Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Object of the Day: An Engraving of a Portrait of Princess Eugénie of France, 1873

On Monday, I posted a page from a book which depicted an engraving of Queen Victoria. At the time, I didn’t know the title of the book from which the page had come, but, now, thanks to my father, I do. The book was: Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women in Europe and America: Embracing History, Statesmanship, Naval and Military Life. Philosophy, Drama, Literature and Art. It was published in 1873.
Here’s another page from a torn-apart copy of that old book. Here, we see Princess Eugénie. María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick, 16th Countess of Teba and 15th Marquise of Ardales; 5 May 1826 – 11 July 1920), known as Eugénie de Montijo was the last Empress consort of the French from 1853 to 1871 as the wife of French Emperor Napoleon III.

The marriage of Napoleon III to Eugénie was quite controversial for the French—much to the amusement of the English—for a variety of political reasons. Nevertheless, Napoleon insisted upon marrying the woman he loved. Ultimately, the people of France embraced Eugénie if only just as a style-setter and fashion icon. Her cutting-edge fashion sense changed women’s attire throughout Europe.

I’m rather fond of this print because it reminds me of the portrait from the film, Rebecca.

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