Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016

7.06.2008

Portraits II


[Last week The Peak of Chic wrote about inherited style and highlighted Maxime de la Falaise. This prompted me to pull a book off my shelf that features some of Maxime's work. Details on "the portrait bedroom" follow below.]


When I was in elementary school, nearly all my friends had portraits of themselves hanging in their parents' houses. (These oils and pastels must not have been my mom's thing at the time because my sister and I were never asked to sit for one.) But Andi's home had portraits with extra flair. Her mom -- a Jaclyn Smith look-a-like who drove a sports car -- was a talented artist. She painted all of her children in outdoor settings accompanied by pets.

In my memory, the portrait of Andi's mother that hung in their entry was as striking as a Sargent. Although I'm sure in reality it was a rather routine picture of a 70s beauty standing by a magnolia tree.

Maxime de la Falaise, on the other hand, grew up surrounded by truly exceptional portraits. Her father, Sir Oswald Birley, was a celebrated English painter known for his portraits of King George V and Queen Mary, The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Winston Churchill, and also lesser known exotic beauties.

The Provencal farmhouse bedroom shown here was decorated by de la Falaise for her friend, Sarah Saint-George, and includes Birley portraits of young Maxime flanking the fireplace.


Before portraits began to come back in vogue, Mary McDonald was using them. This distinguished gentleman popped up in more than one project, I think. Above, in the Buster Keaton guest house (House Beautiful) and in Mary's own home (Domino.)

Some favor portriats of their pets. Lisa Fine's dog is the focal point above her Paris fireplace (photo by Ivan Terestchenko for Elle Decor, August 2000).

Tim Clarke casually placed a portrait of his dogs on a bookshelf (photo by Grey Crawford, Elle Decor, May 2002).

These iconic Charles Bird King portraits of Sharitarish, above, and Hayne Hudjihini below, are among the most interesting in American history.


["The portrait bedroom" images are from Elle Decor's Bedrooms, link provided at top. ]

13 comments:

Cote de Texas said...

Just beautiful! Don't feel bad, we never had our portraits done either except once by a pastel "artist" on the sidewalk at the San Antonio Worlds Fair. Doesn't count!

Style Court said...

Joni -- that's hysterical. I forgot about those.

Ann said...

Another nice, informative, and interesting post. I like it a lot. Not quite a portrait fan yet but those are real good ones you have there. Maybe I would opt a black and white/charcoal portrait of me or my family someday.

Style Court said...

anne -- they've grown on me recently but i wasn't always a huge fan either. glad you thought this was informative :)

The Peak of Chic said...

Same here- no portraits of my sister and me as children. I suppose it always helps to have an artist in the family!

kelleyp said...

it is funny to me of having your own portrait in your own home--think only children or dead relatives seem appropriate. have two very "official" looking old portraits, although they are really cheapy/flea market ones, but everyone asks if it is an old uncle. adds some flair to an otherwise "restoration hardware knock-off" house.

Style Court said...

Kelley -- I love conversation pieces like that and you have a great point about how vintage portraits add unique flair to a home.

Mélanie said...

I love this post ! For me , hanging portraits on the wall makes a "maison de famille " ambiance !
On the 1st picture ,I'm totally in love with the fabric !
La falaise family has such a style

Style Court said...

melanie -- love how you speak of the family house atmosphere. i thought you would like the fabric!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - I have not seen the image of the first bedroom and I'm head over heels. I do adore portraits of animals as much a people.

Style Court said...

Patricia -- I wish I knew more about the dog in the Maxime bedroom. It's part of what drew me in. The one of her in the red skirt and espadrilles is pretty cool too.

Anonymous said...

A million thanks for that beautiful post. Images of that bedroom have been swimming in my head for days...can't wait for book to arrive

Style Court said...

Anon -- love hearing that the image inspired you!