Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Portrait of the Countess by Pierre-Louis Pierson

Here the countess poses with a passe-partout in the tradition of those paintings of eighteenth-century ladies who cast a coquettish look at the observer from behind a fan. At the same time, the fragmentary nature of photography — the way it simultaneously reveals and conceals — is emphasized by a prop used to present the hidden portions. The countess, famous for her extraordinary beauty, turns the voyeurism of the period back on the observer by retiring behind a veil and fixing the public with an inquisitive eye.

photographic credits: D'epartementales du Haut-Rhin, Mus'ee d'Unterlinden, Colmar
Mayer & Pierson, Comtesse de Castiglione
text: Freedy Langer

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