Monday, August 22, 2011

Molti Ritratti: Cleo de Merode

Cléo de Mérode (1875-1966) was a ballet dancer whose fame extended to popular culture in an age before the supermarket cashier stand magazine rack. I have a book about her titled Cléo de Mérode et la photographie: La première icône moderne, where the subtitle can be translated as "the first modern icon."

Cléo attracted painters, sculptors and photographers like a magnet. To see why, scroll down.


Here are three photographs to set the stage.

Folies Bergère poster

By Alexandre Falguière - 1896
According to the book cited above, the location of this statue is unknown.

By Georges Clairin
Clairin is best known for his paintings of Sarah Bernhardt. I blogged about her portraits here.

By Manuel Benedito - 1910

By Giovanni Boldini - 1907
This is perhaps the most famous painting of Cléo. Click on the image to enlarge.