Immaculate in Green Silk

Today’s Featured Image

Olga Charlotte, Gräfin zu Solms und Tecklenburg by Eduard Robert Bary, 1842

Olga Charlotte, Gräfin zu Solms und Tecklenburg by Eduard Robert Bary, 1842

This painting is one of a handful of portraits, which inspired me to create the category “The Dress is Everything.” Many of the images I select include striking women (and men) sporting the costliest, most fashionable clothing available to them. Look carefully at this charmingly homely woman, outfitted in her expensive silk satin gown with its delicate lace sleeves. She too exhibits these qualities. Do you see how wealth and status are trying ever so hard to overcome her natural shortcomings? Don’t get me wrong, I’m mad about the Countess’ face. I truly am. Eduard Robert Bary has done a superb job of capturing her personality. Portraits haven’t become idealized representations yet. People proudly wore their faces as expressions of their character and individualism. Teeth were bad, chins jutted and noses dominated, so what? Paint me as I am. Put roses in my hair, silk on my body and gold in my fingers. Then hang me on a wall so I can peer down at you through the ages.

There is very little online regarding Countess Olga Charlotte or Eduard Robert Bary. askArt offers this brief biography: Eduard Robert Bary (1813-1875) began his artistic training at the academies in Dresden and Dusseldorf, which was followed by a longer stay in Rome (1840-1843) thanks to a scholarship. In 1849, he became a teacher at the Academy of Arts in Dresden, where he was appointed a professor of history painting in 1853.

Liveauctioneers.com offers this description of the portrait: The painting depicts the three-quarter portrait of Charlotte Marie Olga Countess zu Solms and Tecklenburg (1842-1912) and was created around 1850 by the German painter Edward Robert Bary, who was her brother-in-law. The young Countess is presented in a green silk dress and adorned with classic pearl jewelry. In her right hand, she holds a fan, while she plays with the gold chain of her medallion in her left hand. The painting appears in delicate colors with an interesting play of complementary contrasts occurring due to the red roses in the sitter’s hair and the red backrest upholstery of her chair. The work probably comes from the collection of Carl Friedrich Adolph von Köllers, who the Countess married in 1865.

 

Today’s List of Links

Sorry, no links today. There’s not much out there.

 

Today’s Musical Selection:

Spiegel im Spiegel for Violin and Piano by Arvo Pärt, performed by Vadim Gluzman & Angela Yoffe

 

 

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