Une Parisienne

by Jean Beraud

P.O.A.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 21.9 x 15.2 in. / 55.5 x 38.5 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 4630 Categories: , ,

Une Parisienne is a prime example of Béraud’s work; a vivid, elegant portrait of a Parisian society lady from the Belle Époque. His use of browns, greys and blacks make the smiling subject seem alive, as if the sitter were about to step out of the painting to meet the viewer. Béraud has purposefully chosen to paint the woman against a plain backdrop to show the finery of her attire such as the velvet of her jacket and the chiffon of her collar and cuffs. This colour combination recalls the more formal training that Béraud undertook however the bold, firm brushstrokes create a bridge between traditional genre paintings and those of the Impressionists, who were only just emerging when Béraud was painting.

Provenance

F.Dupré, Paris
Private Collection, France;
Private Collection, United Kingdom;
Private Collection, United States

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Literature

‘Jean Béraud 1849- 1935- The Belle Époque: A Dream of Times Gone By’ catalogue raisonné by Patrick Offenstadt; Page 290, Illustration no. 397

Biography

Jean Béraud was an important French painter who was most famed for his paintings of Parisian life during the Belle Époque. During this pre-war period of peace and prosperity Beraud was highly regarded in Parisian society, initially due to the numerous genre paintings he produced.

Béraud was born in St. Petersburg and initially trained in law before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian was in 1870 and the occupation of Paris.

When Béraud began his artistic career he exhibited his works at the Salon, doing so for the first time in 1872 when he was a student of Léon Bonnat.  However, his work did not gain serious recognition until 1876, when he produced a genre painting entitled, ‘On the Way Back from the Funeral’.

Notably, this was after the first exhibition of the Impressionists at the Salon des Indépendants in 1874 and as a result, his work is somewhere in the midst of the impressionistic scenes of everyday life and the more academic art of the salon.

Much of his work would contain some sort of mockery of Parisian life at the turn of the century.

Béraud was a very popular artist during his lifetime, however his work was completely ignored by art historians of the period.

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