Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Emilie Charmy (1877-1974)

"Self Portrait" Oil on canvas, c.1930. Papillon Gallery, Los Angeles.

I have come across a number of interesting works by the French painter Emilie Charmy over the years, but there was always a real lack of information on her and very few other examples of her work. Now a website has been built to collate her work and preserver her legacy - Friends of Emilie Charmy. The quality of her work isn't consistently high, but she painted some interesting works. Certainly worth a look, and heartening to see a step like this being taken.

1 comment:

r8r said...

I think she's a great example of how women in early 20th century European society gradually became individuals in their own right, rather than being subsumed into a family, or being an appendage of a husbad. Émilie Charmy was born into a middle or upper middle class family, and tried to navigate the careers available to a woman of the time and place. There are photos of her being chaperoned in her own studio by her brother.
She had artistic talent, and made a creditable effort to be taken seriously in the area of modernist painting -- no small feat. There were others who tried and succeeded, to varying degrees, like Alice Halicka, Suzanne Valadon, Margaret Zorach, Sonia Terk-Delaunay, Gabrielle Munter, or Marianne Werefkin, but Émilie Charmy's work speaks, to me at least, of the efforts she made attempting to overcome great opposition against women artists.