Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione (1835–1899)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 9.9 x 7.5 cm (3 7/8 x 2 15/16 in.)
Mount: 12.2 x 8.9 cm (4 13/16 x 3 1/2 in.)
Mat: 35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, verso TC: "90 [boxed]"
[...]; Maurice Levert; (Pescheteau-Badin, Godeau & Leroy, Paris, January 28, 1995, lot 90); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York
Apraxine, Pierre, and Xavier Demange. La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. no. 27, p. 116.
This is one of the four poses known in which the Countess was photographed wearing the "Mathilde" costume. The Countess looks less full-faced here than in her portraits of 1856-7, which suggests that the sitting in Pierson's studio took place several years after Princess Mathilde's ball in February 1857. The costume has been recreated for the photograph, and would then be reinterpreted again by the painter following the directions given by the sitter.
A similar print is in the Montesquiou album (1975.548.82). [Pierre Apraxine; "La Divine Comtesse", p. 172]