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Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

James Bond in London: The Tour
James Bond in London: The Tour

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

20th September 2005 Battersea Bridge was struck by a gravel-laden barge causing significant damage and closing it for repair.

20th September 1989 Musical Miss Saigon, premieres in London

20th September 1938 Emlyn Williams' Corn is Green, premieres in London

20th September 1721 Irish actor Thomas Doggett, founder of the Doggett's Coat and Badge boat race, died in London.go to related location

Luisa Casati lived and died here



Luisa Casati lived and died here

The amazing Luisa Casati died here aged 71.

Location: 32 Beaufort Gardens, Knightsbridge

Description: Luisa Casati (1881-1957) was an Italian heiress, muse, and patroness of the arts in early 20th-century Europe known for her eccentricities - she really was the Lady Gaga of her day. Her most famous quote is I want to be a living work of art.

In 1910, Casati took up residence at the splendidly opulent Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal in Venice (now the home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection). Her soires there would become stuff of legend, along with her eccentric menagerie of exotic animals. She astonished society by parading with a pair of leashed cheetahs and wearing live snakes as jewellery.

She posed for portraits and sculptures by artists as various as Giovanni Boldini, Paolo Troubetzkoy, Romaine Brooks (with whom she had an affair), Cecil Beaton, Kees van Dongen, and Man Ray. She commissioned many of them herself, as a wish to commission her own immortality.

However, by 1930 Casati had amassed a massive personal debt of more than $25 million and had to auction off her personal possessions. Designer Coco Chanel was reportedly one of the bidders. Casati fled to London for a fresh start where she lived in comparative poverty in a one-room flat.

On 1 June 1957, Marchesa Casati died of a stroke at her last residence here at 32 Beaufort Gardens in Knightsbridge, aged 76.

She was buried wearing her black and leopard skin finery and a pair of false eyelashes. She was also interred with one of her beloved stuffed pekinese dogs.


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Luisa Casati lived and died here

The amazing Luisa Casati died here aged 71.


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