Countess De Castiglione

We love drama queens! This lady was famous as the mistress of Napoleon in mid 18th century as well as a political player that loved fancy dress.  She was also known to be one of the first photo models and she loved to be in front of the camera.  One of the most fascinating stories about her is however what happened when she grew old.  She settled down in Paris where she had the rooms of her apartment decorated in funereal black, the blinds kept drawn, and mirrors banished, apparently so she would not have to confront her age and loss of beauty, she would only go outside at night.

We found these images in the book: La Divine Comtesse : Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione by Pierre Apraxine from a catalog for a 2000 exhibition of the Countess de Castiglione photos at the Metropolitan Museum of Art