Tag Archives: paris

Countess di Castiglione The selfie queen of Paris society

c. 1865-1894

Countess di Castiglione

The selfie queen of Paris society

by Alex Q. Arbuckle

c. 1867

IMAGE: ©RUE DES ARCHIVES/PVDE/GETTY IMAGES

When she first visited the photography studio of Mayer & Pierson in 1856, Virginia Oldoini had already become notorious in Paris society. Married at 17 to Italian Count Francesco Verasis di Castiglione, she had been dispatched to Paris to convince Napoleon III to support Italian unification — instead, she promptly became his mistress.

Their dalliance was brief but helped establish her reputation as a beautiful and enigmatic seductress.

She was enthralled with the study of her own beauty, and collaborated with photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson on over 400 self-portraits.

While Pierson operated the camera, the pose, dress, setting and angle were all conceived by the countess. She was also involved in post-production, directing the printing of the pictures and often painting on top of them herself.

The countess posed in the elaborate and luxurious gowns that she wore at court, reenacting her moments of greatest triumph. She soon expanded her oeuvre to include scenes and costumes inspired by theatre, literature and myth, and even rather voyeuristic shots of her bare feet.

As she grew older, she retreated from high society and became an eccentric recluse, living in an apartment with the curtains drawn, only venturing outside at night. She died in 1899 at the age of 62, but her extensive and distinctive record of herself endures.

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF / ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

The Countess with a child, possibly her son Georges.

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

The Countess with a child, possibly her son Georges.

IMAGE: CHRISTIAN KEMPF/ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1867

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

1894

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1895

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

c. 1865

IMAGE: ADOC-PHOTOS/CORBIS

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The War

When I was 21 years old, I joined the United States Air Force.  My Commander-in-Chief was President Ronald Reagan.  I was ready to die for my country and still am.  We were trained to make the enemy die for their country and for us to live for ours.  If I was in good shape and young, I might join the French Foreign Legion just to fight the bastards who celebrate hurting people in Paris that can’t fight back.  Those vicious bullies are not so brave when you have weapons too.

A woman holds a flag of France during a gathering in solidarity for France a day after deadly attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in Stockholm. Two Swedish citizens may be among the victims of the attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris, the foreign ministry said. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

I hope my country and the world realizes finally that we are at war.  The enemy knows this and declared it nearly 30 years ago now when they issued a jihad against us.  There is no negotiating with a strong enemy, full of belief in their cause, and so far winning.  You have to hunt them down and destroy them until the remnants are too weak to rebuild.  Whether it be Nazis, the Mongol Hordes, or radical Islamic terrorists, they have to be annihilated.  There will always be people who want to rule the world in their own sick ways and will not respond to anything but superior force.

isis-fighters

I will do what as I can as a gimp old man to contribute to this effort.  If you can, find a worthy cause, like Wounded Warriors, the Red Cross, the USO, or others to contribute.  If you are in the military, I hope our leaders give you the tools and the go ahead to fight this war.  Like most major conflicts, this will take time, resolve, and loss of life to win.  Unfortunately, these nationless wars tend to take decades or even centuries.  In a country with a 5 second attention span, I worry we are not up to the fight…

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14:  People place flowers and candles on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 14: People place flowers and candles on the pavement near the scene of yesterday’s Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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1878: Henri Giffard’s Captive Balloon, Paris

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Pictures of Romantic Travel Destinations

Some of the world’s most romantic travel destinations in pictures…

Cala Dogana, Levanzo, Sicily

Cala Dogana, Levanzo, Sicily on GlablaGrasshopper.comPhoto: Wagman30

Paris

Paris from Pont de l'AlmaPhoto: bEbO

Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini, Greece on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Marcel Germain

Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: B Tal

Maldives

Maldives on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Muha

Ulun Danu Temple, Bali

Ulun Danu Temple, Bali on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Jennifer Phoon

Château de Chillon, Switzerland

Château de Chillon, Switzerland on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Pear Biter

Venice

Venice on GlobalGrasshopper.comPhoto: Cuellar

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Toselli Locomotive Coffee Maker – 1864

c. 1864:

Toselli Locomotive Coffee Maker

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1862: Electrotherapy in Paris

1862:

Electrotherapy, Paris

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“Guillaume Duchenne (1806-1875), French physician, demonstrating the use of electrotherapy. He applied electrodes to the cheeks of a woman to stimulate the facial muscles, at the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris.”

– Wikicommons

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