Adolf de Meyer (American (born France), Paris 1868–1949 Los Angeles, California)
41.5 x 30.9 cm. (16 5/16 x 12 3/16 in.)
Gift of Mercedes de Acosta, 1952
Not on view
While the goal of most portraits is to record a faithful likeness of the sitter, this stunning photograph inscribes only the barest of details of Mrs. Lydig's physiognomy, and is almost entirely about style. Little wonder that de Meyer, specializing in society portraiture and fashion photography, went on to achieve great success at Vogue, Vanity Fair, and at Harper's Bazaar, where this image was reproduced in March 1917. Of Cuban and Spanish parentage, the glamorous Rita de Acosta Lydig was a central figure in Edwardian society. Her fabulous flair was immortalized not only in de Meyer's photographs, but also in the work of many other artists, including Sargent and Rodin.
Mercedes de Acosta
International Center of Photography. "Baron Adolf de Meyer," December 10, 1994–February 12, 1995.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Pictorialism in New York, 1900-1915," February 10, 1998–May 31, 1998.
Whitney Museum of American Art. "The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000," April 22, 1999–September 5, 1999.
Brandau, Robert, ed. De Meyer. New York: Knopf, 1976. p. 21.