Thursday, August 30, 2012

Josephine at the Musée du Montparnasse

Josephine Baker figures prominently in the current exposition at the Musée du Montparnasse. The show features the works of Jean-Gabriel Domergue, the self-proclaimed inventor of the "pin-up girl," in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death.

Domergue's claim to fame was his artistic portrayal of many of the famous, if not notorious, women of his age. Liane de Pougy, Gina Lollobrigida, Brigitte Bardot, and Josephine Baker are among those whose image he idealized on canvas.

Two works featuring Josephine in the same pose - an oil and an aquarelle - are located on the main floor.

Joséphine Baker
Jean-Gabriel Domergue
1940 Oil on canvas
© Discover Paris!

Joséphine Baker
Jean-Gabriel Domergue
© Discover Paris!

These are complemented by a large number of photos, several of which are not well known by the public.

Portraits of Josephine Baker
Private collection of Josephine Baker photos
© Discover Paris!

Josephine's hands
Private collection of Josephine Baker photos
© Discover Paris!

In the exhibition room upstairs, all paintings depict women in fancy dress. Some women are presented alone, some with lanky canines, and some in social scenes. Domergue often exaggerates the length of his subjects' necks, giving them a slight, graceful curve that helps draw attention to their faces.

Josephine is represented in one of these paintings, which is called Le Peintre et ses Modèles (The Artist and his Models). She is one of three women posing under a parasol on a beach. The artist is in the foreground of the painting. A sighthound is also a part of the entourage.

Le Peintre et ses Modèles
Jean-Gabriel Domergue
1931 Oil on canvas
© Discover Paris!

The exposition will be open until September 16, 2012.

Musée du Montparnasse
21, avenue du Maine
75015 Paris
Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenüe (Lines 4, 6, 12, 13)

Entry fees:
Full price - 6 €
Reduced price : 5 €

Open every day except Monday from 12:30 PM to 7 PM


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