Ma fille Mr. Cabanel
| 210 x 110 mm |
Pen in ink and graphite on tracing paper, laid down
Signed with initials 'FR'
Annotated at the bottom with the title and the number 411
COLLECTOR'S MARKS :
Ancienne collection G. Teyssier (as in: Mascha, 1910)
Ancienne collection Jacques Odry (Lugt L.3486)
Bought from the above as part of the complete collection, in 1976;
Ancienne collection Carlo De Poortere (Lugt L.3467)
Private collection, Belgium
Click image to enlarge
Ottokar MASCHA, Félicien Rops und sein Werk, (München : Langen, 1910), p. 22.
RELATED WORKS :
The present drawing is the final project for one of Rops' most famous graphic works:
"Ma fille Monsieur Cabanel !" [ Rouir 905 ]
It is a highly satirical work, meta reflecting on art and on Rops' own position as an artist. It depicts an older women presenting her daughter, naked, to the painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889). Cabanel was one of the most highly respected French painters in the academic style. His masterpiece "The birth of Venus" (1863) incited an important debate about female nudity in art and the fact that, when carefully conceiled as a goddess, it didn't seem to be a problem. Félicien Rops however went in rebellion by presenting not mere nude women, but naked prostitutes and said "fallen women". The present drawing reflects on the eagerness of the mother to have her daughter painted nude by an a respected academic painter, as if this was more respectable.
The delicately efficient line-drawing is exemplary for Félicien Rops as a draughtsman, which is also reflected in the way the present drawing travelled from one important collection to the other over the course of a century.