Faboulus Photos of Vintage Snake Charmers

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Vintage snake charmer via

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Famous belle epoque snake charmer Madiah Surith via

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Mademoiselle Héro as Snake Charmer, 1900s via

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Vintage snake charmer, Lyon, France via

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Vintage snake charmer, 1920s via

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Man Ray, Miss Dorita, Snake Charmer, 1930 via
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Vintage Circus snake act, ca. 1920s via
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Sarah Bernhardt as Doña Maria de Neubourg, Queen of Spain in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo (1878)

Ruy Blas is a tragic drama by Victor Hugo. The scene is Madrid; the time 1699, during the reign of Charles II. Ruy Blas, an indentured commoner (and a poet), dares to love the Queen, Maria de Neubourg. The story centers around a practical joke played on the queen, by Don Salluste de Bazan, in revenge for being scorned by her.

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo

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Parisian Postcards of Mata Hari by Lucien Waléry (1906)

Lucien Waléry lived and worked in Paris in the period 1900-1930. He photographed an extraordinary number of beautiful women from most of the particular risque dance revues, a.o. Mata Hari and Josephine Baker.

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Postcard of Mata Hari in Paris by Lucien Waléry, 1906

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Postcard of Mata Hari in Paris by Lucien Waléry, 1906

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Postcard of Mata Hari in Paris by Lucien Waléry, 1906

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Wonderful Belle Epoque Photos of Liane de Pougy (1869 – 1950)

Liane de Pougy (1869 – 1950), was a Folies Bergère dancer renowned as one of Paris’s most beautiful and notorious courtesans.

She was born in La Flèche and raised in a nunnery. At the age of 16, she ran off with a naval officer, marrying because she was pregnant. He turned out to be a brute and the marriage ended. Hence,  she began dabbling in acting and prostitution and it is now known that she was a heavy user of both cocaine and opium.

She began her career as a courtesan with the Countess Valtesse de la Bigne.

After moving to Paris, from her position at the Folies she became a noted demimondaine, and a rival of “La Belle Otero”. She took her last name from one of her paramours, a Comte or Vicomte de Pougy.

Upon her marriage to Prince Georges Ghika on June 8, 1910 she became Princess Ghika; this marriage ended in separation, though not divorce. Her son’s death as an aviator in World War I turned her towards religion and she became a tertiary of the Order of Saint Dominic as Sister Anne-Mary. She became involved in the Asylum of Saint Agnes, devoted to the care of children with birth defects. She died at Lausanne, Switzerland

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Liane de Pougy, 1900’s

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Paul Nadar, Liane de Pougy, 19th century

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Liane de Pougy, 19th century

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Nadar, Liane de Pougy, 1900’s

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Beautiful Belle Epoque Photos of Marcelle Lender

Marcelle Lender (1862 – 1926) was a French singer, dancer and entertainer made famous in paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Born Anne-Marie Marcelle Bastien, she began dancing at the age of sixteen and within a few years made a name for herself performing at the Théâtre des Variétés in Montmartre.

Marcelle Lender appears in several works by Lautrec but the most notable is the one of her dancing the Bolero during her February 1895 performance in the Hervé operetta Chilpéric. Lautrec’s portrait of her in full costume, her flame-red hair accentuated by two red poppies worn like plumes, boosted Lender’s popularity considerably after it appeared in a Paris magazine. The painting was eventually sold to a collector from the United States, and on her death in 1998 the painting’s then owner, American Betsey Cushing Whitney, donated it to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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Marcelle Lender, 1900s french postcard by Reutlinger

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Marcelle Lender

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Marcelle Lender

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Mlle Marcelle Lender. Robe de bal par Doucet.

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Marcelle Lender

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Amazing Photos of The Salomé Dancer: Maud Allan

Canadian pianist-turned-actor, dancer and choreographer Maud Allan (1873 – 1956) was born as Beulah Maude Durrant. She spent her early years in San Francisco, California, moving to Germany in 1895 to study piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. She changed her name in part by the scandal surrounding her brother Theodore Durrant, who was hanged in 1898 for murder. Allan never recuperated from the trauma of this event. She abandoned piano-playing and developed a new means of self-expression through dance.

