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The 2009 Publication of a Completely
New Celebration in Words and Images

'I want to be a living work of art.'
–The Marchesa Casati

The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse
The Luxury Edition

In 1999, the original edition of Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati was unleashed. And so the world became a more decadent place. Written by Scot D. Ryersson and Michael Orlando Yaccarino, Infinite Variety achieved instantaneous critical and cult status resulting in various equally popular editions published internationally. Through the book, La Casati reclaimed her glittering throne as the most scandalous woman ever in a new millennium. So a decade after the publication of Infinite Variety, this revolutionary muse had bestowed upon her a crown completing her dark glory.

In autumn 2009, prestigious art book publisher Abrams released The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse. This lavish, coffee-table book features a completely new text written by official Casati biographers Ryersson and Yaccarino, diamond-studded with their latest research discoveries. Furthermore, it contains more than two hundred spectacular images of the Marchesa–from the most significant masterpieces to private family photographs and never-before-seen artworks, and even those by contemporary artists still honouring her continuing legacy today.

Now a sold out collector's item, the exquisite volume is graced by a sparkling preface by legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg; an insightful foreword by renowned National Book-Award-winning writer Judith Thurman; a poignant afterword by the late Lady Moorea Black, the Marchesa's granddaughter; and a portfolio of stunning Casati-inspired photo-portraits and sketches by the late acclaimed couturier Karl Lagerfeld.

The book received sparkling international coverage from the Los Angeles TimesHarper's Bazaar (U.S.A. & U.K.), Marie Claire (U.S.A.), The New Republic (U.S.A.), Stella Magazine/Sunday Telegraph (U.K.), Elle Decoration (U.K.), (U.S.A.), (U.S.A.), Vogue (Australia & Mexico y Latinoamerica) and AnOther Magazine (U.K.). Without question, The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse is a masterpiece in words and images of the extraordinary Luisa.


Praise & Awards

'The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse explores Casati's heart and soul. It's a wonderfully complete portrait of a style icon, during her life and afterward, lavishly illustrated with more than 200 images, including personal mementos, and the art and designs she has inspired even today.'


– Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times

'Like its subject, The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse is a sleek, glamorous volume. With a lively and informative text and haunting illustrations, Casati's seductive aroma wafts from every page.'


– Stephanie Zacharek,

'...a lushly illustrated visual biography'


The Advocate

'This handsome new volume contains dozens of portraits: first-rate art-works, photographs and caricatures. Here are recent fashion-shoots demonstrating that Casati is still a muse to designers and stylists. And here is evidence that the disreputable arts of dressing-up, showing-off and over-spending can produce sensational results.'


– Lucy Hughes-Hallett , Spectator

'Ryersson and Yaccarino must have corralled every portrait ever made of the Marchesa Casati. The resulting book has a fascination–the fascination of a tarnished but still alluring cult.'


– Jed Perl, The New Republic

'The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse brings Casati and her glittering world back to life. In this new book, authors Ryersson and Yaccarino add fresh insights and research begun in Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati, their first biography of the subject. But this new work is far more than a revised version of that book published ten years ago. Lavishly illustrated, The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse is a visual cavalcade through the paintings, drawings, and photographs that made the Marchesa immortal. More than two hundred pictures of famous artworks and private family photographs show every facet of her dazzling extravagance, while sketches by fashion king Karl Lagerfeld reveal her enduring influence as a style icon.'


– Italy Magazine

'...the Marchesa's legacy–and most striking visual homages–are done beautiful justice to by Ryersson and Yaccarino's labour-of-love tribute tome, their second–and most indispensable book on Casati. So if you buy only one coffee-table book this year, buy this–it's the quintessence of printed super-chic!'


– Lady Sasha, Desire

'Luisa Casati was one of the most notorious celebrities of the early 20th century and an inspiration for artists ranging from Man Ray to Jean Cocteau. Now the iconoclastic beauty is the subject of a new book by the Casati archivists Ryersson and Yaccarino. With more than 200 pictures, including private family photos, this visually lavish publication chronicles the rise and fall of a heroine who, despite her tragically destitute end, transformed herself into a work of art. It encapsulates the haunting legacy of an unmatched muse.'


Canadian Art

'As the dogged scholarship fueling Ryersson and Yaccarino's beautifully designed book bears witness, artists both obscure and celebrated yearned to record the Italian noblewoman's captivating strangeness shown in page after eye-popping page. Hundreds of images comprise a remarkable archive of one woman's electrifying self-regard, from Edwardian Rome to Jazz Age Paris to Post World War II London.'


– An Aesthete's Lament

'The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse pays tribute to the life and vibrant spirit of a woman who was more distinctive than classically beautiful, and definitely more ravishingly outré than sensible. But then, anybody can be sensible. A fitting tribute to an iconic inspiration.'


– Scott Eyman, Palm Beach Post

'The story of the Marchesa Luisa Casati's life resembles a fable for our times. Ryersson and Yaccarino present a compelling collection of images to tell the story of Italy's richest heiress at turn of the last century, whose married aristocratic life and progeny were cast aside to indulge in a dramatically theatrical existence...She emerges a heroine, living the fantasy, all the way to the end.'


– Glass Magazine

'Besides the authors' other work on her, there is no other book more thorough and illuminating than this volume on Casati by the most devoted keepers of her flame.'


– Lisa Simeone, Style Magazine: Smart Living in Baltimore

'The Marchesa Casati: Portraits of a Muse casts light on Casati's legacy through her many dazzling facets.'


– Fashion Magazine

10th Anniversary Issue Inspiration Book Selection, AnOther Magazine (Spring/Summer 2011), U.K.

Vogue Loves Book Selection, Vogue (March 2011), Australia

Lo ultimo/Rock & Cool Selection, Vogue (March 2011), Mexico y Latinoamerica

Beautiful Things We Love and Love to Share Selection, AnOther Magazine (Fall/Winter 2010), U.K.

Best Books of the Year 2009 Selection, THE: Santa Fe's Monthtly Magazine for the Arts (December 2009/January 2010), U.S.A.

The Best Art Books of the Year 2009 Selection, The New Republic (22 December 2009), U.S.A.

Holiday 2009 Book Pick Selection, Globe and Mail (5 December 2009), Canada

Best Gift Tips for Holiday 2009 Selection, ArtMag (December 2009), Germany

Highlights and Trends Selection, Harper's Bazaar (November 2009), U.K.

Shelf Life Selection, Fashion Magazine (November 2009), Canada

Book of the Week Selection, 26 October-1 November 2009, Italy Magazine, U.K.

Hot List Must-Read Books Selection, Harper's Bazaar (October 2009), U.S.A.

People Are Talking About Selection, (September 2009), U.S.A.

Critics' Pick Selection, (September 2009), U.S.A.

Reading Wish List Selection, The Deux Luxe (September 2009), U.S.A.

ISBN: 978-0-8109-4815-0 • Hardcover • 240 Pages USD $50.00/CAN $64.99/U.K. £29.99        
80 Full-Colour and 120 Black & White Illustrations (photographs & artwork reproductions)


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