Symbol of the Second Empire, that dazzling and artificial epoch, the mysterious Countess de Castiglione dedicated her life to a cult of personal beauty and made sensational appearances at various stages of her life, great moments that she recreated for the camera. These photographs contributed to her legend during her lifetime and were prized by collectors after her death. This book presents an extraordinary collection of the most remarkable of these photographs.The portraits, which number around 400 and are now scattered in public and private collections around the world, are here itemized and analyzed for the first time. The authors take great care to place them in their social and cultural context.
An informative book about a fascinating character of the Second Empire era. The Countess of Castiglione, with her collaboration with photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson of the Mayer and Pierson studio, has left an indelible mark on the history of early photography - not for the love of this form of art but for the love of her own beauty.
Besides the biographical details and the photo catalogue, the book contains essays from different experts, detailing the relationship between the model and the photographer, her particular fashion style and the legacy left after her death.
Recommended to all those interested in photography and to anyone who likes to read about less famous historical figures.
An amazing book. This was the major source for history dissertation, it is packed with fantastic source material. You get a real feel, not only for the period but for the illusive Countess herself, and her relationship with others, including her husband. The photographs are disturbing, they is something narcotic about those eyes, and while that type of strong featured patrician beauty is no longer fashionable, she is still gorgeous in her excess, big hair, bosom, and gowns. But it is the snippets of her correspondence, her diaries, that make this book so special. A great book for a great lady.