Tuesday, January 17, 2017

12 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Valtesse de la Bigne, and others, with Footnotes. # 11

Henri Gervex, (French, 1852–1929)
La toilette , ca. 1878–1879
The model portrayed is the courtesan Madame Valtesse de la Bigne.
Oil on canvas
55.5 x 38.2 cm. (21.9 x 15 in.)
Private Collection

Gervex painted La Toilette in circa 1878-9 soon after his scandalous Rolla (below) was removed from public exhibition at the Paris Salon of 1878, leaving him to show it at the art dealer Bagne's gallery.

Henri Gervex (Paris 10 December 1852 – 7 June 1929) was a French painter who studied painting under Alexandre Cabanel, Pierre-Nicolas Brisset and Eugène Fromentin. His early work belonged almost exclusively to the mythological genre, which served as an excuse for the painting of the nude, but not always in the best of taste. His Rolla of 1878, based on a poem by Alfred de Musset, was rejected by the jury of the Salon de Paris for immorality, since it depicted a scene from the poem of a naked prostitute after having sex with her client.
Gervex afterwards devoted himself to representations of modern life and achieved signal success with his Dr Péan at the Salpétrière ("The Operation"), a modernized paraphrase, as it were, of Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson. More Henri Gervex

Henri Gervex (1852–1929)
Rolla , c. 1878
Oil on canvas
175 × 220 cm (68.9 × 86.6 in)
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux

The painting depicts Marion from Alfred de Museet's 1833 novel Rolla, in which Jacques Rolla spends the last of his squandered inheritance on a night with the fifteen year old courtesan before throwing himself from a balcony. 

This repeated an experience shared by his friend Édouard Manet, whose Nana (below) had been rejected in 1877, leading him to boldly display the work in the window of Giroux's boutique on the Boulevard des Capucines, which sold women's accessories and decorative objects rather than fine art.

Henri Gervex (1852–1929), see above

Édouard Manet (1832–1883)
Nana, c. 1877
Oil on canvas
154 × 115 cm (60.6 × 45.3 in)
Kunsthalle Hamburg

The painting shows a young and beautiful woman who stands before a mirror with two extinguished candles, her face turned to the spectator. Her dress is incomplete; she wears a white chemise, blue corset, silk stockings and high-heeled footwear. The interior suggests that it is a boudoir. Behind the woman is a sofa with two pillows. An elegantly dressed man, sitting on the sofa, can be partly seen on the right of the painting. On the left side, there is a chair, a table and a flowerpot.

Both the title and the numerous details suggest that the picture represents a high class prostitute and her client. Nana was a popular name in the second half of the 19th century for a woman who was a harlot and the French word "nana" is still used to describe a frivolous woman (or simply "a female" in argot. More Nana

Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art. More

Henri Gervex (1852–1929),
Valtesse de la Bigne, c. 1879
Oil on canvas
200 × 122 cm,
Musée d'Orsay.

In Gervex's celebrated portrait of Madame Valtesse de la Bigne (above), submitted to the Salon of 1879, Madame Valtesse wears a hat of the same pale cream color and shape as that set on the small table in La Toilette...

Émilie-Louise Delabigne, known as countess Valtesse de La Bigne (1848, Paris – 29 July 1910,[1] Ville-d'Avray) was a French courtesan and demi-mondaine. Daughter of a violent alcoholic father and a laundry maid from Normandy who had become a prostitute, she started work in a Paris sweet-shop. Aged 13, she was raped in the street by an old man. She modelled for the painter Corot, whose studio was in the district where she lived. She became a prostitute very young. This was clandestine prostitution, often in doorways and with the risk of police arrest or having her hair shaved off as punishment.

Henri Gervex (1852–1929), see above

Jean Béraud (1849–1935)
Le Bal Mabille
Oil on panel
14.3 × 23.5 cm (5.6 × 9.3 in)
Private collection

Quickly moving onto rich clients, she trained at the Bal Mabille on Sundays,and worked in a women's underwear shop on the Champ-de-Mars, frequented by high-ranking officers, enabling her to dream of social climbing. There she met and fell in love with a 20-year-old man, Richard Fossey, with whom she had two children, though she continued in prostitution and Fossey left her two years later without marrying her. 

She took the pseudonym 'Valtesse', due to its similarity to 'Votre Altesse' (your highness). She profited from foreign clients visiting Paris and aspired to join the 'archidrôlesses', a group of courtesans.

Jean Béraud (French: January 12, 1848 – October 4, 1935) was a French painter renowned for his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, and the nightlife of Paris society. Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are precisely detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian life during the "Belle Époque". He also painted religious subjects in a contemporary setting. More

Édouard Manet (1832–1883)
Mademoiselle Lucie Delabigne, c. 1879
Valtesse de La Bigne
Pastel on canvas
55.2 × 35.6 cm (21.7 × 14 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Édouard Manet (1832–1883), see above

Édouard Manet (1832–1883)
Mademoiselle Lucie Delabigne, c. 1879

Jacques Offenbach, composer, brought Valtesse to public attention with a small role at the Bouffes-Parisiens. Her debut was as Hebe in Orphée aux Enfers – one critic judged that she was "as red and timid as a virgin by Titian". She became the composer's mistress and thus gained access to fashionable restaurants where she met Zola, Flaubert and Maupassant. Even the starvation of the siege of Paris did not dampen her aspirations – she was made a countess by Napoleon III.

