L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Battenberg to Mountbatten - portraits by de László

Prince Louis of Battenberg, 1909.

Admiral of the Fleet Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, GCB, GCVO, KCMG, PC (24 May 1854, Graz – 11 September 1921, London), British naval officer and German nobleman closely related to the British royal family. Born Prince Ludwig Alexander von Battenberg, the eldest son of the morganatic marriage between Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Countess Julia von Hauke. He was closely related to many of Europe's royal families, and became especially close with that of Queen Vicoria after her second eldest daughter, Alice, married his cousin Prince Louis of Hesse. At the age of fourteen he joined the Royal Navy and thus became a naturalized British subject. In the coming decades, he gladly welcomed any assignment that would help him acquire the many necessary skills of naval warfare and demonstrate to his superiors his devotion to a naval career, while eschewing any promotion or honor that might give the impression of being undeserved, the result of the influence of his royal connections. After many far-flung postings and increasingly prestigious commands, by 1904, he had risen to the rank of rear admiral.

Prince Louis, 1910.
Prince Louis, 1910.

In 1912, after a naval career lasting more than forty years, he was appointed First Sea Lord, the professional head of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. With the approach of World War I, together with the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, he took steps to ready the British fleet for the coming conflict. But there had been grumblings about his German heritage for some time, and after the commencement of hostilities, with the rapid rise of anti-German sentiment among the British public, the press, and with resentment even being stirred by others in the Admiralty, Churchill asked for his resignation in October of 1914.

In the summer of 1917, in the thick of war and the height of anti-German feeling, King George V changed the name of the British royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor. At the same time, he and all his British relatives relinquished their German titles and styles, and adopted British-sounding surnames. The King compensated his male relatives by creating them British peers. Prince Louis was made Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina, and Viscount Alderney, and he and his three younger children took on a new surname, transforming Battenberg into a more English-sounding Mountbatten.

Prince Louis, 1909.
Princess Victoria of Battenberg, 1907.

In 1884, Louis had married his first cousin once removed, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Mathilde Marie; 5 April 1863 – 24 September 1950). Victoria was the eldest child of Princess Alice, herself the second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Athe age of fifteen, after the death of two of her siblings, then the death of her mother, Victoria, as the eldest child, assumed the role of mother to the younger children and of companion to her father. She later wrote, "My mother's death was an irreparable loss ... My childhood ended with her death, for I became the eldest and most responsible." Much later she suffered many more family tragedies, including the murder of her two sisters, Empress Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elisabeth, during the Russian Revolution, as well as the air crash of 1937 that devastated the Grand Ducal family of Hesse; she lost her sister-in-law, nephew, granddaughter, and two great-grandsons. Then her elder son died the following year of bone cancer. Through it all, she was the backbone of the family.

Victoria Mountbatten, the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, 1923.

She and Louis had a happy marriage, though with much travel and separation because of his naval career. They had four children:

Alice (Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie; 25 February 1885 – 5 December 1969), who, in 1903, married Prince Andrew of Greece, with whom she would have four daughters - all would go on to marry German princes - and, later, they would be the parents of the present Duke of Edinburgh. (Born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, he adopted the name Mountbatten before his marriage to the future Queen.)

Louise (Louise Alexandra Marie Irene; 13 July 1889 – 7 March 1965), who married, as his second wife, the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden in 1923, and became Queen of Sweden after his accession in 1950.

George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, GCVO (George Louis Victor Henry Serge Mountbatten; 6 December 1892 – 8 April 1938), who married Countess Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby, morganatic daughter of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich in 1916. They had two children before his early death.

Admiral of the Fleet Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten; 25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979), British Royal Navy officer and statesman, uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. During the Second World War, he was Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command (1943–1946). He was the last Viceroy of India and the first Governor-General of independent India. He married heiress Edwina Ashley in 1922 and they had two daughters together.

Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, 1907.
De László at work on the portrait above, with the model and her husband.
Her husband, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, 1913.
Princess Andrew, 1907.
Princess Andrew, 1922.
Princess Andrew, 1922. It's believed that this portrait and the one above were completed on the same day.
George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, 1924.
Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1924.
Lord Louis, 1925.
His wife, Edwina, Lady Mountbatten, 1923. This appears to be a sketch for the following portrait.
Lady Mountbatten, 1923. Posed in her wedding gown; the event had been celebrated the year before.
Lady Mountbatten, 1924.
Princess Louise of Battenberg, 1907.
Princess Louise, 1907.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Les habits des hommes - hand-colored French fashion plates, circa 1775-89

I love how the various copies of these plates frequently employ completely different color palettes.  One of two.
One of three.
One of two.
One of two.
One of two.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

For public consumption - portraits by Jakob Seisenegger

Archduchess Maria, Duchess of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I, with her eldest daughter Maria Eleonore, circa 1555.
Archduke Ferdinand II, son of Ferdinand I, as the Governor of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, 1548.
Archduchess Anna, daughter of Ferdinand I, later Duchess of Bavaria, circa 1545.
Archduke Ferdinand II as a boy, circa 1540.
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, elder brother of Ferdinand I, 1532.
The first three children of Ferdinand I: Archduchess Elisabeth, later Queen Consort of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania, at the age of four, 1530.
Archduke Maximilian, later Holy Roman Emperor, at the age of three, 1530.
Archduchess Anna at the age of two, 1530.
Vratislav Pernštejn, close friend of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, 1558.
Portrait of a girl, circa 1545-50.
The first three sons of Ferdinand I: Maximilian II, Ferdinand II, and Johann, 1539. (The last died that same year, a month short of his first birthday.)
Portrait of a Military Man, circa 1540.
Archduke Maximilian, future Holy Roman Emperor, and his sister Archduchess Elizabeth, 1537.
Archduke Maximilian, future Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, circa 1545.
Bohemian chancellor to Ferdinand I, Adam I von Neuhaus, 1529.
Adam I von Neuhaus and his wife Anna von Rosental, 1529.
Anna von Rosental, 1529.
Archduchess Eleonora, daughter of Ferdinand I, later Duchess of Mantua, at the age of two, 1536.
Portrait of a Man, 1540.


Jakob Seisenegger (circa 1504-5 - 1567, Linz), Austrian portrait painter. In 1531 he was appointed court painter to Ferdinard I, King of Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia, at Augsburg; he would receive commissions from other members of the Habsburg family as well. He also traveled widely, working in Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, as well as in various cities in central Europe, including Innsbruck, Prague, and Vienna. A painter of modest talent, his importance derives from his influential development of the full-length portrait. His best-known work in that format is the portrait of Charles V, completed in 1532, which served as the model for Titian's much more famous version which today resides in the Prado.

Titian's 1533 portrait of Charles V, taken from Seisenegger's painting of the year before.