The Truth About The Girl Behind The Wallpaper

We’ve all seen her captivating and compelling looks over the years. From her hour glass figure to that charming smile – the girl behind the wallpaper was very much a real and fascinating figure.

Fornasetti-PlateIn fact, Lina Cavalieri was the lady behind the picturesque and romantic images that blanketed countless posters of the Belle Epoque era.

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As popular as she was – her impact would be forgotten over time. In fact, she had become one of history’s most overlooked wallflowers. While she was synonymous with true beauty and decadence, Lina had rapidly become an afterthought in a world that was losing itself in overindulgence and alcohol-fueled sex escapades.

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Still, this unique wallpaper chick will forever be cherished by those that appreciated – and continue to appreciate – true and unbridled beauty. For Piero Fornasetti, his eccentric plate series “Tema e Variazinoni” showcased the lovely Lina in all her impeccable beauty and glory. So popular did these plates become that countless decorators utilized them for residential and even commercial wallpaper. As one of the defining icons of the Bell Epoque era – Lina would truly inspire generations of Hollywood starlets and bombshells.

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Lina also had an incredible life story to tell as well. In fact, she was orphaned at 15 – and sought solace from the strict Roman Catholic orphanage that kept her. Instead of Rosemary beads and communion, Cavalieri opted to join a traveling theatee troupe. This allowed Lina to hone in on her singing and dancing skills, while making to the big time in Paris. While in France, she sang at local Paris cafes – and her impressive looks – would secure her spot in the city’s burgeoning Vaudeville scene.

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Here is a video of the lovely Lina singing in Manon Lescout:

Lina also toured Europe and made her mark on the royals of St. Petersburg. So much so that she fell in love and married a Russian prince. The couple had a son, and the prince helped propel Lina’s singing career to new heights across Europe. The girl behind the wallpaper quickly went from the Queen of Vaudeville to an internationally acclaimed opera star. She was also the forerunner of the corsetry movement, which helped usher in the hour glass look for women.


image via: MessyNessyChic