Mourning the dog
Artist: Pierre-Louis Pierson (French, 1822–1913)
Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
Via: MET Museum
The countess conceived a sort of mortuary chapel around the little corpse of her favorite dog, Kasino. Among the artificial flowers, photographs, umbrella, dog collar, and widow’s hat is a strange note in the countess’s hand: “Descended from heaven.”
From the 1870’s, when her son Giorgio left home, the coutness lavished her affection on her dogs. She was devastated by the loss of her favorite terrier, Kasino, and asked Pierson to photograph this mise-en-scene. By all appearances, the dog lying in a large willow basket is alreay dead.