The countess enjoyed transgressing the standards of propriety for women of her social class. By addressing herself directly to male fantasies of the day, fixated on women's legs concealed by modesty and the demands of fashion, the countess unashamedly drew inspiration from actresses and dancers from the variety theater, who wore stockings intended to tone down the shocking indecency of such a spectacle. She commited a double transgression when she had both her legs photographed naked, without protective stockings, as only low-class prostitutes and models dared. The photograph, however, shows only the lower part of the body, thereby concealing the sitter's identity.
La Comtesse de Castiglione; [...]; Robert de Montesquiou; [...]; Madame Walska; [...]; Philip Kaplan
Palazzo Cavour, Turin. "Countess of Castiglione," March 30, 2000–July 2, 2000.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess Castiglione," September 18, 2000–December 31, 2000.
Kulturhuset, Stockholm. "Hannah Cullwick, Countess Virginia de Castiglione, Claude Cahun and Cindy Sherman," January 23, 2004–April 18, 2004.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. "Hannah Cullwick, Countess Virginia de Castiglione, Claude Cahun and Cindy Sherman," May 6, 2004–August 22, 2004.
Apraxine, Pierre, and Xavier Demange. La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. no. 81, p. 184, ill. p. 149 (this print).