The Illuminati Surrealist Ball: Extraordinarily Odd Photographs From A Rothschild Party In 1972


It’s December 12 1972, the night at which Marie-Hélène de Rothschild held her famous Surrealist Ball at Ferrières. As you can probably guess by her surname, she was a member of the ultra-wealthy Rothschild banking family. Few made the guest-list but if you did, it was the ultimate seal of approval from Parisian high-society.


The requirements for the evening were “Black tie, long dresses & Surrealists heads” nothing more, nothing less. In keeping with the theme, the invitation which she sent was actually written backwards – to read the invite you had to hold it up to a mirror.


Now when money is no object, the only limit is ones imagination and it’s fair to say that Marie-Hélène certainly had plenty in supply. Firstly she insisted the iconic Château where the party was to be housed, be floodlight with sweeping amber lights, designed to create the illusion the building was on fire. Once instead, she made sure the entire staircase was filled with servants and footmen dressed as cats – all in various poses of sleep.


And once you’d overcome that initial shock, guests were then forced to enter a hellish labyrinthine maze – where should you get lost, one of the “cats” would rescue you and whisk you away where you’d be formally greeted by Marie-Hélène herself. On this particular night, she was wearing an enormous giant’s head that was crying tears of diamonds.



Even the great Salvador Dali was in attendance that evening, no doubt being bewitching and entertaining in equal amounts. This is just an account from just one of her parties – she had many. But whatever the date, whomever attended, she was meticulous in planning every finite detail, making sure each gathering was an intriguing (and clearly intoxicating) blend of art, literature, haute couture and dance.


(Visited 1 times, 20 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

September 7: This Day In Photos From The Past
Photographer Andrius Burba Captures Stunning Photos Of Dogs From Underneath
Ammunition and Equipment of the Russian Police and Special Forces
Space Photos Of The Perseid Meteor Shower Strikes The Sky Around The World
Striking Black And White Portraits Of Celebrities At The Golden Globes 2017
Japan, One Year After the March 11 Tsunami: A Revisit
Pregnant Woman Poses With 20,000 Live Bees For Crazy Maternity Photoshoot
Portraits and Dreams: Snapshots of Appalachian Children in Kentucky c. 1975
Rollers of Venice
Exploring the Deep Sea
Orbital Gallery By Cosmonaut Oleg Kotov
Steve Madden Shoes Collection - Summer 2012
Katy Perry as Elizabeth Taylor
This Russian Artist Continues to Create Amazing Surrealistic Self-Portraits and Photomanipulations
Use "Roadside Wildflowers At Full Speed" To Identify Plants Without Leaving Your Car
Photographer Caesar Lima Explores The Unusual Beauty Of The Human Body
Marvelous Female Portrait Photography By Katarzyna Markiewicz
Spectacular Winning Images of The Black and White Minimalist Photography Prize 2021
These Old Photos of Kit Harington & Emilia Clarke Kissing Has Driven Every “Game of Thrones” Fan Crazy
Portraits of Typhoon Haiyan Survivors
"A Better America" - Nostalgic Color Photos Document Beautiful Life Of Florida In The 1950s
Fascinating Photos That Capture Everyday Of Oahu Beaches, Hawaii In The Early 1970s
Rhinos get Upside-Down Helicopter Ride to Safety
“Beauty Warriors”: Fine Art Portrait Photography By Evija Laiviņa And Her Powerful Message For Our Society
Abandoned As A Baby Due To Albinism, Xueli Grew Up To Become A Vogue Model
Rare And Beautiful Portrait Photography Of Marilyn Monroe From The 1950s
Marvelous Female Portrait Photography by Kai Böttcher
Winners & Finalists of The LensCulture B&W Photography Awards 2020
Runaway Animals: Thailand's Wild Flee as Flood Waters Invade Their Haven
Beautiful Retro & Romance Fashion Photography By Jerry Schatzberg