Awesome lady! (And awesome dress.) I love that her hair is worn long and straight, with flowers, a symbol of her youth and virtue.
A portrait of Juana during her youth in 1666, which states she was 15 at the time, when she first entered the viceregal court
Juana Inés de la Cruz (12 November 1651 – 17 April 1695), full name Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, was a self-taught scholar and poet of the Baroque school, and nun of New Spain.
In 1664, aged 16, she was sent to live in Mexico City. She asked her mother’s permission to disguise herself as a male student so that she could enter the university. Not being allowed to do this, she continued her studies privately. She came under the tutelage of the Vicereine Leonor Carreto, wife of the Viceroy Antonio Sebastián de Toledo. The viceroy (whom Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography names as the Marquis de Mancera), wishing to test the learning and intelligence of this 17 year old, invited several theologians, jurists, philosophers, and poets to a meeting, during which she had to answer, unprepared, many questions, and explain several difficult points on various scientific and literary subjects. The manner in which she acquitted herself astonished all present, and greatly increased her reputation. Her literary accomplishments garnered her fame throughout New Spain.
i wrote a paper on her at some point in high school.
I love Nancy Mitford, and I love the French monarchy (well, reading about the French monarchy), so I am excited to get my hands on NYRB Classic’s reissue of The Sun King, Mitford’s biography on Louis XIV. Louis was known for his ostentatious style, but his brother, the Duc d’Orléans, was no slouch in the sartorial department either. (He would go to battle decked in diamonds and ribbons.) Just take a look at his fur-trimmed velvet cape, and the oversized red bow tie, affixed with a diamond brooch. Yowzers!
In his youth, Monsieur was partial to battles. He would arrive rather late on the field, having got himself up to kill; painted, powdered, all his eyelashes stuck together; covered with ribbons and diamonds – hatless. He never wore a hat for fear of flattening his wig. Once in action he was as brave as a lion; only afraid of what the sun and dust might do to his complexion.
- some more from Nancy Mitford’s The Sun King, which published today. The monsieur in reference is Phillipe I, Duc d’Orléans, Louis XIV’s younger brother (it was traditional to call the younger brother of the king “Monsieur”). Another description from Mitford of the Monsieur: “In spite of being one of history’s most famous sodomites, Monsieur had two wives, a mistress and eleven legitimate children of whom seven died in infancy or were born dead; and he is the ‘grandfather of Europe.’” Makes the English monarchy look rather dull.
When I read “Love and Louis XIV,” Antonia Frasier’s wonderful, slightly salacious, biography of the Sun King, I certainly did not imagine the regal Anne of Austria looking like this.
Charles Beaubrun painted this portrait of Anne of Austria in 1638 when she was 8 months pregnant with the future Louis XIV.
I think Anne’s dress is an extremely interesting approach to maternity fashion. Rather than simply altering the waistline, they expanded (and presumably added some creative padding to) the entire dress, allowing the dress to keep the fashionable lines of the time.