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Benedetta Barzini (born September 22, 1943, in Porto Santo Stefano is an Italian actress and model, daughter of Italian journalist and author Luigi Barzini, Jr. and his first wife, Giannalisa Feltrinelli. As such, she is the half-sister of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, the Italian publisher and left-wing political activist.

 

Career

Barzini was discovered at age 20 on the streets of Rome by Consuelo Crespi in 1963; Diana Vreeland soon thereafter received photographs of Barzini and sent a telegram asking if she could come to Manhattan to shoot for American Vogue with Irving Penn. She did so, and within ten days, she was signed with Ford Models. She hence established a successful fashion career in New York City, working with other notable fashion photographers such as Ugo Mulas, Richard Avedon, and Henry Clarke. Barzini appeared on the cover of the first issue of Vogue Italia in November 1965, and became the first Italian model to be featured on the cover of American Vogue.

In December 1966, Barzini was named one of the "100 Great Beauties of the World" by the American fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar. She began training at the Actors Studio around that time, and in the process became romantically involved with, and later engaged to, New York poet and media artist Gerard Malanga, an early collaborator of Andy Warhol. He would dedicate various works to her, such as his Poems for Benedetta Barzini and The Last Benedetta Poems. Additionally, Malanga's 1967 black-and-white film In Search of the Miraculous is an emotional, vivid poem of adoration for Barzini.

Barzini became friends with and muse to luminaries such as Salvador Dalí, Lee Strasberg, Bert Stern, and Richard Avedon in the course of her career. She also started hanging out at Andy Warhol's Factory and was headed for the top rank of New York models, but decided to return to Italy in 1968 to act.[7] She met Italian film director Roberto Faenza, and they married in 1969. On the night she gave birth to twins, Nini and Giacomo, Faenza left her. She later married graphic designer Antonio Barrese and had two additional children.

 

Activism and teaching

In 1973, Barzini left the modeling business to become a Marxist, member of the Italian Communist Party, and radical feminist organizer in Milan. As of 2008, she was teaching in at the Polytechnic University of Milan and New Academy of Fine Arts, also in Milan, and at the University of Urbino, lecturing on subjects such as problematic images of women in fine art and the mass media. She guest-lectured at academic institutions such as the Italian University for Design. She retired from teaching sometime in the 2010s.

 

Awards and honors

In 2017, Barzini received a gold medal for civil honor from the Milan City Council, in part for “destroying the stereotype of the brainless cover girl.”

 

In media

The 2019 documentary film, The Disappearance of My Mother, was directed by Beniamino Barrese, Barzini’s son. The film showed at the London Film Festival 2019, Sundance, and other festivals, events, and venues, charting in at the 32nd Annual European Film Awards.

 

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US Vogue January 1st, 1965

"1965 Predictions"
Models: Brigitte Bauer, Benedetta Barzini, Wilhelmina Copper, Veruschka von Lehndorff & Unknown
Photographer: Irving Penn
Hair: Imo, Marc Sinclair & Alexandre

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US Vogue January 15th, 1965

"Jersey and Pearls"
Models: Veruschka von Lehndorff, Jane Holzer, Benedetta Barzini, Jean Shrimpton, Wilhelmina Copper, Tilly Tizzani, Jennifer O'Neill, Veronica Hamel, Brigitte Bauer, Françoise Rubartelli & Unknowns
Photographers: Bert Stern & Franco Rubartelli
Hair: Kenneth Lee, Marc Sinclair, Imo & Ruel

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US Vogue April 15th, 1970

"Beauty Bulletin - The Hair That You Can Do Without"
Models: Marisa Berenson, Benedetta Barzini & Yannick Gnoli
Photographers: Berry Berenson (Marisa), Guy Martinet, Irving Penn (Marisa), Franco Rubartelli (Benedetta) & Elisabetta Catalano (Yannick)

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US Vogue May 1965

"Bargains in Chic: Summerful of Clothes - Fresh, Cool, Laced with Charm for Day, for a Evening... for a Song"
Models: Benedetta Barzini, Hellevi Keko & Marisa Berenson
Photographer: Gianni Penati
Hair: Ruel

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US Vogue March 1st, 1966

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"In America the Year of the Dress"
Models: Mirella Petteni, Wilhelmina Copper, Brigitte Bauer, Birgitta af Klercker, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Benedetta Barzini, Minnie Cushing, Agnetta Darin & Unknown
Photographers: Irving Penn (Models) & Gianni Penati (Minnie)
Hair: Ingrid, Jean-Paul, Hugh Harrison & Kenneth Lee

PART 1

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vogue UK 10/1998

''making faces''
Ph. by Terry Richardson

Models:Jerry Hall and her daughter Elizaberth,Yasmin Le Bon,Jade Parfitt,Benedetta Barzini,Alek Wek,Joanne Walpole,Cecilia Chancellor,Vivien Solari,Erin O'Connor
Scanned by radolgc

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US Vogue March 1st, 1965

"Art Nouveau – Flowering Again in America"
Models: Benedetta Barzini, Veruschka von Lehndorff & Unknown
Photographer: Gordon Parks

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US Vogue March 1st, 1965

"Brilliant Evenings"
Models: Mirella Petteni, Benedetta Barzini, Veruschka von Lehndorff & Unknowns
Photographer: Gordon Parks
Hair: Michel Kazan

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US Vogue March 1st, 1965

"Fashion Where the Fun Is"
Models & Subjects: Catherine Deneuve, Jacques Démy, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Douglas Auchincloss, Sammy Davis, Unknown, David Bailey, Robert Morse, Wilhelmina Copper?, Marisa Berenson, Eli Wallach, Alan Bates, Alan Arkin, Peter Shaffer, Benedetta Barzini, Art Carney, Walter Matthau & Mike Nichols
Photographer: Bert Stern
Hair: Sebou, Kenneth, Ara Gallant & Garrison-Ramon

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