1854 Empress Euegénie by Franz Xavier Winterhalter (private collection)

This 1854 Winterhalter portrait celebrates Eugénie's youthful beauty by showing her casually dressed au repos.

Elizabeth Coleman in The Opulent Era, wrote this, "It was no small undertaking to keep the Empress and her court in clothes. In 1856 Punch (the English humor magazine) noted, 'The guests are all expected to change their costume twice a day; and no lady is allowed to appear at the Château (Compiègne) twice in the same dress; the Empress setting the example by giving every robe once worn to her attendants. As these are of course sold again, all Paris overflows with the Imperial defroqué.' In 1863 Mrs. Moulton estimated the value of just the Worth gowns, among the fewer than four hundred ladies at an Imperial fancy dress party held in the Blue Salon, to be $200,000. The simplest Worth dress in 1868 is thought to have cost Fr1,600 (about $64)."

Keywords:  1854, Winterhalter, Empress Eugénie, Empress, Bonaparte family, French, straight coiffure, floral headdress, off shoulder vee neckline, pleated bodice, lace, floral bodice ornament, full skirt, ruching, wrap

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