of Marlborough Family
of Malborough collection,
x 238.8 cm (131
x 94 in.)
Major construction going on here
commissioned to paint a
portrait of the 9th Duke of Marlbourough family that would serve as a
to the family portrait of the 4th Duke done by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It
is within this confinement that Sargent tackles the composition.
At the center top
is the bust of
the first Duke between the tapestry or flags. The two sons are Marquess
of Blandford and Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill
Vanderbilt (1877-1964) was married to one of
the Dukes of Marlborough (that made her the Duchess of Marlborough) and
was Winston Churchill's cousin by marriage. When they were married the
duke was 23. November 6, 1895 at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in
most prestigious Gilded Age wedding. Her father gave the Duke $2.5
which he sorely needed to make repairs on Blenheim Palace.
married Balsan, Jacques, Lt.Col.4 JUL 1921 after
Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Castle on
November 30, 1874,
and though he never resided in it, Blenheim remained a powerful compass
point throughout his life. When considering Churchill's political
it should not be forgotten how close he actually came to assuming the
of Duke of Marlborough. Between the 1892 accession of his cousin Sunny
and the 1897 birth of Sunny's only son, Winston was second in line to
Dukedom. This fact was not lost on Duchess Fanny, who, upon her
to Sunny's wife, the American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, declared
first duty is to have a child and it must be a son, because it would be
intolerable to have that little upstart Winston become Duke."
See the Natasha's
cliff notes on the first Duke of Marlborough
Charles Richard John Spencer Churchill , the 9th duke of Marlborough
W. K. VANDERBILT
He was married. Children were: Consuelo VANDERBILT (Duchess of
Consuelo VANDERBILT (Duchess of Marlborough) was born in
Mar 1877 in
New York. She died in 1964 in New York. She was buried in 1964 in
Churchyard at Blenheim. Parents: W. K. VANDERBILT.
She was married to Charles Richard John Spencer CHURCHILL (9th Duke
of Marlborough) on 6 Nov 1895 in Saint Thomas Church, 5th Avenue, New
New York County, New York. She was divorced from Charles Richard John
CHURCHILL (9th Duke of Marlborough). Children were: John Albert Edward
Spencer CHURCHILL (10th Duke of Marlborough), Ivor Charles
He asked 2,500 guineas for the portrait (Charteris
She was tall elegant with a long, swan-like neck.
Sargent asked her
not to wear a necklace which Sargent compaired to a trunk of a
the marrage here was an interesting one. The American
had grown increadably wealthy, but they were accentially upstart
(by Euopean eyes) with no nobility or title. Charles, the 9th duke of
on the other hand, certainly had the title but was in dire need of
. The marriage, if not for love, was certainly convenient.
Painted also by Giovanni
for the Duke of Marlborough and Family
x 9 1/2 in.
an nie ca firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004
My favorite is the
painting of the Duke of Marlborough and his American wife, Consuelo
because the composition is so subversive -- I mean, he's an English
Duke and he's stuck off to one side of the picture while his wife,
whose money rescued the family, is the focus of the painting. Also
Consuelo was BEAUTIFUL.
Blenheim Palace is 10 miles from the "dreaming spires" of Oxford
and about 30 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare’s
It is an easy and pleasant two hours drive from London.
There are many real-life stories of marriageable American
who crossed the Atlantic on luxurious cruise ships to find and marry
lords. Author Edith Wharton coined the term "buccaneers" to
these glamorous ladies who married British aristocracy. Their
poured thousands of dollars into maintaining England's grand family
in exchange for a title for their daughters and bolstered social
for themselves. Consuelo Vanderbilt was one of the most famous
Consuelo was the daughter of Commodore Vanderbilt's grandson and his
Alva. Consuelo's mother - a native of Mobile, Alabama - groomed
to make the wedding match of the century. The beautiful Consuelo
had to give up her true love from a ship-board romance, to wed a
Her mother would settle for no less than the ninth Duke of Marlborough,
the heir to Blenheim Palace.
by Cornelia Powell
The marriage ceremony took place in1895. the
the marriage, over thirty years; the apparent confirmation of the
contract by its continuance; the birth of two children, who have now
maturity; the reunion of the parties after a separation of twelve
from 1907-1919, and finally the evidence brought out in the divorce
in 1920, which appears to show that the former unwilling party to the
contract had at last given free consent to the union.
and Sargent's painting good link
Each month or so,
Vintage Voice features
a praiseworthy, fashion lovin' Babe du Jour.
In 1895 Consuelo
one of the richest heiresses in America, was forced into a loveless
with the 8th Duke of Marlborough by her social-climbing vulture of a
Though the Duke (a singularly phlegmatic man, ineptly nicknamed
didn't much care for Americans, their $2.5 million dowry was ok by him.
The Duchess later poured millions more into the restoration of
a decrepit heap at the time of her marriage; it is still one of the
showplaces of Britain today. She was an early and ardent feminist, and
devoted her time and money to worthy causes. In 1907 she was separated
from her husband; they were divorced in 1921. A very happy second
followed, to famous French aviator Jacques Balsan. Consuelo Vanderbilt
was one of the great beauties of her age; her elegance and glamor are
in almost every contemporary mention of her name. She was a
and intelligent woman whose memoir, All that Glitters is not Gold,
an absorbing, if somewhat sober, portrait of the Gilded Age.
Vanderbilt Balsan, The
glitter and the Gold; New York, 1952, p.185
2) Albert Boime,
John Singer Sargent,
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1986, P. 104
See the year in