Oil on canvas, mounted on card. 39 x 27.5 cm.
The painter Eva Gonzalès was born in Paris and left behind an œuvre of just 126 works, including oil paintings and pastels, before her premature death at the age of 36. She passed away just 6 days after her teacher and mentor Eduard Manet. During her short life, she played a prominent role in the Parisian art world. Manet portrayed her painting at her easel, a work which is now housed in the National Gallery in London. Although she was considered one of the Impressionists, she did not take part in their exhibitions, like Manet himself.
Women in all facets of their existence were her preferred motifs. She soon developed her own unique style, characterised by a sense of stillness and a subtle palette, which could be described as “feminine” in the most positive sense of the word. Gonzalès was concerned with spontaneity, emphasising the human aspects of her sitters. The present canvas is among her earliest surviving works. Both Sainsaulieu and Mons (op. cit.) date the piece to around 1865 to 1870. A similarly arranged work with the same dimensions and the same original provenance entitled “La Demoiselle”, now housed in a Parisian private collection, can be considered a pendant to this piece (Sainsaulieu/Mons, op. cit., no. 5).
Jean-Raymond Guérard, Paris. - André Watteau, Paris. - Lempertz auction 22. 11. 1984, lot 353. - German private ownership.
Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu, Jacques de Mons: Eva Gonzalès 1849-1883. Etude critique et catalogue raisonné, 1990, p. 60, no. 4