Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Le Pé

Artist:
Pierre-Louis Pierson (French, 1822–1913)
Person in Photograph:
Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione (1835–1899)
Date:
August 1, 1894
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 14.4 x 10 cm (5 11/16 x 3 15/16 in.) Mat: 35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.391.1–.2
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed in ink, verso BC to C, upside-down: "Le Pé // L'amputation du // gruyère // Le B [underlined] // 8[?]758A"; inscribed in pencil, TL: "6"; TR: "No6" [upside-down]; BL: "5" [circled]; in ink, BR: "00"; inscribed in ink on paper sleeve, recto TL: "83758"; inscribed in ink on paper sleeve, TR: "Faculté"; inscribed in red pencil on paper sleeve, recto TR: "V"; inscribed in ink on paper sleeve, TC: "Pose du 1er aout 1894 // Serié OO Le Pé L'amputation du gruyére // le B"; inscribed in ink on paper sleeve, verso TC: "Faculté // Pose du 1er auot 1894. // no. 83758 // Série OO. // le Pé l'amputation du Gruyere // le B."; inscribed in red ink on paper sleeve, verso C: "No. 5."
Descendants of Adolphe Braun; [Galerie Texbraun, Paris]; Jean Michel Braunschweig; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, June 20, 1988

Musée d'Orsay. "La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess Castiglione," October 11, 1999–January 23, 2000.

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.

Pinakothek der Moderne, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. "Female Trouble: The Camera as Mirror and Stage of Female Projection in Photography and Video Art," July 18, 2008–October 26, 2008.

Apraxine, Pierre, and Xavier Demange. La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. no. 85, p. 185, ill. p. 151 (this print).

Corgnati, Martina, and Cecilia Ghibaudi. La Contessa Di Castiglione e Il Suo Tempo. Cinisello Balsamo, Italy: Silvana Editoriale, 2000. p. 227.

Ingelmann, Inka Graeve, ed. Female Trouble: Die Kamera als Spiegel und Bühne Weiblicher Inszenierungen. Munich: Pinakothek der Moderne, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, 2008. p. 51.



At the end of her life, the Countess asked Pierson to photograph her feet again. The model is shown lying down and the photographer stands behind her. The impression is of a corpse lying in a coffin with only the feet visible. The Countess does not try here to reconstruct a more or less imaginary past; she is looking morbidly towards the future. The theme of death, first illustrated in "Virginie," is treated henceforward as a merciless stocktaking of the model's progressive physical deterioration.
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