the refined revenge of Donna Franca Florio

The rivalry between two girls among the many 5 most stunning on this planet throughout the Belle Époque. A duel that introduced the city to quarreling. However one in every of them gained in the long run

What did they’ve in widespread Lina Cavalieri e Franca Florio? The undisputed magnificence, a portrait by Boldini and the attentions of Ignazio Florio.

Some of the delicate and imaginative interpreters of the Belle Époque, Giovanni Boldini met the Florio household on the Resort Palace in St. Moritz (“an expensive resort steeped in custom”) and was instantly charmed by the sweetness and character of Donna Franca.

For her half, Franca, at all times attentive to any novelty within the discipline of artwork, fascinated by the artist’s unconventional manner of portray, requested him to make a portrait of her. Boldin He was the painter of excessive society, luxurious and worldliness.

Creator of the long-lasting portrait of Giuseppe Verdi (proven with grey hair, prime hat and white cravat) in 1886, he painted many well-known girls of his time: duchesses, countesses and princesses.

The great thing about the ladies he portrayed contrasted with the something however seductive facet of the artist, who Aldo Palazzeschi in comparison with Toulouse-Lautrec.

Nonetheless, to satisfy Donna Franca’s want and the primary model of the portraitBoldini needed to wait a couple of years, each due to his earlier work commitments and the noblewoman’s being pregnant that may quickly give delivery to little Igiea.

The painter solely got here to Palermo in April 1901 and was a visitor of the Florio all’Olivuzza. Throughout his keep in Palermo he portrayed quite a few women in his sketchbook: Giulia Trabia, Giulia Trigona, Stefania Pajno and lots of others.

The Portrait of a Lady Franca Florio is signed and dated 1924, however was made by the writer in 1901 and retouched a number of instances till the ultimate model of the Nineteen Twenties.

The portrait of the Cavalieri additionally dates from round 1901 and Lina Cavalieri, like Donna Franca, was one of many myths of the Belle Époque, however few as we speak know the story of the Italian diva D’Annunzio he referred to as “the best personification of Venus on earth”.

Its legendary magnificence was immortalized by photographers and painters of the time and as we speak its iconic picture might be discovered on many items of furnishings by the well-known designer Piero Fornasetti, who selected Cavalieri as his trademark.

Lina Cavalieri made her theatrical debut on the age of 15 in Rome and instantly turned very fashionable, each for her stunning voice and swish options.

At twenty she had made her first main leap in high quality when she arrived in Paris, the place she had carried out on the Folies Bérgères. After gaining nice reputation, she devoted herself to opera from 1900 and managed to enter the levels of the nice theaters of the world along with legendary opera figures reminiscent of Enrico Caruso and Francesco Tamagno.

It was exactly throughout this era, on the peak of his magnificence, that he had fashioned a relationship with Ignazio Florio, who, as he says, was in a relationship Anna Orchard in “Franca Florio” he lastly misplaced his head for the attractive singer.

In April 1901 not solely Giovanni Boldini but in addition Lina Cavalieri had come to Palermo to play Mimì (the romantic protagonist of Puccini’s Boheme) on the Opera Home and (because the rumors circulated within the dwelling rooms) to undermine the household tranquility of the Florio home.

“Cavalieri was thought-about one of many 5 most stunning girls on this planet: a rose, which included Franca”. It was Ignazio Florio, now head over heels in love with the attractive Lina, who made positive that she might carry out in all its glory on the Teatro Massimo, the most important opera home in Italy, one of many largest in Italy, Europe, the belief of which was strongly desired by Ignatius .

Sadly, Ignazio Florio had by no means been a trustworthy husband and Franca ended up struggling significantly from her husband’s weaknesses. “The eye her husband gave to girls was one in every of Franca Florio’s most important considerations,” writes Pomar.

“Ignatius, like most husbands of the time, regarded valiant journey as a kind of indispensable level of honor. He did not assume they might hurt his relationship together with his spouse, whom he held to be the place of best respect in his life.”

That attentions that her husband devoted to the singer couldn’t go unnoticed in Franca’s eyes: a whole bunch of flowers arrived on the theater on daily basis, typically simply framing treasured jewels, actual tokens of affection. The entire city talked about nothing else.

“It appeared as if Ignatius meant enterprise and the stormy quarrels with Franca within the pens of the house had no impact.”

After two weeks of rehearsals, the night of the Cavalieri’s debut lastly arrived. It’s stated that Ignazio had employed an enormous claque within the gallery to applaud Lina throughout her efficiency.

Knowledgeable of this in good time, Donna Franca had taken her countermeasures and ordered one other acrimonious (and far bigger) crowd of spectators to boo her rival: Lina Cavalieri was thus on the mercy of the general public, which, regardless of some approval, confirmed an undisputed dissent.

It was the refined revenge of Donna Franca Florio, who, composed and smiling, applauded in her field and requested innocently: “Why are they booing you, poor darling?” Lina Cavalieri, together with the defeat, actually fled Palermo and retired, to Franca’s reduction again to the villa close to Florence, which Florio himself obtained as a gift.

What turned of the Cavalieri? After fascinating kings and princes from all around the world, in 1914, on the age of forty, Lina married her French colleague Lucien Muratore, who actually made her quit the theater scene to dedicate herself to silent movies and all he acted in eight movies.

In 1921 he left the artwork world for good and returned to Paris, the place he opened a magnificence salon and have become a testimonial for Palmolive.

Divorced on marriage in 1927 Giovanni Campari, heiress to the beverage firm of the identical identify. After a superb life, Lina died beneath Allied bombs on March 9, 1944, among the many mud and rubble of the villa that had furnished her with the relics of an unrepeatable profession.

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