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Callas, Meneghini + Onassis = a cruise that ends quite badly ...

from: "CASTA DIVA l'incomparabile CALLAS"
by Bruno Tosi

"In September of that same year, Callas and her husband accepted Aristotle Onassis' invitation for a cruise across the Mediterranean. On the yacht "Christina" which also hosted Winston Churchill, "Ari" and Maria started the most famous love story of the epoch.

Gianbattista Meneghini, astonished, witnessed almost incredulously the blatant betrayal of his wife. At the end of the cruise Callas left with Onassis. A furious Meneghini returned to the apartment in via Buonarroti.

The first to pay the price of his fury was the large portrait made by Caselli. The painter saw it had it delivered to his home with two short accompanying lines. "I would very much like to keep that portrait of my wife that you painted, indeed, I thought it was one of the few things I have left of her, but I can't tell you the value. You are so kind and understanding. Give me your price...".

Meneghini wanted to get rid of it at all costs, also due to the high value.
However, the painting did not stay long in Caselli's studio. A few weeks later, it was bought by an art collector from Milan. A few years ago the enthusiast's son, who had also been president of the Milanese Artistic Family for a long time, decided that the work was too important and singular to remain in a private home, and its ideal location would have been the Scala, which did not accept it for lack of space."

Maria Callas and her husband Giambattista Meneghini in Venice - July 22, 1957

Callas' original portrait painted in 1957

Curious portrait of Callas in which, so much is the emotion of Caselli, that the painter portrays her with 6 fingers in her right hand - 1951

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