‘The Beauty of Marilyn’ in Italy

In addition to the Forever Marilyn exhibition in Turin and her recent LINUS cover story, Marilyn is celebrated in a new Italian book, The Beauty of Marilyn, with a selection of writings and photographs including Truman Capote’s essay, ‘A Beautiful Child,’ as Harper’s Bazaar reports. (The cover image was taken during filming of The Seven Year Itch in 1954, and previously graced the cover of a 2012 book, Elliott Erwitt XXL.)

Marilyn photographed by Elliott Erwitt in 1954; and an Eve Arnold portrait from 1960

“‘Marilyn was a diva rather than an actress. Something less, more – something essentially different.’ Thus wrote the literary critic Piergiorgio Bellocchio in his political magazine, Quaderni Piacentini, after the untimely death of Marilyn Monroe. 60 years later, and ahead of the premiere of Andrew Dominik’s Blonde at the Venice Film Festival, a small volume with the emblematic title: The Beauty of Marilyn has arrived in bookstores, an anthology of writings dedicated to the tragic actress interspersed with shots by Magnum photographers. From Truman Capote to Pier Paolo Pasolini, passing through Goffredo Fofi and Ernesto Cardenal, a Sandinista priest … Leafing through the pages of the book, we come across a tender photo, taken by Bruce Davidson at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1960: Marilyn, her husband Arthur Miller, Simone Signoret and Yves Montand dine around a table. The actress, low-cut dress and disheveled hair, her head tilted forward, gazes ecstatically at the man she loves. A troubled tale that would end shortly thereafter. In the same year, a splendid portrait signed by Inge Morath during the filming of The Misfits, whose screenplay was written by Miller himself. Marilyn smiles into the future as she shields herself from the sun with an umbrella. A new decade was beginning. ‘In the meantime, the new wave exploded and the Beatles sang new music … the exit from the golden hell of Hollywood to enter that of True Art never ceased to tempt her,’ writes Goffredo Fofi in the introduction.”