Paul Albert BESNARD (Paris 1849 - Paris 1936)
A Woman Smoking
Pastel on paper, laid down on board.
Signed and dated ABesnard / 1899 in white chalk at the right centre.
608 x 498 mm. (23 7/8 x 19 5/8 in.)
In a review of the 1899 exhibition of the Société de Pastellistes Français, in which the present pastel was shown, Emile Dacier noted in particular ‘the impressions of Spain of M. Besnard (Fragility, The Cigarette Smoker, Woman), where the pink, the mauve and the yellow of mantillas and capes drapes so harmoniously the amber flesh.’1Another critic, writing of the same exhibition, remarked that, ‘The most desirable works of this exhibition are those of MM. Besnard, Aman-Jean and Menard...Besnard is brilliant and the imagination in these subjects is admirably adapted to the process. A pale green scarf on a brown-haired woman with warm flesh asserts all the qualities of pastel as, in a neighboring work, a fragile cup or, elsewhere, the feathery smoke of a cigarette.’
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, in 1899
G. Pannier, Paris, by 1905
The L. & L. Honsdrecht Collection, Amsterdam
Private collection, Amsterdam
Thence by descent to a private collection, The Netherlands.
François Thiebault-Sisson, ‘Le Salon des Pastellistes’, Le Temps, 4 April 1899, p.816; Octave Fidière(?), ‘Les Pastellistes’, La chronique de arts et de la curiosité, 8 April 1899, p.122; Emile Dacier, ‘Exposition de la Société des Pastellistes français’, Le Bulletin de l’Art ancien et moderne, 9 April 1899, p.117; Jean Lorrain, ‘Pall Mall Semaine’, Chroniques d’art, 28 April 1899, p.400; Jacques Copeau, ‘Albert Besnard’, L’Art décoratif, July 1905, p.16 (illustrated).