Captivating portrait of a lady with a fan, almost certainly a self-portrait. Pastel on paper mounted on canvas. Signed lower left. Gilt ornamental frame in very good condition with some minor flaws.
Marie Germaine de Roton was a French sculptor, painter, pastel artist and engraver active in the first half of the 20th century. She was born in Beaujeu on March 25, 1889 into a family of Empire nobility. She was the second child of Count Savinien Félix de Roton, then Receiver General of Finances, and Julie Marguerite Madeleine Brun de Villeret, granddaughter of Louis Bertrand Pierre Brun de Villeret. She was introduced to art by her mother, who painted and reproduced masterpieces, particularly those of Antoine Watteau.
Germaine de Roton did not undergo a long apprenticeship with masters, she was mainly self-trained. Around 1910 she received some artistic training from Joseph Lamberton (1867-1943). It is probable that Lamberton introduced her to the art of portraiture before she perfected this genre by following the teachings of Paul Aubert, a portrait painter from Lyon, one or two years before his death in 1912. Under the influence of these two masters, her works between 1913 and 1915 were mainly portraits.
She began exhibiting her works in 1913 at the Salon de la Société lyonnaise des Beaux-Arts and exhibited regularly thereafter at a number of art fairs. In 1914, she presented one of her rare identified pastels, Les papillons noirs (The Black Butterflies). In 1917, two plaster casts, a small bronze bust and some terracotta studies were shown. In terms of production, she was most prolific in the five years following the Great War. In 1918, she exhibited for the first time at the Salon d'Automne in Lyon with several terracotta figures, including Le doute (Doubt), as well as six pastels, two monotypes and two wooden letter openers. At the 1921 Salon d'automne, she presented no less than 21 pastels, 16 monotypes and 21 sculptures.
The French State acquired several works by the artist between 1919 and 1924. The works are all currently held in the Lyon Fine Arts Museum collection.
In 1922 she married Charles Toussaint and separated two months later. On 2 June 1930, she was interned without her consent at the Vinatier psychiatric hospital near Lyon at the request of her father and on the advice of her psychiatrist. During the Second World War, 2,000 people interned at this hospital died of starvation, including herself on 16 August 1942.
Sources: Wikipedia; Archives de France.
Artist: Germaine de Roton (1889-1942).
Signed in the lower left.
Condition : Very good condition.
Size : 65 x 54 cm / 25 ½ x 21 ¼ in.
Frame : 74 x 63 cm / 29 x 24 ¾ in. Gilt wood, very good condition.
Origin : France.