Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yay or Nay? Sarah Eleanor Fermor

It was another close one for Maria Luisa, but the queen managed to come out on top with a Yay. Those last minute votes saved her from fashion excommunication. This week, I couldn't resist another go at panniers although it isn't the panniers that drew me in, it is the unusual color to see in a formal portrait.


Ivan Vishnyakov paints Sarah Fermor (1750) in her baby blue gown. Yay or Nay?


[The Russian Museum]

29 comments:

  1. Yay. The dress is totally gorgeous, even if her facial expression is ambivalent.

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  2. Marchioness de VogueJune 13, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    Yay to the dress. Nay to her appearant bald head under that atrocious wig.

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  3. She looks like a little girl. Ten years old? The dress must be very uncomfortable, but little girls do love to dress up, and it's a lovely dress. So, yay.

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  4. Yay, yay, yay, a thousand times yay! There is nothing not to love about this ensemble. The pale blue-grey silk moire with botanical embroidery, the simple cut with the drama of the panniers and sleeves.

    Yes, it's a bit OTT for a child, but for a formal portrait of 1750, it's perfect for a little girl.

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  5. its beautiful, love the panners

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  6. oh and its a YAY i forgot to add

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  7. very dainty and pretty so it's a delighted yay from me!

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  8. The gown is gorgeous, but not on her. Between the pale of her skin and the fact that her horrible wig matches the lace on the sleeves and the highlights in the silk, it's almost monochromatic for me.

    So, a yay to the dress itself, a nay to the overall painting.

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  9. Yay! I love the blue-grey gown, it must have felt so wonderful to wear (for a few minutes a least) and the rustle of all that silk must have been so luxurious!

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  10. Sarah looks very young, but that dress! Oh, I want it!!! Although Sarah looks like she feels 20 years old, she looks like a little girl. But for the whole image, I must say: YAY, YAY YAY!!!

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  11. yay! I love the color choice which suits her young age. And the pattern on the fabric is georgous. It would have been perfect had whatever is on her head been left out and hair subsituted. So from the neck down its a yay!!!

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  12. Yay! Absolutely love the color. Like the other posters, I think doing without the wig would have been better, but what can you do?

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  13. I love the gown. I love the quality of the silk and the embroidery. I love how it's cut of the bodice and around the neckline. The petticoat and size of the panniers are lovely. I love the elbow flounces.

    I hate hate hate hate hate the wig. The blue color is freaking me out.

    Yay, but only for the gown.

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  14. The dress is outstanding whereas the face is almost a little disturbing. But overall it is a YAY

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  15. Yay to the dress, but not on her. She is too pale to carry off the shade of blue

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  16. Yay. Another pert person in a lovely dress. I like the simplicity of the top and the fabric.

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  17. Yay! I love how her fingers are as well, especially on the left arm holding her dress.

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  18. love it! yay for the soft baby blue with hints of shimmering silver

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  19. Yay, to the delicate & luminous gown!! Nay to the wig, it's a little on the anticlimactic side after being drawn into the painting by the enchanting dress.

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  20. A big "yay" this week! Lovely color.

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  21. Yay! What a beautiful color and love the fabric. I would totally wear that!

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  22. Yay ( et je veux bien - I want!) to the dress - love the colour, the cut, everything - but nay to the wig!

    As a side note, do we know if she was at all related to Arabella Fermor of Pope's Rape of the Lock ? I'm guessing not, as I think Sarah is Russian - I may be wrong, but background research is proving unhelpful. (All I've got so far is she became Countess Stenbock.)

    Thanks.

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  23. I adore it, and I think she's pretty, although admittedly a little stoic. I think the color is beautiful and the panniers don't look ridiculous (for once). Also, doesn't it make her skin look fabulous??
    Why was the portrait painted? I see they ditched the "young virgin in white" look for this one.

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  24. So many commenters mention a wig. To me it just looks like her own hair drawn back and powdered. She does seem to have rather a high forehead, but some people do.
    I always had the impression that only men wore wigs in the 18th century, while women wore their own hair powdered. When the high coiffures came in later in the century, they would need (a lot of) extra help, but the basis would still be their own hair.

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  25. YAY
    amazing dress and awww colour is gorgeous

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  26. @Jessi P (AKA Emily Ryder)

    Sarah Eleanor (Sarah Vilimovna) Fermor (1740-between 1805 and 1824) and William George Fermor (1749–1828) were the children of the Head of the Ministry of Construction Count William Fermor (General-in-Chief, Count William W. Fermor, 1704-71) who married Dorothea Elisabeth Bruce'iga (1714–1762) and had the above mentioned children.
    Her brother married Friederike Barbara Elisabeth von Albrechtiga (1765–1837).
    Sarah married in 1764 count Jakob Pontus Stenbock (1744-1824). They had the following children:
    -Katharina Stenbock (+ 1765)
    -Count Jakob Wilhelm Stenbock (1766–1808)
    -Count Magnus Johann Stenbock-Fermor (1768–1834)
    -Sarah Dorothea Margaretha Stenbock (1771–1854), married Vassili Kulomsiniga.
    -Juliane Charlotte Elisabeth Stenbock (+ 1772)
    -Count Alexander Matthias Stenbock (+ 1773)
    -Barbara Sophie Stenbock (+ 1774)

    heres some more info about the count in estonia:
    http://www.riigikantselei.ee/?id=1587

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  27. Nicola Munday says:

    I have recently returned from St Petersburg where I saw this painting in The Russian Museum. Apparently, according to a guide, girls were taught to dance around the age of eight or nine and Sarah is nine years old and probably modelling her first ball gown for a Childrens' Ball. The painting is dated at 1749. Also in the gallery hangs another painting by Ivan Vishniakov of her brother William George Fermor. They were the children of Major General WIlliam Fermor who was in charge of the Chancery of Construction from 1742 to 1757. I was able to purchase a reproduction on canvas of this painting for approx £20. I find the painting hauntingly beautiful. I have known about it for some years and was so pleased to actually see it for real at last. It was also interesting to find out the story behind the painting. Sarah Eleanore may look a little uncomfortable and stiff but she does look delightful.

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