Some time ago, probably in the late 1980's, I came across this oval framed print, approximately 18" x 23" at an antique shop. Being an old frame fanatic, I was drawn to the size and the original wavy glass. I think it was no more than $10, so I happily bought it. My grandmother had recently died, and I was thinking of replacing the original print with a picture of her to hang on my wall as a memorial.
But as this Victorian lady hung on my wall, waiting to be removed from her frame, she grew on me. She's one of those pictures whose eyes follow you. Being a sentimental Victorian at heart, I eventually knew I would never remove her from her frame.
She is a chromolithograph, with very muted colors and a Gibson Girl look, probably from the early 1900's. But who was the model? Was it a copy of a more famous work of art, or simply created for the sentimental commercial art market? I wondered about it for many years, and then I came across this photo ten years ago in the April 1999 issue of Victorian Homes magazine.
That's my lady! Look at her in that ornate frame in that gorgeous room! It's an article about a couple who design Victorian rooms for their clients, and this article shows their own 1889 Victorian home in San Francisco. I just love all the details in their home and that my lady has a prominent place on an easel in the corner.
She kind of reminds me of the portrait of Elise McKenna in the movie "Somewhere In Time," played by Jane Seymour. Loved that movie and soundtrack! It always made me want to go to Mackinac Island and visit the Grand Hotel where the movie was shot. And I did just that a couple summers ago... but more about that in a later post!
What should I name my Victorian lady? Any suggestions?