Belles de Jour


“Belles de Jour”

An exhibition at the Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, visited on 9 September, 2016

The exhibition featured works by female artists and those with a female model, from the collections in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Nantes.

There were about seventy works displayed, of which this is a selection.

The artists are in alphabetical order.


Jacques-Émile Blanche, La comtesse Bibesco Bassaraba de Brancovan, 1912, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Blanche was a pupil of Henri Gervex, and supported by Henri Fantin-Latour and Édouard Manet.
The Comtesse de Brancovan was a poet and socialite, known for her often cruel humour. Here, she is wearing mourning dress following the death of her mother in law.


Jacques Emile Blanche, Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, 1895, oil on canvas, 93 x 74 cm, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

This was not in the exhibition, but appeared in the earlier talk on Aubrey Beardsley.


Henri Boutet, Femme se promenant sur un pont, 1883, etching, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Known as “le maître du corset”, Boutet published, in 1902, “Les Modes Féminines du XIXe Siècle”, a collection of one hundred etchings etchings showing the development of women’s fashion throughout the nineteenth century


Romaine Brooks, Gabriele d’Annunzio, le poéte en exil, 1912, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

It was d’Annunzio who gave Romaine Brooks the nickname Cinerina, with reference to her ash coloured palette.


Romaine Brooks, Vénus triste, 1916-1917, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Purporting to follow the tradition of the reclining Venus, the painting reflects the fascination of Brooks for her model and lover, the dancer Ida Rubenstein


Romaine Brooks, Azalées Blanches, 1910, oil on canvas, 151 x 272 cm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, USA

This painting was not in the exhibition. The subject is the same as Vénus triste, but the model is anonymous.


Jules Chéret, La femme à l’ombrelle rouge, oil on wood, Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes

Chéret was the inventor of the modern colour poster, having founded his printing works in 1866.
He was a friend of Rodin and Monet.


Jules Chéret, La diaphane. Poudre de riz. Sarah Bernhard, 1898, Poster

Not in the exhibition, but included as a representation of his work.


Kees van Dongen, Passe-temps honnète, c1920, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes

van Dongen painted much of his early work in the red light district of Rotterdam.
He exhibited with the Fauves in 1905, and collaborated with the expressionist group Die Brücke.


Henri-Pierre Hippolyte Dubois, Portrait de la marquise de Girard de Châteauvieux, 1877, oil on canvas, 178 x 239 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France


Valentine Gross-Hugo, Karsavina dans le “Spectre de la rose », 1912, wax on wood, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes


Valentine Gross-Hugo, Karsavina et Nijinsky dans le “Spectre de la rose”, 1912, wax on wood, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Gross was passionate about the ballet, and painted in wax to show the fluid movements of the dancers, after sketches made at the time.


Charles Guérin, La dame aux bracelets, 1922, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes


Hermann Göhler, Portrait de femme, 1902, oil on cardboard, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes


Wilhelm Hagborg, Portrait de femme å la robe noire (portrait de Mme Gerda Hagborg ?), c1890, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen

Hagborg was a Swedish naturalist painter in the style of Breton, Bastien-Lepage and Friant. He was also known as a portrait painter, and the model here is probably his wife.


Tamara de Lempicka, Kizette en rose, 1927, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes

Lempicka was a pupil of André Lhote (see below), and often used her reluctant and much neglected daughter as a model.


Tamara de Lempicka, Kizette on the Balcony, 1927, oil on canvas

Not in the exhibition.


André Lhote, Femme assise, c 1925, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Although he appreciated the work of the cubists, Lhote always maintained a link with the classical style of portraiture


Sarah Lipska, Antoine et ses réves, c1934, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Antoine was a noted hairdresser of his day. Lipska also designed his apartment, including a glass coffin which he used as his bed.


Sarah Lipska, Buste de Colette, 1954, pink cement, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes


Maurice Marinot, Nu à l’atelier, 1905, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Marinot was associated with the Fauves, and is better known for his work in glass.


Jean Metzinger, Nu à la fenétre, s.d, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes

Metzinger became a painter after meeting Robert Delauny in Paris in 1903. His early involvement with cubism made him an influential artist and leading theorist of the movement.


Suzanne Valadon, Les Baigneuses, 1923, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes

Valadon began her career as a model, posing for Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec, before becoming an established painter. She was the mother of Maurice Utrillo.


Félix Vallatton, Femme lisant, 1921, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

BT, Meeting No21, 24 July 2018

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