Uemura Shōen (上村 松園, April 23, 1875 – August 27, 1949) was the pseudonym of an important artist in Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese painting.
Her real name was Uemura Tsune. Shōen was known primarily for her bijin-ga paintings of beautiful women in the nihonga style, although she produced numerous works on historical themes and traditional subjects.
Shōen was born in Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto, as the second daughter of a tea merchant. She was born two months after the death of her father and, thus, grew up with her mother and aunts in an all-female household.
Her mother's tea shop attracted a refined, cultured clientele for the art of Japanese tea ceremony. As a child at age 12 (1887), Shōen drew pictures and exhibited considerable skill at drawing human figures. By the age of 15 (1890) she was exhibiting her work and winning awards in official art contests as well as commissioning work for private patrons.
Shōen became obsessed with the ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock print, works of Hokusai. Her mother supported her decision to pursue an artistic career. This was quite unusual for the time, and although Shōen did have successful contemporaries who were female, such as Ito Shoba (1877-1968) and Kajiwara Hisako (1896-1988), women were largely still not part of the Japanese public art scene outside of Tokyo.
Shōen is considered a major innovator in the bijin-ga genre despite the fact she often still used it to depict the traditional beauty standards of women.
Bijin-ga gained criticism during the Taisho era while Shōen worked due to its lack of evolution to reflect the more modern statuses of women in Japan. During bijin-ga's conception in the Tokugawa, or Edo, period, women were regarded as lower class citizens and the genre often reflected this implication onto its female subjects. Within the Taisho era, women had made several advancements into the Japanese workforce, and artistry specifically was becoming more popular, which opened way for Shōen's success.
Shōen received many awards and forms of recognition during her lifetime within Japan, being the first female recipient of the Order of Culture award, as well as being hired as the Imperial Household's official artist, which had previously only employed one other official woman in the position.
In 1949 Uemura Shōen died of cancer just a year after receiving the Order of Culture Award.
Profile of Adolph von Menzel
Adolph Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel (December 8, 1815 – February 9, 1905) was a German Realist artist noted for drawings, etchings, and paintings. Along with Caspar David Friedrich, he is considered one of the two most prominent German painters of the 19th century,and was the most successful artist of his era in Germany. First known as Adolph Menzel, he was knighted in 1898 and changed his name to Adolph von Menzel.
Biography of Adolph von Menzel
Adolph Menzel was born to German parents in Breslau, Prussian Silesia (now Poland), on December 8, 1815. His father was a lithographer and intended to educate his son as a professor; however, he would not thwart his taste for art. After resigning his teaching post, Menzel senior set up a lithographic workshop in 1818.
In 1830 his family moved to Berlin, and in 1832 Adolph was forced to take over the lithographic business on the death of his father. In 1833, he studied briefly at the Berlin Academy of Art, where he drew from plaster casts and ancient sculptures; thereafter Menzel was self-taught. Louis Friedrich Sachse of Berlin published his first work in 1833, an album of pen-and-ink drawings reproduced on stone, to illustrate Goethe's little poem, Kunstlers Erdenwallen. He executed lithographs in the same manner to illustrate Denkwürdigkeiten aus der brandenburgisch-preussischen Geschichte; The Five Senses and The Prayer, as well as diplomas for various corporations and societies.
From 1839 to 1842, he produced 400 drawings, largely introducing to Germany the technique of wood engraving, to illustrate the Geschichte Friedrichs des Grossen (History of Frederick the Great) by Franz Kugler. He subsequently brought out Friedrichs der Grossen Armee in ihrer Uniformirung (The Uniforms of the Army under Frederick the Great), Soldaten Friedrichs der Grossen (The Soldiers of Frederick the Great); and finally, by order of King Frederick William IV, he illustrated the works of Frederick the Great, Illustrationen zu den Werken Friedrichs des Grossen (1843–1849). The artist had a deep sympathy for the Prussian king. In one of his letters to Johann Jakob Weber, he said that it was his intention to represent the monarch as a man who was both hated and admired—simply as he was, in other words, as a man of the people. Through these works, Menzel established his claim to be considered one of the first, if not actually the first, of the illustrators of his day in his own line.
In the meantime, Menzel had also begun to study, unaided, the art of painting, and he soon produced a great number and variety of pictures. His paintings consistently demonstrated keen observation and honest workmanship in subjects dealing with the life and achievements of Frederick the Great, and scenes of everyday life, such as In the Tuileries, The Ball Supper, and At Confession. Among those considered most important of these works are Iron Rolling Mill (1872–1875) and The Market-place at Verona. When invited to paint The Coronation of William I at Koenigsberg, he produced an exact representation of the ceremony without regard to the traditions of official painting.
During Menzel's life, his paintings were appreciated by Otto von Bismarck and William I, and after his death they were appropriated for use as electoral posters by Adolf Hitler. In late Twentieth century, his biggest fan is Karl Langerfeld, who admitted Aldolph von Menzel is his favorite painter.
If these historical illustrations anticipated the qualities of early Impressionism, it is paintings such as The French Window and The Palace Garden of Prince Albert, both painted in the mid- 1840s, that now appeal as "among the most freely observed of mid-nineteenth century images." Such genre paintings evidence associations with French and English art. Though he was primarily an excellent draughtsman, art historian Julius Meier-Graefe considered him to be a "proto-impressionist" painter, whose graphic work hindered his painterly potentials. Private drawings and watercolors made of dead and dying soldiers in 1866 on the battlefields of the Austro-Prussian War are unsparing in their realism, and have been described by art historian Marie Ursula Riemann-Reyher as "unique in German art of the time."
The paintings which were available to the public garnered recognition not only within Germany, but from the French avant-garde as well: Edgar Degas admired and copied his work, calling him "the greatest living master", and Louis Edmond Duranty wrote of his art:
And the poet Jules Laforgue described him as "no taller than a cuirassier-guard's boot, bedecked with pendants and orders, not missing a single one of these parties, moving among all these personages like a gnome and like the greatest enfant terrible for the chronicler."
In Germany Menzel received many honors, and in 1898 he became the first painter to be admitted to the Order of the Black Eagle; by virtue of receiving the Order, Menzel was raised to the nobility, becoming "Adolph von Menzel". He was also made a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Royal Academy in London.
His popularity in his native country, owing especially to history painting, was such that few of his major paintings left Germany, as many were quickly acquired by museums in Berlin. Menzel's graphic works and drawings were more widely disseminated; these, along with informal paintings not initially intended for display, have largely accounted for his posthumous reputation.
Although he traveled in order to find subjects for his art, to visit exhibitions, and to meet with other artists, Menzel spent most of his life in Berlin, and was, despite numerous friendships, by his own admission detached from others. It is likely that he felt socially estranged for physical reasons alone—Menzel had a large head, and stood about four foot six inches.
Aldolph von Menzel died on 9 February 1905 in Berlin, his funeral arrangements were directed by the Kaiser, who walked behind his coffin.
birth place: Montpellier France
birth date: 28 September 1823
zodiac sign: Libras
death place: Paris France
death date: 23 January 1889
Alexandre Cabanel, né le 28 septembre 1823 à Montpellier et mort le 23 janvier 1889 à Paris 8e1, est un artiste peintre français, considéré comme l'un des grands peintres académiques, du Second Empire, dont il est l'un des artistes les plus admirés.
Fils d'un modeste menuisier, Alexandre Cabanel commence son apprentissage à l’école des beaux-arts de Montpellier dans la classe de Charles Matet conservateur du musée Fabre. Doté d'une bourse, il s'installe à Paris en 1839.
Il entre en 1840 à l'École des beaux-arts de Paris où il est l'élève de François-Édouard Picot.
Après deux échecs, Cincinnatus recevant les ambassadeurs de Rome en 1843 et Le Christ au Jardin des Oliviers en 1844, il est lauréat d'un second prix de Rome en 1845 et pensionnaire de la villa Médicis jusqu'en 1850.
À Montpellier, il réalise les portraits d'un certain nombre de membres de familles fortunées comme la famille Marès. À la fois peintre d'histoire et peintre de genre, il évolue au fil des années vers des thèmes romantiques, telle Albaydé, en 1848, inspirée par Les Orientales de Victor Hugo publié en 1829.
Il reçoit les insignes de chevalier de la Légion d'honneur en 1855.
La célébrité lui vient avec la Naissance de Vénus exposée au Salon de 1863 qui est immédiatement achetée par Napoléon III pour sa collection personnelle et qui entre au musée du Luxembourg en 1881 (le tableau est conservé à Paris au musée d'Orsay). Il passe un contrat avec la maison Goupil pour la commercialisation de reproductions en gravure de la Naissance de Vénus.
En 1863, Cabanel est élu membre de l'Académie des beaux-arts au fauteuil X.
En janvier 1864, il est nommé professeur-chef d'atelier de peinture à l'École des beaux-arts de Paris et promu au rang d’officier de la Légion d'honneur.
Lors de l'Exposition universelle de 1867, il est décoré de la croix de chevalier de première classe de l'ordre du Mérite de Saint-Michel de Bavière à la suite de son Paradis perdu commandé pour le Maximilianeum de Munich par Louis II de Bavière.
Entre 1868 et 1888, il est dix-sept fois membre du jury du Salon, dont les années 1869, 1873, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1881.
Il reçoit la médaille d'honneur du Salon en 1865, pour le Portrait de l'Empereur, ainsi qu'en 1867 et en 1878.
Ses œuvres sont recherchées par les célébrités européennes et les collectionneurs américains qui lui commandent leurs portraits.
En tant que peintre officiel et membre du jury, où il fait preuve d'une farouche opposition à l'égard de toute tendance novatrice, Cabanel est régulièrement critiqué et mis en opposition avec les naturalistes et les impressionnistes, en particulier avec Édouard Manet dont Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, alors intitulé Le Bain, puis La Partie carrée, avait été refusé au Salon de 1863, alors que Cabanel triomphait avec sa Naissance de Vénus. Il est régulièrement brocardé par Émile Zola ou Joris-Karl Huysmans.
Cependant, il intervient en 1881 lors de la présentation du portrait de Pertuiset, Le chasseur de lions d'Édouard Manet et défend celui-ci en s'écriant « Messieurs, il n’y en a pas un parmi nous qui soit fichu de faire une tête comme ça en plein air ! »
Il est promu au rang de commandeur de la Légion d'honneur en 1884 et est élu associé de l'Académie Royale de Belgique le 6 janvier 1887.
Ses obsèques ont lieu à Paris le 26 janvier 1889 puis son corps est transporté à Montpellier au cimetière Saint-Lazare où il est inhumé le 28 janvier 1889. Un monument est érigé en 1892 par l'architecte Jean Camille Formigé orné d'un buste en marbre de Paul Dubois et une sculpture, Regret, d'Antonin Mercié.
Une rue porte son nom à Paris, la rue Alexandre-Cabanel dans le 15e arrondissement, à Montpellier, à Béziers ainsi qu'à Toulon.
Alexandre Cabanel was a French painter. He painted historical, classical and religious subjects in the academic style. He was also well known as a portrait painter. According to Diccionario Enciclopedico Salvat, Cabanel is the best representative of the L'art pompier and Napoleon III's preferred painter.
Biogrophy of Alexandre Cabanel
Cabanel entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the age of seventeen, and studied with François-Édouard Picot. He exhibited at the Paris Salon for the first time in 1844, and won the Prix de Rome scholarship in 1845 at the age of 22. Cabanel was elected a member of the Institute in 1863. He was appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1864 and taught there until his death.
He was closely connected to the Paris Salon: "He was elected regularly to the Salon jury and his pupils could be counted by the hundred at the Salons. Through them, Cabanel did more than any other artist of his generation to form the character of belle époque French painting". His refusal together with William-Adolphe Bouguereau to allow the impressionist painter Édouard Manet and many other painters to exhibit their work in the Salon of 1863 led to the establishment of the Salon des Refusés by the French government. Cabanel won the Grande Médaille d'Honneur at the Salons of 1865, 1867, and 1878.
A successful academic painter, his 1863 painting The Birth of Venus is one of the best known examples of 19th-century academic painting. The picture was bought by the emperor Napoleon III; there is also a smaller replica (painted in 1875 for a banker, John Wolf) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It was given to them by Wolf in 1893.
Biography of Horst P. Horst
Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (Aka. Horst P. Horst) was born on 14 August 1906 in Weißenfels-an-der-Saale, Germany in a well-to-do protestant family.
In his teens, Horst met dancer Evan Weidemann at the home of his aunt, and this aroused his interest in avant-garde art. In the late 1920s, Horst studied at Hamburg Kunstgewerbeschule, leaving there in 1930 to go to Paris to study under the architect Le Corbusier.
In 1930 Horst met Vogue photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, a half-Baltic, half-American nobleman in Paris, and became his photographic assistant, occasional model, and lover. He traveled to England with Baron Hoyningen-Huene that winter and visited photographer Cecil Beaton, who was working for the British edition of Vogue.
In 1931, Horst began his association with Vogue, publishing his first photograph in the French edition of Vogue in December of that year. It was a full-page advertisement showing a model in black velvet holding a Klytia scent bottle in one hand with the other hand raised elegantly above it... Horst´s real breakthrough as a published fashion and portrait photographer was in the pages of British Vogue starting with the 30 March 1932 issue showing three fashion studies and a full page portrait of the daughter of Sir James Dunn, the art patron and supporter of Surrealism.
Horst´s first exhibition took place at La Plume d'Or in Paris in 1932. It was reviewed by Janet Flanner in The New Yorker, and this review, which appeared after the exhibition ended, made Horst instantly prominent. Horst made a portrait of Bette Davis the same year, the first in a series of public figures he would photograph during his career. Within two years, he had photographed Noël Coward, Yvonne Printemps, Lisa Fonssagrives, Count Luchino Visconti di Madrone, Duke Fulco di Verdura, Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley, Daisy Fellowes, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, Cole Porter, Elsa Schiaparelli, and others like Eve Curie.
Horst rented an apartment in New York City in 1937, and while residing there met Coco Chanel, whom Horst called "the queen of the whole thing". He would photograph her fashions for three decades.
He met Valentine Lawford, British diplomat in 1938, and they lived together until Lawford's death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together.
In 1939, Horst P. Horst took "The Mainbocher Corset" for French Vogue, with its erotically charged mystery, it would become one of the most iconic photoes of 20 Century. Designers like Donna Karan continue to use "The Mainbocher Corset" as an inspiration for their outerwear collections. Horst´s work frequently reflects his interest in surrealism and his regard of the ancient Greek ideal of physical beauty.
