Posted 3 years ago
As the sale of the century is on at Christies,
Photo by Cecil Beaton, part of my Elizabeth Taylor memorial.
Photo image from my collection. Original black and white is 2nd photo.
Elizabeth Taylor at a costume ball at the Rothschilds, December 1971, at
a party that was called the 'Proust ball' given by the Rothschild family.
Marie-Helene de Rothschild was the wife of Baron Guy de Rothschild, head of the famous banking family and she gave the ball.
Her greatest triumph was the Proust Ball in December 1971, in celebration of the centenary of the reclusive author's birth. Some 350 guests sat down to dinner, with 350 more for a late supper in the dining room, bedecked with palm trees and ferns and squares of trellis. They ate consomme, quenelles of lobster, duck stuffed with foie gras and foie de canard, decked with pineapple, small mirabelles and a delicious prune jam ! The feast ended with pistachio bombe glace, and it was all served on pleated mauve table cloths, adorned with mauve orchids. Torches lit the way to the chateau and chandeliers hung out of the windows !
The guests came in costume and were photographed by Cecil Beaton, adorned as the photographer Nadar. Beaton set up a special studio for the occasion, taking portraits of Marisa Berenson as the Marchesa Casati, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace of Monaco and Elizabeth Taylor. The Duchess of Windsor, described by Beaton that night as "a mad Goya", was bedecked with a large blue feather. At dinner, as she turned her head, the feather dipped into the consomme or gravy and then brushed Baron Guy across the face.
Sir Cecil beaton wrote later about the people at the party, paying special attention to his mad tirade of Super Bitchiness, as he wrote some disgusting & horrible things about the Burtons and the Duchess of Windsor. Apparently Vogue magazine wanted the photos taken especially of Elizabeth Taylor, for her pictures were being published non stop at a time when especially intrusive photos would be taken with telephoto lenses. Anyone with a camera seemed to have pictures of her published. It seemed especially one of the largest intrusions to society ever taken by the paparrazi and their cameras, it was a time to hate the Burtons by the press and magazines who hounded the Burtons non-stop.
Too bad Beaton's diaries were later published with such rudeness intact. He had pretty much did a most wonderful job of besmirching his own name and disgusted most people with his views, which were not important or asked for of the event. A modern day jerk.
Black and White original image by Beaton. I have deleted the door in the background, also I painted the photo and added fantasy effects.