Bernard BOUTET DE MONVEL (Paris 1884 - Azores 1949)
A Woman Skiing and Two Women Looking to the Left
Pencil on papier calque.
Stamped with the artist’s posthumous studio stamp (not in Lugt) at the lower left. Inscribed Vogel at the upper left, and Bon Ton no.4 / Les masculines par B de Monvel / au Trait at the top centre.
Inscribed Tel and numbered 2 at the bottom.
187 x 259 mm. (7 3/8 x 10 1/8 in.)
These are studies for two separate vignette illustrations, on facing pages, for the article ‘Les Masculines’, written by the artist’s brother Roger Boutet de Monvel, and published in the May 1922 issue of the Gazette du Bon Ton.
In the article, the author states that, ‘There are those who walk the streets demanding the vote for women, those who slash paintings in museums…or who persist in hunger strikes when put in prison…I confess that, for my part, I reserve my preferences to ladies who merely translate their tastes and feelings into their outfits.’
According to the writer, it began with pyjamas. As men started to wear dressing gowns, women dressed in 'pierrot' trousers. Since they wished to be seen with these same trousers outside the home, they took up outdoor exercises such as skiing or bobsleighing, activities which ‘owe their success to the fact that they offer women a magnificent opportunity to disguise themselves as men.’ The same applies to those equestrian women who now choose to ride astride the horse rather than sidesaddle.
Among the contents of the artist’s studio in Paris at the time of his death
By descent to the artist’s daughter, Sylvie Boutet de Monvel, Paris.
Roger Boutet de Monvel, ‘Les Masculines’, Gazette du Bon Ton, May 1922, pp.102-103.