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

Friday, November 18, 2016

Ladies sedate and frolicksome - eight portraits

Manuela de Errazu, by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, circa 1875.
Dancer Marie-Louise Hilligsberg, by John Hoppner, circa 1790-95.
Mariana of Austria, later queen consort of Spain, by Frans Luycx, circa 1646-47.
Dancer Josefa Vargas, by Antonio María Esquivel, 1840.
Madame Jules-Antoine Droz, by Eugène Devéria, 1833.
Dancer Barbara Campanini "La Barbarina", by Antoine Pesne, circa 1745.
Portrait of a lady, thought to be Madame Marbon, by Firmin Massot, circa 1820s.
Anna Pavlova as a Bacchante, by Sir John Lavery, 1911.


  1. That Massot portrait! What a complex painting. The layered expression he manages to capture conveys so much. I love it. And that court portrait of Mariana of Austria! Holy suffering stuff that is a helluva lot of outfit she has on. Thanks, as always for your wonderful eye.

  2. That first dress, the pink one! Looks like watered silk, right Stephen? You're the expert.
    Watered silk was Maria Eugenia de Montijo's favorite fabric. Long before she became the Empress of the French, she was already a noble woman, with titles much more authentic and impressive than that rickety one Louis Napoleon gave her......
    Since childhood, I've been fascinated with the story of her life, and, after I've read about the way she was treated by the majority of her subjects, once the potatoes started burning, I've never called her the Empress Eugenie again. After all, a woman never stops being her own father's daughter, no matter what :)
    So, here is a link about the way she had to scape from France, shooed away like if she was a piece of trash instead of a daughter of a Grandee of Spain.


    And thank you so much for this fantastic post. I loved it!

    1. Watered silk is just another name for what we call moiré; I don't see any of that sort of patterning in that lovely pink gown. Yes, the Empress Eugénie was never appreciated in her adopted country, but then the French - especially the Parisians - are known for their passions and extreme fickleness. And, yes, Doctor Evans was a godsend; a cavalier to his lady in distress - thanks, Maria! : )

    2. I find the Empress Eugenie an endlessly fascinating subject as well. Recent biographies of her have noted that the French seemed to have softened in their attitude towards her legacy in recent decades, perhaps coming around to the view that she wasn't exactly the heartless adventuress of legend.