May 21, 2013
May 21, 2013

Madame Case

Madame Case

after September 1900, probably summer 1901

Eugène Carrière

(French, 1849-1906)

Oil on fabric

Unframed: 46.2 x 38.1 cm (18 3/16 x 15 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1967.126

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The painting evokes an illusory, dreamy quality that may reflect the fact that Carrière never met his model.

Description

This painting may depict the wife of the artist's close friend, writer Jules Case. In a letter written after her death, Case asked the artist to paint her portrait from an enlarged photograph. "My dear friend," Case wrote, "would you preserve the only face which, from now on, can bring me some little joy, if one can use this word for a sentiment mixed with so much suffering." Carrière emphasized the poetic mood by placing the shadowy figure in a vague, dreamlike space. Known for his evocative paintings of women and children, Eugène Carrière was loosely associated with the French Symbolist movement, which aimed at expressing inner, spiritual life and emotions rather than the outward appearance of physical reality.

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