Monday, November 15, 2021

Molti Ritratti: Empress Eugénie of France

María Eugenia Ignacia Agustina de Palafox y Kirkpatrick, 19th Countess of Teba, 16th Marchioness of Ardales (1826-1920), known as Eugénie de Montijo, was empress of France 1853-1870.   She was the wife of Napoleon III.  Her Wikipedia entry is here.

She lived in the age of photography, but also had painted portraits made.  Her favorite artist seems to have been Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873), who specialized in portraits of royalty and the social well-to-do.

Below are some portraits of her, most by Winterhalter.  Many of the dates are speculative, though approximate, due to lack of information from Internet sources.


By Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Eugénie - c.1853
Probably painted around the time she became Empress.

Eugénie - c.1855
She had odd-looking eyes that challenged painters who wanted to paint flattering depictions.

The Empress Eugénie surrounded by her ladies in waiting - 1855

Eugénie - 1857
This reminds me of 18th century paintings of French royalty in the countryside.

Eugénie - c.1860
A profile view eliminated most of the eye problem.

Eugénie - c.1862

By Others

Photo: Eugénie and her family - c.1858
Her son Louis, Prince Imperial, was killed by Zulus while serving as a British army officer.

Eugénie by Edouard Boutibonne - c.1855

Eugénie by Edouard-Louis Dubufe - c.1858
Again, those eyes.

Eugénie by Edouard-Louis Dubufe - 1861

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