Saturday, 5 September 2015
It's the weekend, and thoughts turn to balls...
Oh, those fabulous balls we used to hold!
Well, we can only dream of being invited to one of the notorious bals masqué held by one of the early 20th century's most extravagant society hosts Count Étienne de Beaumont.
His guest list alone was a glittering tableau of previous "exhibits" here at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp - the Marchioness Casati, Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, The Comte's niece Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes, Serge Lifar, Christian Dior, Alexis von Rosenberg Baron de Redé, Nancy Cunard - as well as luminaries such as Romanov Princess Natalia Pavlovna (Natalie) Paley, the Viscount and Vicomtesse de Noailles, Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso, Oliver Messel, Erik Satie, Duc Fulco di Verdura, Tristan Tzara, billionaire Gerald Murphy and his wife Sara and Leonide Massine. Man Ray was his "house photographer"...
The Comte was bitterly satirised in Raymond Radiguet’s Le Bal du Comte d’Orgel, yet he was not merely a spoilt aristocratic party-giver. He was also one of Paris's foremost patrons of the arts - notably the more avant garde ones that were the penchant of some of his guests - and his money ensured that some of the 20th century's most influential works were brought to the public's attention.
Regardless of his influence, it's his balls we love!
Le Comte Étienne Bonnin de la Bonninière de Beaumont (9th March 1883 - 4th February 1956)