La Comtesse de Castiglione par elle-meme

La Comtesse de Castiglione par elle-meme
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Pierre Apraxine, Xavier Demange & Françoise Heilbrun.

Paris. Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux. 1999. Paperback. 192 pages. Illustrated throughout in colour and b&w. 280 x 220mm (11 x 8¾"). 0.85kg. French. Near fine; very slightly shelf wear, no tears or inscriptions.

Catalogue for an exhibition of the extraordinary photographs of the Countess of Castiglione commissioned by herself. Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione (1837-1899) was an Italian aristocrat who achieved notoriety as a mistress of Emperor Napoleon III of France. She was also a significant figure in the early history of photography directing Pierre-Louis Pierson to photograph her over 700 times at key moments in her life. The resulting pictures show the Countess in the many guises and costumes for which she was renowned. Elaborate and exotic fashions are depicted here, as well as more "risqué" photos showing a bare leg or an exposed ankle.