Fernand Khnopff: Portrait of Jeanne Kéfer
Getty Publications, 2004 - 108 pages
The Belgian artist, illustrator, sculptor, and photographer Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921) became a popular society portraitist in the 1880s, using elements that had served him well as an avant-garde symbolist painter: visual realism and a mood of silence, isolation, and reverie. As in the provocative yet hauntingly beautiful Portrait of Jeanne Kéfer, which is the focus of this book, he frequently posed his models leaning against a closed door, flattening the space and resulting in a meditative, hermetically sealed image. Jeanne Kéfer was the daughter of a composer friend of the artist, and Khnopff deftly captured the child's vulnerability to the outside world in the small gesture of her tiny thumb catching the edge of her bow.
The book places this painting in the historical context of Khnopff's times and social milieu, such as the advent of symbolism as a literary and artistic movement and the influence of James McNeill Whistler. The analysis of the portrait is supported by a stunning array of related paintings, details, and technical photographs. Finally, the author uses Khnopff's portraits as a springboard for a broader discussion of symbolist art.
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A Little Girl at the Center of the AvantGarde
Producing a Portrait
The Portrait in Perspective
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act of looking Anna Boch Antwerp appears Archives artist Artistique avant-garde Beaux-Arts de Belgique Belgian body Brussels Caron Cecily Alexander child color composition concept constitutes decor defines detail doll door Emile Verhaeren Ensor exhibited eyes face February feminine Fernand Khnopff Flemish primitives flower frame gaze girl glazes Gustave Kefer harmony icon ideal James Ensor James McNeill Whistler Jan van Beers Jeanne Kefer Figure Khnopff's painting L'Art Moderne Leonora d'Este Lewis Carroll McNeill Whistler Memling mimetic motif move Musees royaux nature object Octave Maus Oil on canvas paint handling painter palette Paris photogenetic drawing photographic Picard pictorial Portrait of Jeanne Portrait of Mademoiselle Portrait of Marguerite portrait painting portraiture pose Private collection produced Realist reality reference reflection relationship render representation reveals Rose Caron royaux des Beaux-Arts Rysselberghe Salon sensation staging studio surface symbolic Symbolist tableau vivant tion varnish Verhaeren woman Yvonne Suys