On October 21 1941, Horst received his United States citizenship as Horst P. Horst. He became an Army photographer, with much of his work printed in the forces' magazine Belvoir Castle. In 1945, he photographed United States President Harry S. Truman, with whom he became friends, and he photographed every First Lady in the post-war period at the invitation of the White House.
In 1947, Horst moved into his house in Oyster Bay, New York. He designed the white stucco-clad building himself, the design inspired by the houses that he had seen in Tunisia during his relationship with Hoyningen-Huene.
Horst is best known for his photographs of women and fashion, one of his most famous portraits is of Marlene Dietrich, taken in 1942. She protested the lighting that he had selected and arranged, but he used it anyway. Dietrich liked the results and subsequently used a photo from the session in her own publicity.
As a versatile photographer, Horst P. Horst is also recognized for his photographs of interior architecture, still lifes, especially ones including plants, and environmental portraits.
Horst´s method of work typically entailed careful preparation for the shoot, with the lighting and studio props (of which he used many) arranged in advance. His instructions to models are remembered as being brief and to the point. His published work uses lighting to pick out the subject; he frequently used four spotlights, often one of them pointing down from the ceiling. Only rarely do his photos include shadows falling on the background of the set. Horst rarely, if ever, used filters. While most of his work is in black & white, much of his color photography includes largely monochromatic settings to set off a colorful fashion. Horst's color photography did include documentation of society interior design, well noted in the volume Horst Interiors. He photographed a number of interiors designed by Robert Denning and Vincent Fourcade of Denning & Fourcade and often visited their homes in Manhattan and Long Island. After making the photograph, Horst generally left it up to others to develop, print, crop, and edit his work.
In the 1960s, encouraged by Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, Horst began a series of photos illustrating the lifestyle of international high society which included people like: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Duke of Windsor and Duchess of Windsor, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Marella Agnelli, Gloria Guinness, Baroness Pauline de Rothschild and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Yves Saint Laurent, Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes, Lee Radziwill, Helen of Greece and Denmark, Baroness Geoffroy de Waldner, Princess Tatiana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Peregrine Eliot, 10th Earl of St Germans and Lady Jacquetta Eliot, Countess of St Germans, Antenor Patiño, Oscar de la Renta and Françoise de Langlade, Desmond Guinness and Princess Henriette Marie-Gabrielle von Urach, Andy Warhol, Nancy Lancaster, Doris Duke, Emilio Pucci, Cy Twombly, Amanda Burden, Paloma Picasso.
The articles were written by the photographer's longtime companion, Valentine Lawford. From this point until nearly the time of his death, Horst spent most of his time traveling and photographing.
In the mid 1970s, while keeping his work with Vogue, including its Italian, French, British editions, Horst began working also for House & Garden magazine, Vogue´s sister publication, touring around the world. But he dedicated more of his time to writing books and exhibiting his photography.
Horst's last photograph for British Vogue was in 1991 with Princess Michael of Kent, shown against a background of tapestry and wearing a tiara belonging to her mother-in-law, Princess Marina, who he had photographed in 1934.
Horst P. Horst died at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida at 93 years of age.
Horst Portraits: 60 Years of Style 1st Edition
by Terence Pepper (Author), Horst P. Horst (Author), Charles Saumarez Smith (Author)
Horst's photographic career spanned from 1931 to 1991. The son of a hardware store owner in eastern Germany, Horst found his way to Paris, where he became the assistant to George Hoyningen-Huene, chief photographer for Paris Vogue. Largely self-taught, Horst began publishing fashion photos in Vogue fewer than two years later and eventually established the style of sophisticated posing and dramatic lighting that would make him famous. In this book, published to accompany an exhibit that originated at the National Portrait Gallery and is currently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Pepper (curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery) and Muir (former picture editor for British Vogue) offer Horst's images of the leading figures in the arts, movies, and society that have become the very pictures most often associated with these famous faces. Included are portraits of Noel Coward, Cecil Beaton, Katharine Hepburn, Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali, and others, as well as many famous fashion models. A biographical essay traces Horst's life and influences. Notes on the plates describe the sitter, photographic session, and other interesting details that enrich the images.
Hardcover – November 1, 1993
by Barbara Plumb (Author)
Since the 1950s, interior design photographer Horst has had unmatched access to the private homes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Oscar de la Renta, Andy Warhol, Yves St. Laurent, and Palamo Picasso. A unique insider's view of the rooms inhabited by the elite of America and Europe. 200 color photos.
Around That Time: Horst at Home in Vogue
Hardcover – October 4, 2016
by Valentine Lawford (Author), Ivan Shaw (Author), Hamish Bowles (Author)
Vogue’s Book of Houses, Gardens, People (1968) was a landmark publication among decorating books, and it chronicles an important chapter in the history of Vogue. Vogue’s Horst P. Horst, a leading fashion photographer of his time, developed an intense interest in seeing the world’s great homes and meeting their owners; beginning in the early 1960s, he journeyed in an elite world that would soon be lost. With accompanying lyrical essays about homes and their occupants by the famed writer Valentine Lawford (Horst’s partner in work and life), the book is a virtual who’s who of society, politics, and the arts in the mid-20th century. Around That Time showcases much of the material featured in the original book, plus never-before-seen photographs from those homes as well as images from additional homes Horst shot well into the 1980s.
Horst: Sixty Years of Photography
Hardcover – July 15, 1991
by Martin Kazmaier (Author), Host P. Horst (Photographer)
Celebrated Vogue fashion photographer Horst P. Horst defines an attitude, a genre, with his studies of women--icons of elegance, unattainable goddesses--captured with calm detachment. This tony tribute to the work of the German-born, New York-based photographer is studded with portraits of figures from 1930s' Paris--Coco Chanel, Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Janet Flanner, etc. The book includes a multitude of portraits--many predictable, others revealing--of luminaries such as W. H. Auden, Truman Capote, Katherine Hepburn, Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Brooke Shields, Harry Truman, the Duchess of Windsor. Horst's still lifes and stagey fashion ads often border on kitsch, but every so often he turns out a strong, original beauty like the raindrop-stained Still life with Tulips (1950), radiant, sincere and gorgeous. Kazmaier is a German dramatist and photography critic.
HORST, HIS WORK AND HIS WORLD, SIGNED BY HORST
[Signed by Horst and Valentine Lawford]Horst, Horst P. Horst, His Work and His World. First Edition. 1984. Book and dust jacket are both in very good condition. Book is signed by both authors (Horst and Valentine Lawford) on the half title page.
This four hundred-page book is by far the most comprehensive monograph on Horst P. Horst’s six-decade-long career, beginning with his apprenticeships for Le Corbusier and Baron George Hoyningen-Huene. The heart of the book is his fashion work, featuring images of designs by Mainbocher, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Dior, Valentina, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.. In addition to the three hundred color and black and white photographs, there is extensive (and surprisingly candid) commentary by Lawford, with dozens of quotes taken directly from Horst.
“Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.”
name: Antonio Canova
birth place: Possagno, Republic of Venice
birth date: 1 November 1757
zodiac sign: Scopio
death place: Venice, Lombardy-Venetia
death date: 13 October 1822
Profile of Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova (1 November 1757 – 13 October 1822) was an Italian Neoclassical sculptor, famous for his marble sculptures. Often regarded as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists, his artwork was inspired by the Baroque and the classical revival, but avoided the melodramatics of the former, and the cold artificiality of the latter.
Biography of Antonio Canova
In 1757, Antonio Canova was born in the Venetian Republic city of Possagno to Pietro Canova, a stonecutter. In 1761, his father died. A year later, his mother remarried. As such, in 1762, he was put into the care of his paternal grandfather Pasino Canova, who was a stonemason, owner of a quarry, and was a "sculptor who specialised in altars with statues and low reliefs in late Baroque style". He led Antonio into the art of sculpting.
At the age of nine, he executed two small shrines of Carrara marble, which are still extant, and appears to have been constantly employed under his grandfather.
In 1770, he started his apprenticeship first with Giuseppe Bernardi, then with Giovanni Ferrari until he began his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. At the Academy, he won several prizes and was given his first workshop within a monastery by some local monks.
During this time, Antonio Canova started to receive from the Venetian elite and he opened his own studio at Calle Del Traghetto at S. Maurizio in 1779.
Canova arrived in Rome, on 28 December 1780, and spent his time studying and sketching the works of Michelangelo.
Between 1783 – 1785, Canova arranged, composed, and designed a funerary monument dedicated to Clement XIV for the Church of Santi Apostoli. It was finished in 1787 and secured Canova's reputation as the pre-eminent living artist.
Antonio Canova systematically promoted his reputation by publishing engravings of his works and having marble versions of plaster casts made in his workshop, and by1800, Antonio Canova was the most celebrated artist in Europe.
He became so successful that he had acquired patrons from across Europe including France, England, Russia, Poland, Austria and Holland, as well as several members from different royal lineages, and prominent individuals.
Among his patrons were Napoleon and his family, for whom Canova produced much work, including several depictions between 1803 and 1809. The most notable representations were that of Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker, and Venus Victrix which was portrayal of Pauline Bonaparte.
In 1802, Canova was assigned the post of 'Inspector-General of Antiquities and Fine Art of the Papal State', a position formerly held by Raphael. One of his activities in this capacity was to pioneer the restoration of the Appian Way by restoring the tomb of Servilius Quartus. In 1808 Canova became an associated member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands.
In 1815, he was named 'Minister Plenipotentiary of the Pope,'and was tasked with recovering various works of art that were taken to Paris by Napoleon.
In 1816, Canova returned to Rome with some of the art Napoleon had taken. He was rewarded with several marks of distinction: he was appointed President of the Accademia di San Luca, inscribed into the "Golden Book of Roman Nobles" by the Pope's own hands, and given the title of Marquis of Ischia, alongside an annual pension of 3000 crowns.
At the end of the decade, Canova decided to build a personified statue of Religion and a temple to house it. He designed, financed, and partly built the structure, a combination of the Parthenon and the Pantheon in Possagno, his birth place.
On 11 July 1819, Canova laid the foundation stone for Tempio Canoviano, dressed in red Papal uniform and decorated with all his medals, and he would continue to supersize the construction of Tempio Canoviano until the end of his life by regularly going back to Possagno.
The temple was first opened in 1830, and finally completed in 1836.
On 13 October 1822, Antonio Canova died in Venice at the age of 64. Before his death, he has instructed his brother to use his entire estate to complete the Tempio Canoviano in Possagno.
On 25 October 1822, his body was placed in the Tempio Canoviano. His heart was interred at the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, and his right hand preserved in a vase at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
His memorial service was so grand that it rivalled the ceremony that the city of Florence held for Michelangelo in 1564.
Profile of Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann (24 March 1681 – 25 June 1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He held important positions in Leipzig, Sorau, Eisenach, and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of that city's five main churches.
Telemann is one of the most prolific composers in history and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. As part of his duties, he wrote a considerable amount of music for educating organists under his direction. This includes 48 chorale preludes and 20 small fugues (modal fugues) to accompany his chorale harmonizations for 500 hymns. His music incorporates French, Italian, and German national styles, and he was at times even influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies, and his music stands as an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles. The Telemann Museum in Hamburg is dedicated to him.
Biography of Georg Philipp Telemann
Telemann was born in Magdeburg, then the capital of the Duchy of Magdeburg, Brandenburg-Prussia. His father Heinrich, deacon at the Church of the Holy Spirit (Heilige-Geist-Kirche), died when Telemann was four. The future composer received his first music lessons at 10, from a local organist, and became immensely interested in music in general, and composition in particular. Despite opposition from his mother and relatives, who forbade any musical activities, Telemann found it possible to study and compose in secret, even creating an opera at age 12.
In 1697, Telemann was sent to the famous Gymnasium Andreanum at Hildesheim, where his musical talent flourished, supported by school authorities, including the rector himself. Telemann was becoming equally adept both at composing and performing, teaching himself flute, oboe, violin, viola da gamba, recorder, double bass, and other instruments.
In 1701 he graduated from the Gymnasium and went to Leipzig to become a student at the Leipzig University, where he intended to study law. He ended up becoming a professional musician, regularly composing works for Nikolaikirche and even St. Thomas (Thomaskirche). In 1702 he became director of the municipal opera house Opernhaus auf dem Brühl, and later music director at the Neukirche. Prodigiously productive, Telemann supplied a wealth of new music for Leipzig, including several operas, one of which was his first major opera, Germanicus.
Telemann left Leipzig in 1705 at the age of 24, after receiving an invitation to become Kapellmeister for the court of Count Erdmann II of Promnitz at Sorau (now Żary, in Poland). His career there was cut short in early 1706 by the hostilities of the Great Northern War, and after a short period of travels he entered the service of Duke Johann Wilhelm in Eisenach where Johann Sebastian Bach was born. He became Konzertmeister on 24 December 1708 and Secretary and Kapellmeister in August 1709. During his tenure at Eisenach, Telemann wrote a great deal of music: at least four annual cycles of church cantatas, dozens of sonatas and concertos, and other works. In 1709, he married Amalie Louise Juliane Eberlin, lady-in-waiting to the Countess of Promnitz and daughter of the musician Daniel Eberlin. Their daughter was born in January 1711. The mother died soon afterwards, leaving Telemann depressed and distraught.
On 18 March 1712 Tellemann moved to Frankfurt at the age of 31 to become city music director and Kapellmeister at the Barfüßerkirche and St. Catherine's Church. In Frankfurt, he fully gained his mature personal style. Here, as in Leipzig, he was a powerful force in the city's musical life, creating music for two major churches, civic ceremonies, and various ensembles and musicians. By 1720 he had adopted the use of the da capo aria, which had been adopted by composers such as Domenico Scarlatti.
On 28 August 1714, three years after his first wife had died, Telemann married his second wife, Maria Catharina Textor, daughter of a Frankfurt council clerk. They eventually had nine children together. This was a source of much personal happiness, and helped him produce compositions. Telemann continued to be extraordinarily productive and successful, even augmenting his income by working for Eisenach employers as a Kapellmeister von Haus aus, that is, regularly sending new music while not actually living in Eisenach. Telemann's first published works also appeared during the Frankfurt period. His output increased rapidly, for he fervently composed overture-suites and chamber music, most of which is unappreciated. In the latter half of the Frankfurt period, he composed an innovative work, his Viola Concerto in G major, which is twice the length of his violin concertos. Also, here he composed his first choral masterpiece, his Brockes Passion, in 1716.
In 1721 The ambitious composer accepted the invitation to work in Hamburg as Kantor of the Johanneum Lateinschule, and music director of the five largest churches. Soon after arrival, Telemann encountered some opposition from church officials who found his secular music and activities to be too much of a distraction for both Telemann himself and the townsfolk. The next year in 1722, the city of Leipzig was looking for a new Thomaskantor which Telemann applied for and got the post, but Hamburg authorities agreed to give him a suitable raise. That post finnly went to Johann Sebastian Bach.
