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Jules Abel Faivre

Sappho

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Jules Abel Faivre
1867-1945

Sappho
Oil on canvas signed upper left
70 x 55 cm / 27.56 x 21.65 inch
Frame 126 x 99 cm / 49.61 x 38.98 inch
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Description of the artwork

Our painting is unquestionably the masterpiece of Jules-Abel Faivre. We can feel the influence of his master, Jules Lefebvre, in the signature. The delicacy of the model’s features and her long hair remind those of Sappho, the Greek poetess of the Antiquity. The painter Dante-Gabriel Rossetti made a similar work. Here, Abel Faivre shows with precision the perfect proportions of the young woman. The purple background of the canvas, mixed with a deep blue veil, highlights the sensuality of this painting.

Biography of Jules Abel Faivre

Born in 1867 in Lyon, Jules-Abel Faivre studied during three years at the Fine Arts School of the city with his master Jean-Baptiste Poncet. He then studied at the Fine Arts School of Paris and at the Julian Academy at the side of Benjamin-Constant and Jules Lefebvre. 

Painter, portraitist, poster artist, illustrator and caricaturist, he was above all famous for his humoristic drawings where he depicted the medical community and the bourgeoisie. Indeed, he was a caricaturist for « Le Rire » and « Le Figaro ». His singular stroke and his bawdy humour were noticed by Alphonse Allais. Some of his caricatures are still presented at the Jean Jaurès Museum of Castres. 

Friend of Auguste Renoir who advised him, Jules-Abel Faivre exhibited several times at the Salon de Paris with "Rêveuse" (1898), "La Vierge aux enfants" (1899), "La Femme à l'éventail" (1901), "L'Enfant au livre" (1906) and "Portrait de Maurice Donnay"(1907).

During the exhibition of 1894 in Anvers, he was rewarded by a third class medal, and then, a medal of honour at the exhibition of Lyon in 1897 with "Retour de Wagram". In 1900, during the Universal Exhibition, il received a honorable mention and was decorated Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1906. 

His reputation was mainly acquired during the First World War when he created propaganda posters which encouraged French people to support war effort. 

He became a founding member of the committee of the Salon des humoristes in 1907 where he exhibited several times after the war. 

He died at the Croix Valmer near Nice and died on August 13, 1945.

 

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