Paul-Albert Besnard (French, Paris 1849–1934 Paris)
Etching, only state
Image: 9 5/16 × 14 9/16 in. (23.7 × 37 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1967
Not on view
Paul-Albert Besnard (1849-1934) was a student of the academic painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889), won the prix de Rome in 1874 and was among the founders of the Société Nationale in 1890. Throughout his career his style remained in between academic and impressionistic. During the last thirty years of his life he held important positions in the Académie de France in Rome, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the Académie française, the Académie de Saint Luc and the Royal Academy. Besnard's deeply incised etching lines cast his feline women in dark shadows and gave them a tragic accent. Melancholy, bored, and dramatically alluring (in a Gloria Swanson way), they help to define for us the decadence of the century.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," February 26, 1996–May 5, 1996.
Coppier 62; Godefroy 65
Louis Godefroy Albert Besnard, vol. 30 of Le peintre-graveur illustré by Loys Delteil. Paris, 1906, no. 65, ill. (as Morphinomanes, ou le Plumet)., cat. no. 65.
André-Charles Coppier Les eaux-fortes de Besnard. Paris, 1920, cat. no. 62, p. 50.