"1957. Every morning, very early, Silvano Caselli showed up, canvases and brushes under his arm, at the door of the apartment in Via Buonarroti. Callas was still asleep. The painter was waiting for her, calmly arranging her colors and her easel. Then the divine woke up, wearing the usual straw yellow sundress and went to settle a little stiffly on a chair next to the canvas.
She posed for long hours, patiently, doing violence to her stormy nature. "The floral dress, please," she would say from time to time. It was one of her inevitable quirks. She wanted to be depicted in a patterned dress, but she refused to wear it during the poses.
Caselli smiled and nodded. The artist who had portrayed Gide and Strauss, Thomas Mann and Benendetto Croce, Toscanini and Bernard Berenson knew how to deal with the greats. And then it was the first time that Callas accepted to sit in front of a painter. A precious opportunity, the triumph of the Opéra and the Metropolitan would never do it again for the rest of her life. "