Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Princess Elisaveta Esperovna Troubetzkaya by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1859 Russia, private collection
Portrait of Varvara Dmitrievna Korsakova by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1858 Russia, the Penza Savitsky Art Gallery
Elena Pavlovna Bibikova by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1860 Russia, the Walters Art Museum
Although born a peasant in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany, Winterhalter became the foremost portraitist of European royalty and nobility. Hélène Bibikoff was initially married to Prince Esper A. Belosselsky-Belozersky and subsequently to Prince Kotschoubey, the son of the chancellor of the Russian empire. A woman of great wealth, even by the standards of her time, the Princess travelled extensively, mingling in the European courts, and entertaining lavishly. Her palace on the Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg, was the setting for balls that rivaled those of the court in all its grandeur. She is reported to have maintained her role as a social leader at the imperial court with autocratic zeal. Winterhalter has depicted her in one of his customary formats, three-quarter length, nearly life-size, and painted against an overcast sky. She wears a black silk gown, black lace, and jewelry, including a necklace of large pearls, a pearl brooch with a large pendant pearl, a flexible, serpentine bracelet, and several rings.
Countess Olga Shuvalova by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1858 Russia, the State Hermitage Museum
Portrait of Empress Maria Feodorovna by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1857 Russia, State Hermitage Museum
Countess Varvara Alekseyevna Musina-Pushkina by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1850’s Russia, State Hermitage Museum
Portrait of a Woman by Apollon Mokritsky, 1841, Kaluga Art Museum
EDIT: Had to include this response by there-is-no-box because I thought it was great.
I almost scrolled past this, but something about it caught me off guard.
I think it’s her eyes. They’re looking straight at you and they’re not coy or modest or deferential. She’s looking straight at you; you, personally. And she looks like she’s thinking about something, something other than “here you may gaze at my beauty.” She just seems so active when women are so often portrayed as passive
Evening dress, 1899 St Petersburg