Music: Countess Reincarnate

A rare and beautiful woman was Madame la Comtesse Virginie Oldoïni Verasis-Castiglione, famed courtesan of the Second Empire who divided her best years between Piedmont's King Victor Emmanuel and France's Napoleon III. The Countess's costumes, her jewels and their donors provided half the talk at the Court in Paris. Artists fought to paint her. Sculptors modeled her hands, her fingers, her shapely legs, even her ears.

Near Versailles today is a chateau owned by a woman as rare in her way as the Countess. She is Ganna Walska and because she looks something...

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