Between 1737 and 1738 Teleman traveled to Paris and stayed there for eight months. He was impressed by the opera Castor et Pollux, written by French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. From then on, he incorporated the French operatic style into his vocal works. Before then, his influence was primarily Italian and German. Apart from that, Telemann remained in Hamburg for the rest of his life. A vocal masterpiece of this period is his St Luke Passion from 1728, which is a prime example of his fully matured vocal style.
His first years in Hamburg were plagued by marital troubles: his wife's infidelity, and her gambling debts, which amounted to a sum larger than Telemann's annual income. The composer was saved from bankruptcy by the efforts of his friends, and by the numerous successful music and poetry publications Telemann made during the years 1725 to 1740. By 1736 husband and wife were no longer living together because of their financial disagreements.
In the 1740s, Telemann became less productive although still active and fulfilling the many duties of his job. He took up theoretical studies, as well as hobbies such as gardening and cultivating exotic plants, something of a fad in Hamburg at that time, and a hobby shared by Handel. Most of the music of the 1750s appears to have been parodied from earlier works. Troubled by health problems and failing eyesight in his last years, Telemann was still composing into the 1760s.
He died on the evening of 25 June 1767 from what was recorded at the time as a "chest ailment." He was succeeded at his Hamburg post by his godson, Johann Sebastian Bach's second son Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach.
Telemann was one of the most prolific major composers of all time:his all-encompassing oeuvre comprises more than 3,000 compositions, half of which have been lost, and most of which have not been performed since the 18th century. From 1708 to 1750, Telemann composed 1,043 sacred cantatas and 600 overture-suites, and types of concertos for combinations of instruments that no other composer of the time employed.
During his lifetime and the latter half of the 18th century, Telemann was very highly regarded by colleagues and critics alike. Major composers such as J. S. Bach and Handel bought and studied his published works. He was immensely popular not only in Germany but also in the rest of Europe. It was only in the early 19th century that his popularity came to a sudden halt. Most lexicographers started dismissing him as a "polygraph" who composed too many works, a Vielschreiber for whom quantity came before quality.
It was not until the 20th century that Tellemann's music started being performed again. The revival of interest in Telemann began in the first decades of the 20th century and culminated in the Bärenreiter critical edition of the 1950s. Today each of Telemann's works is usually given a TWV number, which stands for Telemann-Werke-Verzeichnis (Telemann Works Catalogue).
Telemann's music was one of the driving forces behind the late Baroque and the early Classical styles. Starting in the 1710s he became one of the creators and foremost exponents of the so-called German mixed style, an amalgam of German, French, Italian and Polish styles. Over the years, his music gradually changed and started incorporating more and more elements of the galant style, but he never completely adopted the ideals of the nascent Classical era: Telemann's style remained contrapuntally and harmonically complex.
Equally important for the history of music were Telemann's publishing activities. By pursuing exclusive publication rights for his works, he set one of the most important early precedents for regarding music as the intellectual property of the composer.
Profile of Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons. Many of his compositions were written for the all-female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children. Vivaldi had worked there as a Catholic priest for 1 1/2 years and was employed there from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. Ten years after meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for royal support. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and Vivaldi himself died, in poverty, less than a year later.
Biography of Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born on 4 March 1678 in Venice, then the capital of the Venetian Republic.
Vivaldi's parents were Giovanni Battista Vivaldi and Camilla Calicchio, as recorded in the register of San Giovanni in Bragora.
His father Giovanni Battista was a barber then became a professional violinist and was one of the founders of the Sovvegno dei musicisti di Santa Cecilia, an association of musicians. He Antonio to play the violin and then tour Venice playing the violin with him.
Vivaldi's health was problematic. One of his symptoms, strettezza di petto ("tightness of the chest"), has been interpreted as a form of asthma.This did not prevent him from learning to play the violin, composing, or taking part in musical activities, although it did stop him from playing wind instruments. In 1693, at the age of fifteen, he began studying to become a priest.He was ordained in 1703, aged 25, and was soon nicknamed il Prete Rosso, "The Red Priest". (Rosso is Italian for "red", and would have referred to the color of his hair, a family trait.)
Not long after his ordination, in 1704, he was given a dispensation from celebrating Mass because of his ill health. but he formally remained a member of the priesthood.
In September 1703, Vivaldi became maestro di violino (master of violin) at an orphanage called the Pio Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice.
Vivaldi wrote concertos, cantatas and sacred vocal music while working in Ospedale della Pietà. These sacred works, which number over 60, are varied: they included solo motets and large-scale choral works for soloists, double chorus, and orchestra.
In 1704, in addition to maestro di violino, Vivaldi also became teacher of viola all'inglese and one time maestro di coro, composing an oratorio or concerto at every feast and teach the orphans both music theory and how to play certain instruments.
His work was not always recognized by the Ospedale, however, and he was forced to become freelance musician in 1709 because the board of directors fired him, but they had to ask him back after one year, and in 1716 Antonio Vivaldi was promoted to maestro de' concerti (music director) and became responsible for all of the musical activity of the institution.
As a composer Vivaldi's breakthrough came with his first collection of 12 concerti for one, two, and four violins with strings, L'estro armonico (Opus 3), which was published in Amsterdam in 1711 by Estienne Roger, dedicated to Grand Prince Ferdinand of Tuscany who sponsored many musicians including Alessandro Scarlatti and George Frideric Handel. L'estro armonico was a resounding success all over Europe.
Meanwhile Vivaldi started his career as an opera composer as a sideline, and his first opera, Ottone in villa (RV 729) was performed at the Garzerie Theater in Vicenza in 1713 instead of Venice where he worked. In 1737, in a letter written by Vivaldi to his patron Marchese Bentivoglio, Vivaldi made reference to his "94 operas". Only around 50 operas by Vivaldi have been discovered, and no other documentation of the remaining operas exists. Although Vivaldi may have been exaggerating, it is plausible that, in his dual role of composer and impresario, he may have either written or been responsible for the production of as many as 94 operas.
In 1717 or 1718, Vivaldi was offered a prestigious new position as Maestro di Cappella of the court of prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt, governor of Mantua, in the northwest of Italy.
It was during this period Vivaldi wrote the famous Le quattro stagioni (Four Seasons), four violin concertos that give musical expression to the seasons of the year. Though three of the concerti are wholly original, the first, "Spring", borrows motifs from a Sinfonia in the first act of Vivaldi's contemporaneous opera Il Giustino. The inspiration for the concertos was probably the countryside around Mantua. They were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), barking dogs, buzzing mosquitoes, crying shepherds, storms, drunken dancers, silent nights, hunting parties from both the hunters' and the prey's point of view, frozen landscapes, ice-skating children, and warming winter fires. Each concerto is associated with a sonnet, possibly by Vivaldi, describing the scenes depicted in the music. They were published as the first four concertos in a collection of twelve, Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Opus 8, published in Amsterdam by Michel-Charles Le Cène in 1725. , governor of Mantua, in the northwest of Italy. He moved there for three years and produced several operas, among them Tito Manlio (RV 738).
It was during this period in Mantua that Vivaldi wrote the Four Seasons, four violin concertos that give musical expression to the seasons of the year. Though three of the concerti are wholly original, the first, "Spring", borrows motifs from a Sinfonia in the first act of Vivaldi's contemporaneous opera Il Giustino. The inspiration for the concertos was probably the countryside around Mantua. They were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), barking dogs, buzzing mosquitoes, crying shepherds, storms, drunken dancers, silent nights, hunting parties from both the hunters' and the prey's point of view, frozen landscapes, ice-skating children, and warming winter fires. Each concerto is associated with a sonnet, possibly by Vivaldi, describing the scenes depicted in the music. They were published as the first four concertos in a collection of twelve, Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Opus 8, published in Amsterdam by Michel-Charles Le Cène in 1725.
Apart from prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt Vivaldi also received commissions from other European nobility and royalty at the height of his career.
The serenata (cantata) Gloria e Imeneo (RV 687) was commissioned in 1725 by the French ambassador to Venice in celebration of the marriage of Louis XV. The following year, another serenata, La Sena festeggiante (RV 694), was written for and premiered at the French embassy as well, celebrating the birth of the French royal princesses, Henriette and Louise Élisabeth. Vivaldi's Opus 9, La cetra, was dedicated to Emperor Charles VI. In 1728, Vivaldi met the emperor while the emperor was visiting Trieste to oversee the construction of a new port. Charles admired the music of the Vivaldi the Red Priest so much that he gave Vivaldi the title of knight, a gold medal and an invitation to Vienna.
In 1930, Vivaldi traveled to Vienna and Prague ccompanied by his father, but it was almost 10 years later he decided to leave Venice for Vienna. By then his compositions were no longer held in such high esteem as they once had been in Venice as changing musical tastes quickly made them outmoded, and Vivaldi chose to sell off sizeable numbers of his manuscripts at paltry prices to finance his migration to Vienna.
Shortly after his arrival in Vienna, however, Charles VI died, which left the composer without any royal protection or a steady source of income. Less than a year later, Vivaldi died in July 1741, aged 63.
During his lifetime, Vivaldi was popular in many countries throughout Europe, including France, but after his death his popularity dwindled. After the end of the Baroque period, Vivaldi's published concerti became relatively unknown, and were largely ignored. Even his most famous work, The Four Seasons, was unknown in its original edition during the Classical and Romantic periods.
A composition by Vivaldi is identified by RV number, which refers to its place in the "Ryom-Verzeichnis" or "Répertoire des oeuvres d'Antonio Vivaldi", a catalog created in the 20th century by the musicologist Peter Ryom.
The violin concerto Four Seasons of 1723, part of Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione ("The Contest between Harmony and Invention"), is Antonio Vivaldi's most famous work, it depicts moods and scenes from each of the four seasons. This work has been described as an outstanding instance of pre-19th century program music.
Vivaldi wrote more than 500 other concertos. About 350 of these are for solo instrument and strings, of which 230 are for violin, the others being for bassoon, cello, oboe, flute, viola d'amore, recorder, lute, or mandolin. About forty concertos are for two instruments and strings, and about thirty are for three or more instruments and strings.
As well as about 46 operas, Vivaldi composed a large body of sacred choral music, such as Magnificat. Other works include sinfonias, about 90 sonatas and chamber music.
Vivaldi's music was innovative. He brightened the formal and rhythmic structure of the concerto, in which he looked for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes.
Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his St John Passion, St Matthew Passion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed six of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard: three for organ, and one for four harpsichords, strings, and basso continuo (BWV 1065) based upon the concerto for four violins, two violas, cello, and basso continuo (RV 580).
Biography of Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone was born in Rome on Nov. 10, 1928, and started composing film music in his early 30s, Among his best-known compositions are those for Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987), Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso(1988) and Steve Zissou's The Life Aquatic (2004).
In more than half decade, Ennio has composed for more 500 films and tv series, as well as standalone concertos. In an interview conducted in 1984, he was asked about his favorite music score and theme, but he said it was very hard to say, every one of them was like his daughter, but he did admit the most difficult one he ever worked on was the music score for The Red Rock, and he thought the most beautiful one was for Once Upon a Time in the West.
This same mismatchedness happened for the films of other genres he worked for, such as French Policier film Le Professionnel in 1981, a film of corruption and violence. The music were so beautiful and out of this world, they should be used in Epic film of nature like Luc Besson's Le Gran Bleu instead of Le Professionnel. In particular the music score Le vent, le cri.
Only in a few tv series like Marco Polo (1982), films like The Mission (1986), Cinema Paradiso (1988) as well as Malena (2000), both directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, it seemed the soul of his music and that of the film found each other.
Ennio Morricone was born in Rome on 10 Nov.,1928, and started composing film music in his early 30s, Among his best-known compositions are those for Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987), Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso(1988) and Steve Zissou's The Life Aquatic (2004).
In more than half century, Ennio has composed for more 500 films and tv series, as well as standalone concertos. In an interview conducted in 1984, he was asked about his favorite music score and theme, but he said it was very hard to say, every one of them was like his daughter, but he did admit the most difficult one he ever worked on was the music score for The Red Rock, and he thought the most beautiful one was for Once Upon a Time in the West.
Name: Gleb Derujinsky
Birth place: New York, U.S.
Birth date: 19 March 1925
Death place: Durango, Colorado, U.S.
Death Date: 9 June 2011
Languages: Russian, French, English
Gleb Derujinsky (19 March 1925 – 9 June 2011) was an American fashion photographer. He worked for Esquire, Look, Life, Glamour, Town and Country and The New York Times Magazine, before shooting extensively for Harper’s Bazaar. Eileen Ford, founder of Ford Models agency, described him as an “early visionary on a path that others were to follow”.
Gleb Derujinsky was born in New York City in 1925, and named after his father Gleb W. Derujinsky, an immigrant of Russian nobility who became a successful sculptor. The Derujinsky family served the Russian tsars as far back as Peter the Great, and relatives include the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the painter Mikhail Vrubel.
Derujinsky’s mother, the classical pianist Alexandra Micholoff Derujinsky, died in the late 1950s.
Derujinsky’s first languages were Russian and French, and he went on to learn English while enrolled at the Trinity School in New York.
In 1942, Derujinsky became a corporal in the army and stayed until after the end of World War II. His language abilities and negotiation skills contributed to his being promoted to Staff Sergeant halfway through his tours, and learned Morse Code in just 30 days
Upon his return to New York City, he opened his first photography studio with his veteran loan. By February 1948, he landed his first cover with Collier’s magazine. Shortly thereafter, he began working for Harper’s Bazaar Jr., an offshoot of Harper’s Bazaar aimed towards college-age women that became a supplement of Harper’s Bazaar. Derujinsky was retained as a freelance photographer, working alongside Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe for editors Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland and art director Alexey Brodovitch.
Citing the great photographer Horst P. Horst as a key influence, Derujinsky photographed the Paris Spring collections from 1953-1963 and was known for his outlandish ideas and travel images taken in remote locations all over the world at time when travel, especially by air, was far from common.
“Gleb Derujinsky is an original, the Indiana Jones of the fashion photographers. He flew his own private plane to exotic places—models and edi- tors in tow. Wow, the stories that came back! His Paris collection photos nailed the vibe of people in everyday life, juxtaposed with elegance, a metaphor for his notion of Paris at the time.”
Derujinsky also freelanced for Look Magazine, Town and Country, The New York Times Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, Esquire, Glamour, Seventeen, Life, and Good Housekeeping.
Working extensively with Carmen Dell’Orefice and his then-wife Ruth Neumann-Derujinsky, his work also featured many of the era’s top models, from Jean Patchett and Jean Shrimpton, to Nena Von Schlebrügge and Iris Bianchi.
