Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Lola Montez

Photography Studio:
Southworth and Hawes (American, active 1843–1863)
Artist:
Albert Sands Southworth (American, West Fairlee, Vermont 1811–1894 Charlestown, Massachusetts)
Artist:
Josiah Johnson Hawes (American, Wayland, Massachusetts 1808–1901 Crawford Notch, New Hampshire)
Date:
ca. 1850
Medium:
Daguerreotype
Dimensions:
21.6 x 16.5 cm (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of I. N. Phelps Stokes, Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, 1937
Accession Number:
37.14.41
Not on view
The Boston partnership of Southworth and Hawes produced the finest portrait daguerreotypes in America for a clientele that included leading political, intellectual, and artistic figures. The first photographic process, invented by Louis Daguerre (1787-1851), spread rapidly around the world after its presentation to the public in Paris in 1839. Exposed in a camera obscura and developed in mercury vapors, each highly polished silvered copper plate is a unique photograph that, viewed in proper light, exhibits extraordinary detail and three-dimensionality.

Lola Montez (1818-1861), born in Ireland as Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, was a strikingly beautiful adventuress and "Spanish" dancer who achieved international notoriety as the mistress of King Louis I of Bavaria.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso: "Lola Montez"

Marking: Hallmark, BL: Doublé / J.P. [cut off] (see Spirit of Fact #9, p. 153)
Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, or Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes; [Holman's Print Shop, Boston]; I.N. Phelps Stokes, New York

Subject's real name was Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert.

Biography: Irish-born Eliza Rosanna Gilbert (1818-1861) was known by her stage name, Lola Montez. She achieved international fame as a Spanish dancer and adventuress, traveling across Europe, the United States, and Australia. Among her many lovers were Franz Liszt and Alexandre Dumas; in 1846, Montez became mistress to Louis I of Bavaria, who made her countess of Lansfeld. When the Bavarians revolted, forcing the king to abdicate, she fled to America. Montez sat for Southworth & Hawes in 1851, shortly after her arrival in New York, sailing on the same ship as Louis Kossuth. She performed in dramas, enacting her European adventures in Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Settling in New York in 1856, she became a lecturer on "Women, Love, and Spiritualism," published several texts including an autobiography, and converted to Christianity.
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