Portrait of Lydia Schabelsky
This week’s photo challenge is to interpret “intricate” and for that, I’d like to share one of my favorite paintings at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. This is Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein. According to the placard, the picture was to be “a lasting record of their youth, status, good sense and fashion taste”.
Isn’t she just gorgeous? I can look at this picture for hours. The painting is so detailed and intricate! Here’s a close-up of her face and hair. Look at how the curls wrap around her pearls!
Look at the detail of her fingernails and all the frills around her bodice:
Lastly, here’s a close-up of the dress itself:
Even the frame is intricate:
Isn’t it incredible? I love looking at her each time we go to the museum.
A number of you commented on how you enjoyed being able to read the placards from the museum. I agree – there’s a lot of good information on them. The curators do a great job of telling us what we’re looking at, so here it is:
I don’t know how many hours it took to do this and presumably Lydia sat for all of it, although for the dress part, she could easily have had a maid sit there for hours.
To see what others did for the photo challenge, click here.
Virginia Virginia Museum of Fine Art Franz Xaver Winterhalter intricate Lydia Schabelsky pearls Virginia Museum of Fine Art VMFA weekly photo challenge white dress
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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.
This is truly an amazing painting!! And you captured it so beautifully!!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Definitely intricate! I can’t paint to save my life (I can get away with a stick figure or two in an emergency) so I truly appreciated not only the beauty of the painting but your interesting narrative. Niceness!
My husband can paint like that, but not me. That’s why I use the photographs! But I can really appreciate the art I see at the museum.
Now we expect to see a painting, or at least a photograph, of you bedecked like that, Nancy.
I think this is the closest you’ll come to that!
What an Awesome post and an absolutely beautiful portrait Nancy. The intricacy is gorgeous. I havent been to a museum since college. I miss it! Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! It really is beautiful to see and I’m glad the picture did it justice.
What a beautiful (and yes, intricate) portrait, Nancy. I can see why you would want to stand and stare at it. You photographed it so well, too, so that we can see all the details. :)
Thanks Robin! That’s a wonderful compliment and I very much appreciate it.
Excellent post… I love the portrait and the way you studied it on your feature…
Best wishes, Aquileana :D
Thanks Aquileana! Best wishes back to you also.
I agree! That is an astoundingly intricate portrait. Thank you for bringing us close-in and for the research/history you included. Lovely!
And did you see how they interpreted this portrait for Fine Arts and Flowers a few months ago? Fantastic!!!
I didn’t. I went to the Arts & Flowers exhibit too. Was there a placard somewhere or a link on their site?
And yes, it is a fantastic picture. So is the Arts and Flowers. I plan to go back on a rainy day to see it again.
Fine Arts and Flowers is all gone now, Nancy. Let me see if I can find a picture of this one for you!
OK, I found my photograph. Now to figure out how to get it to you!
I got it – thank you so much! That was beautiful. I did see those around the museum. We must not have gone by the portrait for that visit though. Thanks so much for digging it out and sharing!
Now I’m trying something new to see if I can add it into this reply.
I love how the dress is painted. It’s as if the most intricate parts are there….by not painting it. If that makes sense. That’s what it feels like. Great pictures Nancy. Great choice.
Thanks Colleen! I’m glad I achieved the goal of showing intricate.
That is a gorgeous painting. The details are amazing. Thanks for sharing this with us. XO
Thanks Darlene! I’m glad you could see it too and understand why I chose it.
Oh, I LOVE that portrait! It’s full of beautiful detail. I can only imagine how long it took to paint that. What a great take on this challenge!
Thanks Tiny! I’m glad you liked it and thought it went well with the challenge.
Wow, that is an amazing painting. What a talented artist.
That really is an amazing portrait, Nancy. It almost looks like a photograph in its intricacy! I love the dress, all those delicate frills, and the way her hair curls around the pearls. Wonderful. You did a great job of photographing it as well. And the frame is magnificent too! When I return home and go back to Richmond, I’ll have to drop by and look at it in person. Is it part of their permanent collection? :-)