Pierre-Louis Pierson (French, 1822–1913)
Salted paper print retouched in gouache by the Countess de Castiglione
David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1975 (1975.548.119)
A study for a large painted version, this photograph was summarily retouched by the countess to indicate what she wanted to be done. Her instructions on the back suggest that despite the nominal subject, the composition was intended to show off her elegant attitude and majestic ball gown: "The remains of a ball where a fire has broken out. A chandelier on the floor, everyone in flight. Shining white satin gown, black and red grapes with dark green and red leaves...."