Sunday, November 23, 2014

Venice: Palazzo Fortuny – The Divine Marchesa exhibition

Venice: Palazzo Fortuny – The Divine Marchesa exhibition.  On at Palazzo Fortuny, until March 8, the exhibition, The Divine Marchesa - Art and life of Luisa Casati from the Belle Epoque to the Spree Years conceived by Daniela Ferretti, curated by Fabio Benzi and Gioia Mori. The exhibition celebrates the persona and legend of the woman who fascinated D’Annunzio and whose outrageous lifestyle made her the muse of the greatest artists of the day, from Boldini to Bakst, Marinetti, Balla, Man Ray, Alberto Martini, Van Dongen and Romaine Brooks.
Above – Video: Age Cannot Wither Her, by Marco Agostinelli and Andrea Liuzza. It is a portrait of the Marchesa Casati based on a manipulation of the famous Man Ray photograph with original shootings at Brompton Cemetery in London and other apparitions.
Above – photograph: Man Ray – Marchesa Casati – 1922 – platinum print on Arches paper.

The Divine Marchesa. The exhibition reconstructs through constant cross-referencing the social and artistic relationships that filled Luisa Casati Stampa’s life: from the gilded cage of high society to her encounter with Gabriele D’Annunzio, which changed her for ever and developed into a love relationship and friendship that lasted her whole life.  From her eccentricities to her masquerades and practice of the occult. Next came the Futurist period, when she met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and embraced the cause of this artistic movement, promoting the artists and collecting their works.  It all ended with her financial ruin and self-imposed exile in London where she died in June 1957.

Above. Giovanni Boldini – The Marchesa Casati – 1911-13. Oil on canvas.

  Photograph courtesy Palazzo Fortuny

The Divine MarchesaThe Marchesa Casati with Giovanni Boldrini and another gentleman in costume at Ca Venier dei Leoni, Venice. Photograph by Mariano Fortuny Madrazo – 1913 – digital print from gelatin glass plates - Archivio Museo Fortuny, Legato Henriette Fortuny, 1956.

The Divine Marchesa – sculpture by Paolo Troubetzkoy – Portrait of the Marchesa Casati with Greyhound – bronze – 1914

   Photograph courtesy Palazzo Fortuny

The Divine Marchesa. Luisa Casati Stampa, at the beginning of the 20th century transformed herself into a work of art through exaggerated makeup, transgressive and over-the-top “performances” and a life of excess. She became a living legend, an astonishing and disturbing personification of modernity and the avant-garde.
Above. Augustus Edwin John - La Marchesa Casati – 1919 – oil on canvas -Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Divine Marchesa – Leon Bakst La Marchesa Casati – pencil on paper - 1912

The Divine Marchesa – Gabriele D’Annunzio – manuscript of Il Romanzo del Cipresso Bianco, Tormenti‼! - tre note indelebili – 1927 -1928 c. – black and red India ink.

Daniela Ferretti curator of Palazzo Fortuny and ideator of the exhibition La Divina Marchesa Art and life of Luisa Casati from the Belle Epoque to the Spree Years.


The Divine Marchesa - Anne-Karin Furunes - Crystal Images/Marchesa Casati, 1912-2014 – 2014 – painted and perforated canvas.

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