Luisa Casati (23 January 1881 – 1 June 1957)
"I was falling asleep in my studio one night...my manservant came to me in a frightened state after the unexpected arrival of a visitor- a woman in black velvet with a large silver dog. The lady, he claimed, appeared so strange as to make him wonder whether he was dreaming. Intrigued, I went downstairs. There I saw a woman with brilliant eyes accompanied by a slender Russian greyhound in a silver topcoat and pearl collar. The visitor introduced herself. 'I am the Marchesa Casati. Two days ago in London, I saw one of your canvases and I have decided to be painted. In my hands, I will hold a blue crystal ball... Now, get your paintbrushes. I have only this night to give you'."
Federico Armando Beltran-Masses (Paris, 1922)
An excerpt from 'The Marchesa Casati: Portaits of A Muse'