Jacques-Émile Blanche

Francis Poictevin


Not on display

Jacques-Émile Blanche 1861–1942
Oil paint on canvas
Frame: 414 × 314 × 57 mm
support: 267 × 165 mm
Presented by Miss Hilda Trevelyan 1939

Display caption

Blanche is best known for his portraits of eminent writers, artists and musicians. He lived near Dieppe and made frequent visits to England, where he was a well-known figure in artistic and society circles. Poictevin (1854-1904) was a French writer of the Symbolist period. A lithographic print based on this portrait was used as a frontispiece of one of his books. Degas owned this painting for many years; it hung in his bedroom. His friendship with Blanche finished in 1903 when Blanche allowed the periodical 'The Studio' to reproduce his portrait of Degas, against Degas' wishes. This portrait was probably returned to Blanche at this time.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Jacques-Emile Blanche 1861-1942

N04995 Francis Poictevin 1887

Inscribed 'J.E. Blanche 87' b.r. and 'Francis Poictevin | J.E. Blanche' on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 10 1/2 x 6 1/2 (26.5 x 16.5)
Presented by Miss Hilda Trevelyan 1939
Prov: Edgar Degas, Paris; the artist; Miss Hilda Trevelyan, London, 1939
Exh: Portraits d'Hommes, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, December 1907-January 1908 (7); Peintures, Pastels et Lithographies de Jacques-Emile Blanche, Hôtel de Jean Charpentier, Paris, March 1924 (39)
Lit: René Martineau, Types et Prototypes (Paris 1931), p.125
Repr: John Rothenstein, Modern Foreign Pictures in the Tate Gallery (London 1949), pl.76

Francis Poictevin (1854-1904), a French writer of the Symbolist period. A lithograph by Blanche after this portrait, showing the figure reversed and facing to the right, was used as frontispiece to Poictevin's Paysages et Nouveaux Songes (Paris 1888).

Blanche records (letter of 26 January 1939): 'The painting I did in 1887 for Degas belonged to him quite a long time. He had it in his bedroom'. Degas broke with Blanche after the latter's portrait of him (now in the North Carolina Museum of Art) was reproduced in The Studio in December 1903, contrary to his wishes. The portrait was probably returned then.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.55-6, reproduced p.55

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