terça-feira, 29 de novembro de 2011

29 - 11 - 1807

Putting in practice a plan that had been thought since the XVI century, the fleet that would take the Portuguese Royal Family to Brazil left today due to threat of Napoleonic invasion.

D. João, the Prince Regent, considered weak, fearful and indecisive achieves, however, that the Bragança Royal House may be the only ruling family not "swallowed"  by the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte.

"He was the only one who tricked me!"  Napoleon reportedly said in his deathbed ...

Their royal highnesses the Prince Regent

On this evocative "cameo" I decided to represent D.Carlota Joaquina de Borbon with a  headdress whose "invention" is related to this voyage. It is said that the Court, forced to shave their heads due to a lice infestation, created these lavish ornaments out of luxurious fabrics, feathers and jewels that were carried on board. The result was that when they arrived in Brazil everyone looked even more exotic than the local inhabitants of the so called New World ...

Do you have a favourite historical figure that you would like to have it portrayed? Or even yourself! Talk to me!


sexta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2011

D. Catarina de Bragança - Her birthday's ephemerid

Born today 373 years ago, at Vila Viçosa, Infante D.Catarina daughter of duke of Bragança ( future king D. João IV) and his wife D. Luisa de Gusmão.

If some say that she had a submissive temperament due to her almost conventual education , others would say that she was rather witty... Either way, the truth is that this princess who will take, after the death of her older sisters, the title of Princesa da Beira, will end up by marrying with Charles II Stuart, king of the restaured England in 1662... She will become on of the great ladies of her time!

(copy of an english seventeen century cradle whose structure is made entirely of cardboard, newspaper and wood glue, then lined with toilet paper and finally painted. It took me two days to do it! :))

Do you have a favourite historical or living character that you would like to have it portrayed?  Talk to me!


quinta-feira, 24 de novembro de 2011

Coup d'Etat, November 24, 1667

With his minister fired and abandoned by his wife, queen D. Maria Francisca de Saboia, king D. Afonso VI is exonerated and exiled first to Azores and then to Sintra where he would die from a severe stroke while he was hearing mass in 1683 ...

After this coup d'etat the queen would get her marriage dissolved and she would remarry her ex husband's jailer, his own brother D. Pedro.
Ironically or not their marriage wasn't a happy one, they only had a daughter and died just three months after her previews husband, D. Afonso...

Do you have a favourite historical or living character that you would like to have it portrayed?  Talk to me!


terça-feira, 15 de novembro de 2011

D. Maria II

After a short but socially and politically difficult reign  (even, maybe, more than today!), dies at the age of 34 D.Maria II - 31st Queen of Portugal - due to a troubled delivery 158 years ago...

Do you have a favourite historical or living character that you would like to have it portrayed?  Talk to me!


quarta-feira, 9 de novembro de 2011

XVIII century Madame for sale

The figure represents a Madame dressed in XVIII century fashion reading a book.

Measuring around 30 cm this doll, like all my works, is made out of wire structure, sponge, pressed paper, moulding paste, toilet paper (!!), paint, cloth, beads, etc - Doll, dress, shoes, book - all sewn by hand, all hand moulded- all handmade!

Price 85 euros plus delivery. How about it? Interested? Send me an email!

(The figure is perfectly capable on standing but if you'de prefer to input a base or a glass dome its entirely up to you.)

Would you have a specific epoch or historical character that you would like to have it on a doll? Talk to me!

terça-feira, 8 de novembro de 2011

How to make an early XVIII century wig

for starters you must make a t shape form from a soft cloth and then sew the edges until you get this:

Then you add a roll from the same cloth to make that kind of raised  fringe in the end...

Now the hair, made of shredded sisal, is glued to the figure's head and then stitched back towards the roll up front .
For the curls I've moulded them using a small brush stick which I wrapped it with strings of sisal until the glue dries a bit and took it off. You'll have to make a series of them if you want a very curly wig!

Then with needle and thread you start to stitch the curls on the cloth

depending on the form you want you kind of "play" with the size of the curls you have...

Continue to "play" on stiching the curls on untill you finish by completing all the cloth area.

After having everything covered with the curls I wasn't really satisfied with the fringe bit so I added a little triangular shape made out cardboard and then glued to the figure's head. But still not satisfied, it looked too messy... Even so I've painted it in white (simple water based paint)

While I left it to dry  I've cut a strip of paper and on it I glued more sisal which after being dry, turned and glued it back ending with something remembering a ... moustache! 
After the glue being dried I gave it coat of white paint too.

Then I just had to glue this bit into the wig and this was the result!

Finally everything was glued on and dried, I then gave a general layer of hair spray and blew talcum powder over it just like in those times! Et voilá!

(this wig's figure relates to a previews but remodelled post,

quinta-feira, 3 de novembro de 2011

quarta-feira, 2 de novembro de 2011

Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin

Born in Paris on the 2 November 1699, Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin would become one of the leading artists on still lives of his time!

This figure was inspired in one of his lovely self-portraits.

Do you have a favourite historical or living character that you would like to have it portrayed?  Talk to me!

1755 Lisbon's earthquake

256 years ago Lisbon's earthquake was felt through all Europe and north Africa.
Being All Saints Day people gathered massively on churches when, at around 9.30 a.m the earth trembled in such violence that it took minutes to ruin what once was considered to be the greatest capital in the Renascence period!

In terror and thinking on sailing away through Tagus river they were struck by an tsunami which destroyed not only the Royal Ribeira Palace but the newly built Opera House and several other palaces, churches and monasteries. All the riches gathered throught times, precious libraries, all gone ...

With the Royal Family absent, people took faith upon a newly appointed minister whose name was Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo.

Born in Lisbon,  from a lower nobility class, studied in Coimbra, got married in Lisbon and in 1738 onwards he became ambassador in the UK and later on Vienna were he not only got married a second time with a very prominent member of an aristocratic family - the Von Daun - but also gathered efforts to study.
Not very well succeeded at the eyes of the reigning monarch, D.João V,  Sebastião José came back  after the later's death due to the new monarch's sympathies and also his mother, an Austrian Archduchess who was very fond of his wife, Ernstina Von Daun.

Scorned by the Portuguese high nobility, this "squire" would raise into such a degree of power that through despotic methods, the later known as Count of Oeiras (title given in 1759) and Marquess of Pombal (title given in 1769) become not only the major figure of King Joseph I's reign but a key figure for the development of Portugal.

My figure was inspired by the Marquess's portrait by Van Loo.

Do you have a favourite historic character and would like to have it on a doll? Talk to me!