“Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione (1837–1899), better known as La Castiglione , was an Italian aristocrat who achieved notoriety as a mistress of Emperor Napoleon III of France. The Countess was known for her beauty and her flamboyant entrances in elaborate dress at the imperial court.

“For four decades she directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her create 700 different photographs in which she re-created the signature moments of her life for the camera. She spent a large part of her personal fortune and even went into debt to execute this project.

La Castiglione spent her declining years in an apartment in the Place Vendôme, where she had the rooms decorated in funereal black, the blinds kept drawn, and mirrors banished—apparently so she would not have to confront her advancing age and loss of beauty. She would only leave the apartment at night.”

- Wikipedia

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12 Responses

  1. Julianne

    This beautiful woman is my age. How sad that she cloistered herself … just when she was starting to self illuminate beyond what the camera could do.

  2. DapperV

    Such wonderful talent for that time period, and you can see that La Castiglione was ahead of her time. Now for those that have no vision and are simple in thought, and ruthless with comments, perhaps Diego and Kerry could keep such thoughts to ones self. I’m exhausted and have become less tolerant by today’s society whom have less knowledge how we arrived to were we are today, which is not the place I visioned, with lesser respectable value in one’s self….excluded myself from this, and my friends and family.

  3. Shauna Teaken

    Very far ahead of her time – using her own image to be creative and as her art.Wonder what she would be doing in this century? Botoxing to the max, I guess! Madonna did a similar thing in the eighties.The challenge is what to do when you get bored with that – where to go with all that creativity – simply revisiting your past glories for years is hardly fresh and invigorating!

  4. kneejerk

    if calling some calves is misogynist, I hate to see what he is if he said she had cankles.

  5. Chelsea

    I love the poses and think her passion for documenting her life is admirable… but she’d look even prettier if she’d just crack a smile once in a while! The picture with ’148′ on the top left of the frame is close and she looks really cute!


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