Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yay or Nay? Duchess of Alba

Bosoms were on everyone's mind when Robertine Tourteau showed off her casual ensemble. But was it too casual and not fashionable enough? According to our panel it was and Robertine was given a big Yay! It is time now to journey back to Spain, a country that hasn't had the best of luck in past Yay or Nays. But perhaps a little luck will be on their side today?


Francisco Goya paints "The White Duchess" (1795) in her gualle gown and dark coral accents. Yay or Nay?

[The Alba Collection]

25 comments:

Dolly said...

I would have to give this a nay, the dress seems too plain even with the red.

Pauline said...

Yikes. Goya. Did he ever try to make his subjects look good? I say nay purely out of hand. That hair...

Camille said...

The dress would look better without that weird red bow on the bosom. And the hair... someone nees to get a hairbrush ;-)
That's a nay for me.

Duchess of the Feneeqk said...

YAY!
I really love the combination of white and coral.
And I really don't mind her hair all that much.

I love how her dog has a little bow on his leg. ^_^

Bi said...

Yuck! That hair's so ugly, and the bow on the bottom give a simple look. A big NAY from me.

DC said...

Bless. She looks like a porcelain doll.
I am in two minds with this one. She seems quite relaxed, the dress is plain but still pretty. In fact she is probably a bit of an antidote to all the frills and flounces of what we have seen in the past.

I am going to say YAY
The style of the painting has not done her any justice.
YAY.

Jessi P (AKA Emily Ryder) said...

Yay - though d'ya think Goya told her to look depressed?! As DC said, she looks like a doll, but I like the dress and hair despite her melancholy. Perhaps he wanted a quasi-pre-gothic atmosphere...

cherylynn18 said...

True the hair is a bit much but it is a nice change from that dull fuzzy gray most people seem to sport then. I love the dress--minus the off side bow, which almost seems like a last minute add on. She looks so fragile I better give her a Yay;-)

Abby said...

I don't like the Cher hair a la 'If I could turn back time' and I'm not a fan of the bow on the chest. However I like the rest of the gown and I love that the dog has a matching bow on it's leg. Hilarious! Goya's not one for portraits though...shame.

I'll give it a yay since I usually forgive the hair of the subject, and the dog's bow counterbalances the bow on her chest. ;)

Harriet said...

Yay to the dress, but nay to the rest of the painting. I think had it been presented in a different composition I would have liked it much more... I suppose you can't spell Goya without....oy.

Abs said...

Oooo....have to say Nay here. Maybe it's the painter, but I'm not likin' most of the dress. The bottom half looks like it could be a beautiful dress, but those bows and her hair needs to be pared down and tamed.

nightsmusic said...

I like the dress, and the dog looks realistic, but the overall painting, nay. Just nay.

She looks like a cartoon character.

Vic said...

I like the dog. Does that count?

Sunny @ the Library said...

I say Yay! I like the coral and white. Soft and feminine.

cmybliss said...

J'adore the dress. The simplicity of it strikes me, and I would wear it in a heart beat. As to the sitter, she gives me the creeps.
So, to sum up, yay to the dress, yikes to the rest.

Laura said...

I like her dress and am envious of all that hair! What I don't care for is her odd pose and the sour look on her face. Why would she want to be painted like that?

So, a yay from me but not a big yay.

PvtSam75 said...

I have to say yay. Her dress is simple, yet elegant, and I really do like her hair.

Kristien said...

Although the look on her face is just awful, I do love the dress & even the hair! So a big YAY from me!! :)

Chloe said...

My art history teacher said he was amazed Goya was never beheaded for his unflattering portrayal of his royal patrons, using this painting as an example. I love Goya, but not for his portraits.

Anyhoo, its hard to judge the dress because her body looks so weird, and I don't know if its due to the dress or Goya. Assuming it was Goya, I'll go with yay.

Audrey said...

The hair, the hair, the hair. oh my what was she thinking? Just think in real life how frizzy that must have been. It distracts from the dress and creates a feeling of chaos, rushing, and unreadyness. The dress, although simple, is pretty. Not much else to say about it, just plain. I could have done with out the random red bow and stuck with the necklace and belt. It seems too simple of a dress to be painted, a more luxurious gown (still using the same colors) would fit perfectly for the title of "the white duchess". NAY, NAY, NAY!!!!

Linda said...

Yay. I would like to wear this dress, although the hair is something else.

The Dreamstress said...

I'm going to give the dress a reserved Yay.

If the hair was just a little less 'madwomen in the attic', and if she had skipped the weird stiff bow on her bosom and the over-the-sleeve bracelets it would get a full on Yay. The colour combination is simple but effective, and a nice contrast to the usual pastel gaulle combinations.

Yes, the painting isn't attractive or flattering, but we aren't rating the painting!

Aileen said...

I adore her great mane of black hair. The wide crimson sash is dramatic. I may be in the minority here, but I give her ensemble a yay.

We studied the paintings of this period a bit in class, History of Prints. Rumors abounded that Goya and the Duchess of Alba were lovers, escpecially since she points to letters drawn in the sand in several of the portraits. Now this was just after her husband had died, and Goya had been expelled from court for going blind briefly.

Lisa-fineartrestoration said...

This is a 'yay' in my book! I'm sure the Duchess is wearing a wig....fabulous. It must have cost a fortune. Coral was often thought to ward off the evil eye. You will note that most children in very old paintings are wearing/holding some. The cloth of the dress seems to be lace (nose-thumb to those who have called it'plain')and was outrageously expensive. I would love to see her shoes. Probably satin slippers.

Heather Carroll said...

I hadn't heard that, but it just gives me more of reason to have more coral in my wardrobe!