This is an oil on canvas painting of Lola Montez, attributed to Joseph Karl Stieler, 1845. The canvas is 105cm high and 85cm wide, surrounded by a highly ornate gilt frame. The frame is carved through in a fern and scroll design. In parts, the gilt has rubbed off and darkened with age.

The background is a golden brown. Lola gazes over her left shoulder towards the viewer. She leans forward, reaching with her left arm beyond the edge of the canvas. Lola’s head and shoulder are swathed in a black lace veil, it falls from her head over a black bonnet, perched at the back of her glossy, dark hair.

Her wavy hair, parted in the centre, frames her pale, youthful face. A warm-red, velvet rosette is tucked under the edge of her bonnet to the right side of her middle part. Her ears are hidden by her hair which is tucked neatly, disappearing into her veil.

Lola has a warm, flawless completion and thick, arched eyebrows. Her dark blue, almond-eyes throw a glance over her left shoulder; Lola has a delicate, straight nose, rose-bud lips parted slightly in an alluring way, revealing a glimpse of small, pearl-like teeth and a rounded chin.

In contrast to the deep colour of the portrait, a white lace-edged collar cups the base of her neck. Under the white collar, a black jacket reminiscent of a Spanish matador. At her shoulder is a large satin bow, fringed and draping over the top of the sleeve like an epaulette. This addition broadens the shoulders and emphasises Lola’s tiny waist.

Long, shiny, jet beads encircle her jacket sleeve in an embroidered pattern that repeats evenly along the length of her arm. From her shoulder, three lines of jet beads trail down her back, leading to the jacket’s elaborately embroidered waistband, which sits snuggly over the top of her gathered crimson skirt.

Audio description written by Leigh Renneberg and voiced by Carol Wellman Kelly