Friday, January 25, 2008

Fabulous Friday!

In theory, the holiday on Monday made it a short week, but I've got to tell you, the cold, gray weather made the past four days seem like six. I took my inspiration for today's fabulous guest from the winter weather.

The lovely lady to your left is H.S.H. Zinaida Yusupova, as painted by Valentin Serov. The Yusupov's were one of the most wealthy aristocratic families in Imperial Russia.

"The dazzling beauty and kind, affable personality of Nikolai Yusupov Jr.'s daughter Zinaida (1861-1939) made her the brightest star in the constellation of aristocratic heiresses of her time. Her son Felix recalls: 'Not only was she intelligent, educated and artistic; she was also the most charming, kind and outgoing person I knew. When my mother appeared, she lit up the room with some kind of heartfelt, demure inner radiance'."

A valuable trait, one would think, during those bitter Russian winters. There are a number of things that draw me to this painting. First, the soft, muted colors are cool but suggest the promise of Spring. The casual setting and pose are welcoming and intimate. On a less sophisticated note, I like her little dog - rather reminds me of my Wasabi. I don't usually post two images, but when I found this one, I couldn't resist. Princess Yusupova slightly younger . . .

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Jennie said...

Look how tiny her waist is!
I too was drawn to the little dog and thought of Wasabi!
Have a lovely weekend, and thank you for the link!

Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated by old portraits - I find myself trying so hard to decide what they were REALLY like, and was it so very different then than it is now?

I love the first portrait. Her face has such a sweet expression on it. I love it when you see these formal portraits and discover a glimpse of something "normal" in them - something human and common - something you can identify with. How wonderful to know that she was a well loved, lovely person.

I recently did a post on my Booklover's Journal blog called "Finding Jane." In it I posted several pictures that are said to be of Jane Austen, and even though they are not "official," it gives spark to the imagination. And the stories behind the portraits and their discoveries are quite interesting, too.