portrait de madame x


64 days in heaven and hell (10)
A few words about friends: Schuffenecker and Émile Bernard 
In 1886 Émile Bernard met Schuffenecker at Concarneau on the Breton coast. A lasting friendship developed immediately. They especially supported each other during the difficult moments of their lives, like the breakup of Schuffenecker’s marriage or Bernard’s emotional crisis of 1890-91.

During that stay in Concarneau, Schuffenecker paved the way for a first meeting between Bernard and Gauguin in Pont-Aven later that summer. They would see a lot more of each other in 1888, when they also frequently exchanged ideas by letter with that other struggling avant-garde painter, Vincent Van Gogh. The three of them influenced each other a lot.

Schuffenecker also took the lead in the organisation of an exhibition in 1889 in the Café des Arts (the so-called Volpini exhibition), showing work of himself, Gauguin, Bernard, Anquetin and 5 others.

Schuffenecker’s wife, Louise Lançon, was  known as a quite attractive but somewhat difficult woman. Their relationship was precarious, even when the above portraits were made, as is suggested in Gauguin’s painting of the family Schuffenecker made in the same year (see previous post). Bernard made these two portraits of her, each in a completely different style.

Émile Schuffenecker, Émile Bernard, 1889. Oil on canvas, 46 x 58,4 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Émile Bernard:
- Portrait de Madame Schuffenecker, 1888. Oil on canvas, 31,9 x 40,4 cm. Private collection
- Portrait d’Émile Schuffenecker, 1888. Oil on canvas, 54 x 65,2 cm. Private collection
- Portrait de Madame Schuffenecker, 1888. Oil on canvas,  cm. Private collection

Portrait of Mme Pierre Gaudreau (1898). Antonio de la Gándara (French, 1861-1917). Oil on canvas.

In this portrait, Mme. Gautreau conveys that age has brought her a modest elegance, but still she retains her supple physique, arresting profile, and coquettish nature. In tonality of colors, privacy of her face, and style of her dress, it was more conservative than Sargent’s controversial Madame X painting.