Pierre–Louis Pierson (French, 18221913)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1975 (1975.548.116)
The mid-nineteenth century saw the simultaneous birth of couture, photography, and modern art. For women of the aristocracy, as well as the aspiring bourgeoisie, the three arts provided a new world of spectatorship and self-satisfaction. Virginia Oldoini, Countess Castiglione, was a voracious client of both couture and photography, acquiring fashion from the new maisons de couture of Worth and Pingat. The altered image further suggests the client's intervention.