2/11/2009

Hair-do of the week - Louise, vicomtesse d'Haussonville, 1845

This is a detail from a painting portraying vicomtesse Othenin d'Haussonville, done in 1845 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. She was born as Louise, Princesse de Broglie in 1818 (and she died in 1882). When she was 18, in 1836, she married the vicomte - who was both a historian and a member of parliament. Louise herself was known for her liberal views and published several books - including a biography over Byron. This portrait of her was very popular among family and friends.

Due to the way she is painted it also gives a close to perfect view of how her hair is made, the back of her head being reflected by a mirror. The 1840's was the time of the soft impression when it came to the hair. It was parted in the middle and then shaped in soft curves around the upper part of the face, being very smooth and without curls. But as can be seen here, the hair at the back was not forgotten. The hair was long and braided. It is impossible to tell by looking alone the number of braids, but considering the thickness, two seem to be a likely number. The braids were then gathered and pinned up at the back of the head - and kept in place with a comb. As extra flair a red bow is then added to the side of the head, giving it the perfect finished touch.

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