“Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, and the last Empress of France, was known for her vast collection of jewels, and her influence on the fashions of the French court. Her beauty was captured in numerous paintings, most notably by the German portraitist Franz Winterhalter. While de Borchgrave named this piece after the famous Empress, the inspiration was actually taken from another painting – a portrait of Madame Moitessier by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The 1856 painting can be viewed at The National Gallery in London.”
“A portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, was the inspiration for this piece. The c. 1755 painting by Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, can be found in the permanent collection of the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The lace detail is exquisite. I can’t imagine the painstaking precision that was involved in its creation.”
Isabelle de Borchgrave – Maria de’ Medici, 2006
"Alessandro Allori’s portrait of Maria de’ Medici, now in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, served as the basis of this piece. Maria was another daughter of Duke Cosimo, and like Bia de Medici, she died at a young age. According to legend, Maria was killed by her father – stabbed in the heart after he found the seventeen year old with her young lover. More accurate accounts suggest that she likely died of malaria.”
Isabelle de Borchgrave – Marie de’ Medici, 2006
"A Pietro Facchetti portrait of Marie de’ Medici served as the basis of this piece. As the second wife of France’s King Henry IV, Marie served as queen consort, and was eventually crowned Queen of France, the day before her husband died. Marie also acted as regent for her son, Louis XIII, until he was of age to reign. Louis XIII was 9 years old at the time of his coronation. As the mother of the King, one of Marie’s projects was the construction and design of the Palais du Luxembourg – which she sought to have resemble the Palazzo Pitti in her native Florence. The Palais du Luxembourg is in the 6th arondissement of Paris, and houses the French Senate.”
Isabelle de Borchgrave: “Part of her Papiers à la Mode series, the inspiration for this piece was taken from a 1592portrait of Elizabeth I. The painting, attributed to Nicholas Hilliard, can be found at Hardwick Hall, an Elizabethan country house in Derbyshire, England”
Isabelle de Borchgrave – Neapolitan Woman (Details), 2010
"Isabelle’s latest work is based on a Massimo Stanzione painting, Woman in Neapolitan Costume, that she viewed last summer at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum. A marked ambiguity surrounds this piece, as neither the subject of Stazione’s painting nor the meaning of his imagery are known. One theory suggests that the woman is a peasant, overdressed in some sort of festival costume. Another suggests that she is a noblewoman in fanciful peasant garb. Needless to say, all of the elaborate details of her costume – the beautiful ribbons, silver embroidery and buttons, and lace collar would seem to suggest that the subject is of noble birth.”
Isabelle de Borchgrave: “Mariano Fortuny, the artist and couturier is well known for having created the Fortuny lamp, as well as innovations in dying and printing textiles. He also created the Delphos gown and Knossos shawl, both based on the styles of ancient Greece. The Museo Fortuny is a museum housed in the former Venetian palazzo that was once the home and studio ofFortuny. A few years ago, they invited Isabelle de Borchgrave to create a collection based on Fortuny’s catalog of work. This ensemble is based on a c. 1930 Delphos gown and Knosses shawl that is part of the museum collection”
I know it’s a long text but it’s worth the read!
“The most intriguing duel fought between women, and the sole one that featured exposed breasts, took place in August 1892 in Verduz, the capitol of Liechtenstein, between Princess Pauline Metternich and the Countess Kielmannsegg. It has gone down in history as the first “emancipated duel” because all parties involved, including the principals and their seconds were female… Before the proceedings began, the baroness pointed out that many insignificant injuries in duels often became septic due to strips of clothing being driven into the wound by the point of a sword. To counter this danger she prudently suggested that both parties should fight stripped of any garments above the waist. Certainly, Baroness Lubinska was ahead of her time, taking an even more radical take on the (at the time) widely dismissed theories of British surgeon Joseph Lister, who in 1870 revolutionized surgical procedures with the introduction of antiseptic.
With the precautions Baroness Lubinska recommended, the topless women duelists were less likely to suffer from an infection; indeed, it was a smart idea to fight semiclad. Given the practicality of the baroness’ suggestion and the “emancipated” nature of the duel, it was agreed that the women would disrobe—after all, there would be no men present to ogle them. For the women, the decision to unbutton the tops of their dresses was not sexual; it was simply a way of preventing a duel of first blood from becoming a duel to the death.
It is humorous that most recounts of this historic event fail to mention two important things: the winner of the duel (Princess Metternich) and the reason why the women came to arms in the first place—they disagreed over the floral arrangements for an upcoming musical exhibition.”
^ best part of the entire article.
I think this is my favorite post I have ever made on tumblr.