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Louis Pierson 
Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione, with a parasol 
1859 (ca) 
Albumen print 
12 1/2x9 1/2 ins (31.8x24.1 cm) 
Swann Galleries - New York 
19 October 2017 auction, Art of Storytelling, Lot: 13 
La Castiglione first visited the Mayer & Pierson studio in 1856, and over four distinct periods collaborated with Pierre-Louis Pierson to create more than 400 self-portraits. Fascinated by her own beauty, cultivating her reputation as a femme fatale, and well aware of the camera's potential, the Countess used these sittings to recreate and depict the defining aspects of her life. She actively directed the work, providing specific instructions for enlargement and printing, as well as depicting her person in various guises. A sensation in society, the Countess is today largely remembered through her contributions to photography. 

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