Self-portrait of the artist, where he is represented seated sideways, amused with several hand puppets, seeming to be trying to attract someone’s attention or distract them just outside the image. This painting forms a pair with a portrait of his wife, Germaine Fonteyne (born Patrelle), who is represented sitting at a table reading a book (and presumably ignoring his efforts at attracting her attention).
Painted probably in the early 1950s, this large-format oil on canvas painting is in very good condition, with some traces of restoration.
Édouard-Jean-Charles Fonteyne was a Belgian painter, journalist, poet and playwright, born in Brussels on May 4, 1890. Painter mainly of portraits and nudes, he lived most of his life in France, mainly in Nice and Paris. He was not a very prolific painter and exhibited mainly in the 1930s in Nice, Marseille and Monte-Carlo. In the words of an art critic of the time: “The art of Fonteyne can be summed up in two words: construction and light. He was able to give his full measure in the learned effects of light, the shortcuts, the perspectives and he proved to be an astonishing colourist who plays with values in virtue and at the same time a geometer of form."
He was wed for the second time on October 24, 1927 to Germaine Patrelle (1898-1954), daughter of industrialist Marie Joseph Patrelle. Édouard Fonteyne died in 1953, followed by his wife a year later.
Knight of the Order of the Crown of Belgium and Mason, his plays L'Appassionata (1920) and La Provinciale (1921) stand out among his works, as do numerous press articles in the newspaper Le Radical (Paris).
Sources: Archives de France; National Library of France, Paris.
Artist: Édouard Fonteyne (1890-1953)
Signed in lower right.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition.
Dimensions: 92 x 73 cm. / 36 x 28 ¾ in.
Frame: Not applicable.