La Belle Otero, Photo by
Léopold Émile Reutlinger, 1880s.
“Women have one mission in life: to be beautiful. When one gets old, one must learn how to break mirrors. I am very gently expecting to die.”
Caroline Otero, born Agustina Otero Iglesias on 4 November 1868 in Pontevedra (Galicia), of a gypsy mother and unknown father, lives a childhood and adolescence marked by misery and violence; To forget her troubles and provide for herself, she dances in the streets and inns, then in small cabarets, in Spain and Portugal. In 1889, Caroline left Spain and arrived in Paris on the eve of the inauguration of the World’s Fair. On May 18, 1890, the young Spaniard began her career at the Charles Franconi Summer Circus; Four days later, La Soirée parisienne attributes to her the adjective “Belle” which is therefore indissolubly linked to her name. The international triumph came in 1891, back from a long tour in the United States whose success was skillfully prepared by the agent - and lover - of the Belle Otero, Ernest André Jurgens, director of the New Eden Museum York. After leaving the dancer in 1895, Jurgens put an end to his life: other abandoned lovers followed his example, which earned Belle Otero the nickname of “mermaid of suicides” and contributed to her renown as a femme fatale.
It’s typical of me to be late to the party, but at least the month isn’t over yet.
This is Sirena, a character from a story that I’ve been slowly working on for the past… four years now? Yeah, that’s about right. She works in a circus as a singer and a “World Marvel”. She is French Canadian, and hails from Nova Scotia. Her coloring and body shape is inspired by bluefin tuna. Enjoy!