Shortly before she began dancing professionally Allan is said to have illustrated an encyclopedia for women titled Illustriertes Konversations-Lexikon der Frau.

In 1906 her production “Vision of Salomé” opened in Vienna. Based loosely on Oscar Wilde’s play ,Salomé, her version of the Dance of the Seven Veils became famous (and to some notorious) and she was billed as “The Salomé Dancer”. Her book My Life and Dancing was published in 1908 and that year she took England by storm in a tour in which she did 250 performances in less than one year.

Allan is remembered for her “famously impressionistic mood settings”. She was athletic, had great imagination and even designed  and sewed her own costumes. But she had little formal dance training. She was once compared to professional dancer and legend Isadora Duncan, which greatly enraged her, as she disliked Duncan.

Around 1918 Allan’s popularity began to take a turn. In a hope of earning back some of her public adoration she starred in a private performance of the ‘Vision of Salome’ and irked homophobic right-wing nationalist MP Noel Pemberton Billing. Mr Billing wanted Allan’s downfall as there was a rumor circulating that she had a lesbian affair with Margot Asquith, the wife of former prime minister Herbert Asquith. He believed that Allan and the Asquiths were all German spies; which he implied in an article. Allan sued Billing for criminal libel, but she lost the case.

Hence, from the 1920s on Allan taught dance and she lived with her secretary and lover, Verna Aldrich. She died in Los Angeles, California.

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Maud Allan ca. 1906

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Maud Allan as Salome c.1906

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Maud Allan as Salome c.1906

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Maud Allan as Salome c.1906

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Maud Allan 1913 by Bassano

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Maud Allan by Reutlinger 1909

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Photos of Opera’s Greatest Beauty: Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944)

Lina Cavalieri was born on Christmas Day at Viterbo, some eighty kilometers (50 miles) north of Rome. She lost her parents at the age of fifteen and became a ward of the state, sent to live in a Roman Catholic orphanage. The vivacious young girl was unhappy under the strict discipline of the nuns, and at the first opportunity she ran away with a touring theatrical group.

At a young age, she made her way to Paris, France, where her appearance opened doors and she obtained work as a singer at one of the city’s café-concerts. From there she performed at a variety of music halls and other such venues around Europe, while still working to develop her voice. Lina took voice lessons and made her opera debut in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1900 (as Nedda in Pagliacci), the same year she married her first husband, the Russian Prince Alexandre Bariatinsky.

After retiring from the stage, Cavalieri ran a cosmetic salon in Paris. In 1914, on the eve of her fortieth birthday — her beauty still spectacular — she wrote an advice column on make-up for women in Femina magazine and published a book, My Secrets of Beauty. In 1915, she returned to her native Italy to make motion pictures. When that country became involved in World War I, she went to the United States where she made four more silent films. The last three of her films were the product of her friend, the Belgian film director Edward José.

After marrying her fourth husband Paolo d’Arvanni, she returned to live with her husband in Italy. Well into her sixties when World War II began, she nevertheless worked as a volunteer nurse. Cavalieri was killed on February 7, 1944 during an Allied bombing raid that destroyed her home in the countryside of Fiesole, a small town near Florence.

In 1955, Gina Lollobrigida portrayed Cavalieri in the film Beautiful But Dangerous (also known as The World’s Most Beautiful Woman).

Piero Fornasetti was an Italian painter and sculptor who used the face of  Cavalieri as a motif on many items including sculpture, plates and vases.  Today her iconic image has become one of the best known ‘faces’ to feature in interiors.

Lina Cavalieri

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Lina Cavalieri

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Lina Cavalieri

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Lina Cavalieri

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Lina Cavalieri

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Lina Cavalieri by Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.

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Lina Cavalieri by Aime Dupont

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Lina Cavalieri

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