The 2006 Worldwide Publication of
The Russian-Language Edition
'Я хочу быть живым произведением искусства.'
(‘I want to be a living work of art.’)
—The Marchesa Casati
The Russian-Language Edition
The Wild Marquise
Counted among the Marchesa Casati's many eclectic friends was Prince
Félix Youssoupov—the very master-mind responsible for Rasputin's
assassination. It was in Rome during the Russian nobleman's exile that
the two met for the first time as described in Youssoupov's autobiographical
In the room where I was introduced, a woman of singular beauty was reclining
on a tiger pelt with translucent veils outlining her slender body. Two greyhounds,
one black and one white, were sleeping at her feet…. Our hostess raised
her splendid eyes. They were so large that in her pale face, you could not see
anything but them. With a slow and undulant movement, like that of a royal cobra,
she offered me a hand decorated with rings of giant pearls. The hand itself was
ravishing. I leaned in to kiss her……
So both the Prince and the Marchesa would have been more than pleased by the Christmas 2006 publication of Неистовая маркиза: жизнь и легенда Луизы Казати (or The Wild Marquise: The Life and Legend of Luisa Casati), the
Russian-language version of Infinite
Variety by Slovo, Moscow's most prestigious art book publisher.
Translated by Irina Zaslavskaya, this edition is adorned by all of the authors' newest research findings and the most lavish assortment of rare iconography of Casati and her world ever published anywhere. It has received many superlative reviews, including the following from Le Figaro Madame (Russia): 'This magnificently illustrated book is executed with the most exquisite taste.'
Casati's association with Youssoupov was but one of numerous that she
enjoyed with the many talented Russian émigrés whom had fled to
Europe's capitals following the Revolution. As patron and friend, the
Marchesa's circle included such celebrated artists as: Aleksandr Archipenko,
Catherine Barjansky, Natalia Gontcharova, Mikhail Larionov, Nikolai Riabushinsky,
Léopold Survage, Prince Paul Troubetzkoy, and Romain de Tirtoff (more
famously known as Erté), all of whom portrayed her in oil, ink, wax, and
bronze. In addition, the Marchesa was not only a collector of Fabergé,
but also repeatedly commissioned Léon Bakst, the great costume and scenic
designer for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, to create both her fancy
dress outfits and everyday attire. And it was at Casati's Venetian palazzo
on the Grand Canal that Vaslav Nijinsky and Isadora Duncan danced together for
the only time. All of these intriguing connections and episodes are explored
in sparkling detail in Неистовая маркиза.
Founded in 1989, Slovo has flourished as one of Russia's first privately
owned publishing houses. In addition to their reputation as creating some of
the most exquisite art books in the world, they also release works of quality
fiction and non-fiction, music-related titles, and highly respected encyclopedias
of Russian history. Infinite Variety could not have found a finer
home in the land of white nights.
ISBN: 5-85050-895-3 • Hardcover • 304 Pages • Price: RUB 713/EUR 21,00
200 Black & White and Colour Illustrations (photographs & artwork reproductions)
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Casati Archives. All rights reserved.