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Saturday, December 7, 2013

· Sofonisba Anguissola Painting Recreation ·


This was a very fun project to work on, and it was so fun to see the culmination of 3 years of admiration and planning. :-)  Here's a back-story on what lead up to the project.

My sister Gretel agreed to help out with these costumes so that they would be completed on time.  I'm pleased to report that astonishingly, they were completed in time, with 20 or so hours to spare. ;-)  Since she isn't terribly fond of sewing, she undertook the task of making the jewelry and the hairnets.  She was also very involved in the design process, and helped out with the decision making. :-)  

One challenge that I wasn't expecting from this project was the difficulty in working with 2 sets of eyes.  When interpreting a painting, the perceived garment really changes depending on the perspective!  For example, I was interpreting the dresses as being trimmed with black velvet, whereas Gretel was interpreting it as blue.


We attempted to make the dresses as close as our time and budget allowed.  I'm rather pleased with the result, though there are a few things that we either couldn't understand, or didn't have time for.  In the high-res version, you can see something over the older sister's right ear- I thought it was some sort of tassel or ribbon, while Gretel thought it was a flower.  I didn't have time to research similar-era paintings to get a better clue as to what it is.  Do any of my readers have advice?  Also, the partlet of the elder sister looks to be made of some sort of embroidered fabric or lace.  Does anyone know what kind this is, or how to recreate it?


Since we don't have a younger brother or a dog, we couldn't fully recreate the painting.  However, we substituted the next best things- our dad and our cat, Bingley. ;-)


There are lots more detail shots that I'm excited to share with you all next week! :-)

· Pictures by the fabulous Kathryn! ·

36 comments:

  1. Incredible! That's about all I can say! Someday, I hope to do more period correct sewing, and your blog is lovely to look at and get inspiration from all various eras!

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  2. Beautiful!! I love it!! Those dresses are amazing!

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  3. They're gorgeous...and you did an amazing job!!! The picture with all three (four) of you is great. :-) :-) Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks! We all had a lot of fun posing! :-)

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  4. Oh, I LOVE these! Y'all are so lovely and have such an elegance about you! I still think the substitution of your Dad and the cat is hilarious - and perfect!

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  5. You girls did a LOVELY, amazing job recreating the painting! Your outfits are stunningly accurate (in my eyes, at least)! Wonderful work! I can't wait to see the detail shots!

    Brigid
    The Middle Sister and Singer

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    1. Thank you! Can't wait to share the detail shots!!

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  6. Beautiful!!! You look just like the painting! I can't wait to try some regency/period sewing!!

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  7. This is incredibly wonderfully awesome! I love the dresses and you ladies and using your Dad and cat! What a great reproduction of the painting!! Well done!

    Blessings!
    Gina

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  8. I'm trying to decide if the addition of your dad and Bingley was sheer brilliance or completely hilarious. I'm suspecting that it's a 50/50 combo of both.
    You all are fabulous. As always.

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    1. Thanks for making us look so much more fabulous than real life, Kathryn. :-D

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  9. Love it! Beautifully done! :)

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  10. So fabulous! I love it when people recreate paintings, and your gowns are especially well done!

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    1. Thank you, Jen! That's high praise coming from you- I've admired many of your painting recreations. :-)

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  11. SO gorgeous! I would love to see more in-depth and detailed pictures of the dresses and hear more about the sewing process... any chance you might post about these again? :D

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    1. Thanks! I have a post of details scheduled for later this week! :-)

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  12. You're just so incredibly brilliant! I love the painting recreation!! And Bingley was so good and cooperative!

    This was definitely worth the wait and suspense you created with all the teaser posts beforehand!! :)

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    1. :-D Thanks for your blatant and unabashed flattery, dear Tara. ;-)

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  13. Fantastic! Just fantastic! About the only thing you missed from the original painting was having uber-pursed lips. You ladies look too sweetly smiling instead of mildly disapproving or rotten-teeth hiding. It's just as well -- you look better than the original!

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    1. ;-) Thank you! We noticed that the older sister had dirty fingernails in the portrait- I decided not to go to such historical accuracy. ;-)

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  14. Your facial expressions are priceless! There's nothing like a sister, eh? ;-)

    You two did a splendid job here, and I absolutely *love* the idea of reproducing a double (ehem, quadruple!) portrait. Methinks you might have started a very inspired trend and that I'm going to have to locate an 18th-century version to attempt for me and Ashley! The whole dual (or should that be dueling?!) creative process sounds like it was a lot of fun.

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I think you should most definitely put a painting recreation on the list for next year! :-)

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  15. Okay, this is AMAZING. I'm grinning from ear to ear :) And yes, yes, Bingley for the win!

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  16. Nice work! I'm fairly certain the collar of the boy is Hardanger embroidery or a similiar form of cutwork embroidery and the girl's partlet maybe the same. The partlet could also possibly be bobbin lace which a quick research indicates is easier and less expensive to make than cutwork. You'd have to research them to find out what it most likely could be historically, etc. These are just suggestions.

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    1. Thank you so much for the suggestions! :-)

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  17. This is simply AMAZING! What a great idea and what a fabulous realization! I like that you replaced the little boy by your father.
    I always liked the idea of recreating paintings but never imagined that someone could do it with such a perfection!

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