“It’s a tribute to Gleb Derujinsky that his best photographs for Harper’s Bazaar could be mistaken for Avedons. He spun narratives of Parisian chic and New York joie de vivre that have lost not a bit of their charm.”
Gleb Derujinsky, l'œil de la mode
Glenda Bailey, rédactrice en chef, Harper’s Bazaar.
«Je n’ai jamais confondu ses photos avec celles d’ Avedon ou qui que ce soit d’autre. Le style de Gleb était indubitablement personnel. […]
Il n’avait besoin de copier personne. Il avait sa propre vision et connaissait son équipement. Il avait sa manière à lui de voir la lumière et l’environnement.
Avec lui, j’avais le sentiment de faire partie d’une vision sortie de son esprit et qu’il réalisait dans une photographie.»
Carmen Dell’Orefice, mannequin.
Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya (20 November 1925 – 2 May 2015) was a Soviet ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress. In post-Soviet times, she held both Lithuanian and Spanish citizenship. She danced during the Soviet era at the Bolshoi Theatre under the directorships of Leonid Lavrovsky, then of Yury Grigorovich; later she moved into direct confrontation with him. In 1960 when Galina Ulanova, another famed Russian ballerina retired, Plisetskaya became prima ballerina assoluta of the company.
Her early years were marked by political repression and loss. Her father Mikhail Plisetski, a Soviet official, was arrested in 1937 and executed in 1938, during the Great Purge. Her mother actress Rachel Messerer was arrested in 1938 and was imprisoned for a few years, then held in a concentration camp together with her infant son. Maya was adopted by their aunt Sulamith Messerer, principal dancers of the Bolshoi.
Plisetskaya studied ballet at The Bolshoi Ballet School from age nine, and she first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre when she was eleven. She studied ballet under the direction of Elizaveta Gerdt and also her aunt, Sulamith Messerer.
Graduating in 1943 at the age of eighteen, she joined the Bolshoi Ballet company, quickly rising to become their leading soloist. As a soloist, Plisetskaya created a number of leading roles, including Juliet in Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet; Phrygia in Yakobson’s Spartacus (1958); in Grigorovich’s ballets: Mistress of the Copper Mountain in The Stone Flower (1959); Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty (1963); Mahmene Banu in The Legend of Love (1965); Alberto Alonso’s Carmen Suite (1967), written especially for her; and Maurice Bejart’s Isadora (1976). As an artist she had an inexhaustible interest in new roles and dance styles, and she liked to experiment on stage.
Among her most acclaimed roles were Kitri in Don Quixote, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake and The Dying Swan. Her interpretation of The Dying Swan, a short showcase piece made famous by Anna Pavlova, became her calling card. Plisetskaya was known for the height of her jumps, her extremely flexible back, the technical strength of her dancing, and her charisma. She excelled both in adagio and allegro, which is very unusual in dancers.
Despite her acclaim, Plisetskaya was not treated well by the Bolshoi management and she was not allowed to tour outside the country for sixteen years, concerning about her defection due to her family history. Then in 1959, Plisetskaya wrote to the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev “a long and forthright expression of her patriotism and her indignation that it should be doubted.” and he finally decided to lift her travel ban.
Since then, for the next 3 decades, with the international exposure she long deserved, Maya Plisetskaya changed the world of ballet. She set a higher standard for ballerinas, both in terms of technical brilliance and dramatic presence.
After performing in Spartacus during her 1959 U.S. debut tour, Maya Plisetskaya was rated second only to Galina Ulanova by Life magazine in its issue featuring the Bolshoi. And Spartacus became a significant ballet for the Bolshoi, with one critic describing their "rage to perform", personified by Plisetskaya as ballerina, "that defined the Bolshoi."
With just a few years of travelling outside Russia, Maya Plisetskaya became “an international superstar” and a continuous “box office hit throughout the world,” and she was treated by the Soviet Union as a favoured cultural emissary.
Although she toured extensively during the same years that other prominent dancers defected, including Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plisetskaya always return to Russia.
Fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin considered Plisetskaya one of their inspirations, with Cardin alone having traveled to Moscow over 30 times just to see Plisetskaya perform, and she credits Cardin's costume designs for the success and recognition she received for her ballets of Anna Karenina(1974), The Seagull (1980), and Lady with the Lapdog(1985).
Plisetskaya recalls Cardin's reaction when she initially suggested he design one of her costumes: "Cardin's eyes lit up like batteries. As if an electrical current passed through them." Within a week Cardin had created a design for Anna Karenina, and over the course of her career he created ten different costumes for just Karenina.
Maya Plisetskaya married composer Rodion Shchedrin in 1958, who later wrote many music scores for her ballets, such as Carmen Suite created by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso in 1966, and later Anna Karenina(1974), The Seagull (1980), and Lady with the Lapdog(1985) seperately.
In the 1980s, Plisetskaya and her husband Shchedrin spent time abroad extensively, where she worked for some of the world's most important ballet companies. In 1983–84, She was ballet director of the Rome Opera, and from 1987 to 1990, she was artistic director of Ballet del Teatro Lirico Nacional in Madrid.
In 1990, Maya Plisetskaya retired as a soloist for the Bolshoi at age 65 and the next year she published her autobiography, I, Maya Plisetskaya.
Beginning in 1994, she presided over the annual international ballet competition in Saint Petersburg, called Maya. In 1996 she was named the President of the Imperial Russian Ballet, Moscow private dance company and danced the Dying Swan, her signature role, at a gala in her honour in St. Petersburg.
During her long and successful career, Maya Plisetskaya had won the highest awards in Soviet Union, such as the Lenin Prize and three orders of Lenin. She was also awarded many times internationally: In France, she was decorated Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, and made an honorary doctor of the Sorbonne University; In Spain, she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2005 together with the Spanish ballerina Tamara Rojo, and then awarded the Spanish Gold Medal of Fine Art. And she was also awarded in other European countries like Lithuania and Poland.
In 2006, Emperor Akihito of Japan presented her with the Praemium Imperiale, informally considered a Nobel Prize for Art.
Maya Plisetskaya died in Munich, Germany, on 2 May 2015 from a heart attack. Plisetskaya was survived by her husband Rodion Shchedrin, and a brother, former dancer Azari Plisetsky, a teacher of choreography at the Béjart Ballet in Lausanne, Switzerland.
According to her last will and testament, she was to be cremated, and after the death of her husband, who is also to be cremated, their ashes are to be combined and spread over Russia.
Maya Plisetskaya, one of the world’s foremost dancers, rose to become a prima ballerina of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet after an early life filled with tragedy and loss. In this spirited memoir, Plisetskaya reflects on her personal and professional odyssey, presenting a unique view of the life of a Soviet artist during the troubled period from the late 1930s to the 1990s.
Plisetskaya recounts the execution of her father in the Great Terror and her mother’s exile to the Gulag. She describes her admission to the Bolshoi in 1943, the roles she performed there, and the endless petty harassments she endured, from both envious colleagues and Party officials. Refused permission for six years to tour with the company, Plisetskaya eventually performed all over the world, working with such noted choreographers as Roland Petit and Maurice Béjart. She recounts the tumultuous events she lived through and the fascinating people she met—among them the legendary ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova, George Balanchine, Frank Sinatra, Rudolf Nureyev, and Dmitri Shostakovich. And she provides fascinating details about testy cocktail-party encounters with Khrushchev, tours abroad when her meager per diem allowance brought her close to starvation, and KGB plots to capitalize on her friendship with Robert Kennedy. Gifted, courageous, and brutally honest, Plisetskaya brilliantly illuminates the world of Soviet ballet during an era that encompasses both repression and cultural détente.
Tim Scholl(co-author) is professor of Russian language and literature at Oberlin College. Antonina W. Bouis(translator) is the prize-winning translator of more than fifty books, including fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs by such figures as Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Biography of Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova
Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova (8 January 1919 – 21 March 1998) was a Russian ballet dancer. She is frequently cited as being one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century.
Ulanova was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she studied under Agrippina Vaganova and her own mother, a ballerina of the Imperial Russian Ballet. When she joined the Mariinsky Theatre in 1928, the press found in her "much of Semyonova's style, grace, the same exceptional plasticity and a sort of captivating modesty in her gestures". They say that Konstantin Stanislavsky, fascinated with her acting style, implored her to take part in his stage productions.
In 1944, when her fame reached Joseph Stalin, he had her transferred to the Bolshoi Theatre, where she would be the prima ballerina assoluta for 16 years. The following year, she danced the title role in the world premiere of Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella.
In 1954, she published her autobiography: L'École d'une ballerine, translated from Russian into French by Jean Champenois.
Ulanova was a great actress as well as a dancer. In 1965, when she was finally allowed to tour abroad at the age of 46, enraptured British papers wrote that "Galina Ulanova in London knew the greatest triumph of any individual dancer since Anna Pavlova". Having retired from the stage at the age of 50, she coached many generations of the Russian dancers.
Ulanova was one of the few dancers to be awarded Hero of Socialist Labour and the only one to receive this honour twice. She was also awarded the highest exclusively artistic national title, People's Artist of the USSR. And she was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1941, 1946, 1947, 1950, and the Lenin Prize in 1957. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1960.
She died in 1998 in Moscow, aged 88, and is buried in the cemetery of the Novodevichy Convent.
Ulanova's apartment in one of Moscow's Seven Sisters, the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, is preserved now as a memorial museum. Monuments to Ulanova were erected in Saint Petersburg and Stockholm.
Profile of Dolores Guiness
Dolores Guiness was a German born "Freiin" (Baroness), socialite, fashion icon and jet set member of the 1950s and 1960s. She has been a member of the International Best Dressed List since 1970. Her mother was the famous Mexican-born socialite Gloria Guinness.
Biography of Dolores Guiness
Born Dolores Maria Agatha Wilhelmine Luise, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Herdringen on 31 July 1936 in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Dolores von Fürstenberg is the second daughter of Franz-Egon Maria Meinhard Engelbert Pius Aloysius Kaspar Ferdinand Dietrich, 3rd Graf von Fürstenberg-Herdringen (1896–1975) and his second wife, Gloria Guinness (1912–1980).
Though some published sources have described Dolores von Fürstenberg as a countess and a princess, she is, in fact, a Freiin (baroness) by birth, according to the last published issue of the Almanach de Gotha.
At age 19 Dolores von Fürstenberg married her stepbrother Patrick Benjamin Guinness(1931–1965), son of Loel Guinness and Joan Yarde-Buller, on 22 October 1955 in Paris. Patrick was killed in a car accident in Turtig near Raron, Switzerland 1965.
After Patrick's death Dolores fell madly in love with Karim Aga Khan, the son of Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller (1908–1997) by her marriage to Aly Khan (1911–1960), and wanted to marry him, but nothing came of that eventually.
Dolores was often seen in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Town and Country and Life magazine dressed in designer clothes from Givenchy, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga during the 1950s and 1960s, photographed by Cecil Beaton, Bert Stern, Henry Clarke, Mark Shaw, Richard Avedon and William Klein. She often appeared on the International Best Dressed List during these years.
Dolores Guinness died in Lausanne Switzerland on 20 January 2012, at the age of 75.
Biography of Gloria Vanderbilt
1925: A 5 million dollar baby
Gloria Vanderbilt (with full name Gloria Laura Madeleine Sophie Vanderbilt) was born in New York on 20 February 1924, into the wealthiest family in America, whose Patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), her great-great grandfather made his enormous fortune from steamship and railroad and left behind about 200 million dollars.
Her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925), unfortunately, was a gambler and an alcoholic, who died of liver disease when Gloria was not yet 2 years old, and left her with 5 million dollar in trust fund (67 million dollar in today's value).
1925-1933: A movable feast in Europe
Her mother, Gloria Mogan(1904-1965), the twin sister of Thelma Furness(who was ex-lover of Edward VIII when he was Prince of Wales), took Little Gloria to Paris to live. And from then on, they(or rather her mother Gloria Mogan) live like wealthy Gypsies, in a permanent movable feast, from Paris to London to Cannes and back to Paris again, and Little Gloria stayed with her loyal nanny Emma Sullivan Kieslich more than with her own mother.
1934: Trial of Century
The idyllic life as an European exile came to a halt for Gloria Mogan, when her mother was upset about the social life of her daughter and concerned about the future of her granddaughter little Gloria, and decided to enlist the help of the latter's aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, thus triggering the most scandalous war of custody of the 20 century.
The testimony would become so off colour that the judge had to close the door of the courtroom to the public, but the damage has been done. Gloria Vanderbilt would be forever called "The poor little rich girl".
When it finally ended, Gloria Mogan lost the custody of her daughter who would be living with her aunt Gertrude for the next seven years in the latter's Long Island Estate.
1941: From Long Island to Hollywood
It seems that deep in her heart, Gloria Vanderbilt was her mother's daughter, aspiring for life and freedom, and her aunt Gertrude's way of raising her up was perhaps too much for her.
At age of 17, she decided to leave her aunt to go to Hollywood. There, she met the very handsome and very rich Howard Hughes. she wanted to marry him.
But instead she married his press secretary, Pasquale DiCicco, and her aunt Gertrude was so angry about the news that she disinherited Gloria.
And the marriage was not a happy one, full of physical abuses and violence from her husband. So four years later, Gloria divorced him, walking out of the marriage not only happier, but richer, as she came into her $5 million trust fund.
And she was in love.
The new man in her life was Leopold Stokowski, a man of music, a British conductor of Polish origin. Although more than 40 years older than her, he was also a man of passion, and they got married just a few weeks after Gloria's divorce.
And it was thanks to him, Gloria Vanderbilt discovered her love in art and decided to nurture her talent by painting, writing poetry and studying at The Art Students League of New York, then embarked on a short career in acting, on Broadway as well as in television dramas, she also became mother of two sons: Stan Stokowski and Christopher Stokowski.
After 10 year of marriage with Leopold Stokowski, Gloria decided to divorce him after a short affair with Frank Sinatra.
And she did not stay divorced for long.
1956: third time in a row
In 1956, Gloria Vanderbilt Married Sidney Lumet, a television then film director. Their marriage lasted for 7 years but they remained friends all their life.
1963: love of her life
Then Gloria met screenwriter Wyatt Cooper.
They married in 1963, and Gloria would stay in this marriage until death took her husband away.
To Gloria Vanderbilt, Wyatt Cooper was the love of her life, her soul mate.
And the father of her children.
Gloria had longed to become mother again, and Cooper made her dream come true by giving her two beautiful sons: Carter Cooper and Anderson Cooper. It also made Gloria Vanderbilt discover another wonderful side of Cooper:
“We had the family life that I’d always wanted,” Vanderbilt said. “He made me understand what it would have been like to have had a father – he was a most amazing father. I’d never experienced anything like it.”
