A Collection of Vintage Photos feat. Actress Ethel Warwick (1882-1951)

Ethel  Warwick (1882 – 1951) was the daughter of Frank and Maude, born in Hardingstone, Northampton. Her education began in Margate and Hampstead, but by the early 1890’s she was studying to become an artist at the London Polytechnic.

She became an artists model to help pay her tuition there, which led to her meeting Herbert Draper, who used her as a model for several of his paintings, including The Lament for Icarus. Through him she became a favoured model for several artists, including John William Godward, who painted several portraits of her, and Linley Sambourne, for whom she posed nude in a series of photographic studies. She was also sketched by James McNeill Whistler.

She began training as an actress at Henry Neville’s acting school in the late 1890’s, and first appeared on stage at the Grande Theatre in Fulham in July 1900 as Emilie de L’Esparre in The Corsican Brothers. She later appeared in several films.

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Ethel Warwick published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd bromide postcard print, © National Portrait Gallery, London, circa 1906 via

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Ethel Warwick by Reautlinger via

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Ethel Warwick by Reautlinger via

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Ethel Warwick, 1900 via

Vera Fokina in Scheherazade (1914)

Vera Fokina (1886-1958) was a Russian-American ballerina. In 1906 she married the groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer Michel Fokine.

The ballet Scheherazade premiered on June 4th 1910, at the Opéra Garnier in Paris by the Ballets Russes. The choreography for the ballet was by Michel Fokine and the libretto was from Fokine and Léon Bakst.

The Ballet Russes’ Scheherazade is known for its traditionally dazzling costumes, opulent scenery, and erotic choreography and narrative which was rarely seen in ballets of the time.

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Vera Fokina in Scheherazade at Kungliga Operan, 1914 via

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Vera Fokina in Scheherazade at Kungliga Operan, 1914 via

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Vera Fokina in Scheherazade at Kungliga Operan, 1914 via

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Vera Fokina in Scheherazade at Kungliga Operan, 1914 via

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Vera Fokina in Scheherazade at Kungliga Operan, 1914 via

Hazel Lavery by E.O. Hoppé (1916)

Hazel, Lady Lavery (1880–1935) was a socialite, actress and painter. She was the second wife of portrait artist Sir John Lavery.

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Hazel Lavery by E.O. Hoppé gelatin silver print, 1916 © 2019 E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection / Curatorial Assistance Inc. (NPG) via

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Hazel Lavery by E.O. Hoppé gelatin silver print, 1916 © 2019 E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection / Curatorial Assistance Inc. NPG via

Louise Glaum as “The Wolf Woman” (1916)

The Wolf Woman is a 1916 silent era drama motion picture starring Louise Glaum. Leila Aradella (played by Glaum), is a young and egotistical woman, who finds pleasure from preying on weak men with her charm and beauty.

After seeing the film, it was reported that New York critics unanimously pronounced Glaum as “the greatest vampire woman of all time.”

Another reviewer noted that Glaum had become famous for her “vampire” characterizations and billed The Wolf Woman as the “Greatest Vampire picture of all”.

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Louise Glaum in The Wolf Woman, 1916 via

Musidora as Irma Vep in “Les Vampires” (1915)

Les Vampires is a 1915–16 French silent crime serial film written and directed by Louis Feuillade. Set in Paris, it stars Édouard Mathé, Musidora and Marcel Lévesque.

The main characters are a journalist and his friend who become involved in trying to uncover and stop a bizarre underground Apache gang, known as The Vampires (who are not the mythological beings their name suggests).

Musidora appears as cabaret singer Irma Vep (an anagram of “vampire”), who has a leading role in The Vampires crimes.

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Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot of actress Musidora in the Louis Feuillade-directed film series Les Vampires, 1915 via

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Screenshot from the film Les Vampires by Louis Feuillade, 1915 via

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Les Vampires, 1915 via

Portraits by Amercian Photographer James Arthur (ca. 1900s)

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Woman with a miniature by James Arthur, 1898 via

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Woman at a piano by James Arthur, 1898 via

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Woman with a spinning wheel by James Arthur, 1899 via

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Woman looking in a mirror by James Arhur, c. 1900 via

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Woman with vase of flowers by James Arthur, 1899 via

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Woman wearing a plumed hat by James Arthur, c. 1900 via

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Seated woman drinking tea by James Arthur, c. 1900 via

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Woman on a tree trunk by James Arthur, c. 1900 via

A Collection of Vintage Photos featuring the Countess de Castiglione (La Divine Comtesse)

Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione (1837 – 1899), better known as La Castiglione, was an Italian aristocrat who was a special agent for the cause of Italian unification, the mistress of Napoleon III, and a mysterious recluse notorious for her numerous love affairs. She was born to a noble Florentine family and at 17 she married the Count di Castiglione. It was a bad match; she cheated on him shamelessly and eventually left him bankrupt. In 1857 they separated. She left Paris in 1858, due to the scandal surrounding her liaison with Napoléon III.

Before that, while still living in Paris, the Countess had created a sensation. The beautiful statuesque countess was both decadent and extravagant. Lavish balls where prevalent during the period and she became known for her flamboyant entrances in elaborate dress at the imperial court. One of her most infamous outfits was a “Queen of Hearts” costume. She was even considered the most beautiful woman of her time and was described as having long, wavy blonde hair, pale skin, a delicate oval face, and eyes that constantly changed colour from green to an extraordinary blue-violet. Her vanity was as famous as her beauty and she would send albums of her portraits to friends and admirers.

In 1865 she arrived in Paris again, to plead for Italian unity on behalf of her cousin, then a minister to the king of Sardinia. After the fall of the Second Empire in 1870, Oldoini led an increasingly secluded existence, which gave rise to fantastic speculation as to her affairs. Her declining years were spent in an apartment in the Place Vendôme, where she had the rooms decorated in funereal black, the blinds kept drawn, and mirrors banished—apparently so she would not have to confront her advancing age and loss of beauty. She would only leave the apartment at night.

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The Countess´s raging narcissism found in photography the perfect ally, and she was a significant figure in the early history of photography.

In 1856 she began sitting for the firm Mayer and Pierson, photographers favored by the imperial court. Over the next four decades she directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her create 700 different photographs in which she re-created the signature moments of her life for the camera. She spent a large part of her personal fortune and even went into debt to execute the project. Most of the photographs depict the Countess in her theatrical outfits, such as the Queen of Hearts dress. Many of the portraits record the countess’s triumphant moments in Parisian society, wearing the extravagant gowns and costumes in which she appeared at soirées and masked balls, in others she assumes roles drawn from the theater, opera, literature, and her own imagination.

A number of photographs depict her in poses risqué for the era—notably, images that expose her bare legs and feet. In these photos, her head is cropped out.

Robert de Montesquiou, a Symbolist poet, dandy, and avid art collector, was fascinated by the Countess. He spent thirteen years writing a biography, La Divine Comtesse, which appeared in 1913. After her death, he collected 433 of her photographs, all of which entered the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Scherzo di Follia by Pierre-Louis Pierson 1863–66, printed 1940s via

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The Opera Ball by Pierre-Louis Pierson,1861–67, printed 1895–1910 via

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The Gaze by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1856–57 via

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Countess de Castiglione by Pierre-Louis Pierson, ca. 1865 via

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Countess de Castiglione as Elvira at the Cheval Glass by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1861–67 via

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Pierre-Louis Pierson, The Countess de Castiglione, 1860s via

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Pierre-Louis Pierson, The Castiglione with Fan, c. 1861-1867 via