First Public Photo of Queen Victoria (1860)

queen_victoria_by_jje_mayall_1860

Queen Victoria by John Jabez Edwin Mayall in 1860. One of the first published photographs of the Queen. The public had never seen or been able to buy a photograph of the Queen before and once on sale, the images were extremely popular via

A Collection Of Portraits by Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative.

whistler3

Jo by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1861 via

83.1.28

Weary by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1863 via

reading

Reading by Lamplight by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1858 via

annie-haden-1860

Annie Haden by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1860 via

Count Burckhardt published 1862 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903

Count Burckhardt by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1862 via

Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind (1939)

Vivien_Leigh_Scarlet

Vivian Leigh for Gone with the Wind, 1939 via

Leigh, Vivien (Gone With the Wind)_02

Vivian Leigh for Gone with the Wind, 1939 via

Leigh, Vivien (Gone With the Wind)_01

Vivian Leigh for Gone with the Wind, 1939 via

Annex - Leigh, Vivien (Gone With the Wind)_25

Vivian Leigh for Gone with the Wind, 1939 via

Annex - Leigh, Vivien (Gone With the Wind)_24

Vivian Leigh for Gone with the Wind, 1939 via

Amazing Victorian Photos of Muse Jane Morris (1860s)

Jane Morris (née Jane Burden 1839 –  1914) was an English artists’ model who embodied the Pre-Raphaelite ideal of beauty. Her father was a stableman and her mother a laundress, Jane Burden grew up in impoverished surroundings in Oxford.

She became a model and muse to the artists William Morris, whom she married  in 1859, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Although she married Morris, it was Dante Gabriel Rossetti who first spotted Jane at a performance at Drury Lane Theatre in 1857 and asked her if she would model for his paintings.

jane-morris

Jane Morris, posed by Rossetti by John R Parsons, 1865 via

John Robert Parsons, under the direction of Rossetti, 1865
© V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum, London via

-jane-morris

Jane Morris, posed by Rossetti by John R Parsons, 1865 via

jane-morris-

Jane Morris, posed by Rossetti by John R Parsons, 1865 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.

Photographs

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.

Scherzo di Follia

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

[The Opera Ball]

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

Sunday by Pierre Louis Pierson, 1860s

[Countess de Castiglione as Elvira at the Cheval Glass]

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

La Marquise Mathilde

La Marquise Mathilde by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1861–66

A Collection of Photos featuring “Golden Girl” Lotta Crabtree (1847-1924)

Born in New York City to British immigrants, Lotta Crabtree (1847 – 1924) would go on to become one of the wealthiest and most beloved American entertainers of the late 19th century. She was an actress, comedian and also a significant philanthropist.

Crabtree achieved the height of her success in the 1870s and 1880s. She had danced her way to fame as an adult actress on the stages of England. In the 1880s she was the highest paid actress in America, earning sums of up to $5,000 per week.

Lotta never married, although she was escorted by a number of men. She was still playing children’s parts until the end of her career, and marrying might have cut into her act as the ingénue.

Her life story was filmed as Golden Girl in 1951.

lotta-crabtree-1847-1924-granger

Lotta Crabtree via

lotta2

Lotta Crabtree, 1870s via

lotta1

Lotta Crabtree via

Lotta_Crabtree

Lotta Crabtreelottasmoking

Actress Lotta Crabtree,  c. 1868 via

lotta3

Lotta Crabtree at the height of her career via

lotta1870

Lotta Crabtree, c. 1870 via

lotta

Lotta Crabtree via