I haven’t posted any of my informal series of “women creating” lately, so here is Marthe at Her Easel by Henri Lebasque (French, 1865-1937). It was done in oils, about 1915.
As soon as I saw it, I loved it. Could that be because it looks to me like there is a hooked rug in the bottom foreground? Perhaps! As in almost all of this “series” of paintings showing women at creative work, Marte is sitting next to a window, with its light pouring onto the scene.
We know that Marthe was Lebasque’s daughter. Lebasque is considered a Post-Impressionist, if you are into art history labels. He was called by critics and artists “the painter of joy and light,” was admired for the intimacy of his themes, and his unique and joyful use of colors and forms. Friends with both Matisse and Renoir, he was a founding member (with Matisse) of the Salon d’Automne in turn of the century Paris.
According to Wikipedia, “From his first acquaintance with Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Lebasque learnt the significance of a colour theory which stressed the use of complementary colours in shading.” And he was part of a group in Paris called “The Intimists” who chose to portray the calm and quietude of domestic subject matters.
Okay, here is another of Lebasque’s paintings for you, also of women at their creative work, though these three are outdoors. This one was painted in 1923, and is called Afternoon in the Garden:
I do love both of these works, especially the vibrant colors Lebasque used. My husband gave me a set of acrylic paints for Christmas, and when I finally get to dubbing around with them, I may well try to copy one of these works. I strongly doubt it will be any good, but hey, you might as well start by trying for something you really admire…