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COUNTESS PAULINE DE LA FERRONNAYS FROM THE MIDDLETON WATERCOLOR ALBUM

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COUNTESS PAULINE DE LA FERRONNAYS FROM THE MIDDLETON WATERCOLOR ALBUM

Currently in storage


About this object

Countess Pauline de la Ferronays (later Craven) (1808-1891) was the eldest daughter of Count and Countess de la Ferronnays (52.39.3-4), both of French noble stock. Her youth was characterized by frequent relocation—born in London in 1808, her family returned to France in 1814. A quarrel between her father and the Duc de Berry led him to be named Minister of Denmark and Ambassador to St. Petersburg in 1817 and 1819respectively. During their eight years in Russia, Pauline became a favorite among the diplomatic set—Lady Anne Disbrowe, wife of England’s Minister Plenipotentiary to St. Petersburg, described her as “a dear little, spoilt, saucy, wayward, clever body that everybody indulges, and cannot help it.” The Ferronnays became intimate friends of the Middletons during this time. The strength of this friendship is reflected in Eleanor’s journal, which contains many entries of evenings spent in their company. The Ferronnays family relocated to Paris in 1827 and moved to Italy a year later. While living in Naples, Pauline met Augustus Craven, an attaché to the city’s British legation, whom she married in 1834. Her first book was published to great acclaim in 1866. She went on to pen a number of other works, including Fleurange (1871), which drew upon her experiences in Russia, and Réminiscences: Souvenirs d’Angleterre et d’Italie (1879), which features a character most likely inspired by Eleanor Middleton.

The half-length portrait depicts the young Countess Pauline de la Ferronnays facing partly left, with eyes looking slightly left, against a neutral background. Her dark hair is elaborately styled in an Apollo knot. She wears an elegant white dress with a light green belt and a sheer white fichu across her shoulders. Her ears are adorned with small pendant earrings.

Category:
paintings
Object name:
COUNTESS PAULINE DE LA FERRONNAYS FROM THE MIDDLETON WATERCOLOR ALBUM
Made from:
Watercolor and gouache on paper
Date made:
1825-1827
Size:
H. 7 1/2 in., W. 6 in.

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
52.39.5
Signature marks:
inscription Comtesse Pauline de la Ferronnays Bottom of page In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004