The marriage was also very inspiring for Gloria's sense of creativity. She got the idea of designing her own brand of jeans, by making the high-end Italian jeans she herself wore more affordable and fit better. It was huge success, so successful that she became "the duchess of denim" or "queen of jean", and later would branch out into other areas including scarves, shoes, table and bed linen and even china.
While life gave her glory, it was also waiting to bring her tragedy. After 15 year of happy marriage, in 1978 Gloria lost her husband Wyatt Cooper to heart attach on operating table.
She never married again.
Ten years later, in 1988, she would have to live through another devastating tragedy: her first son with Wyatt Cooper, Carter Cooper would jump out of her apartment, killing himself.
She survived again, and wrote a book to deal with her pain years later.
2000s: warrior of society
After living so much and seeing it all, Gloria Vanderbilt continued to live more fully: she dined and danced and designed, she painted and exhibited her works, and she wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Nothing seemed taboo for her, not even erotica. In 2009, she wrote an erotic novel Obsession, and she was not shamed about it, either.
“I don’t think age has anything to do with what you write about. The only thing that would embarrass me is bad writing, and the only thing that really concerned me was my children. You know how children can be about their parents. But mine are very intelligent and supportive."
2016: The rainbow comes and goes
Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt's younger son she had with her last husband Wyatt Cooper, had always had close relationship with her mother. But as a prominent journalist and news anchor for CNN who had extremely busy schedule and a public figure who was private about his personal life, there are things mother and son either do not have time to talk or choose not to talk.
Until one day, Anderson Cooper decided that he wanted to ask his mother things he did not ask before, tell her thing he did not tell her before. They sat down, talked, and it opened the door to his mother's memory. They made the conversations into written word, to record, to remember, to love.
Gloria Vanderbilt died at her home in Manhattan on June 17, 2019 of stomach cancer earlier in the month. She would be buried next to her son Carter Cooper and last husband Wyatt Cooper.
Name: Jayne Wrightsman
Original name: Jane Kirkman Larkin
birth place: Flint, Michigan, U.S.
birth date: 21 October 1919
death place: New York, New York, U.S.
death date: 20 April 2019
Jayne Wrightsman is an American art collector, philanthropist, and the widow of Charles B. Wrightsman, an American oil executive who passed away in 1986.
Jayne was born in Michigan and when she was 12, her parents divorced and her mother took her and her siblings to Los Angeles, where Jane re-named herself “Jayne”.
After graduating from high school, she worked several different jobs: as a swimsuit model, selling gloves at Saks department store, or as an extra in Hollywood movies. Beautiful at young age, she was pursued by aspiring actors including Cary Grant, playboys, and heirs who took her to expensive restaurants and parties.
There are different versions as to how Jayne met her husband Charles Wrightsman, the president of Standard Oil of Kansas, one version is that she met him in one of the parties she was taken by one of her dates, but another version is more entertaining: while working as a swimsuit model at a department store, Jayne caught the attention of the Oklahoma oil baron, Charles Wrightsman, who reportedly said: 'I want that - the girl, not the suit.'
They were married on March 28, 1944 and settled in Palm Beach, Florida. Soon afterwards the couple acquired Blythedunes – a massive ocean-front, 28-room mansion designed by Maurice Fatio which previously belonged to another style icon Mona von Bismarck.
There in Palm Beach the couple became friends with their neighbours, Joseph and Rose Kennedy who introduced them to their son Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. For a time, John Kennedy stayed at the Wrightsman home for almost a month, taking daily swims in their saline permanently heated pool to ease his backache.
With her love of art, history and everything French, Jayne Wrightsman became friend with Jacqueline Kennedy and later her mentor in decorative art. It was she who introduced the famous French decorator Stephane Boudin to Jacqueline. When Jacqueline became First Lady, she asked Jayne to help with her restoration of the White House.
When Jacqueline was no longer First Lady, she continued to keep her friendship with Jayne. According to Marella Agnelli, yet another style icon and wife of Gianni Agnelli: "It was a cultural friendship", not an intimate one. As both women were famous being extremely private.
After their marriage, Charles Wrightsman became a Pygmalion to his wife, he hired tutors to teach her etiquettes, proper English as well as French, art and history, and spent fortunes to dress her in the best haute couture designers at the time: Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Givenchy, etc., and thus transformed her into an art connoisseur and style icon.
Vogue magazine started to take her photos with their photographers Horst. P. Horst and Cecil Beaton, and in 1965, Jayne entered into International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame of another woman's magazine Vanity Fair.
But Jayne Wrightsman is best known for her support of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For decades, Jayne traveled the world with her husband, assembling a museum-quality collection of French furniture and Old Master paintings, which filled their homes in Palm Beach, New York and London.
In 1978, Charles and Wrightsman donated some artworks and artefacts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and over the years, they slowly donated most of their collections to the MET, which became Wrightsman Galleries of French Decorative Arts, a series of 18 stately and intimate galleries (originally arranged by Jayne Wrightsman with the help of Henri Samuel) housing 18th- and 19th-century French interiors and furnishings, originally made for Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, with 94 paintings and prints by artists such as El Greco, Fragonard, Claude Monet, Peter Paul Rubens, Eugène Delacroix, Jacques-Louis David, Johannes Vermeer, Goya and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among others, as well as rare books and other object d'arts.
It is tragic to see how aged she has become… one wonders whether it is worthwhile suffering for so much of her life. Yet if she left him, she could be penniless.'
After her husband’s death in 1986 at the age of 90, Mrs. Wrightsman continued her patronage of the Met, as well as the British Museum, the Louvre, and the Hermitage.
Jayne Wrightsman died on 20 April 2019 in her New York home on 820 Fifth Avenue. She has no children.
"The great danger for an American woman married to a Frenchman is to become too French. To assimilate too much of another nationality weakens you. Though on the surface I might not seem to be 100 percent American, I have tried to remain as shaggy inside as possible."
Biography of Pauline de Rothschild
She was born Pauline Potter at 10 rue Octave Feuillet in the Paris neighborhood of Passy, to wealthy expatriate American parents of Protestant background. Her mother was Gwendolen Cary, a great-grand-niece of Thomas Jefferson, Potter was a member of several families that were prominent in the American South since the 17th century.
In 1930, in Baltimore, Maryland, Pauline Potter married Charles Carroll Fulton Leser (1900–1949), a grandson of one of the city's leading newspaper publishers. He was also an alcoholic and a homosexual. Soon after their marriage they moved to Majorca, Spain, but they separated in 1934, and divorced in 1939.
After she and Leser separated, Pauline Potter was romantically involved with a number of prominent men, including Paul-Henri Spaak (a Prime Minister of Belgium), American diplomat Elim O'Shaughnessy (1907-1966), French horticultural heir André Levesque de Vilmorin (1907-1987), Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch Romanov of Russia, and producer-director Jed Harris. For a period of years she also was the lover of Isabelle Kemp, an heiress to a New York drug-store and real-estate fortune.
In the early 1930s, Pauline Potter worked as a personal shopper in New York City, acting as a fashion advisor to wealthy socialites too busy to shop or too unsure of their personal style. Later, after moving to Spain with her first husband, Pauline operated dress shops on Majorca. She also worked for the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli in London and Paris and often was seen in society columns dressed in the firm's latest creations.
In the early 1940s, Pauline Potter and a friend, Louise Macy, a former editor of Harper's Bazaar, opened Macy-Potter, a short-lived fashion house, in New York City. The firm was bankrolled by a monetary settlement from Macy's former lover, millionaire John Hay Whitney, who had left her to marry Betsey Cushing, a former daughter-in-law of President Franklin Roosevelt. Though Macy-Potter's first (and only) collection was a critical and financial disaster, Potter went on to design a collection for Marshall Field and later to direct the custom-fashion division of Hattie Carnegie, the New York fashion company, succeeding Jean Louis, who left in 1943 to become chief fashion designer for Columbia Pictures.
Pauline remained at Hattie Carnegie for nearly a decade and was known professionally as Mrs. Fairfax Potter. Among her clients were the Duchess of Windsor, automotive heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy, actress Gertrude Lawrence, actress Ina Claire, and prominent others. She also designed the women's costumes for John Huston's Broadway 1946 production of No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, starring Ruth Ford and Annabella. The gown she designed for Ford is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
Potter also worked briefly as an uncredited fashion model. One assignment for Harper's Bazaar had her posing in the latest Grecian-style gowns for the photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe.
On 8 April 1954, Pauline Potter became the second wife of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owner of the fabled French winery Château Mouton Rothschild.
This second marriage transformed her, not only from Pauline Potter the stylish woman to Baronesse Pauline de Rothschild the style icon.
All of her early years of modelling, styling, selling and designing clothes had developed and nourished her sense of style, and now, as a Rothschild, she had the means to acquire and wrap herself in cloths of her style, the couturiers like Balenciaga, Courreges and Saint Laurent who are able to accommodate her needs, the venues to show, and the presses and photographers to immortalise "le style Pauline".
In more than a decade, she transformed herself into one of the most elegant women in the world, and in 1969, she achieved the highest honour a society lady could have: She was admitted to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, the only woman that year, alongside elegant men like Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cary Grant, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
But "le style Pauline" was much more than how she dressed, or how she carried herself, it would increasingly mean the way how she decorated her houses in Paris, London, and Bordeaux, Chateau de Mouton.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Pauline's second husband, a descendant of the Rothschild banking dynasty, was a race-car driver, a screenwriter, a playwright, a theatrical producer, a film producer, a poet, a wine maker, and a famed playboy. In fact, Pauline was only one of his mistresses for many years before their marriage, but after they got married, the Baron read, wrote and translated poetry with his wife, and provided her with a stage--Chateau de Mouton, for a woman of taste, energy and determination like Pauline, to act out the best role in her life.
With the help of her husband, Pauline de Rothschild renovated the war ruined estate of Rothschild in Bordeaux into one of the best wine museums in the world. A big project that took years, it showed her taste more than all the dresses she worn during those years.
If Chateau de Mouton which was designed as museum was Pauline's grand stage given to her by her husband, where family history as well as culture heritage needed needed to be considered, then their apartment in Paris and flat in London were more like her playground, like Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, where she can indulge much more freely her intimate and personal taste.
Pauline de Rothschild died on 8 March 1976, of a heart attack in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel, in Santa Barbara, California. She previously had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone open-heart surgery for a deteriorated valve in 1975. Rothschild's health problems were exacerbated by Marfan's syndrome, a genetic abnormality.
Original name: Diana Freeman-Mitford
birth place: Belgravia, Westminster, London, UK
birth date: 7 January 1910
death place: Paris, France
death date: 11 August 2003
Languages: English, French, German
Profile of Diana Mitford
Diana Mitford was one of the Mitford sisters born in the British upper class Mitford family.
She was first married to Bryan Walter Guinness, heir to the barony of Moyne, and upon her divorce from him married Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats, leader of the British Union of Fascists. This her second marriage took place at the home of Joseph Goebbels in 1936, with Adolf Hitler as guest of honour. Subsequently, her involvement with Fascist political causes resulted in three years' internment during the Second World War. She later moved to Paris and enjoyed some success as a writer. In the 1950s she contributed diaries to Tatler and edited the magazine The European. In 1977, she published her autobiography, A Life of Contrasts, and two more biographies in the 1980s. She was also a regular book reviewer for Books & Bookmen and later at The Evening Standard in the 1990s.
Biography of Diana Mitford
Diana Mitford was the fourth child and third daughter of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale (1878–1958), and his wife, Sydney (1880–1963), daughter of Thomas Gibson Bowles, MP. She was a first cousin of Clementine Churchill, second cousin of Angus Ogilvy, and first cousin, twice removed, of Bertrand Russell.
Diana Mitford was born in Belgravia and raised in the country estate of Batsford Park, then from the age of 10 at the family home, Asthall Manor, in Oxfordshire, and later at Swinbrook House, a home her father had built in the village of Swinbrook. She was educated at home by a series of governesses except for a six-month period in 1926 when she was sent to a day school in Paris.
At the age of 18, shortly after her presentation at Court, she became secretly engaged to Bryan Walter Guinness, an Irish aristocrat, writer and brewing heir, who would inherit the barony of Moyne.
They married on 30 January 1929, and the couple had an income of £20,000 a year (the equivalent of £1,132,535.70 in 2016, adjusted for inflation), an estate at Biddesden in Wiltshire, and houses in London and Dublin.
The couple was well known for hosting aristocratic society events involving the Bright Young People. The writer Evelyn Waugh exclaimed that her beauty "ran through the room like a peal of bells", and he dedicated the novel Vile Bodies, a satire of the Roaring Twenties, to the couple. Her portrait was painted by Augustus John, Pavel Tchelitchew and Henry Lamb.
"She was the nearest thing to Botticelli's Venus that I have ever seen.¨
Diana Mitford and her first husband Bryan Guinness had two sons, Jonathan (b. 1930) and Desmond (b. 1931).
In February 1932, Diana Mitford met Sir Oswald Mosley at a garden party at the home of the society hostess Emerald Cunard. He soon became leader of the newly formed British Union of Fascists, and Diana's lover.
Diana left her husband, 'moving with a skeleton staff of nanny, cook, house-parlourmaid and lady's maid to a house at 2 Eaton Square, round the corner from Mosley's flat', and was briefly estranged from most of her family. Her affair and eventual marriage to Mosley also strained relationships with her sisters.
Nancy Mitford, sister of Diana Mitford satirised Mosley and his beliefs in her novel Wigs on the Green published in 1935, and the relations between the sisters became strained to non-existent until the mid-1940s.
Diana Mitford and Oswald Mosley wed in secret on 6 October 1936 in Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels' drawing room.
After the war, the couple first lived in Ireland then settled permanently in France, at the Temple de la Gloire (built in 1801 to honour the French victory of December 1800 at Hohenlinden, near Munich) , a Palladian temple in Orsay, southwest of Paris, and became neighbours then close friends of Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who lived in the neighbouring town Gif-sur-Yvette. The Duchess of Windsor, upon seeing the "Temple de la Gloire" for the first time, was said to have remarked, "Oh, it's charming, charming but where do you live?"
Once again Diana Mitford and her husband were well known for entertaining, but were barred from all functions at the British Embassy. During their time in France, the Mosleys quietly went through another marriage ceremony.
Mosley was also shunned in the British media for a period after the war and the couple established their own publishing company, Euphorion Books, named after a character in Goethe's Faust.
Diana initially translated Goethe's Faust. Other notable books published by Euphorion under her aegis included La Princesse de Clèves (translated by Nancy, 1950), Niki Lauda's memoirs (1985), and Hans-Ulrich Rudel's memoirs, Stuka Pilot.
