Maurice MILLIERE (Le Havre 1871-1937 ?)

Maurice MILLIERE (Le Havre 1871-1937 ?)

Maurice MILLIERE (Le Havre 1871-1937 ?)

Elegant Woman with Hat in Profile

Drypoint, printing in black and red colors.



Maurice MILLIERE (Le Havre 1871-1937 ?)

Elegant Woman with Hat in Profile

Drypoint, printing in black and red colors. Maurice-Milliere-elegant-woman

Size of the plate: 310 x 160 mm – Size of the sheet: 490 x 304 mm.

Very nice proof on wove paper, signed and numbered N° 13 and 09 (for 1909 ?) in pencil. Straight lines of pencil of 4 mm at the ends of the margins.

Maurice-Milliere-elegant-woman : Maurice Millière is a French painter, illustrator and lithographer. Millière begins by studying painting at the school of the fine arts of Le Havre. He is in Paris from 1889 and enters the Decorative Arts. Maurice studied portraiture, life drawing and figure painting in the studio of Léon Bonnat. This studio counts among its students Toulouse-Lautrec and Raoul Dufy. The young artist also attended some of the studios of the Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first remarkable graphic works are posters and scores. They work among others for the company Le Boulch or Le Divan japonais (1899). Millière contributed to fashionable magazines of the time, notably “La Vie Parisienne” and “Fantasio”. He also provided 13 illustrations to the Cornet Société, of which he was a member, between 1907 and 1939. Most of the illustrations depict the same woman, Fanny. She appears at first as a shy teenager and gradually transforms into a voluptuous young woman.

One of the inventors of the “little woman of Millière, a smiling Parisian”.

His drawing skills quickly translated into success as a caricaturist and illustrator and his brilliant interpretation of the “modern Parisienne” soon became known as “Millière’s Little Woman”. Skillfully using the technique of drypoint color etching, Millière created a modern woman, shy, charming, independent and beautiful. Unconsciously erotic and utterly adorable, his portraits became known as “Femmes Poupées” and, through them, he created the genre of boudoir art. His work was the main inspiration for boudoir painter and engraver Louis Icart (1888-1950).

Maurice-Milliere-elegant-woman – His “little women” were very successful outside of France: during the 1920s, American periodicals reprinted his creations, as well as those of Suzanne Meunier or Georges Léonnec, other artists of female figures, associated with the “Gai Paris”, in other words, with the Montmartre district and its many cabarets. Millière’s little women were a source of inspiration for Alberto Vargas and Enoch Bolles, prefiguring the “pin-up style”. These women were also used on postcards, posters, menus, etc. Part of this production, although erotic, is devoted to much more daring representations and therefore marketed in a discreet way. These are watercolors of dominating women, indulging in flagellation, which are successful in England.

He stayed in the West Indies where he drew and painted pictures, notably of West Indian women. Several of these works were exhibited at the salons of the National Society of French Artists and the Colonial Society of French Artists. He illustrates a book published in 1929 Madinina “Queen of the West Indies”: a study of Martinique customs. Among his works we can mention ‘Beauté antillaise devant la baie de Fort-de-France à la Martinique’, watercolor and gouache on paper Signed and dated lower right Maurice Millière 1927, 39 x 28,5 cm. In August 1930, he was named Knight of the Legion of Honor in the colonial title.


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