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The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0810948150
ISBN-10: 081094815X
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse
  • +
  • Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati (Definitive Edition)
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  • Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights
Total price: $83.45
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scot D. Ryersson and Michael Orlando Yaccarino are the authors of the bestselling biography Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati. They are the directors of The Casati Archives.
 
Diane von Furstenberg is an internationally renowned fashion designer.
 
Judith Thurman is a National Book Award-winning writer.
 
Lady Moorea Black is Casati's granddaughter.
 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081094815X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810948150
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,083,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joanne Bergen on January 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a bedtime reader, it is easy to tell when I am into a page-turner - I go to bed early. A few years ago when reading "Infinite Variety", the authors' first offering on Casati's life and times, I remember announcing to my husband that "I think I'll go and see what the Marchesa is up to tonight", whereupon he gave me that "you're going to bed at 8:30 look?" Unlike "Infinite Variety", "The Marchesa Casati Portraits of a Muse" is not a book to be hungrily devoured. It is more like fine dining - one wants to savor every bite!

It is important to understand both what this book is and what it is not. It is a picture book. But unlike so many of today's pictorial offerings, it is definitely not a poorly researched and bunged- together doorstop. This book was more curated than written. It was done so with so much obvious attention to detail that one can easily imagine its contents on display at a blockbuster National Portrait Gallery show. From the high production values to the tasteful and varied graphics and the clever construction that sets out the Casati legend in dramatic phases, this is a beautiful book.

Two things shine through on every page - the passion the authors have for their subject matter and the care they take to ensure their many pictures appear alongside the corresponding text. This latter point is not a minor one - so many authors of illustrated books bend to publishing economics by binding in picture "sections" which require the reader to madly flip back and forth through many pages in order to relate textual and graphic elements. In this book the echoes of argument between the authors, editors and layout artists ("no, the Van Dongen portrait stays right where it is.... you move the D'Annunzio photo over my dead body".... etc.) are visceral.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scott Ryersson and Michael Yaccarino are not the only ones obsessed with Marchesa Luisa Casati. Ever since I first saw one of the Man Ray portraits of her, I have been fascinated with her look and her life.
This book has it all!! Pictures not included in the Ryersson/Yaccarino bio of her: Infinite Variety; and also brief bio bits that were in Infinite Variety.
A gorgeous confection of a coffee table book of a woman I would call the first Goth girl!
For those sick of Audrey Hepburn and her ilk, this book is a welcome respite!
May the Marchesa live on in the hearts and arts of many to come!
Thank you Scott Ryersson and Michael Yaccarino for this amazing and fabulous book!
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This is a wonderful book! Beautifully put together. Excellent pictures, and an intriguing story. What a fascinating life this lady had! I would be first in line to see a movie made from this biography. Such decadence, scandal, beauty, art, and history! What a treat it would be to see a collection of the works painted in her honor. A must read for any art historian.
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Love the book! What a fascinating person and told so well!
I received my copy yesterday and sat up to the wee hours to read.
I'm ordering another to give as a gift.
The text as are the photographs make this enigmatic woman live.
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Loved the visual biography of Marchesa Casati and the legacy that she wanted to leave behind. It's a pity that her daughter was not as fortunate as the rest of those that she inspired and cultivated. There is an Afterword in the back of the book from Marchesa's granddaughter indicating that much admired her and found bewitching.
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By clody17 on December 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an amazing book! the best collection of images and photos about the marchesa luisa casati.
Many of them have never been published before.
With a super interesting section about contemporary artists and designers still inspired by Her!!
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This beautifully designed coffee table book is the perfect companion to Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati (Definitive Edition). Seeing this amazing collection of art and design influenced by Marchesa Luisa Casati is truly marvelous. Her daring style and desire for individuality gave artists and designers the creative spark that still inspires to this very day. This book is a must have for those loving fashion and design. It has given me many hours of pleasure and inspiration. I applaud Ryersson and Yaccarino for their dedication and homage to this most incredible woman!
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Having purchased the earlier version in paperback and been disappointed with the lack of images, this is a welcome "do over." The text is uneven and a little disappointing given the access to sources the writers had, but this version is slightly updated with a little more information. Describing it as "impressionistic" would perhaps be more flattering than "gossipy," but taking the anecdotes as illustrative of the images would probably be a better way to look at this collection. The images cover a full range of the Marchesa's career as an international woman of mystery, and in multiple media. The later chapter on the Marchesa's continuing influence in fashion and art has been expanded and is more interesting than the original version. (I also loved the photograph of the Marchesa's granddaughter with the famous bust of the Marchesa herself.)

It's a pity the Marchesa did not live in an era where being a self-portrait photographer was seen as a valid artistic career, and that there was no one to help rein in some of her impulses and manage her money, but what a crazy original spirit. The force of her personality/vision trumps the florid yet insipid writing, and makes me want a pet cheetah.
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