Portrait of Lydia Schabelsky

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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”.

Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

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!

Face close-up of Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Face close-up of Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Look at the detail of her fingernails and all the frills around her bodice:

Shoulder and hand of Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Shoulder and hand of Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Lastly, here’s a close-up of the dress itself:

Skirt of Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Skirt of Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

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:

Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

Lydia Schabelsky, Baroness Staël-Holstein at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia

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.