Jacques-Émile Blanche rivalled Giovanni Boldini as the great portraitist of the Belle Époque. Among the artists, writers and other notables immortalised in his canvasses are a surprisingly maladroit young Jean Cocteau, a posthumous Comtesse de Castiglione (an image which unfortunately I could only find in a washed out, low-res version) and a deathly pale Marcel Proust rehearsing for his own afterlife. Many of these portraits are currently on display in an exhibition with the Proustian title Du côté de chez Jacques-Émile Blanche at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.
Nazimova’s secret garden, Places: Under the Hill (Aubrey Beardsley)
Hardy survivor (Thomas Hardy)
A Percy Grainger glossary
Paul and Paulette, A Lorrain special, part 2 (Marcel Proust)
The countess in the afterlife, The countess in the cinema, A Casati family tree, Places: Place Vendôme, Dress-down Friday: Ganna Walska, Because… (Comtesse de Castiglione)
Death becomes her, World Famous Aerial Queen, Phantom of the empire, Berenice Abbott | portraits, Dress-down Friday: Barbette, Circles: Ludwig II/Sissi (Jean Cocteau)