The One about the Portrait of Madame Paul Duchesne-Fournet, 1879 by Jean-Jacques Henner


When I visit LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), I’m often drawn to the oil on canvas painting of the “Portrait of Madame Paul Duchesne-Fournet, 1879” by Jean-Jacques Henner.

Henner is a French painter who was known for using sfumato (one of the four canonical painting modes of Renaissance art and is derived from the word “fume”) and chiaroscuro (one of the four canonical painting modes of Renaissance art and is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition) in painting his nudes, religious subjects and portraits.

Passionate about the art of Henner, it’s a shame that his work is underappreciated.

But thrilled that LACMA does feature a few of Henner’s work but there is also an art museum in Paris (the Musee national Jean-Jacques Henner, which is currently closed until May 2016) dedicated to his work.

But one of my favorite paintings by Henner is “Portrait of Madame Paul Duchesne-Fournet, 1879”, which is a portrait of Madame Paul Duchesne-Fournet, the wife of a prominent politician of the French Third Republic.

The portrait was quite popular and cost 10,000 francs which was a lot back in the late 1800’s.

But the acquisition of this painting by LACMA’s Collectors Committee generated a lot of news when it was purchased for $335,000 in a private sale, outselling the previous auction record of $57,000 for a Henner “Mary Magdelene” painting back in 2007.

But if you ever visit LACMA, please spend some time enjoying this beautiful painting!