For the first three decades of the twentieth century, the fabled Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957) triumphed as the brightest star in European society. Possibly the most artistically represented woman in history after the Virgin Mary and Cleopatra, the portraits, sculptures and photographs of her would fill a gallery. In a quest for immortality, she had herself painted by Giovanni Boldini, Augustus John, Kees Van Dongen, Romaine Brooks and Ignacio Zuloaga; sketched by Drian, Alberto Martini and Alastair; sculpted by Giacomo Balla, Catherine Barjansky and Jacob Epstein; and photographed by Man Ray, Cecil Beaton and Baron Adolph de Meyer. She frightened Artur Rubinstein, angered Aleister Crowley and intimidated T.E. Lawrence. As muse to the Italian futurists F. T. Marinetti, Fortunato Depero and Umberto Boccioni, she conjured up an elaborate marionette show with music by Maurice Ravel. Accompanied by her pet boa constrictor, she checked into the Ritz Hotel in Paris where it escaped. Considered the original female dandy, Léon Bakst, Paul Poiret, Mariano Fortuny (Note: Rare photo-portrait of Casati at Museo Fortuny Exhibition through December 2006) and Erté dressed her. She adorned herself with the jewels of Lalique and directly inspired the famed 'Panther' design for Cartier. Her parties and appearances at others became legendary–at one celebration in her Venetian palazzo, Nijinsky invited Isadora Duncan to dance; Picasso attended a soirée at her Roman villa; while she costumed herself as a living artwork inspired by Dali for another. Nude servants gilded in gold leaf attended her. Bizarre wax mannequins sat as guests at her dining table, some of them even rumoured to contain the ashes of past lovers. She wore live snakes as jewellery and was infamous for her evening strolls, naked beneath her furs whilst parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leashes. Everywhere she went, she set trends, inspired genius and astounded even the most jaded members of the international aristocracy. Without question, the Marchesa Casati was the most scandalous woman of her day.
Catherine Barjansky is a sculptress in the ancient medium of wax. Her work must certainly have merit since only the most elegant, famous, exotic, the most noble man became subjects for her ""psychological portraits"". In preciously personal and lines, she tells of that portion of her life from the early 20's until today, the ny of the illustrious which included Freud, Einstein, Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy Thom the Queen of Naples, D. Her insight is her own, cultivated in her own fragrant
Never mind. Casati never really was a work of art, anyway. She was, rather, muse to more artists than just about any other muse in history. According to her biography, “Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati,” by Scot Ryersson and Michael Yaccarino, the marchesa’s personality was captured in one form or another by nearly every important artist of her day: Guiglio de Blaas, Gabriel D’Anunnzio, Giovanni Boldini, Catherine Barjansky, Kees Van Dongen, Augustus John, F.T. Marinetti, Erté Alberto Martini, Baron Adolph de Meyer, Roberto Montenegro, Joseph Paget-Fredericks, Man Ray, Hans Henning von Voigt (the famed Alastair), Cecil Beaton and Dali.
La Reine Elisabeth de Belgique réalisa un buste en bronze de Catherine Barjansky, qui fut coulé par la Compagnie des Bronzes de Bruxelles en 1954 et un exemplaire fut retiré 1966 pour figurer au Middelheimpark d'Anvers.
|Author:||Catherine Barjansky; Rae Foley|
|Publisher:||New York, Macmillan Co., 1947.|
|Edition/Format:||Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats|
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