Diana also edited the fascist cultural magazine The European for six years, and to this magazine she herself sometimes contributed material. She provided articles, book reviews, and regular diary entries.
In 1965, Diana Mitford was commissioned to write the regular column Letters from Paris for the Tatler. She was an avid reader and critic of contemporary literature, reviewing for many publications, such as the London Evening Standard, The Spectator, The Daily Mail, The Times, The Sunday Times and Books & Bookmen. She specialised in reviewing autobiographical and biographical accounts as well as the occasional novel. Characteristically she would provide commentary of her own experiences with and knowledge of the subject of the book she was reviewing. She was the lead literary reviewer for the London Evening Standard during A.N. Wilson's tenure as literary editor.
She also wrote the foreword and introduction of Nancy Mitford: A Memoir by Harold Acton. She produced her own two books of memoirs: A Life of Contrasts (1977), and Loved Ones (1985). The latter is a collection of pen portraits of close relatives and friends such as the writer Evelyn Waugh among others. In 1980, she released The Duchess of Windsor, a biography.
In 1989 Diana Mitford was invited to appear on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs with Sue Lawley, Her choices of music to be played on Desert Island Discs were: Symphony No. 41 (Mozart), "Casta Diva" from Norma by Vincent Bellini, "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven, Die Walküre and Liebestod by Wagner, "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" from Carmen of Bizet, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum and Polonaise in F-sharp minor by Chopin.
In 1998, due to her advancing age, Diana Mitford moved out of the Temple de la Gloire and into a Paris apartment. Temple de la Gloire was subsequently sold for £1 million in 2000. Throughout much of her life, particularly after her years in prison, she was afflicted by regular bouts of migraines. In 1981, she underwent successful surgery to remove a brain tumour. She convalesced at Chatsworth House, the residence of her sister Deborah. In the early 1990s, she was also successfully treated for skin cancer. In later life, she also suffered from deafness.
Diana Mitford died in Paris in August 2003, aged 93. Her cause of death was given as complications related to a stroke she had suffered a week earlier, but reports later surfaced that she had been one of the many elderly fatalities of the heat wave of 2003 in mostly non-air-conditioned Paris.
Diana Mitford was buried at St Mary's Churchyard, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire,alongside her sisters.
Diana Mitford is one of the surprise discoveries of the phenomenally successful collection of Mitford letters published for Christmas 2007. Like her five literary sisters, Diana Mitford has written widely not only on her own fascinating, controversial life, but has recorded her intimately-placed observations of friends who also happened to have been leading political and social figures of the day. The majority of these scintillating articles circulated privately to a small group of people, and are published for the very first time in this volume.
The hilarious autobiography of the most glamorous of the Bright Young Things. Diana Mitford describes in the inimitable Mitford way how it came about that both Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler adored her, and Evelyn Waugh and Oswald Mosley fell in love with her.
Before Diana Mitford's disgrace as a social pariah, she was a celebrated member of the Bright Young Things, moving at the centre of 1920s and '30s London high society. She was a muse to many: Helleu painted her, James Lees-Milne worshipped her, Evelyn Waugh dedicated a book to her and Winston Churchill nicknamed her 'Dina-mite'. As the young wife of Bryan Guinness, heir to the Guinness brewing empire, she lived a gilded life until fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley turned her head. Unpublished letters, diaries and archives bring an unknown Diana to life, creating a portrait of a beautiful woman whose charm and personality enthralled all who met her, but the discourse of her life would ultimately act as a cautionary tale.This groundbreaking biography reveals the woman behind the myth.
“Isn’t it awful to love clothes as much as I do, you know, I am not vain at all.¨
Profile of Nancy Mitford
Nancy Freeman-Mitford CBE (28 November 1904 – 30 June 1973), known as Nancy Mitford, was an English novelist, biographer and journalist. One of the Mitford sisters, she was regarded as one of the "Bright Young People" on the London social scene in the inter-war years. She wrote several novels about upper-class life in England and France and was considered a sharp and often provocative wit. She also established a reputation for herself as a writer of popular historical biographies.
Mitford enjoyed a privileged childhood as the eldest daughter of the Hon. David Freeman-Mitford, later 2nd Baron Redesdale. Educated privately, she had no training as a writer before publishing her first novel in 1931. This early effort and the three that followed it created little stir; it was her two semi-autobiographical postwar novels, The Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold Climate (1949), that established her reputation.
Nancy Mitford married Peter Rodd in 1933 and they divorced in 1957 after a lengthy separation. During the Second World War she formed a liaison with a Free French officer, Gaston Palewski who became the love of her life, although he was never her formal lover. After the war Mitford settled in France and lived there until her death, maintaining social contact with her many English friends through letters and regular visits.
During the 1950s Nancy Mitford was identified with the concept of "U" (upper) and "non-U" language, whereby social origins and standing were identified by words used in everyday speech. She had intended this as a joke, but many took it seriously, and Mitford was considered an authority on manners and breeding—possibly her most recognised legacy. Her later years were bitter-sweet, the success of her biographical studies of Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire and King Louis XIV contrasting with the ultimate failure of her relationship with Palewski. From the late 1960s her health deteriorated, and she endured several years of painful illness before her death in 1973.
Biography of Nancy Mitford
Nancy Mitford's father, David Bertram Ogilvy Freeman-Mitford was a tea planter in Ceylon he who fought in the Boer War of 1899–1902 and was severely wounded, and her mother Sydney Bowles was the elder daughter of Thomas Gibson Bowles, a journalist, editor and magazine proprietor whose publications included Vanity Fair and The Lady.
Nancy Mitford´s father worked as business manager of The Lady magazine, a post provided by her maternal grandfather, although he remained in this position for ten years, he had little interest in reading and knew nothing of business.
Nancy Mitford´s parents married on 16 February 1904, and she was born on 28 November the same year, her day-to-day upbringing was delegated to her nanny and nursemaid, within the framework of her mother´s short-lived belief that children should never be corrected or be spoken to in anger. Before this experiment was discontinued, Nancy had become self-centred and uncontrollable.
In summer of 1910 Nancy attended the nearby Francis Holland School and the few months she spent there represented almost the whole of her formal schooling; in the autumn the family moved to a larger house in Victoria Road, Kensington, after which Nancy was educated at home by successive governesses. Summers were spent at the family's cottage near High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, or with the children's Redesdale grandparents at Batsford Park.
In 1921, after years of pleading for proper schooling, Nancy was allowed a year's boarding at Hatherop Castle, an informal private establishment for young ladies of good family. Here Nancy learned French and other subjects, played organised games and joined a Girl Guide troop. It was her first extended experience of life away from home, and she enjoyed it.The following year she was allowed to accompany four sisters on a cultural trip to Paris, Florence and Venice; her letters home are full of expressions of wonder at the sights and treasures: "I had no idea I was so fond of pictures ... if only I had a room of my own I would make it a regular picture gallery".
Nancy's eighteenth birthday in November 1922 was the occasion for a grand "coming-out" ball, marking the beginning of her entry into Society. This was followed in June 1923 by her presentation at Court—a formal introduction to King George V at Buckingham Palace—after which she was officially "out" and could attend the balls and parties that constituted the London Season. She spent much of the next few years in a round of social events, making new friends and mixing with the "Bright Young People" of 1920s London. Nancy declared that "we hardly saw the light of day, except at dawn".
In 1926 Asthall Manor was finally sold. While the new house at Swinbrook was made ready, the female members of the family were sent for three months to Paris, a period which began Nancy's "lifelong love affair" with France.
Although she was now of age, her father maintained an aggressive hostility towards most of her male friends, these tended towards the frivolous, the aesthetic and the effeminate. Among them was Hamish St Clair Erskine, the second son of the 5th Earl of Rosslyn, an Oxford undergraduate four years Nancy's junior, who met her in 1928 and they became unofficially engaged, despite his homosexuality (of which Nancy may not have been aware).
As a means of augmenting the meagre allowance provided by her father, Nancy Mitford began writing, encouraged by Evelyn Waugh, whom she met via her friend Evelyn Gardner. Her first efforts, anonymous contributions to gossip columns in society magazines, led to occasional signed articles, and in 1930 The Lady engaged her to write a regular column. That winter, she embarked on a full-length novel, Highland Fling, in which various characters—mostly identifiable among her friends, acquaintances and family—attend a Scottish house-party which develops chaotically. The book made little impact when it was published in March 1931, and she immediately began work on another, Christmas Pudding, Like the earlier novel, the plot centres on a clash between the "Bright Young People" and the older generation. Hamish Erskine is clearly identifiable in the character of "Bobby Bobbin" in the novel.
Against a backdrop of negativity from family and friends the affair between Nancy Mitford and Hamish Erskine endured sporadically for several years until 1933 when Hamish Erskine ended it abruptly, annoucing to Nancy Mitford he was going to marry someone else. After their parting, Nancy wrote to him: "I thought in your soul you loved me & that in the end we should have children & look back on life together when we are old".
Within a month of Erskine's departure, however, Nancy Mitford announced her engagement to Peter Rodd, the second son of Sir Rennell Rodd, a diplomat and politician who was ennobled that year as Baron Rennell.
They were married on 4 December 1933, after which they settled into a cottage at Strand-on-the-Green on the western edges of London. Mitford's initial delight in the marriage was soon tempered by money worries, Rodd's fecklessness and her dislike of his family.
By 1936 Mitford's marriage was largely a sham. Early in 1939 Rodd left for the South of France, to work with the relief organisations assisting the thousands of Spanish refugees who had fled from General Franco's armies in the final stages of the civil war.
In 1932 Nancy Mitford's life was overshadowed by a family scandal involving her younger sister Diana Mitford, who had married Bryan Guinness in 1928 bur deserted her husband and their two children to become the mistress of Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, himself married with three children. Nancy was the only one who offered her sister support, regularly visiting her and keeping her up to date with family news and social gossip.
In September 1942 Nancy Mitford met Gaston Palewski, a French colonel attached to General Charles de Gaulle's London staff. She found him fascinating, and he became the love of her life—though her feelings were never fully reciprocated—and an inspiration for much of her future writing.
In 1944, with Evelyn Waugh's encouragement, Nancy Mitford began planning a new novel. In March 1945 she was given three months' leave from the shop to write it. The Pursuit of Love is a heavily autobiographical romantic comedy in which many of her family and acquaintances appear in thin disguises. The book sold 200,000 copies within a year of publication, and firmly established Mitford as a best-selling author.
Mitford’s most enduringly popular novel, The Pursuit of Love is a classic comedy about growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric.
Mitford modeled her characters on her own famously unconventional family. We are introduced to the Radletts through the eyes of their cousin Fanny, who stays with them at Alconleigh, their Gloucestershire estate. Uncle Matthew is the blustering patriarch, known to hunt his children when foxes are scarce; Aunt Sadie is the vague but doting mother; and the seven Radlett children, despite the delights of their unusual childhood, are recklessly eager to grow up. The first of three novels featuring these characters, The Pursuit of Love follows the travails of Linda, the most beautiful and wayward Radlett daughter, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.
At the end of the war Peter Rodd returned to Nancy from the war, but their marriage was essentially over; although remaining on friendly terms, the couple led separate lives, and in April 1946, Nancy left London to make her permanent home in Paris and never lived in England again.
During her first 18 months in Paris Mitford lived in several short-term lodgings while enjoying a hectic social life, the hub of which was the British Embassy under the regime of the ambassador, Duff Cooper, and his socialite wife Lady Diana Cooper. Eventually Mitford found a comfortable apartment, with a maid, at No. 7 rue Monsieur on the Left Bank, close to Palewski's residence.
Settled there in comfort, she established a pattern to her life that she mostly followed for the next 20 years, her precise timetable determined by Palewski's varying availability. Her socialising, entertaining and working were interspersed with regular short visits to family and friends in England and summers generally spent in Venice.
In 1948 Nancy Mitford completed a new novel, a sequel to The Pursuit of Love she called Love in a Cold Climate, with the same country house ambience as the earlier book and many of the same characters. The novel's reception was even warmer than that of its predecessor; In 1950 she translated and adapted André Roussin's play La petite hutte ("The Little Hut"), in preparation for its successful West End début in August, and the play ran for 1,261 performances, and provided Mitford with a steady £300 per month in royalties. The same year The Sunday Times asked her to contribute a regular column, which she did for four years. This busy period in her writing life continued in 1951 with her third postwar novel, The Blessing, another semi-autobiographical romance this time set in Paris, in which an aristocratic young Englishwoman is married to a libidinous French marquis. Evelyn Waugh (to whom the book was dedicated) found the book "admirable, deliciously funny, consistent and complete, by far the best of your writings".
Mitford then began her first serious non-fiction work, a biography of Madame de Pompadour, and in 1957, she published Voltaire in Love, an account of the love affair between Voltaire and the Marquise du Châtelet, which she considered it her first truly grown-up work, and her best.
In October 1960 Nancy Mitford published Don't Tell Alfred, in which she revived Fanny Wincham, the narrator of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, and placed her in a Paris setting as wife of the British ambassador. The book was popular with the public, but received indifferent reviews, and she decided she would write no more fiction
In this delightful comedy, Fanny—the quietly observant narrator of Nancy Mitford’s two most famous novels—finally takes center stage.
Fanny Wincham—last seen as a young woman in The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate—has lived contentedly for years as housewife to an absent-minded Oxford don, Alfred. But her life changes overnight when her beloved Alfred is appointed English Ambassador to Paris. Soon she finds herself mixing with royalty and Rothschilds while battling her hysterical predecessor, Lady Leone, who refuses to leave the premises. When Fanny’s tender-hearted secretary begins filling the embassy with rescued animals and her teenage sons run away from Eton and show up with a rock star in tow, things get entirely out of hand. Gleefully sending up the antics of mid-century high society, Don’t Tell Alfred is classic Mitford.
In 1964 Nancy began work on The Sun King, a biography of King Louis XIV and it was published in August 1966, among the many tributes to the book was that of President de Gaulle, who recommended it to every member of his cabinet.
As her landlord on 7 rue Monsieur increased her rent, Nancy decided to leave Paris and buy herself a house in Versailles and moved to No. 4 rue d'Artois, Versailles, in January 1967.
The modest house had a half-acre (0.2 hectare) garden, which soon became one of her chief delights. In 1968 she began work on her final book, a biography of Frederick the Great. After a series of illnesses she learned from a newspaper announcement that Palewski had married the Duchesse de Sagan, a rich divorcée. Shortly after, she entered hospital for the removal of a tumour. After the operation she continued to suffer pain, although she was able to continue working on her book Frederick the Great which was published later in 1970 to a muted reception.
