Sisi pri­vat
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Sisi in Pri­vate

The Em­press’s Pho­to Al­bums
Foto: Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln
October 24, 2020 - January 24, 2021
Museum Ludwig
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Em­press Elis­a­beth of Aus­tria-Hun­gary, called Sisi, col­lect­ed pho­to­graphs in the 1860s, but kept them pri­vate through­out her life. To­day the Mu­se­um Lud­wig holds eigh­teen of her al­bums with some 2000 pho­to­graphs. They show the no­bil­i­ty—­many of them mem­bers of Sisi’s fam­i­ly—as well as cele­bri­ties and art­works. The most renowned are from her “al­bums of beau­ties,” high­ly staged por­traits of other wo­m­en. Sisi used th­ese pho­to­graphs to shape her own im­age dur­ing her months-long stays in Venice, Madei­ra, and Cor­fu. In th­ese years she ma­tured in­to a more en­er­get­ic, self-con­fi­dent fig­ure whose beau­ty be­came le­g­endary. In the late 1860s, at the age of 31, Sisi de­cid­ed not to be pho­to­graphed any­more. The pre­sen­ta­tion out­lines the con­nec­tions be­tween her al­most ob­ses­sive col­lect­ing of por­traits of wo­m­en and the im­age of her­self that she cre­at­ed.

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