17 thoughts on “TBT: The Countess of Castiglione (1942)

  1. I would prefer a more historical and clothing accurate movie than the 1940s one and I’m wondering since the countess was a supporter of the Italian Union did she know the Milanese Countess Maffei who was portrayed in the biopic series Verdi which had good costumes?

  2. Costuming La Castiglione would be one time that the infamous ‘I want to show my tits’ meme would be appropriate. According to contemporaries she had a fabulous figure and wasn’t shy about showing it off.

  3. I once watched several hours of La Vengenza (a Spanish Soap opera) when I was at home before I had to go to work on Univision. I don’t know Spanish more than some numbers and a handful of words to order deli items. I was able to vaguely follow what was going on through the over-the-top acting and flashbacks. This was in the early 2000s, so it was only recently that I looked it up on Wikipedia, and found my inference was actually pretty accurate given I had no idea what anyone was saying.

  4. That photo of her on the swing looks like they were attempting a tableau of Fragonard’s 1767 painting, The Swing, or ‘The Happy Accident’

    1. Yes, but in film, swinging seems to have been used as a euphemism for sex — I wonder how far back that goes? Does Fragonard’s painting have the same subtext? Must find out.

      1. Well on the painting, the lady basically opens her legs so that her lover hidden in a bush can enjoy the view from below… so yes, sex!

      2. I forget where I read that the centrifugal force generated by the action of a swing creates pressure on the female genital organs, and therefore mildly stimulates them. If so, then presumably swings and sex will have been connected since they were first invented. (Looking back, that may possibly be why as a pre-teen I enjoyed the swings in the playground so much; I would have swung for hours if there hadn’t always been someone else who wanted a go on them.)

      3. Yes, it’s found it. The sexual allusion is well known and discussed among art historians and scholars of libertine culture of the 18th_C

  5. I saw that exhibition at the Met! They made her out to be some sort of gigantic narcissist who only posed for photographs. Now I know better. Thanks!

    1. I don’t think narcissist is the right word. Granted Castiglione was obsessed by her own beauty but so was everybody around her. She seems to have made being beautiful the cornerstone of her identity and so was unable to cope when she began to age, though she remained a fine looking woman she no longer matched her self image. She ended her life as a recluse hiding in darkened apartments. Very sad.

  6. There is a French documentary currently on Amazon Prime, “The Courtesans”, that focuses on the rivalries of Virginia Oldoini, La Paiva Esther Lachmann, La Belle Agustina del Carmen Otero Iglesias, and Liane de Pougy. The opulence of these ladies is over the top. If you want to see more images of La Castiglione you should check it out.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: