Share your favorites on Show & Tell

What Is This Victorian Portrait Saying? Help Decipher!

In Fine Art > Paintings > Show & Tell.
Paintings405 of 2377Vivian flaschO k
Love it
Like it

Vynil33rpmVynil33rpm loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
truthordaretruthordare loves this.
auraaura loves this.
MarmorealMaidenMarmorealMaiden loves this.
NewfldNewfld loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
kwqdkwqd loves this.
See 6 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 2 years ago

    (119 items)

    Here is a beautiful portrait painting of an unidentified Victorian lady. You are invited to help me "read" its messages. First, do you think it was painted c1885-1890? Clues ... JEWELRY: For those of you who "know" Victorian jewelry, she seems to be wearing gold earrings, a chunky necklace and a daintier pendant. What style or character ARE these pieces ... what does the jewelry tell us? FLOWERS and HAIRSTYLE: Morning glories in her hair ... in Victorian flower language these say: eternal love, affection, spiritual love. Not sure but the other flower may be a gardenia which says: love & purity, gentleness, a secret love between two. DO YOU THINK THIS IS HER WEDDING PORTRAIT? How about THE DRESS: Does anyone know when this very distinctive lacy ruffled neckline was in fashion? Would this have possibly been a bridal gown? Lastly, THE FRAME: characteristic of what date? THANK YOU FOR LOOKING & I appreciate the comments of those who have more expertise than I have!

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    See all
    19thC Antique American Folk Art Whaling Bark 3-Masted Ship Maritime Oil Painting
    19thC Antique American Folk Art Wha...
    Large Antique Signed RALPH PEACOCK Woman Portrait Oil Painting, Fogg Museum, NR
    Large Antique Signed RALPH PEACOCK ...
    1850 Antique Frederick Spencer American Portrait Oil Painting Young Boy Brothers
    1850 Antique Frederick Spencer Amer...
    Antique 18thC Italian Architectural Capriccio Ruins Oil Painting w/ Carved Frame
    Antique 18thC Italian Architectural...
    19thC Antique American Folk Art Whaling Bark 3-Masted Ship Maritime Oil Painting
    19thC Antique American Folk Art Wha...
    See all


    1. Congcu, 2 years ago
      A beautiful portrait for sure. Any markings on the back of the frame or canvas?
    2. truthordare truthordare, 2 years ago
      Gorgeous painting, and it tells me there is nothing specific that would indicate dating, location and occasion. It has an Italian vibe for me. The collar fashion, the intricate gold jewelry, the braided hair style of the long hair brunette young woman with beautiful eyes, the flowers, which might just be an added touch by the skilled artist is very original, yet hard to identify. Thanks for posting.
    3. JoeyC, 2 years ago
      Thank you!!!!!! No though, she's ALL Pittsburgh PA. I know who painted it. I'm just not 100% certain of the date/time frame/significance (her wedding portrait? etc.) So that's the help I was seeking, not being an expert on Victorian fashion & customs. VERY MUCH appreciate your reply!
    4. Celiene Celiene, 2 years ago
      If you know who painted it, look them up and judge by the dates they lived.
    5. Celiene Celiene, 2 years ago
      I would say that is a baby pink rose on her collar. Like a Cecil Brunner Rose.
    6. JoeyC, 2 years ago
      THANKS Celiene & others for comments. (Yes in general the date of the artist's life would indicate a very approximate date span it was painted. However, fashion, style & symbolism in the Victorian era was much more specific. The wearing of flowers in BOTH the hair & blouse, for example. The style of the dress, no doubt a gown; I've seen examples of Worth dresses with similar V-neck & ruffles/lace. The styles changed season to season just like fashion today. The jewelry too; I read where white jewelry was favored over gold jewelry during certain times in the late 1800s. More research required because I'm not an expert.)

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.