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.