Countess Christabelle Redux

I while back I re-painted a part of this piece I had finished years ago; only this week did I get around to photographing it with a better camera…

11×14″ oil on canvas. Christabelle, Countess of Veron (1612 – 1667) Second daughter to the 3rd Duke of Mollawray. Like her sister, Lexia the Marquise of Vienwray, she had a great penchant for spending and would marry late. She wed the Earl of Veron in 1645 who was twenty years her junior. Developing an interest in astrology, séances and the occult, she had her estate redecorated with astrological motifs and even converted her main parlor into a “room for the dead” in which to summon ghosts. She said she found the dead more interesting than the living.

New Portrait: Elizabetta the II

8×10″ oil on panel…

Elizabetta the II (1580 – 1639)
After the death of her older brother , the 2nd Baron Einar of Moravic, her newly titled family line had seemed to be near extinction before it had begun. It fell unto Elizabetta to carry on their now affluent and demanding way of life by marrying above her. Her presentation at court paid off, in the form of Henrik, the Deputy and Lord Chamberlain who proposed days later. This was treated more as a business transaction than romantic gesture; Elizabetta was held in near captivity at Henrik’s country estate with only her newly acquired and indomitable mother-in-law for company. Bound by rules, duty, and social codes that were still new to her, her mother-in-law set out to make the young lady worthy of her son’s position. The tedious and often cruel “lessons” her mother-in-law imposed helped Elizabetta to grow a thick skin and bloom into a grand dame in her own right. After 7 children (only 2 would survive into adulthood) she had become an exemplary Lady.

Funny I only painted and wrote this now; I did her parents and her daughter many years ago…

I don’t do Victorian!

I’m becoming convinced that most Americans simply do not know any other label for centuries, periods,and eras past other than “Victorian”. Once and a while they refer to Georgian era, or Rococo, dress and decor as “Marie Antoinette-looking”. Now I’ve only become nutty about costume/decor history in the past decade, but you would still think between the Queen Elizabeth movies, the Jane Austen movies, and The Tudors series people would stop referring to every painting I do as Victorian!

I don’t do Victorian, I can’t dig it. I can dig Edwardian at times — it brings to mind Boldini, Edward Gorey imagery and Luisa Casati — but I don’t do Victorian in any painting, ever. I may have done one or two Regency period costumes, and only one Georgian (though I used to draw Georgian period scenes a lot in high school).

What I do for the most part is Renaissance with an emphasis on Elizabethan costuming. Mostly basing off English or the more subdued Spanish style of dressing at the time. Like this, or this. And what I do enjoy at times too is the Stuart period, as in King James Stuart, or sometimes known as Jacobean. Or maybe you are more familiar would be Louis XIV “the Sun King”.

So just FYI…
Edwardian, Victorian, Regency, Georgian (a vast period but very “Marie Antoinette-looking” as most Americans I come across call it) Stuart, Elizabethan, late medieval/pre-Tudor which would be the start of the Medici family, and Richard the III sort of deal. There are other proper names and other periods, but if another person points to one of my portraits where the lady has a ruff collar and calls it Victorian, I will scream!

Okay, we got it now? Good. Thanks.