La Frayeur

Pierre-Louis Pierson (French, 1822–1913)
Painted and retouched by Unknown (French)
Person in Photograph:
Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione (1835–1899)
Salted paper print from glass negative with applied color
Image: 23.6 x 17 cm (9 5/16 x 6 11/16 in.)
Mount: 31.7 x 23.8 cm (12 1/2 x 9 3/8 in.)
Mat: 57.2 x 47 cm (22 1/2 x 18 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, verso TC: "Comtesse de Castiglione // 91 [boxed]"
[...]; Maurice Levert; (Pescheteau-Badin, Godeau & Leroy, Paris, January 28, 1995, lot 91); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York

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.

Apraxine, Pierre, and Xavier Demange. La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. no. 30, p. 173, ill. p. 120.

This painted photograph shows the Countess escaping a "well-behaved fire," as ironically described by Montesquiou. The imminence of danger is tempered by the elegance of the attitude and the majesty of the ball gown of white satin crossed with a large garland of view branches, the same outfit as in "Ritrosetta" but transformed according to the Countess's instructions.

This painted photograph is a copy of a larger composition painted by Schad, once in the Montesquiou collection (see 2015.395). In 1922 a painted photograph of a similar subject was part of the Marquise Casati collection (see "Le décor de la vie...," Palais du Louvre, Paris, 1922, exh. cat. no. 425). [Pierre Apraxine; "La Divine Comtesse", p. 173]