Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan

Image of Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan
Release Date: 
October 14, 2014
Reviewed by: 

Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan is a collection of rare beauty that allows us to live within her world if only while enjoying this book.”

The first thing that comes to mind is “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” The life of Marella Agnelli is one of unimaginable wealth and privilege. Her homes cannot be fathomed by mere mortals. Her beauty is legendary.

Marella Agnelli The Last Swan is one of those rare books that chronicles a life within a family legacy. What you quickly find out is that this book is not so much about “the Last Swan” as it is about how she lived and what she loved and the seemingly endless resources it took to accomplish her various missions.

Upon starting the unbelievable journey of Marella Agnelli, we see her pictured within the confines of her many homes, wearing the finest of couture, and photographed by many of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. The photos and text may lead you to think that this is only about her life, which it is, but it is her life in relation to what she has built and orchestrated. Ms. Agnelli reigns over a kingdom of homes that rival any in the world. Simply stated, Marella makes Bunny Mellon look like she lived in a trailer park.

This book is an endless source of amazement as Ms. Agnelli has created “worlds” that are unknown to most of us. It is like having Central Park as your backyard or the Tuileries or the Boboli gardens as your own private spots for reflection or puttering around in the flower beds. Even those who are not botanically inclined will note that the incredible world of art she created outdoors is astounding.

As if the mind boggling gardens and grounds are not enough to keep you enthralled, there are the homes that this woman assembled in her life. They may not be to your taste but are jawdropping nonetheless. Imagine having to move so you can accommodate an art collection (think Renoir, Picasso, Balthus, Matisse) in one particular home. Imagine employing some of the greatest architects and interior designers of the 20th century to outfit all of these homes used to suit the globetrotting lifestyle of Mr. and Mrs. Agnelli. Mind boggling.

The takeaway is that if you have any curiosity about “how the other half lives” or more aptly put how one lives when one has endless finances coupled with huge esthetic powers and thirst, well then this is for you. Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan is a collection of rare beauty that allows us to live within her world if only while enjoying this book.

Lastly what must be addressed is the title or subtitle, The Last Swan. It is a bit of a misnomer as she is indeed not the last one. Some of her fellow “swans” still live—albeit not nearly as grandly as she. And for those truly unaware, the term “swan” was given to a small group of wildly socially acceptable women who at one time were dear friends to the late Truman Capote until he betrayed their confidences.