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суббота, 14 мая 2011 г.

" I want to be a living work of art" -Marchesa Luisa Casati

Luisa, Marquise Casati Stampa di Soncino (23 January 1881 – 1 June 1957) was an eccentric Italian heiress, muse, and patroness of the arts in early 20th century Europe.
A celebrity and femme fatale, the marchesa's famous eccentricities dominated and delighted European society for nearly three decades.
The beautiful and extravagant hostess to the Ballets Russes was something of a legend among her contemporaries.
She astonished society by parading with a pair of leashed cheetahs and wearing live snakes as jewellery.
She captivated artists and literary figures such as Robert de Montesquiou, Romain de Tirtoff (Erté), Jean Cocteau, and Cecil Beaton.
She had a long term affair with the author Gabriele d'Annunzio.
In 1910 Casati took up residence at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on Grand Canal in Venice (now the home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection).
Her soirées there would become legendary.
Casati collected a menagerie of exotic animals, and patronized fashion designers such as Fortuny and Poiret.
By 1930, Casati had amassed a personal debt of $25 million. Unable to satisfy her creditors, her personal possessions were auctioned off. Rumour has it that among the bidders was Coco Chanel.
Casati fled to London, where she lived in comparative poverty.
She died at her last residence, 32 Beaufort Gardens in Knightsbridge, on 1 June 1957, aged 76.

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