A Beautiful Little Fool

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What do you do when you stay in a gorgeous historic hotel that makes any 1800s-lover’s dreams come true? Why you set up a photoshoot! There was no question about that when my husband and I recently stayed in the historic Linden Row Inn in Richmond, VA. This exquisite piece of history possessed all the Victorian beauty our hearts desired. We were pretty much convinced this could easily be our home. Below are a few photos taken during our stay. I wish we had time to take more of the room and around the hotel but we were always on the go while we were in Richmond. The majority were taken in the majestic window with me standing on the window seat. That window tugged at my heart strings 🙂

Check out the few photos of the boudoir. When I saw the final product of the photos, they stirred my affection for many lines from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 🙂

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“And in the end, we were all just humans.. drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.” 

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“Why didn’t you tell me that if the girl had been worth having she’d have waited for you? No sir, the girl really worth having won’t wait for anybody” 

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“Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.” 

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“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.” 

 

Bonus photo:
Here is a photo I snapped and posted on my Instagram. You can get an idea on why I was so drunk on love with this place. 🙂

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The Victorian with an X-Factor

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When it comes to style in today’s world, there’s not too much that shocks us to our core that we’d banish anyone from our sight. Just recall how we’ve reacted to celebrities and entertainers and their choice of garments in just the last 20 years. Sure we are sometimes in awe (good and bad) by the choice of style that someone may wear but it’s not too often an outfit sends us into a tailspin.

Unfortunately, this non-nonchalant attitude towards fashion wasn’t the same during the Victorian Era. This was put to the test when John Singer Sargent, an American Artist, decided to capture the beauty of socialite, Virginie Avegno Gautreau, in 1800s Paris, France.

You may have seen this painting before in an art or history class:

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The famous painting received it’s notoriety because of the brazen way the artist painted his subject by showing so much skin (something we’re definitely not shocked by in today’s age). Both the artist and the model did not receive the reception they were hoping. The painting was debuted in 1884 under the title Portrait de Mme *** at the Paris Salon.  Viewers were shocked by the “distastefulness” this portrait portrayed of a beautiful married socialite. Sargent was asked by her mother to withdraw the exhibition but he refused by saying he painted her, “exactly as she was dressed, that nothing could be said of the canvas worse than had been said in print of her appearance.”  He later altered the painting by raising the shoulder strap up to make it seem more securely fastened as opposed to practically falling off her body; which apparently must have sent many people into fainting spells. He also changed the title from Portrait de Mme *** to what it is known as today, Madame X.

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The model and muse, Gautreau, was humiliated by the ordeal and Sargent permanently moved to London. Sargent remained proud of his work as he displayed it in his studio and later sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gautreau did not allow the humiliation to linger too many years as she posed for another artist,  Gustave Courtois, in another setting in a similar dress that revealed a bit more skin. She rounded out her modeling career by posing for Antonio de la Gandara in the late 1800s.

So as you can see, art and fashion have come a long way throughout the 20th century and “Madame X” may have started it all with her Victorian x-factor.