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David’s Notes: The Marchesa Casati

December 16th, 2009

The Marchesa Casati

Rich, married, 38 year old seeks mature, good looking male into art! For some eye witnesses, Luisa Casati was just a spoilt aristocrat who scandalized Europe over a 30 year period and then died destitute. For others, she was an inspired muse and serious patron of the arts.

Born in Milan in 1881, Casati was one of Italy’s great heiresses. From a respectable upper class childhood she emerged sporting wild make-up and hair with a menagerie of monkeys, peacocks and cheetahs in tow.

Painted and photographed hundreds of times, here she gazes seductively at her lover, the handsome, bohemian artist Augustus John.

Augustus Edwin John (British, 1878-1961)
The Marchesa Casati
1919
oil on canvas
96.5 x 68.6cm
Art Gallery of Ontario
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

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  • Tina K.

    What a stunner she must have been! For even more, you got to read her fabulous bio called “Infinite Variety” and wallow in the luxury of the new book “The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse” that just came out that has over 200 pics of Casati in it. The writers of both books are Scot Ryersson and Michael Yaccarino. And don’t miss the Marchesa’s website at http://www.marchesacasati.com, you’ll love the opening page with the music and that voice saying, “I want to be a living work of art!”, the Marchesa’s battle cry! Why doesn’t the AGO have an exhibition on this divine woman, that’s my question!!

  • Tina K.

    What a stunner she must have been! For even more, you got to read her fabulous bio called “Infinite Variety” and wallow in the luxury of the new book “The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse” that just came out that has over 200 pics of Casati in it. The writers of both books are Scot Ryersson and Michael Yaccarino. And don’t miss the Marchesa’s website at http://www.marchesacasati.com, you’ll love the opening page with the music and that voice saying, “I want to be a living work of art!”, the Marchesa’s battle cry! Why doesn’t the AGO have an exhibition on this divine woman, that’s my question!!

  • http://www.fascinatingpeople.wordpress.com Lorette C. Luzajic

    This is one of my favourite pieces of art anywhere. Anyone moved by it, or curious about the Marchesa, may enjoy my response:
    http://fascinatingpeople.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/the-other-heiress-the-marchesa-luisa-di-casati/
    Cheers,
    Lorette

  • http://www.fascinatingpeople.wordpress.com Lorette C. Luzajic

    This is one of my favourite pieces of art anywhere. Anyone moved by it, or curious about the Marchesa, may enjoy my response:
    http://fascinatingpeople.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/the-other-heiress-the-marchesa-luisa-di-casati/
    Cheers,
    Lorette

  • Christina Dourzi

    I was fascinated by this painting. She can pop out of it, and captivate you with her eyes!

  • Christina Dourzi

    I was fascinated by this painting. She can pop out of it, and captivate you with her eyes!

  • Christan M Nicholson

    I have loved this portrait since I first saw it.  The sumptuousness of the paint itself, and her commanding look and mass of red hair.  Then I saw her in the background of the wedding scene in “The Vow”.  Let’s just say she gets around, what a joy.