Mitford's remaining years were dominated by her illness, although for a time she enjoyed visits from her sisters and friends, and working in her garden. In April 1972 the French government made her a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, and later that year the British government appointed her a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). She was delighted by the former honour, and amused by the latter
At the end of 1972 she entered the Nuffield Clinic in London, where she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the blood. She lived for another six months, unable to look after herself and in almost constant pain, struggling to keep her spirits up. She wrote to her friend James Lees-Milne: "It's very curious, dying, and would have many a drôle amusing & charming side were it not for the pain". She died on 30 June 1973 at her home in the rue d'Artois and was cremated in Versailles.
Biography of Princess Alexandra
Princess Alexandra,The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel ) is a member of the British royal family.
Alexandra was born to Prince George, Duke of Kent(brother of King George VI) and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. She is a first cousin of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and since her mother Princess Marina was a first cousin of the queen's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, she is also his first cousin once removed.
Alexandra is the widow of businessman Sir Angus Ogilvy, to whom she was married from 1963 until his death in 2004.
Princess Alexandra was born on 25 December 1936 at 3 Belgrave Square, London. Her parents were Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. She was named after her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra; her grandmother, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia; and both of her maternal aunts, Countess Elizabeth of Törring-Jettenbach and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia.
As a male-line granddaughter of the British monarch, Princess Alexandra was styled as a British princess with the prefix Her Royal Highness. At the time of her birth, she was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne, behind her cousins Elizabeth and Margaret, her uncle the Duke of Gloucester, her father the Duke of Kent, and her elder brother Prince Edward. She was born two weeks after the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII.
The Princess was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace, on 9 February 1937, and her godparents were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (her paternal uncle and aunt); the Queen of Norway (her grand-aunt); Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (her maternal grandmother); Princess Olga of Yugoslavia (her maternal aunt); the Princess Beatrice (her paternal great-grand-aunt); the Earl of Athlone (her paternal grand-uncle); and Count Karl Theodor of Toerring-Jettenbach (her maternal uncle by marriage).
Princess Alexandra spent most of her childhood at her family's country house, Coppins, in Buckinghamshire. She lived with her grandmother, Queen Mary, the widow of George V, during World War II at Badminton. Her father was killed in an aeroplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on 25 August 1942 while serving in the Royal Air Force. Princess Alexandra has the distinction of being the first British princess to have attended a boarding school, Heathfield School near Ascot. She then studied in Paris. She was also trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
On 20 November 1947, Princess Alexandra served as bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousins, the then-Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh.
She was also a bridesmaid at the 1962 wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and her second cousin, Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.
On 24 April 1963, Princess Alexandra married the Hon. Angus James Bruce Ogilvy (1928–2004), the second son of the 12th Earl of Airlie and Lady Alexandra Coke, at Westminster Abbey. Ogilvy presented Alexandra with an engagement ring made of a cabochon sapphire set in gold and surrounded by diamonds on both sides.
The wedding ceremony was attended by the royal family and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by an estimated 200 million people.
The bride wore a wedding gown of Valenciennes lace of intricate pattern of oak leaves and acorns from her late grandmother Princess Nicholas of Greece, with matching veil and train, designed by John Cavanagh (who has also created the wedding gown of Alexandra's sister-in-law, Katharine, the current Duchess and dressed her mother Princess Marina), anchored by City of London diamond fringe tiara worn by her mother on her own wedding.
Princess Alexandra made her way with her brother, the Duke of Kent, from Kensington Palace to the church. Angus Ogilvy declined the Queen's offer to be created an earl upon marriage, so their children carry no titles.
Angus Ogilvy was knighted in 1988 (when Princess Alexandra assumed the style of The Hon. Lady Ogilvy), later being sworn of the Privy Council in 1997.
Since the late 1950s, Princess Alexandra has carried out an extensive programme of engagements in support of the Queen, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. Taking part in roughly 120 engagements each year, Princess Alexandra was one of the most active members of the royal family. She made 110 engagements in 2012.
However, in late June 2013 she cancelled her engagements due to arthritis. In November 2016, one month ahead of her 80th birthday, the Queen held a reception at Buckingham Palace in honour of the work of Princess Alexandra's charities.
As of 2017, she is still listed on the official website of the British Monarchy as a working member of the Royal Family, attending numerous ceremonial and charitable engagements.
Biography of Margot Fonteyn
Dame Margot Fonteyn, DBE (18 May 1919 – 21 February 1991), stage name of Margaret Evelyn de Arias, was an English ballerina. She spent her entire career as a dancer with the Royal Ballet (formerly the Sadler's Wells Theater Company), eventually being appointed prima ballerina assoluta of the company by Queen Elizabeth II in 1979.
Beginning ballet lessons at the age of four, she studied in England and China, where her father was transferred for his work. Her training in Shanghai was with George Goncharov, contributing to her continuing interest in Russian ballet. Returning to London at the age of 14, she was invited to join the Vic-Wells Ballet School by Ninette de Valois and succeeded Alicia Markova as prima ballerina of the company in 1935 at age 16. The Vic-Wells choreographer, Sir Frederick Ashton, wrote numerous parts for Fonteyn and her partner, Robert Helpmann, with whom she danced from the 1930s to the 1940s.
In 1946, the Vic-Wells company(now renamed the Sadler's Wells Ballet), moved into the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden where Fonteyn's most frequent partner throughout the next decade was Michael Somes. Her performance in Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty became a distinguishing role for both Fonteyn and the company, but she was also well known for the ballets created by Ashton, including Symphonic Variations, Cinderella, Daphnis and Chloe, Ondine and Sylvia.
In 1949, she led the company in a tour of the United States and became an international celebrity. Before and after the Second World War, Fonteyn performed in televised broadcasts of ballet performances in Britain.
In 1955, she married the Panamanian politician Roberto Arias and appeared in a live colour production of The Sleeping Beauty aired on NBC. Thanks to her international acclaim and many guest artist requests, the Royal Ballet allowed Fonteyn to become a freelance dancer in 1959.
In Margot Fonteyn's ballet career, she has been dancing with different partners, but her most long lasting partner is Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.
They were most noted for their classical performances in works such as Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, Les Sylphides, La Bayadère, Swan Lake, and Raymonda, in which Nureyev sometimes adapted choreographies specifically to showcase their talents.
Sir Frederick Ashton choreographed Marguerite and Armand for Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev,which no other couple danced until the 21st century.
The 1963 premiere was well publicised before its 1963 opening and teamed them with Michael Somes, one of Margot Fonteyn's dancing partners. Composed as a series of pas de deux, interrupted by only one solo, the ballet built intensity from the initial coup de foudre to the death scene. According to Somes, the pairing of Nureyev and Fonteyn was brilliant, as they were not partners but two stars of equal talent who pushed each other to their best performances. The production was an immediate success, and Marguerite and Armand became a signature work for the duo, sealing their partnership.
In 1961, when Fonteyn was considering retirement, Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Kirov Ballet while dancing in Paris. Margot Fonteyn danced with him in his début with the Royal Ballet in Giselle on 21 February 1962. The duo immediately became an international sensation, each dancer pushing the other to their best performances.
"At the end of 'Lac des Cygnes', when she left the stage in her great white tutu I would have followed her to the end of the world."
In 1964, Margot Fonteyn's husband was shot during an assassination attempt and became a quadriplegic, requiring constant care for the remainder of his life. In 1972, Fonteyn went into semi-retirement, although she continued to dance periodically until the end of the decade.
In 1979, she was fêted by the Royal Ballet and officially pronounced the prima ballerina assoluta of the company.
Margot Fonteyn retired to Panama, where she spent her time writing books, raising cattle, and caring for her husband. She died from ovarian cancer exactly 29 years after her premiere with Nureyev in Giselle.
Biography of Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev is a Russian ballet and contemporary dancer, choreographer and director of ballet.
Endowed with an extraordinary technique, Rudolf Nureyev was considered as the greatest male ballet dander of his generation and one of the greatest choreographers, and was nicknamed "The lord of dance". Nureyev was one of the best interpreters of classic Russian ballet as well as of contemporary dances.
Soon after his defection, Dame Ninette de Valois, director of The Royal Ballet in London offered Rudolf Nureyev a contract to join The Royal Ballet as Principal Dancer, and it was here he met Margot Fonteyn, the Prima Ballerina of The Royal Ballet, and danced with her for the first time in Giselle, a ballet matinée on 21 February 1962. Thus the most legendary partnership in the 20th century dance world was formed.
Nureyev stayed with the Royal Ballet until 1970, when he was promoted to Principal Guest Artist, enabling him to concentrate on his increasing schedule of international guest appearances and tours. But he continued to perform regularly with The Royal Ballet until committing his future to the Paris Opera Ballet in the 1980s.
Rudolf Nureyev served as director of the Paris Opera Ballet 1983 to 1989. In addition to his technical prowess, Rudolf Nureyev was an accomplished choreographer serving as the chief choreographer of the Paris Opera Ballet. He produced his own interpretations of numerous classical works, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadère.
He also served as mentor of many young dancers working in Paris Opera Ballet, such as Sylvie Guillem, Isabelle Guérin, Manuel Legris, Elisabeth Maurin, Élisabeth Platel, Charles Jude, and Monique Loudières,etc.
In 1984, Rudolf Nureyev tested positive for HIV, but he continued to work relentlessly as dancer, choreographer and director of Paris Opera Ballet, not leaving the post until 1989.\
On 8 October 1992, Nureyev danced at the premiere at Palais Garnier of a new production of La Bayadère that he choreographed after Marius Petipa for the Paris Opera Ballet.
The ballet was a personal triumph although the gravity of his condition was evident. The French Culture Minister, Jack Lang, presented him that evening on stage with France's highest cultural award, the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. That would be Rudolf Nureyev's last public appearance.
On 6 January 1993, Rudolf Nureyev died from AIDS complications at hospital Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours in Levallois-Perretat, age 54. His funeral was held in the marble foyer of the Paris Garnier Opera House.
After so many years of having been denied a place in the Mariinsky Ballet history, Nureyev's reputation was restored. His name was reentered in the history of the Mariinsky and some of his personal effects were placed on display at the theatre museum in St. Petersburg. At the famed Vaganova Academy a rehearsal room was named in his honour. And At the Paris Opera there is a tradition to organize a dance night as homage to Rudolf Nureyev every ten years after he died in 1993.
Rudolf Noureevn est un danseur classique, chorégraphe et directeur de ballet d'origine tatare né le 17 mars 1938 à Irkoutsk (Union soviétique) et mort le 6 janvier 1993 à Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine).
Doué d'une technique exemplaire, Rudolf Noureev est considéré comme le plus grand danseur classique et comme l'un des plus grands chorégraphesn. Il est surnommé le « seigneur de la danse ».
Rudolf Noureev fut l'un des meilleurs interprètes du répertoire classique, mais il affirma aussi son talent dans la danse contemporaine et fut l'un des premiers danseurs à s'intéresser de nouveau au répertoire baroque
Born in the castle of Grazzano Visconti of Vigolzone, Piacenza, Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto is the daughter of Adolfo Caracciolo, a Neapolitan noble, and of Anna Visconti di Modrone, a family of nobility in Milan. And she is also the niece of the director Luchino Visconti.
In 1975 Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto married Umberto Agnelli, brother of Gianni Agnelli, and thus became sister-in-law of her cousin Marella Agnelli, wife of Gianni Agnelli. She had two children from the marriage: Andrea (1975) and Anna (1977).
Being called 'Donna Allegra', Allegra Agnelli lived a very low profiled life in Turin with her husband and their children until 2004, when her husband Umberto Agnelli died and she became widow.
Like her sister-in-law Marella Agnelli, Allegra Agnelli is known for her beauty and timeless elegant style and lives a priviledged life of socialite, but she is also dedicated for public causes, like animal protection and cancer researches.
In 2004, Allegra Agnelli received an honorary degree in Veterinary Medicine University of Turin. This is due to her persistent commitment to animals. And in the same year, the then President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, presented her with the Gold Medal of Merit of Public Health. - Always Ciampi, a year later, awarded her the 2005 Peace Prize.
Profile of Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz; June 3, 1925 - September 29, 2010) was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades but who achieved the height of his popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in more than 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.
Although his early film roles mainly took advantage of his good looks, by the latter half of the 1950s he had demonstrated range and depth in numerous dramatic and comedy roles. By the time he starred in Houdini (1953) with his wife Janet Leigh, "his first clear success," notes critic David Thomson, his acting had progressed immensely.
He achieved his first serious recognition as a dramatic actor in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with co-star Burt Lancaster. The following year he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in The Defiant Ones (1958) alongside Sidney Poitier (who was also nominated in the same category). Curtis then gave what could arguably be called his best performance: three interrelated roles in the comedy Some Like It Hot (1959). Thomson called it an "outrageous film," and an American Film Institute survey voted it the funniest American film ever made. The film co-starred Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and was directed by Billy Wilder. That was followed by Blake Edwards’s Operation Petticoat (1959) with Cary Grant. They were both frantic comedies, and displayed his impeccable comic timing.
His stardom and film career declined considerably after 1960. His most significant dramatic part came in 1968 when he starred in the true-life drama The Boston Strangler, which some consider his last major film role. The part reinforced his reputation as a serious actor with his chilling portrayal of serial killer Albert DeSalvo.
He later starred alongside Roger Moore in the TV series The Persuaders!, with Curtis playing American millionaire Danny Wilde. The series ran twenty-four episodes.
Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925, at the Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital on 105th Street in Manhattan, New York City, his parents were Jewish emigrants from Czechoslovakia and Hungary, his father was a tailor and the family lived in the back of the shop.
Tony Curtis did not learn English until he was five or six, delaying his schooling. At 16, he had his first small acting part in a school stage play.
Inspired by Cary Grant's role in Destination Tokyo and Tyrone Power's in Crash Dive (1943), Tony Curtis enlisted in the United States Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor by joining the Pacific submarine force.
Following his discharge from the Navy, Curtis studied acting at The New School in Greenwich Village under the influential German stage director Erwin Piscator.
In 1948, Curtis arrived in Hollywood at age 23, on the plane to California, he met Jack Warner.
At Universal Pictures, he changed his name from Bernard Schwartz to Anthony Curtis. The first name was from the novel Anthony Adverse and "Curtis" was from Kurtz, a surname in his mother's family, he also learned fencing and riding, in keeping with the cinematic themes of the era.
In 1959, Tony Curtis co-starred with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder's comedy Some like it hot. It was a huge success and became a classic; In the same year he starred alongside Cary Grant in equally popular Operation Petticoat, a military comedy directed by Blake Edwards.
