Мода Anna 17.07.2019 398

Lina Cavalieri

"The most beautiful woman in the world"

Natalina Cavalieri was originally from the Italian province and started as a cafe singer. However, over time, she became a world-famous opera singer. She sang and danced, as they say, "connecting Italian simplicity with French chic," but she became famous most of all for her beauty. No wonder she was famous as the most beautiful woman in the world. In addition, her most notable and the richest fan, Prince Alexander Vladimirovich Baryatinsky, supported the career of his beloved.

Princess Maria Baryatinskaya wrote: “Her voice did not differ in a wide range, but it sounded so delightful, her game was so perfect, and her personality so attractive that it was impossible to resist her charm. Moreover, her jewelry, dresses and everything in her rather attracted the eye, than touched the heart. It was fashionable to meet with Lina Cavalieri. ”

After the premiere of the opera Massenet "Tais" fashion magazines wrote descriptions like this: "In the first act, her appearance is striking. The actress throws off a blue shawl and remains in a transparent costume, with a low decollete, made of a light silky gauze, in color "rose degrade". She also wears a beautiful golden headdress on her head and a golden Egyptian belt on her waist, sprinkled with diamonds and emeralds, sandals on her feet. "

All the decorations were real, and all the clothes - made by the famous at that time fashion house Jacques Doucet.  

She became one of the first photo models - photos of the beauty were extremely popular. Thousands of ladies imitated her. And this gave cause to one wit from St Petersburg, who once came to the theater and saw a lot of ladies and girls in the lodges and stalls, with a fashionable fluffy hairstyle “a la Cavalieri”, to ask the question: “How many Mademoiselle Cavalieri is here today?” She was called "angelic" compared to "a gentle fragrant orchid." Hairstyles, eye makeup, gestures - all this was copied. 

Cavalieri, who in fact was exceptionally beautiful by nature, also knew how to emphasize her beauty. She believed that the gestures were no less important than everything else. She spent a lot of time practicing gestures and poses, which were more successful, beautiful and advantageous for photographs. Unlike those actresses who claimed that they did not need the corset, she was frankly tightly laced. She also would shower herself with jewels from head to toe, since Prince Baryatinsky was a generous man. They could not get married. He represented one of the noblest families in Russia, and she was a singer of modest origin and a courtesan's reputation. However, Prince Baryatinsky provided her with incredibly expensive jewelry.

During the Kharkiv tour in 1906, Lina, in order not to leave the jewels in the hotel, where they could be kidnapped, put on everything at once. That evening, she sang the part of Violetta in Traviata. She recalled: “Just before the start of the performance, I thought that taking into account the Russian people's admiration for the artists, all my jewels on that disturbing evening could be safer on me than in the hotel safe. I appeared before the amazed public from head to toe covered with my pearls, diamonds, rubies, and sapphires - partly worn, partly sewn on a suit."

And all this beauty cost about three million rubles... Of course, this in itself could interest the public, but Cavalieri was able to sell herself.  

In 1908, she married for the first time quite late, at the age of 34, but the marriage with a millionaire soon fell apart. Then, in 1913, she married the French tenor Lucien Murat. At the same time, she left the stage; instead, she opened a beauty salon in Paris and led a column of tips for a woman in “Femina” magazine. In particular, she advised not to worry, to avoid anger, hatred, pettiness, envy, to eat less bread and more chicken, fish, and eggs, to sleep soundly, but little. Not the worst piece of advice, so to say!  

Moreover, following the example of other professional beauties, she published the book “My secrets of beauty”. Later, in the 1920s, she would release her own perfume, and, as they would say today, a cosmetic line. In short, this woman knew a lot about beauty.

She died in 1944, when Allied aviation bombed the environs of Florence. Lina and her husband, like those who worked in their home, were supposed to take refuge in a bomb shelter. The servants did it and escaped, while Lina and her husband died because they were saving her famous jewels. So it is her luxury jewelry that, in general, is to blame for the fact that one of the once most Beautiful Women of the Beautiful Age did not live to be 70 years old.