Henri Gervex (French, 1852–1929)
The wedding of Mathurin Moreau in the city hall of Paris, c. 1881
The model portrayed is the courtesan Madame Valtesse de la Bigne
Oil on canvas
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dunkirk, France

Henri Gervex used her as the model for the courtesan in Civil Marriage, which decorated the marriage room in the mairie of Paris's 19th arrondissement. She also inspired the heroine of La Nichina, the novel by Hugues Rebell, and the character Altesse in her friend and lover Liane de Pougy's novel Idylle saphique.

Henri Gervex (1852–1929), see above

Henri Gervex (French, 1852–1929)
The wedding of Mathurin Moreau in the city hall of Paris, c. 1881

At the end of the war, Valtesse quickly launched herself as a high-class courtesan, leaving Offenbach and shifting her attentions to prince Lubomirski, who installed her in an apartment in rue Saint-Georges. She wrecked it, left him and had a succession of other rich lovers, such as prince de Sagan, who she also bankrupted by having him build her a hôtel particulier designed by Jules Février between 1873 and 1876 at 98.

She showed Émile Zola round her hôtel particulier. Her bedchamber and bed were the inspiration for those in his novel Nana: When she read the novel, Valtesse was indignant to find such a description of her decor – "some traces of tender foolishness and gaudy splendour". and called the character of Nana (for which she was the inspiration) "a vulgar whore, stupid, rude!". Zola was still luckier than Alexandre Dumas fils – when the latter asked to enter her bedroom, she coldly replied "Dear sir, it's not within your means!"

All Henri Gervex
Portrait of Mme Valtesse de la Bigne, c. 1889 

Henri Gervex (1852–1929), see above

Alexander Varvaridze
Orange Woman #1 
 oil on canvas 1996
Private Collection

Paul Augustin Aïzpiri, 1919-2016
LA FILLETTE AUX NATTES/ Girl with pigtails 
Oil on canvas
39 3/8 by 31 7/8 in., 100 by 81 cm
Private Collection

Paul Augustin Aizpiri (14 May 1919 – 22 January 2016) was a French artist. Aizpiris art is largely influenced by expressionist and Cubist elements. The motives have often been vases and clown portraits , but he also has taken motifs from the more typical French, among other Mediterranean cities. His artwork is often characterized by a distinctive use of color, which makes his pictures easily recognizable. Aïzpiri is particularly highly valued in Japan, where he has his own museum. More Aizpiri

the first inscribed P.L.J., Aged 21, painted by S.J. Hamblin, Chamber Street, Boston, 1841; the second inscribed H.M.J., Aged 16 yrs. Painted by S.J. Hamblin, 1841. 
Oi on artist board
Each: 14 1/4 by 10 in.
Private Collection

Phoebe and Hannah Jewett were born to Aaron Jewett (1797-1882) and Hannah Eaton Jewett (1798-1849). Phoebe was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1820, married Franklin Coburn (1818-1894) in 1844 and died there in 1894. They had two children. Hannah was born in Grafton, New Hampshire in 1825, married Theodore Hamblet (1819-1908) in 1846 in Dracut, Massachusetts and died there in 1910. The couple had two children. More PHOEBE  AND HANNAH JEWETT

Pino Daeni, 1939 - 2010
Silent Contemplation
Giclee Hand Embellished Canvas. Serigraph
28x28  inches
Private Collection

Pino Daeni- 1939 - 2010  Italian artist, Pino Daeni's art and canvases elicit feelings of warmth, nostalgia, love and family. His paintings are often set on vibrantly sunny beaches on the Mediterranean where he grew up. Pino is noted for his exceptional ability to capture the movements and expressions of his subjects - a talent which has brought his artwork a worldwide following and private commissions to do portraits.

Trained in Italy at the Art institute of Bari, and later at Milan’s Academy of Brera, Pino perfected his skills painting nudes and figure studies heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and Macchiaioli.

After establishing himself as a successful artist in his native land, Pino immigrated to the United States, seeking more artistic freedom and opportunity. He was soon discovered by the Borghi Gallery, which gave several exhibitions for him in New York and Boston.

In 1980 Zebra commissioned him to do his first book cover; his popularity grew within the literary community and he became the artist-in-demand for Zebra, Bantam, Simon, and Schuster, Harlequin, Penquin USA and Dell. To date, Pino has illustrated 3,000 books; his style has dominated the market. More Pino

Acknowledgement: Sotheby's, Wikipedia

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