Edgar Boutry

Portrait Of A Lady With Blue Ribbons

Edgar Boutry

Portrait Of A Lady With Blue Ribbons

A fine early 20th-century portrait of a lady by French artist, Edgar Boutry (1857-1938).

She’s dressed in a highly fashionable black frilly blouse, embellished with a silver brooch, and a puffy black skirt worn above the hip. She also wears a light blue neck ribbon and two around her cuffs.

The early 1900s were known for their lavish excesses, opulent elegance and strict social rules. Within high society, taste was regarded as an important attribute as it helped to shape your own destiny and, in turn, the fortunes of your family.

As such, wealthy women dressed to impress in expensive fabrics such as silk, satin, damask and chiffon - often embroidered with ornate patterns and topped off with eye-catching headwear. With regards to hairstyles, as we see here, the main emphasis was to create a supportive base for a wide-brimmed hat. Women also tended to use hot curling irons to add a little flair.

This fine society lady sat for Edgar Boutry in 1885 - perhaps to celebrate her wedding given the prominence of her rings. At the time, Boutry was primarily known as a sculptor having created many fine bronzes, particularly in Northern France, so it’s interesting to consider how the two were introduced. His portraits are quite scarce so maybe he knew the lady (or her family) personally.

Boutry studied at the Lille Academic Schools and with Jules Cavelier at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He produced several statues in his hometown of Lille and his work is also housed in various public collections.

The portrait is signed/dated in the upper left.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 27½” x 36½” / 73cm x 93cm
Year of creation: 1885
Provenance: France
Condition: Very presentable. Canvas relined. Areas of professional restoration. Light craquelure but the paint layer is stable.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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