A young French beauty dons a fashionable yellow ensemble in this elegant portrait by Jean-Gabriel Domergue. Entitled Femme à la Robe Jaune (Lady in a Yellow Dress), this important work of art is the perfect example of the portraits for which the artist is renowned, featuring what would be coined la belle Parisienne: slender, swan-like women infused with an unmistakable grace and style. His innovative take on the female form prompted Domergue to profess "I invented the pin-up." The artist's oeuvre encompassed women from all facets of society, from aristocratic figures such as Liane de Pougy and Nadine, future Baroness de Rothschild, to sensuous nudes, actresses, and dancers who were the height of French fashion and fascination.
Born in Bordeaux in 1889, Domergue studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. He was only 17 years old when he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français for the first time, winning the Prix du Rome in 1911 and a gold medal in 1920. While landscapes dominated his early oeuvre, from the 1920s he changed his focus to what would become his trademark subject, la belle Parisienne. Domergue's works captured the joie de vivre that permeated post-WWI Paris. As seen in La Bonne Aventure, Domergue's women exude self-confidence and awareness, culminating in a perfect blend of prowess and elegance unique to his paintings.
Domergue enjoyed a tremendously successful career. From 1955 until 1962 he was the curator of the Musée Jacquemart-André, where he organized exhibitions of the works of van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Goya, among others. He was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, and also served as a Fellow of the Academy of Fine Arts.
Canvas: 21 5/8" high x 18" wide
Frame: 29 7/8" high x 26 1/4" wide
Artist's Select Museums:
Réunion des Musées Nationaux, France
Galerie de Souzy, Paris
Villa Domergue, Cannes
The Royal Collection, London
Signature: Signed "Jean Gabriel Domergue" (lower right)