In 1960, Kirk Douglas offered Curtis a key role in the former's epic production Spartacus. After that Tony Curtis movie career went downward, and after a decade of making non remarkable films, he turned his attention to TV, and one of the most memorable was the ITC TV series The Persuaders !, in which he played American millionaire Danny Wilde.
The fundamental requirements about a high class con man are that they should be personable, well dressed, amiable, well mannered, good looking, attractive to women, and utterly without conscience or scruple. I'm glad to say, I fit that bill to the letter."
In 1995, Tony Curtis received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France.
In March 2006, Curtis received the Sony Ericsson Empire Lifetime Achievement Award.
In October 2008, Curtis's autographs American Prince: A Memoir, was published.In it, he describes his encounters with other Hollywood legends of the time including Frank Sinatra and James Dean, as well as his hard-knock childhood and path to success.
The following year he published his next book, The Making of Some Like it Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie. Curtis shared his memories of the making of the movie, in particular about Marilyn Monroe, whose antics and attitude on the set made everyone miserable.
Curtis was married six times. His first wife was actress Janet Leigh, to whom he was married from 1951 to 1962, and with whom he fathered actresses Kelly and Jamie Lee. "For a while, we were Hollywood's golden couple," he said. "I was very dedicated and devoted to Janet, and on top of my trade, but in her eyes that goldenness started to wear off. I realized that whatever I was, I wasn't enough for Janet. That hurt me a lot and broke my heart."
The couple divorced in 1962.
In 1963, Curtis married Christine Kaufmann, the 18-year-old German co-star of his latest film, Taras Bulba. He stated that his marriage with Leigh had effectively ended "a year earlier". Curtis and Kaufmann had two daughters, Alexandra (born July 19, 1964) and Allegra (born July 11, 1966). They divorced in 1968. Kaufmann resumed her career, which she had interrupted during her marriage.
His sixth and last wife, Jill Vandenberg, was 45 years his junior. They met in a restaurant in 1993 and married on November 6, 1998. "The age gap doesn't bother us. We laugh a lot. My body is functioning and everything is good. She's the sexiest woman I've ever known. We don't think about time. I don't use Viagra either. There are 50 ways to please your lover."
Throughout his life, Curtis enjoyed painting and, since the early 1980s, painted as a second career. His work could command more than $ 25,000 a canvas, and in the last years of his life, he concentrated on painting rather than movies. A surrealist, Curtis claimed Van Gogh, Paul Matisse, Picasso, and Magritte as influences. "I still make movies but I'm not that interested in them any more. But I paint all the time." In 2007, his painting The Red Table was on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His paintings can also be seen at the Tony Vanderploeg Gallery in Carmel, California.
On July 8, 2010, Curtis, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was hospitalized in Las Vegas after suffering an asthma attack during a book-signing engagement in Henderson, Nevada, where he lived.
Curtis died at his Henderson home on September 29, 2010, of cardiac arrest. His widow Jill Vandenberg told the press that Curtis had suffered from various lung problems for years as a result of cigarette smoking, although he had quit smoking about 30 years earlier.
Name: Dirk Bogarde
Birth place: London, England
Birth date: 28 march 1921
Death place: London, England
Death date: 8 may 1999
Profile of Dirk Bogarde
Sir Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde (28 March 1921 - 8 May 1999), known professionally as Dirk Bogarde, was an English actor and writer. Initially a matinée idol in films such as Doctor in the House (1954) for the Rank Organization, he later acted in art-house films.
In a second career, he wrote seven best-selling volumes of memoirs, six novels and a volume of collected journalism, mainly from articles in The Daily Telegraph.
Bogarde came to prominence in films including The Blue Lamp in the early 1950s, before starring in the successful Doctor film series (1954–1963). He twice won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, for The Servant (1963) and Darling (1965). His other notable film roles included Victim (1961), Accident (1967), The Damned (1969), Death in Venice (1971), The Night Porter (1974), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Despair (1978). He was appointed a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1990 and a Knight Bachelor in 1992.
I just really like to be on my own.”
Biography of Dirk Bogarde
Dirk Bogarde was born to Ulric van den Bogaerde (1892–1972) of Flemish ancestry and Margaret Niven (1898–1980) who was Scottish. His father was Art Editor of The Times from Glasgow, and her mogher was a former actress.
Dirk Bogarde had a younger sister, Elizabeth (born 1924) and a brother, Gareth Ulric Van Den Bogaerde(later an advertising film producer) born in July 1933, in Hendon.
He attended University College School, and the former Allan Glen's High School of Science in Glasgow, a time he described in his autobiography as an unhappy one. From 1937 to 1938 he studied at the Chelsea School of Art.
He began his acting career on stage in 1939, shortly before the start of the Second World War, with his first on-screen appearance being as an uncredited extra in the George Formby comedy, Come On George! (1939).
During the war, Derek "Pip" Bogaerde served in the British Army, initially with the Royal Corps of Signals before being commissioned at the age of 22 into the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) as a second lieutenant in 1943. He served in both the European and Pacific theatres, principally as an intelligence officer.
In 1939, he debuted in London West End theatre, with the stage name "Derek Bogaerde", in J. B. Priestley's play Cornelius.
the war, Bogarde's agent renamed him "Dirk Bogarde" and he was handsome enough to begin a career as a film actor. He was contracted to the Rank Organisation under the wing of the prolific independent film producer Betty Box, who produced most of his early films and was instrumental in creating his matinée idol image during the 1950s.
His Rank contract began following his appearance in Esther Waters (1948), his first credited role, replacing Stewart Granger.
Bogarde featured as a medical student in Doctor in the House (1954), a film that made him one of the most popular British stars of the 1950s. The production was initiated by Betty Box, who picked up a copy of the book at Crewe during a long rail journey, and saw its possibility as a film. But Box and Ralph Thomas had difficulties convincing Rank executives that people would go to a film about doctors, and that Bogarde, who up to then had played character roles, had sex appeal and could play light comedy. They were allocated a modest budget, and were only allowed to use available Rank contract artists. The film was the first of the Doctor film series based on the books by Richard Gordon.
He did his second Doctor film, Doctor at Sea (1955), co-starring Brigitte Bardot in one of her first film roles; then he did Doctor at Large (1957), again with Donald Sinden, another entry in the Doctor film series, with later Bond-girl Shirley Eaton.
Some of other memorable movies Bogarde did during the 50s include: The Spanish Gardener (1956), with Michael Hordern; A Tale of Two Cities (1958), a faithful retelling of Charles Dickens' classic; The Wind Cannot Read (1958)where he plays a flight lieutenant in the Far East who falls in love with a beautiful Japanese teacher Yoko Tani; The Doctor's Dilemma (1959), based on a play by George Bernard Shaw and co-starring Leslie Caron and Robert Morley.
After leaving the Rank Organisation in the early 1960s, Bogarde abandoned his heart-throb image for more challenging parts.
He starred in the film Victim (1961), playing a London barrister who fights the blackmailers of a young man with whom he has had a deeply emotional relationship. The young man commits suicide after being arrested for embezzlement, rather than ruin his beloved's career. In exposing the ring of extortionists, Bogarde's character risks his reputation and marriage in order to see that justice is done. Victim was the first British film to portray the humiliation gay people were exposed to via discriminatory law, and as a victimized minority.
Other roles included decadent valet Hugo Barrett in The Servant (1963), which garnered him a BAFTA Award, directed by Joseph Losey and written by Harold Pinter; The Mind Benders (1963), a film ahead of its times in which Bogarde plays an Oxford professor conducting sensory deprivation experiments at Oxford University (precursor to Altered States (1980)); as German industrialist Frederick Bruckmann in Luchino Visconti's La Caduta degli dei, The Damned (1969) co-starring Ingrid Thulin; as ex-Nazi, Max Aldorfer, in the chilling and controversial Il Portiere di notte (a.k.a. The Night Porter) (1974), co-starring Charlotte Rampling, directed by Liliana Cavani; and most notably, as Gustav von Aschenbach in Morte a Venezia, Death in Venice (1971), also directed by Visconti;and as Daddy in Bertrand Tavernier's Daddy Nostalgie, (a.k.a.These Foolish Things) (1991), co-starring Jane Birkin as his daughter, Bogarde's final film role.
For many years Bogarde shared his homes, first in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and then in France, with Anthony Forwood. Forwood, who had been married to actress Glynis Johns during the 1940s, was the father of the actor Gareth Forwood, their only child.
Between 1939 and 1991 Bogarde made a total of 63 films.
Bogarde was nominated five times as Best Actor by BAFTA, winning twice, for The Servant in 1963, and for Darling in 1965.
In 1983, he received a Special Award for service to the Cinema at the Cannes Festival.
In 1984, Bogarde served as president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. He was the first British person to serve in this capacity.
On 4 July 1985 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Literature by St Andrews University in Scotland.
In 1987 he was Awarded the British Film Institute Fellowship. In 1988, Bogarde was honoured with the first BAFTA Tribute Award for an outstanding contribution to cinema.
In 1990 he was awarded the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
In 1991 he received the London Film Critics Circle Lifetime Award.
In 1992 Bogarde was created a Knight Bachelor in the United Kingdom, and in 1993
was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Sussex in England.
Bogarde had a minor stroke in November 1987, while Forwood was dying of liver cancer and Parkinson's disease.
In September 1996, he underwent angioplasty to unblock arteries leading to his heart and had a massive stroke following the operation. He was paralysed on one side of his body, which affected his speech. After the stroke he used a wheelchair. He then completed the final volume of his autobiography, which covered the stroke's effects.
He died at his home in London from a pulmonary embolism on 8 May 1999, age 78. His ashes were scattered at his former estate in Grasse, Southern France.
Luca Capuano (Napoli, 7 marzo 1977) è un attore italiano, noto per essere stato l'interprete di Adriano Riva in CentoVetrine e di Edoardo Monforte nella fiction Le tre rose di Eva.
Inizia a lavorare giovanissimo come modello e in campo pubblicitario, per poi debuttare come attore, prima in teatro e poi nel cinema e in televisione.
Fra i suoi lavori teatrali: Fateci un applauso (2001), regia di Fioretta Mari, e Miseria e nobiltà di Eduardo Scarpetta (2002-2003), regia di Carlo Giuffré.
Il suo esordio nel cinema è del 2004 con un cameo nel film L'amore è eterno finché dura, regia di Carlo Verdone. Nel 2005 torna in televisione con il film per la tv Sexum Superando - Isabella Morra, regia di Marta Bifano.
Dopo aver partecipato a varie serie TV, sia Rai che Mediaset, nel 2008 entra nel cast della soap opera di Canale 5, CentoVetrine, dove interpretava il ruolo di Adriano Riva. Nel 2009 interpreta il ruolo di Romeo nella fiction di Capri 3. Nel 2012 esce dal cast fisso di CentoVetrine ed entra in quello de Le tre rose di Eva con il ruolo del perfido Edoardo Monforte. Nel 2013 è nel cast della seconda serie della fiction di Raiuno Che Dio ci aiuti con il ruolo di Francesco Limbiati. In primavera 2013 ritorna nel cast della seconda serie de Le tree rose di Eva, nel 2014 della terza e nel 2016 della quarta.
Dal 2018 interpreta Sandro Recalcati nella soap opera di Rai 1 Il paradiso delle signore, e dal 2019 riveste i panni dell'avvocato Aldo Leone nella soap opera di Rai 3 Un posto al sole.
Luca Capuano was an Italian actor born in Napoli, Italy in 1977.
He started working as a model and in the advertising field at a very young age, and then made his debut as an actor, first in theater and then in cinema and television.
As a theatre actor, Luca Capuano has appeared in plays like Fateci un applauso (2001), directed by Fioretta Mari, and Miseria e nobiltà by Eduardo Scarpetta (2002-2003), directed by Carlo Giuffré.
His debut in the cinema is in 2004 with a cameo in the film L'amore è eternal as long as it lasts, directed by Carlo Verdone. In 2005 he returned to television with the TV movie Sexum Superando - Isabella Morra, directed by Marta Bifano.
After working in different TV series of the Italian TV station Rai and Mediaset, Luca Campuano was casted in 2008 as Adriano Riva of soap opera of Italian channel 5, CentoVetrine, and as the soap opera became more popular. Luca Capuano became more noted by the public.
Since 2012, he started to interpret one of the Monforte brothers Edoardo Monforte in another more popular fiction series Le tre rose di Eva which ran until 2018.
In 2013 he was casted as Francesco Limbiati in the second series of the Raiuno fiction Che Dio ci aiuti.
From 2018, he participated in another soap opera of Rai 1 Il paradiso delle signore playing Sandro Recalcati, and from 2019 he plays the role of the lawyer Aldo Leone in the soap opera of Rai 3 Un posto al sole.
Erwin Blumenfeld (geboren 26. Januar 1897 in Berlin; gestorben 4. Juli 1969 in Rom) war ein Fotograf deutsch-jüdischer Herkunft und in den 1940er und 1950er Jahren einer der weltweit gefragtesten Porträt- und Modefotografen.
Erwin Blumenfeld (26 January 1897 – 4 July 1969) was an American photographer of German origin. He was born in Berlin, and in 1941 emigrated to the United States, where he soon became a successful and well-paid fashion photographer, working as a free-lancer for Harper's Bazaar, Life and American Vogue. His personal photographic work showed the influence of Dadaism and Surrealism; his two main areas of interest were death and women. He was expert in laboratory work, and experimented with photographic techniques such as distortion, multiple exposure, photo-montage and solarisation.
Blumenfeld was born in Berlin on 26 January 1897. As a young man he worked in the clothes trade and wrote poetry.
In 1918 he went to Amsterdam, where he came into contact with Paul Citroen and Georg Grosz.
In 1933 he made a photomontage showing Hitler as a skull with a swastika on its forehead; this image was later used in Allied propaganda material in 1943.
In 1921, he married Lena Citroen, with whom he had three children. In 1922 he started a leather goods shop, which failed in 1935.He moved to Paris, where in 1936 he set up as a photographer and did free-lance work for French Vogue.
After the outbreak of the Second World War he was placed in an internment camp; in 1941 he was able to emigrate to the United States. There he soon became a successful and well-paid fashion photographer, and worked as a free-lancer for Harper's Bazaar, Life and American Vogue.
Ervin Blumenfeld died in Rome on 4 July 1969.
Blumenfeld started working on Blumenfeld: Meine 100 Besten Fotos in 1955; it was eventually published in 1979; an English translation, Blumenfeld: My One Hundred Best Photos, was published in New York in 1981.
Another autobiographical work was published in German as Einbildungsroman by Eichborn Verlag in 1998, and in English as Eye to I: The Autobiography of a Photographer by Thames and Hudson in 1999
Eye to I: The Autobiography of a Photographer
de Erwin Blumenfeld
Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969). Photographies, dessins et photomontages