CECIL BEATON | MRS RITA DE ACOSTA LYDIG'S COLLECTION OF YANTORNY SHOES

1911 | Giovanni Boldini
Rita de Acosta Lydyg's portrait | Detail
Oil on canvas - Private collection
Source: Wikipedia

Although she walked very short distances, Mrs. Lydig possessed at least three hundred pairs of shoes, shoes that have never been seen before or since. They were made by Yanturni, the East Indian curator of the Cluny Museum, a strage individual with an extraordinary gift for making incredibly light footgear that was moulded like the most sensitive sculpture.

Cecil Beaton


Let's just assume the footgear depicted were Yantorny's, so it's more than fair to say Boldini did them justice; not an easy feat after finishing painting that dress. Here's what Mercedes De Acosta - Rita's sister - said about the painting:

Boldini painted a number of portraits of Rita and I went with her occasionally to his studio when she was posing for him. When he painted he sometimes wore a bowler hat. He was a highly nervous, energetic and astute little man with a flair for style and chic that no other portrait painter in this century ever surpassed. 
Mercedes De Acosta
From: Here Lies The Heart (Andre Deutsch, 1960)


1911 | Giovanni Boldini
Portrait of Rita de Acosta Lydyg
Oil on canvas - Private collection
Source: Wikipedia

The conditions under which he would supply a few favored customers were somewhat unusual. Yanturni demanded a deposit of one thousand dollars, from which he would subtract the price of each shoe or boot supplied, though delivery often took two or three years. Once he had agreed to work for a customer, he made a plaster model of both feet, on which he would then work and mould his materials until they were as flexible as the finest silk.

Cecil Beaton

Source: Cecil Beaton | The Glass Of Fashion
1954 - Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014


Mrs. Lydig’s shoes were fashioned from eleventh - and twelfth-century velvets, with variations in long pointed toes or square-ended toes and correspondingly square heels. Her evening and boudoir slippers utilized brocades or gold- and silver-metal tissue. Some were covered with lace appliqué and leather spats that fitted like a silk sock.

Cecil Beaton

Source: Cecil Beaton | The Glass Of Fashion
1954 - Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014

Mrs. Lydig collected violins expressly so that Mr. Yanturni could use their thin, light wood for his shoe trees. With its tree inside, each shoe weighed no more than an ostrich feather. She preserved these shoes in trunks of Russian leather made in St. Petersburg, with heavy locks and a rich cream velvet lining.  
Cecil Beaton
All text from: The Glass Of Fashion (1954 - Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014)


Pietro Yantorny
A trunk containing twelve pair of shoes made for Rita de Acosta Lydig
Gift of Capezio Inc., 1953
Source: MET

1914 - 1919 | Pietro Yantorny for Rita de Acosta Lydig
Gift of Mercedes de Acosta
Source: MET

PIERRE YANTORNY | BOOT MAKER IN PARIS
A.K.A. YANTURNY - A.K.A. YANTOURNY
I N D E X



1914 - 1919 | Pietro Yantorny for Rita de Acosta Lydig
Gift of Capezio Inc., 1953
Source: MET



 

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