Scherzo di Follia (Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione), by Pierre-Louis Pierson | Inspired

Scherzo di Follia by Pierre-Louis Pierson

Around 1856, Virginia Oldoini, the Countess of Castiglione and mistress to Napoleon III (and ‘secret agent’), began working with the photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson. Over the next several decades, the two produced over 700 photographs—taken by Pierson, but better classified as self-portraits by the Countess. She obsessively directed each detail of the photographs, from angle and lighting to final approval on the prints.

Scherzo di Follia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art | artnet.com