Artist: Pierre-Louis Pierson (French, 1822–1913)

Date: 1861–64

Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative with applied color

Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.1 cm (5 11/16 x 5 3/16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1975

Accession Number: 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.