in this age can.
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (20 April 1805 - 8 Jult 1873) was a German painter and lithographer, his name associated with fashion portraiture. What is rather inspiring was that the best of his works were created two decades from his passing. Don't give up on your craft. Hone it and be renowned for it.
I'm calling it now. All you artists pre-19th century, you're all time travellers who left photographs in your name to mess with us, right? The only possible, logical conclusion. These are paintings. They needed to be posed for. How on earth did he manage to capture that much detail? The way that light bounces of satin, the transparency of tulle, the shadows that are entrapped by the folds of the fabric, the intricate lace ...
Just how on earth? Nevermind a photograph, you could almost reach through the sceen and feel the fabric yourself. .. Franz Xaver Winterhalter painted these. But the real question is, what is the art here? The gown or the painting?