In 1844, Pierre-Louis Pierson ran a studio specialized in hand-colored daguerreotypes before entering a partnership, in 1855, with the photographers Leopold Ernest and Louis Frédéric Mayer that were the official photographers of the Emperor Napoleon III and, the trio soon became the leading society photographers of the Parisian society and the European royalty. Despite their sumptuous portfolio, the professional project that remained the most interesting is the close collaboration Pierre Louis Pierson led with the Countess of Castiglione. Fascinated indeed by her beauty, the countess had decided to capture its facets and introduced a true artistic modernity to the imaginative sceneries and poses she directed. Both enjoyed creating playful identities within which the countess could be a Madonna, a sensual vamp revealing her legs and feet or a fantasy creature clad in eccentric costumes. Their collaboration taking place during a large span of the countess’s life, not only do the pictures reveal a rare dramatic production for the period, do they also depict the slow decline of her mental stability and splendor: a narcissist fashioning the self thanks to an innovative medium.