Isabella Teotochi Marini (1792). Élisabeth–Louise Vigée-Le Brun (French, 1755-1842). Oil on paper mounted on canvas. Toledo Museum of Art. Vigée-Lebrun was court painter and close friend to Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI. Because of her association with the Queen, even though she herself was not noble, she was forced to flee during the Revolution. She painted this portrait of Isabella Teotochi Marini, hostess of a literary salon and toast of Venetian society, while in exile in Venice.
Julia Prinsep Stephen, née Jackson, Formerly Mrs Duckworth. Jacques-Emile Blanche (French, 1861-1942). Oil on canvas. Government Art Collection, London. Stephen (1846-1895), celebrated beauty and philanthropist. was the mother of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. Painting is after a photograph (c.1864-67) by Julia Margaret Cameron. Stephen was also a model for Pre-Raphaelite painters. She sat for Edward Burne-Jones, as well as George Frederick Watts and Cameron, who was her godmother.
A Reclining Lady (1880). James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Oil on panel. Tissot’s success in London aroused considerable jealousy amongst his Impressionist colleagues in France, where he was regarded as a very minor figure. One criticism was that the pictures were really only painted photographs. While there is some truth, the paintings show dazzling technique, and a dash of Gallic wit and sophistication, that home grown English artists were quite unable to match.
Madame Guillaumin (c.1885). Armand Guillaumin (French, 1841-1927). Oil on canvas. Guillaumin exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. He participated in six of the eight Impressionist exhibitions. In 1886 he became a friend of Vincent van Gogh whose brother Theo sold some of his works. He was finally able to quit his government job and concentrate on painting full-time in 1891, when he won 100,000 francs in the state lottery.
Renaissance Woman Reading (early 20th century). Edgar Maxence (French, 1871-1954). Oil on panel. Maxence’s best-known paintings,are decorative, vaguely religious or allegorical images of beautiful women in medieval dress, influenced by early Italian Renaissance and late English Pre-Raphaelite art. He also painted fashionable portraits and Impressionist landscapes.
Woman at a Window (c.1913). Albert André (French, 1869-1954). Oil on canvas. The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. André developed his sense of colour and his interest in contemporary themes through contact with the Impressionists. This painting shows the view from André’s studio in the Boulevard de Clichy looking north. The church of the Sacré Coeur is hidden by the blind.
Olivia Bell as the Black Queen in Checkmate. The Australian Ballet. Photography by Georges Antoni. Ninette de Valois’ Checkmate dramatises the battle of Love and Death through the fierce symmetries of a chessboard war. Checkmate is a cutthroat spectacle of sharp choreography, in which kings, queens and pawns battle to the death. This is Antoni’s vision of the ballet, starring Olivia Bell and Daniel Gaudiello.