RESERVED - Portrait Miniature Of Lola Montez

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A beautiful portrait miniature of Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, or as she was known on stage, ’Lola Montez’. Born in 1821, Marie was an Irish dancer that became famous for becoming the courtesan and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

She certainly had quite a life and by the age of 22, she had already debuted in London as a ‘Lola Montez, the Spanish Dancer’. But sadly, due to the scandal of her separation from her first husband, Lieutenant Thomas James, she had to depart for the continent. It’s said that she had several affairs before settling in Paris, where she was accepted by the bohemian literary society.

In 1846, during a stay in Munich, she became the mistress of Ludwig I of Bavaria and it’s rumoured that the King had asked her in public if her bosom was real, to which she answered by tearing off her clothes. For over a year, her political views had quite an influence on the King, and many considered her as the real power behind the throne.

Following Ludwig’s abdication, Montez fled Bavaria, and after returning to London, she met a young army officer, George Trafford Heald, who she married. But as the terms of her divorce meant remarriage was unlawful, she again had to flee to escape the law courts.

Her final days were spent in the United States where she undertook rescue work for women. She died at the age of 39 and was buried in Brooklyn, New York.

Watercolour / Gouache
Size including frame
5½” x 4½” / 13.7cm x 11.5cm
Year of creation
c. 1890 - c. 1940
Artwork in good shape. Two small pieces missing from the ‘piano key’ ivory/bone frame plus a raised area towards the bottom of the frame.