La Belle Otero, Leonetto Cappiello

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Artist   Leonetto Cappiello - View Bio
Title   La Belle Otero
Date Of Work   1898
Dimensions   11 1/4" x 8 1/2"
Notes   Original. Mounted on acid free archival linen.

With such a stance as her upper body and head thrown back, and a hand dominantly placed on her hip, as well as castanets in her hand, what else could this famous dancer be doing besides the Flamenco? Spanish actress/ dancer/ courtesan La Belle Otero is depicted here by Cappiello. Born Carolina Otero she changed her name when she moved to France, and took on the persona of being an Andalusian gypsy to further her career. She quickly became the most sought after woman in Europe, she is infamous for her romantic conquest of royals from the Prince of Wales to Czar Nicholas II. Rumored is that six men committed suicide after their love affairs with Otero ended!

This image created by Cappiello is for Nos Actrices, and was “published by Editions de la Revue Blanche in 1899. It consists of 18 plates featuring seventeen noted actresses (Sarah Bernhardt is shown in two poses) and include Réjane, Jeanne Granier, Marcelle Lender, Lucie Gerard, Simone Girard and Mariette Sully.” - Rennert, Jack. Cappiello, The Posters of Leonetto Cappiello. New York: The Poster Art Library, 2004, Page7.


"Caroline Otero, known as La Belle Otero, lived to be almost 100 years old and she took pride in the belief, or perhaps the fact, that men's faces 'light with desire' as they pass by. Born in Cadiz in 1869 (she died in1965), she was both a dancer and a singer. She made her debut in 1889 and performed in cafes, singing and dancing, throughout Europe and America. She even sang the title role in Carmen (and one may be certain she danced it also!) in 1912 at the Opera-Comique" (Dance Posters 24)

"In 1898 when he (Leonetto Cappiello) decided to pay a visit to his older brother who happened to be working for the Paris Stock exchange. Leonetto found Paris exciting, and wanted to stay longer, which meant he had to find a way to support himself. He approached two famous compatriots who happened to be in town, actor Novelli and composer Puccini, asked them to let him sketch their caricatures. They obliged, and Cappiello submitted the drawings to the humour magazine "Le Rire" they were promptly accepted, and were so well received by the public that he became, virtually overnight, the favoured artist of the Paris Theatre" (Rennert PAI-IX)
Price Category   Category A  View Price Categories
Inventory Number   10500