Anno XVIII / n.s. 8 – 2021

Adelaide Ristori dalle ‘cartes de visite’ alla stampa internazionale (1854-1864)

Published 2022-04-05


  • Adelaide Risotori,
  • carte de visite,
  • history of photography,
  • press and graphic arts

How to Cite

Tosetto, C. (2022). Adelaide Ristori dalle ‘cartes de visite’ alla stampa internazionale (1854-1864). Drammaturgia, 18(8), 45–61.


Adelaide Ristori was among the first actresses to build an iconic image of herself, which spread internationally since her Parisian debut in 1855. Aware of the importance of photography, she did not hesitate to be portrayed by the most important photographers. Ristori thus entered the pantheon of illustrious people, known throughout Europe and beyond its borders. Her portraits in carte de visite format quickly integrated into the circuit of the press, establishing a complex relationship with pre-existing graphic techniques, such as engraving. The article analyses the progressive diffusion of Adelaide Ristori’s photographs, focusing in particular on the carte de visite format and on newspapers. The corpus includes three photographs of the actress kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF): a portrait by August Bertsch and two cartes de visite by André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri and Étienne Carjat. What image of the actress do these pictures convey? How do press, graphic arts and photography interact in creating the iconic image of the actress?


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